Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
The Cross & the Cost
by Erik Momsen
I recently read a quote that stated "The believer who forgets that his whole Christian life is a battle against evil is badly mistaken". It is a battle that takes place in the market place, home and inner life. It is the ultimate battle because it is the battle for the soul.
It is the battle we fight against fears and desires. It is the battle we fight with people we cannot get along with. It is the battle that rages across the face of the earth were good must triumph over evil.
True to nature and customs, we attempt to fight this battle against evil in human terms. We try hard not to sin. We try hard to break the life long habits. We are in good company in this. Paul and the write of the hymn "Amazing Grace" had the same experience.
"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin." (Romans 7:18-25)
The Hymn writer wrote, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me."
Both found that in themselves there was no hope. They could not change the things they knew had to change. Many people give up the Christian life, or never start, because they realize that the battle with sin is beyond them. Note that being a Christian is not being perfect, but loving the one who is and who died for us to make us clean, and then cooperating with Him.
Paul describes the fact that we are sinners by birth and life history. Our inherited nature is prone to sin and things that have happened to us result in a root of sin in our lives. Paul is right to cry out: "Who will rescue me from this body of death?"
The answer to this dilemma is firstly in the Cross. The Cross is a fact - the power of God to change things. By faith the Cross changes our spirits. The battle now continues between the sinful "members of my body" and my spirit. It is a change of mind and heart that brings about a change in behavior. Not a willful struggle to change behavior that will result in a change of heart. This change of heart happens when we meet the one on the cross. It happens when we return again and again to the cross - the only source of forgiveness and strength.
"For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to himself all things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body though death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation - if you continue in your faith, established and firm not moved from the hope held out in the gospel." (Colossians 1:19-23)
- The best and fullness of God in Jesus was given for us.
- Peace with God is only made through the Blood of Jesus.
- We were enemies of God in our minds.
- Evil behavior was the result.
- The solution is peace with God through death of His physical body.
- To present you holy, spotless without accusation.
- All we do is continue in faith and hope of the good news.
Later in Colossians Paul continues:
"Since you have been raised with Christ set your hearts on things above ... not on earthly things ... For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:1-3).
How do I explain a mystery that only God can reveal in your heart? I know that what has happened in our hearts has not always filled our minds and we focus on things below and not on what Christ has already done for us. If we only focused on the cross, paid less attention to the rest and believed in its power to save, we would be in a better condition.
"For he himself is our peace".
A young Wendy O’Connel wrote a song recently that describes the place.
"When I am lost.
When I am all alone.
Burdened by my sin and shame, there’s one place I can go.
I look towards the cross.
Where my savior died.
Suffered in that place.
The perfect sacrifice - for me.
Now I am forgiven.
I have been set free.
By the blood of Jesus, I have been made clean.
Now I know of his mercy ...
Because He died for me - I have been redeemed."
Date Added: 2013-01-16
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