Why the Cross?

I have been trying to emphasize the Word of God clearly teaches a different gospel than what was been implied, simplified, sanitized and packaged for church consumption.  We New Testament believers are not the first in line to receive the gospel, nor are we the first to receive the benefit of the gospel, a righteousness not our own.  After all, are we not offering our converts the same righteousness that is not their own as was offered to those of the Abrahamic covenant?  We have a long linage and heritage from Abraham to Christ who believed God and were credited righteousness, just as the Word of God has made known to us, these saints are with God in glory.

If this is not so, why would Jesus speak of those who lived under the covenant made with Abraham, as those who are in glory? 

“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.[i] 

Remember Jesus during His three days in the tomb went to preach to those who disobeyed during the time of Noah.  He did not go to preach to those who died between Abraham and John the Baptist.  Yet we have Jesus saying those under the covenant made with Abraham are in the Kingdom of God.  Those of whom the Bible speaks of as men who lived by faith in the covenant of the Law and not just the Law of the covenant.

I understand that some amongst us believe the patriarchs are in a place of waiting until some magical time, we know not of, when they will be transported into His kingdom.  Isn’t that how we have come to understand it?  Again the words Jesus spoke paint a different picture. 

“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.  In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.  So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’  “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’  “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’  “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’  “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’  “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'”[ii] 

A man has died and we assume that he was a man who put his faith in the covenant of the Law instead of the Law of the covenant since angels carried him to Abraham’s side.  On the other hand the other man went to hell.  The rich man wanted Lazarus to go warn his father’s house so they too would not end up in hell as he did.  The rich man was thinking of his five brothers who were still alive.  Here we have a man in hell and a man at Abraham’s side in God’s kingdom, who was taken there by angels.  All of this while men are still alive on earth.  I can only believe that what Christ taught was true.  He was true when he used examples of agriculture, baking, fishing etc.  Why would I assume He was not true in this example?  Abraham the man of faith and the other patriarchs, prophets and all others who lived by faith in the covenant God made with Abraham are in Heaven.

Not to beat a dead horse but did you notice that Abraham would not let Lazarus go to the rich man’s brothers.  He said they have Moses and the prophets.  The rich man insisted Lazarus go.  Abraham said if the rich man’s brothers do not listen to Moses and the prophets they will not believe even if someone rises from the dead.  Jesus in this story fully expects faith in the gospel presented by Moses and the prophets to be enough to keep a man from hell even before the message of the cross.  Wow!  How many times were we taught that in Church?  Remember it is not the Law of the faith that does this for a man.  It is the faith of the law, the gospel of the Law and the prophets.  The same gospel Paul, Peter, John, Philip and all the other apostles preached after Christ was taken up to heaven.  Don’t we agree what they preached was enough to keep men from hell?

Some would argue the Law of Moses and the Prophets are not enough to keep men from hell.  Not to mention this thinking contradicts the scriptures we have already covered in our gospel.  Some would say Christ must be preached!  To that I would say amen.  Preaching the gospel presented in the Law of Moses and the Prophets is preaching Christ. And we have already covered several scriptures about proving from the Law of Moses that Jesus was the Christ.  So if one does look at the gospel of the Law and not the Law of the gospel it is enough to lead a man to Christ and cause that person to have the faith necessary to have imparted to him the righteousness given to Abraham and his descendants.  Weather it is before or after the fact of His death and resurrection.

If what I have been presenting to you about the gospel is true, beginning from the covenant of righteousness made with Abraham, then one should ask why the cross?  If what I have been saying about Moses and the prophets is true why did Jesus shed his blood?  Was the work done on the cross pointless or maybe just for show?  Was it without effect?

No!  Indeed it was not in vain or just a show.  It was a fulfillment of a promise that God gave to Abraham.  God made another promise to Abraham concerning the gospel that was announced to him in advance.  Abraham speaking to his son Isaac said that God would provide the sacrificial lamb. 

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.[iii] 

God was faithful to not only provide one for the day that Abraham and Isaac were to reach the top of the mountain. 

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.[iv] 

The scripture announced through Abraham that God would provide a better sacrifice for sin when it was said,

So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”[v]  

Now today we can talk of how God was faithful to fulfill this promise. 

