Why We Believe – Dr. Charles Stanley

How Can We Pray For You? Have you signed up yet?

Why We Believe – Dr. Charles Stanley

Have you ever wondered why such great emphasis is placed on the cross? Based on Galatians 6:14, this message explores why the cross is the heart of what Christians believe, the different roles the cross plays in people’s lives, and how the apostle Paul boasted in the cross.

Start your day off right with the free in touch devotional. Subscribe today.
And the son of god, Jesus, the lord said, I am the way the truth and the life.
No one comes to the public, but by me. Therefore, go into all the world.
Teaching and preaching the gospel to every single person that are modest parts of the earth.
In touch, the teaching ministry of Doctor. Charles Stanley.
One day I was sitting in my study, and I was thinking, well, we need to give this thing a name.
Besides just the first bed of his church, I looked over to my left, and there was a living Bible translation that had titled this Bible in touch.
Anything that I thought, that’s the name.
Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify god who is in heaven.
A well, god, that’s what I’m up to.
I wanna I wanna get as many people as possible in touch with Jesus Christ and his way of life.
I had taken, uh, the leadership team up to the mountains, and we’ve been praying and asking the lord to give us direction.
And I’m reading the 28 of Matthew, which I’ve read many many times, and somehow, it’s like it just came off the page and grabbed me.
I thought Now, Lauren, did you really and truly mean the whole world? It’s like god said, yes.
I believe it’s what god wants us to do.
And that as he wants in touch in every country in the world, and let’s trust them to do it.
Within 2 years. And to that week, we went every single country in the world in some fashion.
Here’s the mission of InTouch.
My goal has always been to get the simple truth of the gospel.
To as many people as possible as quickly as possible as simple as possible in the power of the Holy Spirit because I know that’s the only way it’s gonna work.
To the glory of god. Grow in the grace and knowledge of our lord Jesus Christ.
Grow in our knowledge and grace. I know that if you listen to in touch.
If you listen to the message week after week and you take notes and you apply these notes, you are going to grow in your knowledge and under standing of the word of god, your knowledge and understanding of who god is, and your knowledge and understanding of how to live the Christian life.
That much I know Whatever you’re facing in life, sovereign god of this universe is gonna hold you safely and bring you through it no matter what.
What I want you to say is there’s this loving god all knowing all forgiving, loving god.
Loves us with a love that’s eternal, unfading, never ending.
So strong, so powerful, that he’s willing to forgive all of our sins And when we die, they can say of us, absent from the body, present with the law.
Hey, man. I’d want them to say he believed that the most important truth in his life was obey god and leave all the consequent just to him.
And it appears from what we see and heard. That’s where he live.
I’d like for the reason why.
I am home in heaven, dear ones. All happy, all is so bright.
This perfect joy and beauty in this everlasting life, all pain and grief are over.
Every restless tossing past, I am now at peace forever, safely home in heaven, at last.
Next on In Touch, why we believe
Well, if someone should say to you, why do you Christians play so much emphasis on the cross?
Isn’t that rather negative? I mean, shame, suffering, and death? Well, why do we?
Certainly, you would seem to want to be more positive than that to be talking about somebody’s death.
Why don’t you emphasize is preaching and his teaching and his healing.
That seems to be far more positive than emphasizing, uh, his death. Well, that’s a good question.
I can certainly understand why people would ask that question because that’s the very question that people are asking Paul and his day as an apostle.
And if you recall, he said, in fact, the preaching of the cross is a stumbling block to Jews, and it is also very foolish to those who are Greeks.
And so I thought about that many times and tried to put myself in their place, and it would sort of be like saying today in the 21st century, it’d be like saying, you know, Jesus died on Jesus died for my sins, and when he died in the electric chair, it made it possible for me to be safe in the what?
In the electric chair. Electric chair today would be as obnoxious and as repulsive as the cross was in that day.
Because it was the most horrible way to die. It was the most shameful way to die.
It was the way criminals died.
And you mean you telling me that I am to believe in someone who died a shameful death as as a criminal, that I’m to place my faith in him for the forgiveness of my sins.
It would be like us saying today, dying in the electric chair, he made it possible for me to be safe.
So you don’t understand why They had a very, very difficult time with that.
Yet in spite of that, it is the very heart of everything we believe as Christians.
And the apostle Paul made a very strong statement about his conviction about the cross in Galatians chapter 6.
And I want you to turn there, if you will, and for one verse, this the 14th verse, the 6th chapter.
