Fruit From the Vine: Chacah, Batach, Yachal

I think we might (it’s also quite possible I am just speaking for myself here) get a little confused when it comes to trusting the Lord. When I ask my child to trust me that I’m not going to let him fall, it’s because I really am not going to let him fall. So we naturally think that when we trust the Lord, it provides supernatural protection against all major and most minor harm.

So when you’re faced with no job or cancer or no money coming in or no financial plan for the future or retirement and you say, “I’m just trusting the Lord,” it seems really spiritual. Except really what you’re saying is, “God is going to make a job fall in my lap” or “God is not going to let me die from cancer” or “He meets all of our needs, we don’t need to worry. Our cell phone and TV and car payments will still be paid even without the numbers working out on paper.” This sometimes does happen. God sometimes does the miraculous in our lives, and for that I am thankful. But our picture of trust is tainted, still.

What about the Christian, who really is trusting the Lord with all their heart and not leaning on their own understanding, that is dying of a disease or that can’t pay the bills and is going into foreclosure or whose desires of their hearts aren’t being met? Not enough faith? God not being faithful?

The word trust has a few different meanings in Scripture. One word in the Hebrew that means trust is chacah and it means “to take refuge”. Another one is batach which means “to have confidence in, to set ones hope in.” Another is yachal, meaning “to wait, hope, expect.” (Note: The word list is not exhaustive…there are many more in Hebrew and Greek.)

With any one of these words, the definition is NOT: “trust because He will make everything work out okay. That’s God’s job.”

Trust does not mean that Jesus will work it all out just because you commit the situation to Him. It doesn’t mean safety, peace, comfort, prosperity, health, or even life. It certainly doesn’t mean that all of your American dreams or wishes are met. Yes, he has plans for you. But have you considered the possibility that those plans could be bankruptcy or disease or being murdered?

I don’t think I have considered this much in the past. God is indeed faithful to Himself and His promises but a good, prosperous, safe life with every desire being met is not one of his promises. When I say, “I trust you Lord,” what I mean is “I take refuge in You. I have confidence in You, that Your plan is better than mine. I put my hope in you and I wait for You. I expect you to be Faithful, because that is Who You are.”

Anything that I desire cannot be compared to Him and His glory. All things, material and otherwise, are to be in service to Him and point to Him. He does not serve US and the things in our lives. We gladly use and give thanks for the gifts He gives, holding on to them very loosely, knowing that we are not owed any of them. They are ALL evidence of grace. Our right response is to love Him, serve Him, obey Him, trust Him.

I cling to him during times of uncertainty or worry because He has Sovereign hands. And I trust Him, not because it will all work out for what I think is good, but that it will be what He deems good for me. Maybe that’s life, maybe that’s death. Maybe that’s poverty or illness or persecution or famine. Whatever it is, I place my trust in Him, because He is trust-worthy.

Glory to the King

We sing songs of God come to Earth, but so many still don’t know the King. Many talk about him- when they curse, when they mock, when they are in a bind, when it’s Christmas and time to go to church. But many don’t really truly know the King. Some know about the King. Some have heard the stories. So many have other kings on the throne. But there’s no room for this King. There wasn’t room at his birth and for most there isn’t room now. But some will turn and worship.

God, give us hearts, vision, feet, and words to rescue those blindly running to their death. Let us build ourselves up in the faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, keep ourselves in the love of God. Let’s save souls in this town, through mercy, through snatching out of the fire. Through praying for the Kingdom to advance, sitting with the King Himself, and proclaiming to this lost town: glory to the King! The King whom God and sinners reconciled. Glory to that King. The King who is above all kings. Above all that we hold dear this Season that doesn’t give him glory. Let’s continue to tell this town about that King.

Fruit From the Vine: Freedom

I just completed a full season of Master Chef on Hulu. In about a week. Talk about obsession!  I felt sort of like an alcoholic. “I promise, just one more drink.” and “I can’t have a drink until noon. That proves that I’m not an alcoholic, because alcoholics drink before noon.” “I can’t watch Master Chef until nap time, not in the morning. That would be obsession for me to watch it when I wake up.” I would get up in the morning and think, “what do I have to do today so that I can watch as much Master Chef as possible.” I had a dream about being a Master Chef. I started trying to chop fast like one and cut my finger tip off. Literally, off. I am still recovering.