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.[vi]

I have been saying things like the gospel announced in advance.  The faith of the Law verses the Law of the faith.  Moses and the prophets being sufficient for the disciples to recognize the Messiah.  Moses and the prophets being sufficient for Jesus to explain how He must suffer to fulfill the gospel of the Law.  Moses and the prophets being sufficient to persuade men to put their faith in Christ as New Testament believers.  And finally Moses and the prophets being enough to keep a man from hell.  All of this was possible because the gospel being announced in advance to Abraham and then through Moses and finally through the prophets.  This was a shadow of the Christ and Jesus fulfilled this gospel of the Law and satisfied the Law of the gospel.  He did both!

This is no different than what we had been discussing in the last chapter when it was said the scripture announced in advance the gospel.  Nor is this promise to Abraham different than what is most basic and understood in church doctrine.

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son.[vii] 

Abraham did not withhold his own son from God and now God has not withheld His own Son from us.  

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.[viii] 

Not only is this a promise fulfilled that was spoken to Abraham, it is also a promise fulfilled that was spoken in the Garden of Eden. 

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”[ix] 

We have already discussed this verse in a previous chapter.  Jesus is that offspring who crushed the serpents head, the devil our adversary. 

I suspect that none of what I will say on this matter from this point on will matter much or make any kind of sense if we do not talk about hope.  In fact, I do not know if you know this, but hope is the center piece to our understanding not only the faith required of those in the Old Testament.  It is also the same centerpiece of our faith.  It is the same centerpiece of the entire gospel preached from Genesis all the way though Revelation.

I know when I speak on the topic of hope it will help us all to better understand the gospel we had preached to us.  On the contrary, for some of us, once we know the gospel of scripture we may become aware that we had something other than the gospel preached to us.  Either way it will help us all as we take a fresh look, to have a correct biblical perspective of the gospel.  Understanding hope as spoken of in the gospel will help our own understanding of salvation as we come to understand the gospel according to the gospel correctly.  We will finally begin to understand the gospel according to scripture.  Believe it or not we have come all this way, through all of our understanding so we can talk about hope and the role it plays for all who have faith in the promises of God.

As strange as this may sound, we can have no hope if there first wasn’t a promise.  We have hope because of a promise.  Our hope in the gospel is based on the promises of God.  The Old Testament saints hoped in the promises given in the gospel of the law and the prophets and that is why the gospel teaches they had righteousness by faith if they did not stumble over the Law. 

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead–since he was about a hundred years old–and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.  This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”[x]

Our father Abraham who received the covenant, who saw Jesus’ day and rejoiced, who received a promise from God when God announced the gospel in advance to him, by saying his offspring will be used to bring all nations to Him, put his hope in God’s promise to him.  The testimony is true. Abraham was credited righteousness because he believed God was able to do what He had promised.  The Old Testament saints, the descendants who were promised the covenant, like their father, where credited this same righteousness when they believed God would do as He promised them in the Gospel of the Law and the prophets.

I don’t think any of us would have any disagreement with the following understanding of scripture, for it is most fundamental to our faith.  With out the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. 

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.[xi] 

In fact it is scripture that credits God as being the first one to sacrifice on our behalf, the shedding of innocent blood for the guilty. 

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.[xii] 

Do not we all need to have innocent blood spilt for our sins so we to can be forgiven.  To this we all say yes and this was done in Christ.

We know from the Old Testament that there was the blood sacrifice required for the sin of the people. 

“This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.” And it was done, as the LORD commanded Moses.[xiii] 

The people of the promise, that is the people who were the heirs of the covenant that God made with Abraham and his descendants, had to offer sacrifices for their sins.  Even though they where heirs to the righteousness that comes by faith, they had to still shed the blood of the innocent.  It was their acting in faith through obedience to His requirements that God was able to credit them righteousness.  It was their lack of faith and disobedience that left them wandering and dying in the desert now excluded from God’s righteousness.

