Personal Reconciliation and Personal Subjugation: How the Cross of Christ Achieves ‘Cosmic Reconciliation’ (Colossians 1:15–2:15)

1920x1080-it-is-finishedSince the start of our series on the cross, one recurring theme has been the way that judgment and salvation are paired. In the Passover, God saved his firstborn and judged Egypt’s firstborns. At the Red Sea, God saved his people and destroyed Pharaoh and his army. Just the same, as I read 2 Kings 3 last week, I found this theme again. The water that God provided to save Israel is the same water that brought the Moabites to their death.

In short, God’s judgment is never without salvation. And his salvation is never without judgment. From the flood of Noah to the end of time, we find salvation and judgment. And in this week’s sermon, we saw it in Colossians 1–2.

In Colossians 1:20, Paul says that the blood of Christ’s cross is reconciling all things in creation. And in what follows (1:21–2:23) he explains how that happens – through salvation and judgment. In these two chapters Paul identifies whom the cross saves and whom the cross judges. And for us, as we keep our eyes fixed on Christ, we learn how the cross has cosmic, as well as personal implications.

To learn more about the cosmic effects of the cross, you can watch this sermon. You can also read about it here.

Soli Deo Gloria, ds

The Rejected and Resurrected Cornerstone: Seeing Salvation and Judgment in the Cross of Christ

1920x1080-it-is-finished‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.’
— Psalm 118:22 —

There are few sentences in the Bible more important for understanding the cross of Christ than Psalm 118:22. And on Sunday we examined this verse through the eyes of Jesus, who in Luke 20:9–18 concluded his parable of the wicked tenants by citing the these words. Moreover, in that parable Jesus told a story of Israel’s longstanding rejection of God and the forthcoming judgment on Jerusalem’s temple. Though shocking to all who heard Jesus, this coming judgment was the way of salvation for those who trusted in Christ.

Indeed, this is parable not only teaches something about Jesus’s death, but it recalls the fact that all humanity will rise or fall in response to his cross. Even more, Christ’s cross is the dividing line that will ultimately determine what side of history someone will stand. Even now, the message of the cross is dividing humanity with its twofold message of salvation and judgment. And only those who respond in faith will enjoy the peace of God now and forever. For that reason, there are few more important messages than Jesus’s parable in Luke 20 and the meaning of the rejected stone who has become the cornerstone of a new temple and the founder of new humanity.

If you want to know more about God’s plans for his people and for all people, take time to consider Jesus’s parable of the wicked tenants. And this sermon will help give you a few insights into God’s salvation and judgment.

Soli Deo Gloria, ds

It Is Finished: The Beginning of a New Sermon Series

1920x1080-it-is-finishedThis Sunday we began a new sermon series entitled, “It is Finished: Beholding the Cross of Christ from All of Scripture.” And kicking off that series we looked at John 19 to see what John—and Jesus—had to say about the Lord’s death on the cross.

Incredibly, Christ’s final declaration—It is finished!—does more than testify that Christ finished his work on earth. As we will see, it also bears witness to the finality of God’s revelation. In other words, Christ’s death on the cross not only secures our salvation; it also secures every promise that God ever made for our salvation.

With literary skill and gospel hope, John shows how countless promises from God lead to the cross. And following his lead, we looked at seven snapshots of the cross.

If you want to see how the Old Testament leads to Christ’s cross, read carefully John’s words in John 19:16–42. And if you need help seeing what’s there, you can listen to the sermon here. You can also read why we should understand the cross through the entire biblical canon here.

In the weeks ahead, we will continue our series by looking at Genesis 22, Leviticus 16, Isaiah 53, and a host of other New Testament passages. Lord willing, this series will anchor our faith deeper in the finished work of Christ and increase our love for God and others. To that end, may the Lord gives us grace to behold the cross of Christ from all of Scripture.

Soli Deo Gloria, ds