And not that it is wrong to watch TV, or to spend your time doing something other than reading the Bible and praying. There is freedom and liberty, of course. We don’t live under condemnation, we have been freed from the Law and from guilt. So it’s not wrong to have activities in my life and spend time doing things I enjoy. In fact, it is a good thing. God gives us interests and desires and passions and talents. We should do things we love for His glory and our joy. But I am really good at using these true and valid points to justify any behavior. Even though I was neglecting spiritual things to feed my flesh, I was justifying it in a way that really let me off the hook. And let me say, just to be clear, it was NOT WRONG for me to watch those episodes. It wasn’t even wrong for me to watch 3 per night (shorter than a movie? Less time than most Americans watch TV each night? But we’re not comparing people to people here, are we….) However, for me, it included neglect of spiritual things. It is my number one desire to commit myself, fully, passionately, whole heartedly to Jesus. But if I were to be honest, the cares of this world can at times choke out the spiritual seed in my daily life.

The truth is, if I want to know Him, really know Him, I need to spend time with Him. If I were to spend 6 nights out of 7 away from my husband, eventually there would be degeneration in our relationship. I have the freedom in a marriage to not spend every free moment with my husband. But I also have the freedom to spend it with him. If I want to know him, to know all about him, his likes and his dislikes, and to progress in our relationship, I have to sacrifice in another area to free up my nights to spend by his side.

So it is with Jesus. We are His Bride and so the same thing applies. While I may be permitted and have freedom to spend my time doing other things, I know that if I really love Him, I won’t give Him a measly 2% of my time. I really love chef TV shows. I really love cooking competition. So I give it my time. I want to really love God, as commanded, with all my heart, all my soul, and with all my might. I can’t do that without some sacrifice. Without some energy expenditure.

Proverbs 8 speaks of Wisdom, saying, “wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you desire cannot compare with her.” And again, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me… my fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver…. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.” (Proverbs 8:11, 17, 19, 34)

To seek diligently requires a cessation of seeking other things. To watch daily and to wait, requires focus and one to pay attention. You will necessarily neglect some other things in your life. But the goal is to get something that is better than anything else, anyway! Better than chef TV, better than novels, better than jewels, better than fine gold!

In Acts 8, Peter shares the Gospel with the Ethiopian Eunuch, baptizes him, and then Peter gets transported to another town. Where he rests and relaxes because he has freedom in Christ to do so. No, he “preached the gospel to all the towns”. Not that it would have been wrong for him to chill after doing some Gospel work. But he has a passion and a drive for Jesus, for the Gospel, for men to be saved. He works and sacrifices and neglects other things for this better thing.

Matthew 11, same thing. “When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.” (Matthew 11:1) Jesus just taught a class to twelve people. He doesn’t rest from His work because he already checked off his spiritual thing for the day. He continues, preaching and teaching the Gospel. Because that is what He came to do: seek and save sinners, bring the lost home, show people the Father. “But that’s Jesus,” you say. Well, don’t you want to be like Jesus?  Isn’t that the goal?

Let me make sure to clarify again. I am not saying you shouldn’t ever watch TV, movies, read novels, go rock climbing, scrapbook, play sports, play video games (well…), work out, decorate your home, spend time in the internet or phone, etc. I will most definitely be watching the next season of Master Chef. But I am saying, check yourself. Make sure that you are not neglecting the Best Thing for a lot of little things that in the end, won’t reward and definitely won’t satisfy. Not like Jesus does.

Little Ones, Do Not Sin

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1

A while back, I handed my son something to drink and as he walked into our living room, with the drink in his clumsy toddler hands, I said, “Don’t spill.” I then realized that my son, who was 2 at the time, was probably going to spill. So I followed up my command of, “Don’t spill” with “But if you do, it’s okay. Mommy will clean it up.”

And I think that’s basically what we see here in John’s command to us! He says “Don’t sin.” And then it’s almost as if he remembers to whom he is writing.  He can guess that we are probably going to sin. So he follows it up with, “but if you do, don’t worry. Jesus cleaned it up.”

John issues an impossible command- speaking on behalf of a perfect God, instructing imperfect children to do something that is so against our fallen nature. Though, we do have a new nature. We do have the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us to overcome and be a master over sin. We are able to walk in the Spirit, possessing the fruits of the Spirit.  Love when we formerly couldn’t truly and sacrificially love one another, patience when we our own nerves are shot, kindness when we can’t think of a reason to be kind to that undeserving person but we can think of 1,000 reasons to let them have it, faithfulness when we feel like walking away, gentleness when we want to be harsh, and self-control when we really want to let go of all control and follow the desires of our flesh. So, we do have the Spiritual ability to not sin, by the gift of the Holy Spirit Himself. However, we are still in this body of death. We still have desires that we allow to give birth to sin.