But can the blood of sheep, goats and bulls be enough to take away the sins of a man?  Again it is explained in scripture,

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.  If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.  But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.[xiv] 

The blood of animals may not be enough to forgive our sins, but the faith in the promise of God to Abraham to provide the Lamb would credit the believer righteousness until the blood of Jesus which took away their sins.  It wasn’t strict observances of the Law only that credited men righteousness.  It was their faith in God’s promise to forgive their sins that credit them righteousness.  It was their faith in the promise and obedience to the promise by which they were credited righteousness.  It was the promise spoken of in the Law that men put their faith in to credit them righteousness.  The law by which the sacrifice took place was a shadow of the good things that were coming!  This shadow speaks of the gospel and still speaks of the gospel.  The Law spoke of the work of Christ our savior concerning His sacrifice on the cross for our sins.  God redeeming a people for Himself, so He could be their God and they His people.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that the Old Testament saint was credited righteousness for their faith in God’s promise to provide the Lamb of God?  Isn’t it just as wonderful that we have been credited this same righteousness because we have put our faith in God’s promise to provide the Lamb of God?  See how there is not contradiction in the gospel as it is laid out in scripture.  Both the Old Testament and New Testament saints are credited righteousness by putting faith in God’s promise to provide the Lamb that takes away our sins.  Isn’t this wonderful?  Don’t you marvel?  But who speaks of this on Sunday mornings?

The shadow in the Law of the good things to come which is the gospel, are promises of God in which men put their hope in, this is Christ Jesus our sacrificial lamb who takes away our sins. 

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.[xv] 

He is not simply another shadow of what is to come like the sacrifice of spilling the blood of animals. He was and is the real deal when He bore our sins by spilling His blood on our behalf.  A trade of the innocent for the guilty.

We know that the shadow presented in the Law is speaking of the promises of God.  These promises are what the people put their faith in.  Speaking of the covenant that was entered into at Mt. Sinai Moses said,

The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb.  It was not with our fathers that the LORD made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today.  The LORD spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain.[xvi] 

This today is what we call the old covenant.  But why would there be a need for a new covenant?  The old covenant was the promise and the new covenant was the partial fulfillment of the old covenant.

Jesus spoke of the new covenant. 

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.[xvii] 

The old covenant is the blood of bulls, goats and sheep, was only as a shadow, that can not take away our sins.  The new covenant is Jesus’ blood.  Remember He is our bridegroom of blood that Moses was a type of or a shadow of what was to come.  It is Jesus’ blood that has bought us salvation. 

And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.[xviii] 

Scripture also say of this new covenant,

And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.'”  Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.[xix] 

It is a very interesting thing to me that God would credit to the Old Testament saints righteousness as they hoped in His promise to save them.  It wasn’t because God had provided His salvation during their days that He credited them righteousness.  It was because they trusted God for it.  God did not exclude them from the righteousness that He would give to those who believed after He provided His way of salvation.  They were called righteous because of the hope they had in God’s salvation.  Just as we too hope in God’s salvation.

But the promise has to be followed up with action.  The hope has to see its fulfillment.  As the covenant in the Old Testament is the promise, so the covenant in the New Testament is the partial fulfillment and the continuing promise to fulfill all the promises in the old covenant.  It would be better for us not to think of the gospel in the terms of Old Testament verses New Testament in our day, since we have not seen The Day of the Lord for example.  We have not seen Christ return, or His punishment of the nations as promised in the Old Testament.  It would be better if we thought of the gospel as the Old Testament plus the New Testament.  For truly we are living in the days when God will fulfill many of His promises to His people that were announced in the gospel of the Old Covenant.  If we think of ourselves outside the New Testament as well as outside the Old Testament we ignorantly take the position that God has fulfilled all his promises to us in the Law of Moses and the prophets.  And I know that none of us take that position, for our hope in Christ return contradicts this thinking.  So wouldn’t it be more consistent of us to simply admit to the fact we are the last chapter of Acts.  We are the saints who will see all God’s promises fulfilled here at the end of the age.  We are the last ones to live in the New Testament era.  We are the last ones to see all the promises of the gospel from the Old and New Testament fulfilled.

Now that we know that the promise is only as good as the delivery.  God has provided a better covenant in Christ as He fulfills His promises to us in the Old Testament.  The scripture, speaking of this far better covenant, has made this known to us who have come to believe: 

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.[xx] 

Jesus is the one through whom we have been brought into this new covenant.  Not only is He our mediator but He also made perfect those who have already died in the faith of Abraham our father. It was the spirit of righteous men made perfect because the shadow of the promise was replaced with the actual.  Those who died believing God, even though declared righteous, were not perfect because the shadow was not able to make them perfect.  Only the fulfillment of the shadow in Christ makes them perfect as it does for us today.  Those who believed the gospel preached to them and walked in the faith of Abraham their father, were made perfect by the blood of Jesus.

