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  • Pastor Jim French

Which Side Of The Cross?

Updated: May 6

It was quite a few years ago that I attended a Christian men's breakfast held at a local church. During the meal we had the opportunity to hear one of the men give his testimony. The man, (who is very devoted Christian) told of his life before Christ and related one particular disturbing sin he had committed as a young man, (as we all did) and how it made him see the utter depravity of the human heart.

Yes, the unsaved human heart is depraved (Jeremiah 17:9). But something about the presentation bothered me. It seems that all he/we talked about was how sinful and depraved we were so I asked the Lord, “Why does that bother me?” and he responded, “Because it is focused on the wrong side of the cross. It is focused on who you were, not who you are.” Suddenly the Lord had revealed to me that when we focus on who we were instead of who we are (in him), we in effect, minimalize what Christ did for us on the cross.

Now I am not trying to say that we are without sin. I am not saying that we should ignore who we were and what Christ did for us on the cross. (We celebrate what he did for us on the cross!) However, what I am saying is that that we instead should focus on who we are now in Christ. Recognizing our sinfulness and our inability to do anything about it is an important part of our conversion. But the problem comes after our conversion when we focus on that and nothing but that. The Bible tells us not to focus on our sinfulness

“...let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith...”, (Heb 12:1-2.)

Certainly we must never forget that we sin, but our focus should be that we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!

Imagine that you are a single parent and that your 22 year old son had an accident and needs $200,000 to pay his hospital bill. You have managed to scrimp and save just a little more than that for your retirement and you know that if you pay off his debt you will probably never retire. But of course, he's your son and you are overjoyed to give him the money. Yes, your son is grateful but every time you see him the conversation goes something like this:

But Mom, that was your retirement money!” “I know son, but I wanted to do this.” “But Mom how will you retire?” “Son, I want to do this.” But Mom, I feel terrible. You did it all for me. I just feel awful!”

Yes, you sacrificed greatly for your child. But do you want him to focus on the sacrifice and “feel awful”, or to enjoy the great gift and freedom you have given him?'

What the Lord was telling me that day is that yes, we must never forget the great sacrifice Jesus made for us; the price he had to pay for our freedom. But his desire is for us to live into the freedom he purchased for us. He wants us to live life and live it more abundantly (John 10:10b) on the resurrection side of the cross! We are free! Hallelujah!!


Pastor Jim


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