The Effects of the Crucifixion

By the death and resurrection of Christ the propitiation of God’s wrath and the forgiveness of our sins and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness became ours by faith alone. God’s anger is removed from him, our guilt is removed from us, Christ’s obedience is counted as ours — this is the effect of Christ being crucified in our place and raised from the dead.

John Piper, God Is the Gospel (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2005), 166.

The Most Horrible and the Most Beautiful Example of God’s Wrath

The Cross was at once the most horrible and the most beautiful example of God’s wrath. It was the most just and the most gracious act in history. God would have been more than unjust, He would have been diabolical to punish Jesus if Jesus had not first willingly taken on Himself the sins of the world.

Once Christ had done that, once He volunteered to be the Lamb of God, laden with our sin, then He became the most grotesque and vile thing on this planet. With the concentrated load of sin He carried, He became utterly repugnant to the Father. God poured out His wrath on this obscene thing. God made Christ accursed for the sin He bore. Herein was God’s holy justice perfectly manifest. Yet it was done for us. He took what justice demanded from us.

R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1998), 121.

HT: Of First Importance

The Cross and Criticism

In light of God’s judgment and justification of the sinner in the cross of Christ, we can begin to discover how to deal with any and all criticism. By agreeing with God’s criticism of me in Christ’s cross, I can face any criticism man may lay against me. In other words, no one can criticize me more than the cross has.

If you thus know yourself as having been crucified with Christ, then you can respond to any criticism, even mistaken or hostile criticism, without bitterness, defensiveness, or blame shifting. Such responses typically exacerbate and intensify conflict, and lead to the rupture of relationships. You can learn to hear criticism as constructive and not condemnatory because God has justified you.

Alfred Poirier, “The Cross and Criticism” The Journal of Biblical Counseling (Vol. 17, No. 3, Spring 1999), 17.

HT: Of First Importance

Christian Joy

Joy is the absence of anxiety.  The joy of the Lord is the secret of our strength (Nehemiah 8.10).  We lose our joy when we experience anxiety.  This frequently happens when our behavior is in conflict with our ideals.  Many Christians endure joyless lives because their practice in the nitty-gritty situations of life does not conform to what they know God expects of them.  As a consequence they suffer from frustration and face eventual defeat.

Cyril J. Barber, Nehemiah and the Dynamics of Effective Leadership (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1984), 163-164.