Can we see that Christ was not nullified when the Old Testament saint was declared righteous before God?  Christ was glorified because He made perfect the work of faith in those saints who believed the gospel announced in advance to Abraham.  Doesn’t this just make you want to give God glory?  Isn’t He wonderful?  Isn’t He awesome?  Doesn’t His gospel according to the gospel flow so beautifully together?  Let’s praise Him.  Christ makes perfect the work of faith in not only those believers but us as well.  Everyone say amen!  But from what pulpit do we hear this gospel?

If these spirits of righteous men were already dead and with God, what could have been lacking that kept them from being perfect?  Remember they were credited righteousness not because they earned it but because God declared them righteous because they had faith in God’s promises concerning them.  But through the blood of Jesus on the cross they became perfect.  The destroying work that was done through the old Adam was done away once and for all through the new Adam. 

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.[xxi] 

This is the gospel that was preached to the dead. 

For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.[xxii] 

The power of the curse of the old Adam was broken and the power of the new Adam is available to not only those who are now dead but to us who are alive.  This is why the cross.  Don’t you just marvel that even this obscure difficult scripture comes into crystal clear focus when viewed through the lens of the gospel that is in scripture?

I love it.  The cross shoots right up in the timeline of man and not only does it cover us today but covers the whole timeline of man.  It is a shining beacon for all who put their faith in the promises of God.  Truly the cross was a tree and its branches cover all mankind so that we may rest in its branches. 

Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?  It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.”[xxiii]   

Again speaking of those Old Testament saints,

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.  God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.[xxiv] 

The promise of the gospel they had received went unfulfilled since it was only the shadow of what was to come in Christ Jesus.  When the work of the blood of Jesus had taken place their promise was fulfilled.  We New Testament saints have the better thing which is Christ.  And with our better covenant, our new covenant, the Old Testament saints are now made perfect.  Even though they were commended for their faith they had not received in the promise what we have received in Christ.  But now in Christ they are complete even though we consider them dead.

We have discussed several scriptures that speak of the dead in the faith.  These scriptures even though they are considered mysterious and hard to understand ring with a perfect clarity so we can have understanding of their meaning.  The gospel according to the gospel is the means by which all scripture needs to be viewed.  It is our churched gospel that artificially creates so many mysteries in scripture.  Taking even the beautiful message of what God has done for those deceased saints of the Old Testament and loosing the message of what God has done for them with us.  If I were Satan I wouldn’t want the New Testament saints to know a unified scriptural gospel.  Would you?

Not only are we made perfect in Christ because of our new Adam, so also are those who never saw the day of Christ except by faith. 

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.[xxv] 

So these Old Testament saints were commended for their faith as they looked to the day in which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing.  Amazingly to me those saints were not only looking to the day of the promised Messiah who would sit on David’s throne and rule with an iron scepter.  The gospel teaches the Spirit of Christ was pointing to the sufferings of Christ and also the glories that follow.  According to the Word of God the Old Testament saints did not get it wrong.  They hoped in the sacrifice that God would make to bring about their salvation.  It was this hope in God’s promises for which they were credited righteousness although it was imperfect until Christ suffered.  It was this hope they saw in the covenant they were heirs of.  It was this hope they saw in the Law and the prophets, the gospel that has the power to save them.  As long as they were not a people who stumbled over the stumbling stone.  As long as they put their hope in the faith of the Law not the Law of the faith.

Even Jesus speaking of Abraham said,

Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”[xxvi] 

After such a testimony from this reliable witness, do we really want to keep denying that Abraham and those at Mt. Sinai didn’t have our same gospel our same hope?  After all Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing Jesus’ day.  He saw that future day by faith in the promises and covenant of God and was glad.

We do live under the new covenant not the old.  If we lived under the old we would still sacrifice animals and live under the law.  But we would still have to put our faith in the promises of God spelled out in the gospel of the Old Testament just as those saints of the old covenant had to.  But is this really any different than what we do today.  Don’t we also put our hope in the same gospel as they did, only now we can see the day of Christ and rejoice right along with Abraham?

The faith that saves is the same faith that Abraham had. 

The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness–for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.[xxvii] 

We have been justified by the same faith as Abraham even though we are under the new covenant.  We have been credited the same righteousness as Abraham.  We can say we have no less and no more that our father Abraham for scripture teaches we have also been given the same credit as was extended to Abraham and his decedents.  Except now we have better vision and a better promises in Christ Jesus, not just empty shadows of the good to come.  Which makes us Abraham’s descendents as we already discussed scripture teaches.

