Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Christian and Theologically Protestant? Or, sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Fenced Community

Christforums is a Protestant Christian forum, open to Bible-believing Christians such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Reformed, Baptists, Church of Christ members, Pentecostals, Anglicans. Methodists, Charismatics, or any other conservative, Nicene- derived Christian Church. We do not solicit cultists of any kind, including Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Eastern Lightning, Falun Gong, Unification Church, Aum Shinrikyo, Christian Scientists or any other non-Nicene, non-Biblical heresy.
Register now

Christian Fellowship

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Sign in to follow this  
greggordon

The Powerful Sign of the Cross

Recommended Posts

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. - Colossians 2:15

 

A sad occourence in some circles is the diminishing of the cross of Jesus Christ. We see in many Churches the cross being taken down in sanctuaries, other symbols being used in its stead. There are other more extreme cases where believers start to think of the cross as pagan, unbiblical and even not a cross but a pole as Jehovah Witnesses teach. This should not surprise us that there is enmity and division over the cross as a symbol as it bears the very message and death of the Person of God for a lost humanity. The enemy of our souls knows this and has and continues to oppose or pervert and mis-use its symbol.

 

The cross gives us a powerful message and truth in visible form when looked upon. It says that the eternal God became flesh and submitted himself to death on the cross for humanity. It was death being trampled upon by the death of God. It was the triumphing over demonic hosts in the unseen. It is the love of God and forgiving of sins. Its very symbol speaks to the believer of life, the unbeliever of God's love and the demons of their defeat.

 

When I was in a certain city, the Holy Spirit bore witness in my heart to wear a medium size cross around my neck with large rope. I was actively evangelizing unreached Punjabi peoples in the area with the Good News of Jesus. When I obeyed God and wore the cross an amazing thing happened, everywhere I went the Punjabi people seemed to see me very clearly and where drawn to me. I remember countless times in daily life where they would just stare and after I finished what I was doing, I would go and hand a scripture booklet to them. What that experience spoke to me was that bearing the cross of Christ in reference in a physical way had a spiritual impact. Whether they looked at me with my long beard and cross as a holy man or devoutly religious, I am not sure. But I could not deny the difference it made. It also made me councious that I was a bearer of this message of the Cross to the people daily.

Another way the symbol of the cross was used in the early Church was by tracing it on the forehead and other ways. This practice began with water baptism and later became an accepted way of acknowledging the Lord and the death of Christ. Cyril an early church leader in AD. 310 wrote: "Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow, and on everything; over the bread we eat, and the cups we drink; in our comings in, and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we rise up; when we are in the way, and when we are still." Martin Luther as other protestants carried on this tradition of the sign of the cross. Luther said, "In the morning, when you rise, you shall make the sign of the holy cross, and you shall say: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Then, kneeling or standing, you shall say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer." This way of doing the sign of cross was to touch the fore-head, then the belly, then left shoulder, then right. This motion made a cross and it signified many things including, (1) acknowledging the Lord (2) declaring triumph over the enemy (3) testifying that our body, spirit and soul belong to God (4) putting in remembrance the death of Christ.

 

Should all believers wear crosses, have cross symbols in their home or church, or make the visible sign of the cross daily? This question should make us ask another question first, Do I daily remember, praise and thank God for the Cross of Christ? Is it always in my remembrance? All of these traditions of the symbol of the cross are servants to the greater reality of the very death of Christ for each of us personally. Life, time, work, vocations distract us at times from the very purpose and person that everything is all about. M. Basilea Schlink says, "You were created and redeemed to focus on Jesus – on Him alone." St. Paul the apostle said that the cross was everything to him, it was his focus and boast (Galatians 6:14).