So John, knowingly, lovingly says, “Jesus! Jesus is the answer. Don’t spill, but if you do… Jesus is your advocate. Jesus has already cleaned it up!”

God the Father looks down on us and only sees Jesus. His perfection in place of our imperfection. His sacrifice in place of our sin. He is before the Father, having cleaned up our sin. We spilled red wine on God’s brand-new white luxury carpet and Jesus cleaned it up. Not only cleaned it up, but replaced it, restored it, renewed it and made it so our red wine can never stain it again!  Our sins are forgiven for His name’s sake. God the Father sees us as perfect because of Jesus Christ the righteous!

Thoughts on Bin Laden

Believers, I have a question: Are we to rejoice that our enemy is dead? Don’t get me wrong, I love America and it is a good thing that a dreadful enemy of our country and one that is responsible for taking many American lives is now no longer on the earth. Nationally, it is a great victory. Militarily, it is a great victory and makes me proud of our SEALS. Many civilians and military alike have died because of this enemies evil and hatred and false religion.

But as I read many Tweets and Facebook status updates, I can’t help but feel conflicted and a bit saddened. We are to love what God loves and hate what God hates, right? And to be sure, God does hate wickedness. But His Word also says, He has “no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” (Ezekiel 33:11) And wicked Osama Bin Laden was. So is our Christian response to be rejoicing in this time? Or mourning?

Like I said, please don’t misunderstand me. I think it a great victory for our country and really, for the world, in terms of safety and morale. But for a Christian to say, “I’m glad he’s finally getting what he deserves” and “I’m glad he’s burning right now”… WOW. I’m just not sure that’s what a godly reaction would look like.

Yes, justice is being served. Yes, he is paying for the sin he committed. Moreover, he is paying the price of the rejection of God’s Son.

But what about your unsaved mother? Or your unbelieving best friend? Or your child who has rejected Christ’s atonement. Do you wish the same for them? They are in the same place Osama Bin Laden was: at war with God. No, they haven’t murdered people. Or have they? (anger). No, they don’t think they’re getting 70 virgins when they get to heaven. But they have lusted. And they are guilty by the same standard as Bin Laden was. They are just as deserving of eternal damnation and hellfire. But would you rejoice and be stoked on the fact they are “burning”? I think not.

Christians, let’s have God’s heart and mourn a sinner that is most likely in the depths of hell as we speak. Not because we are wishing he was still here threatening and plotting against us, because, of course we aren’t. But because he is getting all that he deserved.

(*To be fair, the verse quoted above is God speaking to the Israelites in their disobedience. Also, God is completely just in his judgements and his ways. So I am not saying we should mourn the sinners death because they don’t deserve it. They had chance after chance after chance to turn from their wicked ways and live. They rejected God’s right path and walked on their own path… right into hell. So I am not kicking against the plan or the Way that God set up for justice to be served. I am just saying, let’s not rejoice over eternal damnation of a wicked sinner when even God Himself is not rejoicing to send one to hell.)

50 Reasons Why Christ Suffered and Died

On this very Good Friday, I want to encourage the saints by showing exactly what was done for them at the Cross.

John Piper (in the book, “Fifty Reasons Why Christ Suffered and Died“), says he “gathered from the New Testament fifty reasons why Christ suffered and died. Not fifty causes, but fifty purposes. Infinitely more important than who killed Jesus is the question: What did God achieve for sinners like us in sending his Son to die?” 

#1. To Absorb the Wrath of God

  • “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us–for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.” Galatians 3:13
  • “God put [Christ] forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” Romans 3:25
  • “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

#2. To Please His Heavenly Father

  • “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief.” Isaiah 53:10
  • “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:2

#3. To Learn Obedience and Be Perfected

  • “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8
  • “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.” Hebrews 2:10

#4. To Achieve His Own Resurrection from the Dead

  • “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will.” Hebrews 13:20-21

#5. To Show the Wealth of God’s Love and Grace for Sinners

  • “One will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare to die–but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:7-8
  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
  • “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:7

#6. To Show His Own Love for Us

  • “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:2
  • “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25
  • “[He] loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

#7. To Cancel the Legal Demands of the Law Against Us

  • “And you, who were dead in your trespasses… God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13

#8. To Become a Ransom for Many

  • “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

#9. For the Forgiveness of Our Sins

  • “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.” Ephesians 1:7
  • “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28

#10. To Provide the Basis for Our Justification

  • “We have now been justified by his blood.” Romans 5:9
  • “[We] are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:24
  • “We hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” Romans 3:28