Now we too hope in the glory of God just as those of the old covenant. 

This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.[xxviii] 

We have not gained access to something that was not available to the house of Jacob.  In fact we have been grafted into the house of Jacob.  We are being saved buy our hope in the promises made to Israel that God has fulfilled in Christ.  We have become heirs with Israel, made one body with the house of Jacob as we share together in the promise of Christ.

So what should we conclude now since we have such a testimony from the very scripture we say we believe?  What should we conclude now, since our gospel in which we put our hope in, testifies the promises to Abraham might come to us gentiles?  Since we now know that the faith of the house of Jacob was credited to them as righteousness as long as it was a faith in the gospel of the Law and not the Law itself.  We now know that even though those saints we credited this righteousness it was imperfect, until along with us they would be made perfect in Christ.  Just as the promise fulfilled is better than the promise, the perfect over the imperfect.  Should we now understand that the cross was not in vain only to conclude this is the only purpose of the work of Christ?

Let it not be so!  For the work of Christ has done many a wonderful thing for us as He has fulfilled the promises of God made to the house of Jacob. 

He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.[xxix] 

I hate to sound so redundant, but again I am taken back by what we just read.  We have been redeemed so that the blessing given to Abraham might come to us gentiles through our hope in Jesus.  What was this blessing given to Abraham?  It was the promise of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus not only fulfilled the requirement of the shedding of blood for our sins, He made it possible for us to receive the Holy Spirit.  Have we ever considered that the whole evangelical movement, with our emphasis on the Holy Spirit’s place in our lives and the body of Christ, is a fulfillment of the blessings given to Abraham?  And we want to separate the Old Testament from the New Testament.  Without the blessings given to Abraham we would not have the Holy Spirit.  Again I have to ask, who teaches this on Sunday morning?  Truly Christ work on the cross has done many a wonderful thing for us who believe.

We can see that the work of the cross has a very important place in God’s redemptive work in mankind.  It is the fulfillment of the gospel preached to the saints who where from the time of Abraham who did not receive their promise, but were made perfect with us by the blood of Jesus.  The work on the cross is the fulfillment of the law, which was a shadow of the good things to come.  And now we wait for Christ to fulfill the rest of the promises that are shadows in the Old Testament as we wait for His return.

Since those saints who hoped in the gospel announced to Abraham could not see the day of Jesus but had to look forward to it in hope.  Do we now say of ourselves we can see the day of Christ because we can look back on Jesus, only to conclude we do not need the faith of those who went before us?  It may be a surprise to you but according to the gospel of scripture we would be in error if we were to say we do not need that kind of faith.  Once you understand the gospel according to the gospel you will see and hopefully cry out to the God of our salvation.  Paul says,

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?[xxx] 

If we can look back to the day of Christ, why did Paul talk of a hope of something we do not yet have?  Why would he talk about being saved into a hope?

You ask some of the best questions.  I can see I can hide nothing from you.  Good, let the Holy Spirit that we have received, because of the blessings given to Abraham, teach you His gospel from His Word.

I have already made the comment that our gospel is based on a hope.  This hope is no different from the hope our father Abraham displayed.  So as we go forward take special note about the hope held out in the gospel.

[i] Luke 13:28

[ii] Luke 16:22-31

[iii] Genesis 22:8

[iv] Genesis 22:13

[v] Genesis 22:14

[vi] I Peter 1:18-19

[vii] Hebrews 11:17

[viii] John 3:16-18

[ix] Genesis 3:15

[x] Romans 4:18-22

[xi] Hebrews 9:22

[xii] Genesis 3:21

[xiii] Leviticus 16:34

[xiv] Hebrews 10:1-4

[xv] Hebrews 9:27-28

[xvi] Deuteronomy 5:2-4

[xvii] Luke 22:20

[xviii] Revelations 5:9

[xix] Hebrews 7:20-22

[xx] Hebrews 12:22-24

[xxi] I Corinthians 15:22

[xxii] I Peter 4:6

[xxiii] Luke 13:18-19

[xxiv] Hebrews 11:39-40

[xxv] I Peter 1:10-11

[xxvi] John 8:56

[xxvii] Romans 4:23-5:2

[xxviii] Ephesians 3:6

[xxix] Galatians 3:14

[xxx] Romans 8:24

One thought on “Why the Cross?

  1. Pingback: More proof in the puding. « The Gospel According to the Gospel

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