September 3, 2008
The Heart of Our Faith
Paul believed that nothing merited his boasting more than the cross (Gal. 6:14). He had good reason to think s God’s entire plan of salvation hangs upon two beams of rough-hewn wood. Our relationship with the Father is made right through Jesus’ sacrificial death. By His blood, we are justified—freed from the guilt and penalty of sin.
Galatians 2:16 says, “By observing the law no one will be justified” (niv)—that is, clean living can’t earn God’s acceptance. Even so, some unbelievers who reject the message of the cross put confidence in a cosmic “scale”: They trust that the Lord will weigh their good deeds against the bad and be satisfied.
Yet if this scale philosophy were true, Jesus’ death would be senseless. A Father who accepted multiple paths to salvation but still sacrificed His Son couldn’t be called good or loving. People overlook this obvious reasoning and cling to their vision of a God who ignores personal sin.
The problem is pride. Since it is natural to desire acceptance, people want to believe something within them is worth loving. But the cross requires us to kneel before God empty-handed. When we humbly admit we’re powerless to settle our own sin-debt, we must accept the payment Jesus made on our behalf.
We have nothing to offer God, but the fact is, He expects nothing. Instead, the Father created a salvation plan that cleansed the stain of our sin and reconciled us to Him. The cross is a symbol of His love—a love that deserves our boasting.
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