And what is happening here is, right before, he has sort of charting those judaizes in the Galatian churches there, uh, who were boasting about, uh, their circumcision, boasting about keeping the law, which he knew they could not, And all of that boasting was in vain, and so here’s what he said.
In comparison to what they were boasting about, Paul said in verse 14, but he says, may it never be that I would boast except in the cross of our lord Jesus Christ through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.
Look at that. He says he says, may it never be god forbid that I would boast in anything except the cross of our lord Jesus Christ.
Now why in the world would the Apostle Paul make such a statement?
Because he understood the meaning of the cross because he understood that it was central to everything he believed because he understood that it was central to the very message of the gospel, the good news of the lord Jesus Christ.
That’s the reason he made that statement.
And so what I’d like for us to do is I would like for us to look at this question ourselves.
That is why do we make the cross the central focus of our faith?
Why do we place them on our church steeples? And why do we have them hanging around our neck?
And why do we have them imprinted on our bibles? What is this cross all about?
Well, I want us to think about it because there are a lot of people out there who ask the question why, and sometimes our Christian will say, well, that’s just what we believe.
Well, to an unbeliever, that’s not a very acceptable answer. I don’t blame them.
And it’s not a very good answer. It’s not very clear answer.
It may be that you, one of those persons, who, likewise, maybe you’re not a believer or maybe you are, and you’ve wondered what all this emphasis about the cross is all about.
Well, let me know Jesus died on the cross, but What’s the why why all this emphasis?
So we’d like to answer that question.
And this 14 verse is certainly a strong verse, a strong statement by the apostle Paul, And if you notice the intensity of it, he says, may it never be?
God forbid that I would ever boast in anything except the cross of Jesus Christ. Why?
Well, let’s look at it for a moment because we have to ask ourselves the same question.
First of all, because the cross listen, because the cross is the heart of what we believe.
And, listen, the reason that’s true for us, it’s because it holds such a preeminent position and plays in the entire new testament.
Now, look at the gospels for a moment.
The gospels are not histories, They’re not biographical sketches of the life of Jesus Christ, and they’re not works of literary art.
The gospels are treaties or, shall we say treaties? They’re theological treaties.
That is the whole message of the gospel is to identify who Jesus Christ is and his death at calvary and its impact upon our life personally.
And if you think about the gospels for a moment, if you start reading them, you’ll find that in the very beginning of them, they’re all heading in one direction, and that’s toward the cross.
And that anywhere from 1 6 to 1 third of the 4 gospels, Matthew Mark and John, all deal with events around the cross are are are implying the cross are indicating some of the of the death, the passion of the lord Jesus Christ.
So it isn’t just one position at the end of the gospels, though, The word cross is only mentioned 8.
The word is only mentioned 18 times in oldfold gospels, but what I want you to recognize, and I wanna give you an example in a moment, that all through the gospels, the cross is there.
The message of the death of Jesus Christ because that is exactly why he came.
And so we say that the that the cross is the heart of all that we believe because of a place and position in the word of god.
So what I want us to do, I want us to look through the 4 gospels for a moment.
I want us to look at 4 verses specifically and for reason, that neither of these verses have the word cross in them, not any of them.
They don’t even have the word cross in them.
But what I want you to see is This is just an indication how the gospels are filled with the passion, the death of Jesus Christ, the shedding of his blood, it permeates the entire Bible from beginning to end.
So let’s go through so you’ll have a little background so you can have something that, uh, you might be able to discuss with those.
So let’s begin in the Matthew chapter 16 for a moment.
16th chapter of Matthew, and here, Jesus, speaking with his disciples, he’s just asked them Well, who do people say that I am?
What what do they think of me?
And in the process of answering that question, of course, Peter says, uh, you’re the Christ or Son of the Living god, and then he begins to say to them, in verse 21 of Matthew chapter 16.
Notice the word crosses mentioned, but I want you to notice this whole gospel is moving toward the cross.
Jesus said. From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and be raised up on the 3rd day.
Alright. That’s just one verse. There are many of them. We don’t have time to take them.
Well, let’s go to Mark for a moment. Mark chapter 10. Mark chapter 10.
And look if you will in the 45th verse. Jesus speaking here is what he said.
He said, I, even, he says, for even, the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.
That is a payment and exchange. And so when he he died on the cross, he paid sin’s debt.
Now listen carefully. Jesus did not pay off the devil when when Jesus Christ died at the cross, he satisfied god’s requirement of the shedding of blood for the payment of sin, and the only person who could die for the sin of mankind is someone who had never sin, that’s why.
