THE OLD RUGGED CROSS

Yesterday I attended a wedding! To be honest, I did more than attend a wedding I was invited to play the piano during the ceremony and leading up to the main event.

I arrived at the venue about 45 minutes before the Bride was due to arrive and started to play about 30 minutes in advance. I had a good stock of music, on my iPad and in my head. As I relaxed and got settled in the task become easier and the music seemed to flow. I love playing music but I do find playing in front of an audience raises the stakes and produces some tension. 

One of the delightful things about playing at a Christian wedding is that the bulk of the songs are full of meaning. The lyrics and the words express the wonderful truth of the Bible. 

Here is a list of the songs I played:

Tunes to Play at a Wedding
The Old Rugged Cross✅
Danny Boy✅
Great is thy faithfulness 
He giveth more grace✅
He will hold me fast✅
What a friend we have in Jesus✅
He is not a disappointment ✅
How great thou art✅
The Lord’s my shepherd (new tune)✅
Bye and bye when I look on his face ✅
We shall see his lovely face ✅
When Peace like a river ✅
Gazing on thee Lord in glory✅
Out of my bondage ✅
May the mind of Christ my Saviour ✅
Teach me thy way o Lord ✅
You might be familiar with many of the hymns I played but allow me the liberty of talking to you about one of them.

The Old Rugged Cross✅

This is an amazing song. It tells of the salvation that is available because of Jesus’ death on the cross. The fact is that the death and resurrection of Jesus is not just the stuff of legend but an historical fact. The biblical record is that ‘Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, that he was buried and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures,’ 1 Corinthians 15:3,4.

The offer is one of forgiveness and salvation because Jesus died and paid for sin. His death (as a sinless man) is sufficient to clear the guilt of all people. To benefit from this offer we need to admit our sin (repent) and accept salvation as a gift. Here are some verses in the Bible that would clarify this truth.

‘Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses,’ Acts 13:38,39.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,’ Romans 6:23

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,’ Romans 2:4-10 

May the Lord bless you through His word today.

(source : findingthemissingpeace.com)

We preach Christ and Him crucified

The Gospel is good news!

Good news that there is hope, salvation, forgiveness, reconciliation, life, glory … for all of us.  Good news that we don’t have to do anything to get it, but that God is willing to freely give it to us.

Why? Because we deserve it?

Absolutely not! We are dead in our sins, separated from God our Creator, and it’s not just a passive state. We are actively enemies in our minds by wicked works, heading to a lost eternity, without hope.

‘But God … is rich in mercy’ (Eph 2:4)

There is good news for us – the Gospel.

‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Roms 6:23)

God wants to bless us with the gift of salvation – eternal life – and is able to because His eternal Son, Jesus Christ, willingly took our place under the wrath of God, was wounded for our sins, and died, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.

That death was on the cross, where Jesus suffered, going into the darkness and the place of separation, to cry ‘My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’, bear the wrath and judgement of Almighty God, and then die for our sins, to rise again the third day.

Without Jesus Christ there is no hope of salvation, no good news, no Gospel.

Without the cross there is no hope of salvation, no good news, no Gospel.

Therefore, the Gospel that we preach and make known can be summarised in four words.

Christ and Him Crucified

(source : forwardinhope.com)

WHY DO WE DIE?

The Bible states that ‘it is appointed unto men once to die’. This most obvious of facts is among the most distressing things that we human beings face. I have a friend who committed suicide just before Christmas about ten years ago – why I can guess but I do not really know. Shortly after that one of my contacts in Liverpool found that her partner’s nephew had been found dead in his flat.

Death comes to us all but why?

The Bible tells us why. It is because of sin.

The Bible states that we die because we were born into a fallen race. The first man, Adam, brought ‘sin into the world and death by sin‘.

We also are all in the habit of sinning and the Bible states ‘sin, when it is finished bringeth forth death‘. We all sin, fail, hurt, lie, disobey etc, and therefore the moral and physical result is death.

But Jesus said ‘I am come that they might have life‘.

How can that be true? We all still die! That is true physically but when a person comes to Jesus, by confessing our sin and asking him for forgiveness, they receive eternal life. The Bible says ‘He that hath the Son hath life‘. God promises in his word, The Bible, that ‘he that cometh to me I will no wise cast out‘. The Lord Jesus said ‘come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest‘.

This is actually only possible because ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners‘. The Bible puts it like this ‘The Father (God) sent the Son (Jesus) to be the Saviour of the world’.

Amazing! God intervened to solve the human tragedy of death but His only course of action legally was for someone else to die in my place. The only person who qualified was Jesus. His death was voluntary because death had no claim on him, He could not sin, and did not, which is why death had no claim on him. The Lord Jesus willingly died to save me from eternal death in Hell and the Lake of Fire.

What about you, will you trust the one who can deliver from the ‘fear of death’?

Courtesy of http://www.findingthemissingpeace.co.uk