The cross was not a sad mistake, as some may think, but crucial to the mission of Jesus.
At the cross, Jesus made a once-for-all sacrifice for the sins of the world. He made propitiation to God for all the sins of all of God’s people throughout all the ages.
Jesus’ death is central to Christianity.
The symbol for Christianity, is not an empty tomb or a dove, but a cross.
The importance of the cross may seem self-evident, but a characteristic of prosperity preachers, with their false theology and ”victorious” version of Christianity, is that they downplay the importance of the cross. They speak about victory, anointing and breakthrough; but they seldom speak about the sin-bearing death of Jesus.
We don’t need the Bible to tell us about the reality of suffering and evil, it’s all too common to us. The Bible says we live in a fallen, broken, scarred world where evil and suffering are prevalent. In fact, the Bible is the only book in our world that can truly explain why the world is like it is.
There is a certain activity I do from time to time that is to the detriment to my mental and spiritual health. I know this, but yet I’m inextricably drawn to switching on the “Christian” TV channel, FAITH TV (channel 341 on Dstv). If it’s not the prophet speaking, it’s the apostle or bishop.
Of course, they ignore Ephesians 2:20 where it says that the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and therefore now that the foundation is laid these offices have fallen away.
Of course, they ignore the fact a bishop is an appointed overseer, not a self-appointed leader of their own church.
Nevertheless, the far greater cause of my mental health issues is the blatant false teaching and distortion of the gospel, all in the name of Christ.
May I warn you that if you base your spiritual life and growth on FAITH TV, you are in great spiritual danger. You need to be committed to a local church to fall under the rule of Christ as God’s word is systematically and consistently preached week by week.
We love superheroes. When I was 7 years-old I just about gave my mother a heart-attack by dressing up as Batman and climbing onto a high, narrow wall and casually strolling along it. Thankfully, she managed to cajole me down. We especially like it when superheroes are “normal” first, then something odd happens and they discover that they have superhuman strengths and abilities. I think we like these “superhero” movies and TV series because God has placed in all our hearts a desire for a better body. It seems we all have a built-in dissatisfaction with our present bodies.
We have all been following with horror the atrocities committed by the Islamic State in northern Iraq against Christians and other minority groups. We are all filled with revulsion knowing that Boko Haram has kidnapped over 200 mostly Christian schoolgirls. Our news reports are filled with acts of violence being committed against Christians. Christians are suffering, going hungry and dying of exposure. How ought we to think about the suffering of God’s people?
Christians sometimes experience the depths of despair In Job chapters 1-2 Job has lost his livelihood, his business, his employees, his children and has been inflicted with a loathsome, painful, debilitating skin-disease. Yet 3 times in these chapters it says he is blameless. In other words, he is above reproach, a man of integrity and not living in sin. He is also a believer. Blameless believers, who have not fallen into sin, may go through utter dereliction.