Do You Understand The Cross?

Do You Understand The Cross?

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7)

I want to get your wheels turning a bit and get you thinking today.  For about a month, I have been intrigued by a certain topic.  My intrigue has been sparked by many things, including the week that we spent away preaching at church camp.  After opening camp by preaching on the gospel (the core Christian message of what Jesus has accomplished by dying on the cross), a handful of students confessed that even though they may have gone to church for some time, they had never heard the gospel in the way that they heard it that night.  This was very encouraging to me.  Now, though, it’s concerning as I think about it.  If Paul says that there is no other gospel outside of the Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ, then we cannot play around with other “gospels.”  We cannot be unsure of what the true gospel is.

With that being said, I want to ask you the same questions that I asked a room full of High School students before our first chapel.  What does the cross of Jesus Christ do?  What does it accomplish?  What does it mean for you?  How do we accept it?  We are going to talk about this a lot over the next few weeks, but I want you to answer those questions for yourself before you read on.  What is the gospel, the Good News, of Jesus all about?

There is no question that many “gospels” are being taught in the world today.  There are even different “gospels” being taught within the same world views or religions.  For example, there are many people who would call themselves Christians, but may have different beliefs about what Jesus has accomplished and/or how we receive what Jesus has accomplished.  The apostle Paul, in Galatians 1, was not okay with the believers in Galatia being unclear about the gospel.  He was not shy about voicing how he truly felt about this.

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9)

Paul wants you to know that if anyone, himself, your pastor, me, or even an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel that is not the Biblical gospel, let him be accursed.  Seriously?  Is it that important?  Is it that crucial?  Yes, it is.  Anathema is the Greek word for accursed in those two verses.  It is literally meaning to cast away to damnation or destruction.  This is extremely strong language from Paul.  He knew that there was only one gospel, and he wants us to know that gospel and believe that gospel.  It is the only gospel that saves.  Therefore, we must be sure what that gospel is.

It is the only gospel that saves.

So I want you to take some time to think about what the gospel is to you.  What has Jesus truly done?  How do we receive what He has done?  We are going to look in depth at this for a few weeks so I would encourage you to subscribe to our devotions at the bottom of this page, as well as subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date with this discussion.  We would love to hear your input, but we also just want to simply lay before you the Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is the only gospel that saves.  Paul showed his reasoning for being so stern about this in verse 10.  Let’s end there.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)

Paul was not being stern in order to be approved by man.  He wasn’t trying to tickle the ears of his listeners.  People knowing the true gospel is what drove Paul to be urgent about it.  He was not trying to build a following by pleasing people.  He wanted the gospel to be made clear because other “gospels” would not save his listeners.  That is our motivation as well.  There is one gospel that can and will save your soul.  We want you to be very clear about it.  It is Good News.  It is amazing news!  Ponder on what the gospel means to you, and we will continually discuss what the Bible teaches about it for the next few weeks.

  • What does the cross of Jesus Christ accomplish for you? How do you receive it?
  • Do you feel like the gospel has been made clear to you in your church experience?

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