I wanna show you this, that in in gut in John’s gospel, he starts out in the very first chapter, the very first few verses, and he says in the beginning was the word speaking of Jesus, and the word was with god, and the word was god.
If that were not true, then the crucifixion would have been meaningless. He would have been just another person.
He had to be the sinless son of god, and he had to be dead to himself in order for the crucifixion to affect what god intended, and that is the forgiveness of man’s sin satisfying the requirement of the death.
Then, for example, if you look in Luke, a little different kind of verse, in the second chapter of Luke.
Here again, Jesus has been taken to the temple as just the babe now, and, uh, Mary and Joseph meet to two people there, a prophetess, and, uh, also a prophet, the prophet by the name of Simeon.
And so when he saw a hurt with Jesus.
The scripture says, uh, he took him, uh, in his arms and began to bless the lord and and, uh, make some statements about him.
And then the scripture says in verse 33, and his father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said by about him, and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary’s mother, behold.
This child is appointed for the fallen rise of many in Israel and for a sign to be opposed.
Then he said, and a sword will pierce even your own soul to the end that thoughts for many hearts may be revealed, And what he was referring to is he knew that his mother was going to see his death, his crucifixion, of course, which she did.
Then if you look in John, for example, the gospel of John, you haven’t heard the word cross at all, but all these verses refer to the cross.
You’ll recall in John chapter 1, when, uh, John speaking here of John the Baptist down at the Jordan baptizing, and, uh, you recall what happens Look, if you will, in, um, verse 28.
These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan where John was baptizing.
The next day, He saw Jesus coming to him and said, behold the lamb of god who takes away the sin of the world.
Now, watch this. All down through the Old Testament from the beginning in the Garden of Eden, when god gave Adam and Eve skins to cover them, from the very moment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ when the earthquake came and the tay and the veil in the temple was rent from top to bottom.
God did it. And open the veil to all mankind.
In the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, he was the lamb of god listen to lamb of god slain before the foundation of the world, which means, listen to this, in the mind of god, Jesus was already a slain lamb before the creation of the world.
That was god’s plan for mankind.
So god’s redemptive plan, the cross wasn’t something that god thought about, after Adam and Eve sin, it was, listen, it was preplanned for ordain before it ever happened.
And so when you look at the gospels, And you see one verse after the other, and this is just just one verse in each gospel, but all through the gospels, the key, everything is moving toward the cross of Jesus rights that is the climax in each one of the hospitals.
But there’s a second reason. The second reason is this.
And that is It is by the cross of the lord Jesus Christ. Listen.
It is by the cross of the lord Jesus Christ that we experience, listen, that we experience spiritual liberty in our life.
So listen, some something happens in our life.
And when I think about what the the apostle Paul said here, when he said, He said, god forbid that I should boast, I should boast of anything else.
Why? Because it’s the heart of what we believe. It listen.
It is the liberating, it is the liberating power of our personal life. There there is no liberty.
There’s no freedom, for example. We the the the problem man has to face is the problem of sin.
And so, therefore, since everybody has sinned against god, and since the penalty of sin is death, and since he says, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?
And the wrath and the condemnation, the judgment of god, and before every single person who denies Jesus Christ as their personal savior.
Man has an awesome, he has an awesome uncertain future.
And it isn’t because god is an unloving god, God is a very loving god.
And he says, you know what? I I have made provision for your salvation.
I have done the one thing that no one else could do for you, and that as I’ve come into this world, the person of my son to lay down my life in order that you might be forgiven of your sin.
This isn’t some this isn’t some denominational doctrine, This is the heart and core of the Bible from cover to cover.
And not only that, it listen, it is it is the key to our walking in liberty every day.
Here is the power of the death of Jesus.
That death was so awesomely powerful that any person who accepts Jesus Christ from for the forgiveness of their sins, they, listen, they are immediately forgiven past, present, and future of all sins so that no.
Listen. That’s the kind of pardon that is absolutely listen.
It is eternal pardon that is, once and for all, eternal, secure, because the basis of our salvation and forgiveness is not what we did, but what he did at Calvary once and for all in one all some unforgettable event that shedding of his blood bought us our forgiveness.
So one of the reasons we say it’s the heart of what we believe is because permeates the scripture from beginning to end.
And, secondly, because because, listen, it liberates us and frees us from the penalty of sin in our life.
We’re saved by it. But Paul went one step further, listened to what he said.