#11. To Complete the Obedience That Becomes Our Righteousness

  • “Being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8
  • “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19
  • “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • “…not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ.” Philippians 3:9

#12. To Take Away Our Condemnation

  • “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Romans 8:34

#13. To Abolish Circumcision and All Rituals as the Basis of Salvation

  • “But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision…the offense of the cross has been removed.” Galatians 5:11
  • “It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.” Galatians 6:12

#14. To Bring Us to Faith and Keep Us Faithful

  • “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” Mark 14:24
  • “I will make with them an everlasting covenant…And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.” Jeremiah 32:40

#15. To Make Us Holy, Blameless, and Perfect

  • “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14
  • “He has now reconciled [you] in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” Colossians 1:22
  • “Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” 1 Corinthians 5:7

#16. To Give Us a Clear Conscience

  • How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” Hebrews 9:14

#17. To Obtain for Us All Things That Are Good for Us

  • “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32

#18. To Heal Us from Moral and Physical Sickness

  • “Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
  • “[He] healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.” Matthew 8:16-17

#19. To Give Eternal Life to All Who Believe on Him

  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

#20. To Deliver Us from the Present Evil Age

  • “[He] gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” Galatians 1:4

#21. To Reconcile Us to God

  • “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” Romans 5:10

#22. To Bring Us to God

  • “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” 1 Peter 3:18
  • “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:13

#23. So That We Might Belong to Him

  • “You also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead.” Romans 7:4
  • “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  • “Care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” Acts 20:28

#24. To Give Us Confident Access to the Holiest Place

  • “We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus.” Hebrews 10:19

#25. To Become for Us the Place Where We Meet God

  • “Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body.” John 2:19-21

#26. To Bring the Old Testament Priesthood to an End and Become the Eternal High Priest

  • “The former priests … were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them…. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.” Hebrews 7:23-27
  • “For Christ has entered … into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Hebrews 9:24-26
  • “Every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” Hebrews 10:11-12

#27. To Become a Sympathetic and Helpful Priest

  • “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16

#28. To Free Us from the Futility of Our Ancestry

  • “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” 1 Peter 1:18-19

#29. To Free Us from the Slavery of Sin

  • “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever.” Revelation 1:5-6
  • “Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.” Hebrews 13:12

#30. That We Might Die to Sin and Live to Righteousness

  • “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.” 1 Peter 2:24

#31. So That We Would Die to the Law and Bear Fruit For God

  • “You also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.” Romans 7:4

#32. To Enable Us to Live for Christ and Not Ourselves

  • “He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:15

#33. To Make His Cross the Ground of All Our Boasting

  • “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14

#34. To Enable Us to Live by Faith in Him

  • “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

#35. To Give Marriage Its Deepest Meaning

  • “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25

#36. To Create a People Passionate for Good Works

  • “[He] gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2:14

#37. To Call Us to Follow His Example of Lowliness and Costly Love

  • “It is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly… For to this you have been called because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:19-21
  • “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Hebrews 12:3-4
  • “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men, And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

#38. To Create a Band of Crucified Followers

  • “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
  • “Whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:38

#39. To Free Us from Bondage to the Fear of Death

  • “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” Hebrews 2:14-15

#40. So That We Would Be with Him Immediately After Death

  • “[He] died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:10
  • “To live is Christ, and to die is gain… I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” Philippians 1:21, 23
  • “We would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8

#41. To Secure Our Resurrection from the Dead

  • “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” Romans 6:5
  • If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11
  • “If we have died with him, we will also live with him.” 2 Timothy 2:11

#42. To Disarm the Rulers and Authorities

  • “He set aside [the legal brief against us], nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rules and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” Colossians 2:14-15
  • “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8

#43. To Unleash the Power of God in the Gospel

  • “The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
  • “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16

#44. To Destroy the Hostility Between Races

  • “He… has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” Ephesians 2:14-16

#45. To Ransom People from Every Tribe and Language and People and Nation

  • “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9

#46. To Gather All His Sheep from Around the World

  • “[Caiaphas] did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.” John 11:51-52
  • “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” John 10:16

#47. To Rescue Us from Final Judgment

  • “Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:28

#48. To Gain His Joy and Ours

  • “For the joy that was set before him, [he] endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

#49. So That He Would Be Crowned with Glory and Honor

  • “But we see… Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death.” Hebrews 2:9
  • “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.” Philippians 2:7-9
  • “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” Revelation 5:12

#50. To Show That the Worst Evil Is Meant by God for Good

  • “In this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus… both Herod and Pontius Pilate along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” Acts 4:27-28