 

Let us remember daily that it is this powerful cross that frees us from sin, satan and our own very self. Let it be in our gaze daily in all the motions of life. And hear the voice of your Lord saying "Remember Me", "Remember what I did for you." Yes, Lord we will remember you, let us not lose the wonder and holiness of your Cross.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Topics

    • 6 Ways Cross-Cultural Church Planting Has Been Good for Our Kids

      When we recently unpacked our boxes in suburban Denver, it was into my daughters’ third home. But not only their third home, their third country. Third continent, actually. Third culture, third language, third way of life, third new beginning. Though my husband and I are Colorado natives, we’d been gone a long time, and our kids had never lived here. As we met our new neighbors, they were either awestruck or incredulous. We heard, “Wow, what a great experience for your kids!” But also, “How sad. Didn’t you want them to have roots somewhere?” Even those who did respond positively would often quietly whisper their concern: “How do you think they’re handling it?” By the time we moved back to the States with a gaggle of teens and preteens, we’d lived out the spectrum of great joys and deep sorrows in cross-cultural church planting. The joy of new believers and baptisms and discipleship was tempered by sorrow over our girls being bullied for being different. Not to mention the long, hard days in foreign schools with vastly different values from our own. The skeptical neighbors weren’t wrong. Our kids didn’t have roots, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, their roots are global, established in the soil of the Great Commission. When we left America to make disciples of all nations, we trusted that Jesus would be with us always (Matt. 28:18–20). This promise was our bedrock then, and still is now. He’s proven faithful to us and our children time and again. Cross-cultural church planting—though not without its challenges—has ultimately been a great gift to us. Here are six things our kids—and our whole family—have learned. 1. Empathy Our girls spent their formative years being “other.” They didn’t grasp the language, the inside jokes, or the nursery rhymes. But one beautiful gift of being an outsider is that you gain empathy for those who have known nothing else. Overseas, they befriended the boy with autism, the girl whose parents neglected her, the Roma outcast. In our church plant in Denver, they’re aware of visitors, kids new to youth group, and those hurting at school. God has given them compassionate hearts (Col. 3:12) toward outsiders, because they have walked in their shoes. 2. Christianity Is Diverse and Global Having been a part of the church on three continents, our kids know that Christianity is not exclusively white and Western. They’ve participated in worship services ranging from wildly expressive to barely audible. They’ve experienced everything from high liturgy to flip-flops in the sanctuary. They know that within orthodoxy, there’s a lot of room for difference. They’ve glimpsed God’s work in a variety of tribes, tongues, and peoples (Rev. 7:9). 3. Where to Put Their Confidence When I asked my girls to list some blessings from cross-cultural church planting, they all immediately said something like, “I’m brave,” or “I’m flexible,” or “I know God will help me.” Their faith has been stretched—as has ours. They know we’ve only been willing to do hard things because God has enabled us to do so. They’ve labored in prayer and experienced Jesus with us in all the places we’ve called home.  4. The Church Is Family Our children have known firsthand the truth of Christ’s promise: “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold” (Matt. 19:29). While it’s true no one can fill the shoes of our kids’ biological grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and cousins, God did provide a hundredfold. Other church planters and local Christians became aunties and uncles to my girls. We had friends we could call in the middle of the night, and brothers and sisters who laid down their lives for us. Our kids didn’t lack relational support overseas, because God was faithful. 5. Home Is Not Here As a family, we have a sense that there’s no true home for us here on earth. No matter where we are, we feel a bit homesick—this awareness that we aren’t really home, we don’t really fit. With Paul, we say, “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). One day we will enter our real home, where we will share a deep and unblemished connection with all who are gathered there. 6. Unity in Mission Fosters Joy Here’s perhaps the best gift: Being on mission together has fostered great joy in our family. In each country we’ve felt and prayed Paul’s words: “We were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:8). Our kids have truly partnered with us in loving nonbelievers and shining the light of Christ in dark places. This unity in mission has drawn us close to one another as we’ve labored and celebrated together. In the early years of church planting, a mentor shared wise words with my husband and me: “Never sacrifice your family for the mission, but do sacrifice as a family for the mission.” There have been sacrifices. Our kids have paid a price. All cross-cultural church planters must count the cost. Not every family can move overseas. Many are called to irreplaceable roles in their hometowns and local churches. But for those who sense that cross-cultural church planting might be for them, know this: Sacrificing as a family for the mission is costly, but Christ is worth it. Jesus will provide a hundredfold—to you and to your children. He will indeed be with you, in every nation, to the end of the age. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • Sarah Sanders Claims Border Patrol Has Captured Entire Army Of Orcs Attempting To Cross Into US

      WASHINGTON, D.C.—Sarah Sanders has drawn criticism for a claim that's being criticized as "outlandish": her recent statement that Border Patrol agents have captured an entire army of Orcs attempting to cross into the US. The post Sarah Sanders Claims Border Patrol Has Captured Entire Army Of Orcs Attempting To Cross Into US appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article

      in Christian Satire

    • Trump Administration Urges Supreme Court To Protect Cross-Shaped War Memorial

      By Kevin Daley - The Trump administration filed an amicus (or “friend-of-the-court”) brief Wednesday urging the Supreme Court to protect a 93-year-old war memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland that is shaped like a Latin cross. The Court will soon decide whether the cross-shaped World War I memorial violates the First Amendment’s ban on religious favoritism. The justices agreed to take the case on Nov. 3. [Read the Trump administration’s brief to the Supreme Court] The Trump administration’s brief emphasizes the need for the high court to clarify its jurisprudence concerning religious displays in the public square. Since 2005 the justices applied two different tests for assessing the constitutionality of sectarian symbols in public settings. Confusion has followed in lower federal courts as to which test should govern the so-called public display cases. That uncertainty, the government says, “encourages challenges to longstanding displays like the Memorial Cross, which in turn fosters the very religion-based divisiveness that the establishment clause seeks to avoid.” “Cases like these cannot help but divide those with sincerely held beliefs on both sides,” the brief reads. “This case presents an opportunity for the Court to adopt a standard for establishment clause challenges to passive displays that will reduce factious litigation, provide clarity to lower courts, and promote consistency across cases.” The administration then offers a solution to that problem: it urges the justices to resolve public display cases with reference to the practices of the founding fathers. The brief favorably cites the high court’s approach to a 2014 case called Town of Greece v. Galloway. In that case, a five-justice majority said the town board of Greece, New York did not violate the Constitution by opening monthly public meetings with a prayer. The case arose when several Maryland residents represented by the American Humanist Association (AHA) filed a lawsuit seeking the memorial’s renovation or removal in 2014. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found for the AHA in October 2017, concluding that the memorial was an unconstitutional government endorsement of Christianity. “While the Latin cross may generally serve as a symbol of death and memorialization, it only holds value as a symbol of death and resurrection because of its affiliation with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ,” the decision reads. The full 4th Circuit denied review on an eight to six vote, prompting several dissents, including one which warned that the panel decision imperils similar monuments in Arlington National Cemetery. The American Legion erected the memorial, known locally as “Peace Cross,” to honor the World War I dead of Prince George’s County in 1925. A state commission has administered the site since 1961. Oral arguments are scheduled at the Supreme Court for Feb. 27, 2019 and a decision is expected in June. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] Trump Administration Urges Supreme Court To Protect Cross-Shaped War Memorial is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article

      in Political Conservative News

    • Man Whose Wife Attends China’s Early Rain Church Recalls Powerful Testimony of His Time in Detention

      The spouse of a member of China’s Early Rain Covenant Church, who is one of the many people who have been detained this month due to their connection or participation with an unregistered church, states that others in the detention center were greatly interested in learning about the gospel while he was in holding. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • If Anyone Would Follow Christ, Let Him Deny Himself, Take Up His Cross, And Also Buy His Wife A $200,000 Lamborghini

      The Christian life isn't easy. As believers, we're not offered a life of comfort and luxury. The post If Anyone Would Follow Christ, Let Him Deny Himself, Take Up His Cross, And Also Buy His Wife A $200,000 Lamborghini appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article

      in Christian Satire

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.