19 August 2000

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross"-Colossians 2:4 Do you have areas in your life that you are ashamed of, areas you wish were not there: sins committed; words spoken; moments wasted in vanity and pride? If you do there is great comfort to be found at the cross of Christ. It was there that Satan received his deadly blow; the place where One suffered that we would not have to. It is the place of forgiveness; full pardon; complete atonement and redemption from sin. Let us be ashamed of our sin, but never in the cross of our Lord. I love the apostle's illustration of the cross. In that day, the writer composed his documents with a quill and ink. When a mistake was made, the method used to remove it was a blotting out of the ink on the page. Such is the language that Paul uses as he describes Christ's atonement upon the cross. Our sins were blotted out, no more a part of the legal document written for eternity. Much like the delete key on the computer, press it and all has vanished, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us"-Psalm 103:12. No more can Satan accuse us before the Father. The law and all of its legal documents have been canceled and nailed to His cross. There are many legalists that will tell you that you must do something to make the cross of Christ effective for you. But Paul said, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world in crucified unto me, and I unto the world"-Gal. 6:14. Paul would not glory in an outward performance of rituals. He would glory in the cross alone, for there he saw full redemption. As one man said, "Vanity is fond of ritualism which makes no demand upon the conscience." Verily, mans loves his platitudes; his steps; his ceremonies. But Paul found no comfort in these. Well would he have sung, "Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to the cross I cling". Some may say, "Was the cross of Christ my cross? Did He die for me? How can I know that He died for me and that my sins were blotted out?" To these questions we would ask, "Is the preaching of the cross foolishness to you or is there a power found therein that comforts your soul?" If it is foolishness, if you have no interest in the cross and the One who died thereon, you will perish in your sin. But if your soul is stirred by One who loved you, and gave Himself for you, His cross was your cross, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God"-Rom. 1:18. As the moth is drawn to the light, so the quickened heart is drawn to the cross. Therein is found light, comfort and full pardon. Your interest is an indication of your guilt and your guilt is an evidence of your calling. Like a magnet, His cross draws our affections from afar. Our interest in His cross is the fulfillment of prophecy, "and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn"-Zech. 12:10. The cross is a place that we may visit daily. It is the place I take the devil to when he takes me to my sin. The devil hates the very shadow of the cross. As the wild animal hates the trap, the devil hates the cross of Christ. I have no excuses for my sin; no one else that I may blame; no justifying remarks on my own behalf. But I do have a cross, the place where my sins were blotted out. We all have a cross to bear. Our cross will not pay for sin. If it would, then the cross of Christ means nothing. Our cross is the place that we die to the world; where we say no to the flesh when Satan temps us with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Our cross is a place of victory as well as self denial. It is where we no longer live to self, but rather for Christ and others. Our example is Christ and His cross! Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, in Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Visit our web page at www.primitivebaptist.org/donaldson/ Singing begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning followed by preaching at 11:00. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor