The Basis of our Salvation
For the [Christian] believer the cross is interpreted in Gal. 2:20 – “I am crucified with Christ.” He was my Substitute; God reckoned me one with the Saviour. His death was mine. He was wounded for my transgressions and bruised for my iniquities. Sin was not pushed away but put away. As another said, “Because God judged sin on the Son, He now accepts the believing sinner in the Son.” Our life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). I am shut up in Christ because Christ was shut out from God.
He suffered in our stead, He saved His people thus;
The Curse that fell upon His head, was due by right to us.
The storm that bowed His blessed head, is hushed for ever now
And rest divine is mine instead, while glory crowns His brow.
Here is the basis of our salvation. Our sins have been borne. God’s claim against us have been fully met. Christ was forsaken of God for a season that we might enjoy His presence forever. “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Let every believing soul make answer: He entered the awful Darkness that I might walk in the Light; He drank the cup of woe that I might drink the cup of joy; He was forsaken that I might be forgiven!
[Arthur W. Pink, The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1975, 16th edition, original copyright 1958, by I.C. Herendeen), adapted.]
During an impassioned sermon on death and facing judgment, the
visiting evangelist said forcefully, “every member of this church is
going to die and face judgment.” Early on in the sermon he noticed a
gentleman smiling on the front row.
The minister kept pushing his theme, “Every member of this church is
going to die.” The guy smiled even more while everyone else in the
congregation had a very somber look. In an effort to get through to
the guy, the preacher repeated it several more times forcefully, “EACH
MEMBER OF THIS CHURCH IS GOING TO DIE.”
Each time the phrase was repeated, the man smiled more. This really
got the preacher wound up and he preached even harder. The man still
smiled. The preacher finally walked down off the platform to stand
just in front of the smiling man and shouted, “I SAID EACH MEMBER OF
THIS CHURCH IS GOING TO DIE.”
At the end of the service the man was smiling from ear to ear. While
everyone else was looking pretty grim from the prospect of entering
eternity, the man seemed quite happy. After the service the preacher
jumped down off the platform and worked through the crowd to find the
man. Pulling him aside, the preacher said, “I don’t get it. Every
time I said, ‘Every member of this church is going to die,’ you were
laughing. I want to know why you did that?”
The man looked the preacher square in the eye and said confidently,
“I’m not a member of this church.” | (James Merritt)