He said, not only that, look at verse 14 chapter 6 again, but may it never be?
God forbid that I would boast except the cross of our lord Jesus Christ through listen, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.
Now what did he mean by that? He didn’t say I crucified the world.
He said the world’s been crucified to me. Here’s what the apostle Paul discovered.
What so many Christians will live their entire life and never, never, never understand that when we come to the cross, and god forgives us of our sins and indwells us with the Holy Spirit, Listen, the same listen, the same blood of Jesus that purchased your forgiveness and cleansing and eternal life is the same blood of Jesus Christ that has made provision for us to walk in victory day after day after day.
When he says, the world’s been crucified to me. Here’s what he said.
He says, when I got a glimpse of the cross, and I began to understand the cross, He says, the world lost its appeal.
When I began to understand that through the cross of Jesus Christ, everything I will ever need, my god will provide.
Every desire of my heart that fits the will of god for me god will provide.
Because you see, it is by our relationship.
It is by our relationship to Jesus Christ that you and I come to god in prayer.
It’s because of our relationship to Jesus Christ, we can expect them to meet all of our needs.
The truth is that every good every good thing that comes their way, some of them may be painful, many of them are not.
Every good thing that comes that way comes by the grace of god.
What makes it possible for god to love and forgive and to cleanse us? The shedding of his blood.
He said the soul that synovid shall die.
God had to not violate his own principle, but answer satisfy his own demand, and that’s what Jesus did.
His death satisfied god’s demand for the penalty of sin.
I will say that probably every Sunday, every Sunday in every single one of these messages many times. Why?
Because it is the heart and the core listen, the heart and the core of the redemptive plan is that Jesus was a substitute for you and me.
He paid our penalty, board in his body on the tree.
Now, when I look at this and think about what Paul, uh, was was saying here and think about how he said it.
When we began to understand the when we began to understand the meaning of the cross, Here’s what happens.
We begin to look at it in a different light. The cross is like a mirror.
What does it mirror that cross listen, the cross mirrors our unworthiness. The cross mirrors our sinfulness.
What put Jesus Christ on the cross? Sin.
That’s the wickedness and the evil of sin that had nailed to the cross. The perfect son of god.
But it also, listen, it also mirrors god’s what, god’s love, god’s goodness, god’s mercy, god’s kindness, god’s forgiveness.
It also magnifies and mirrors the attributes of god, his greatness and his power.
And all the other attributes of god.
When you look at the cross, you begin to see what does it say about the father?
What does it say about the son? It everything it says is fantastically and absolutely wonderful.
It talks about a god and his son who loves us enough to lay down his life in our behalf.
It’s like a mirror. But not only is it like a mirror, but I think when I look at it, I think about it.
In fact, that it’s the means of our salvation as we’ve spent this whole time talking about There is no other way.
Except the man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of god.
He says I’ve come to seek and to say that which is lost.
Believe on the lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
Not that his he was a teaching, a preaching, a healer, but that he died on the cross for our sins.
It is a mirror. It is the means of our salvation, and it’s certainly a magnet.
It’s like a magnet. Listen, as you remember, Jesus said, And when he was speaking to his disciples, he said, and I, he said, he said, if I be lifted up, I will do what I will draw all men to myself.
And so what is he doing?
He’s been drawing men, women, and young people to himself down through these ages.
And what what is it that draws?
Is this something of something magnetic about the son of god, something magnetic about the cross.
While the summit’s a stumbling block to others, it’s foolish, to us who understand what the cross is. Listen.
We hang them around our neck. We put them on our stifle.
Uh, we have glasses with them, or cups with them, or shirts with them.
I mean, you see the cross hanging on every kind of thing, imagine when some things I wonder about what is hanging on, but that’s alright.
It’s the cross of the lord Jesus Christ.
The cross is a symbol of god’s love, his forgiveness of sin, and his power in our life to liberate us and to free us to walk a godly life every single day.
Now the apostle Paul saw it as a mirror. He saw it as the means of salvation.
He saw it as a magnet, but he also saw it as something else.
And that is he saw it as a model.
Now you said, does that mean we’re all supposed to go across in Dineau?
When I say model, I mean this, what is it he modeled? He modeled sacrificial love.
The love of almighty god for sinful man. And you remember what he said?
He said, by this, all men shall know that you might as disciples. What?
That you have loved one toward another.
What an awesome model, what what an absolute somebody says, well, I do believe that Jesus was a model of a good living, no, Jesus was the son of god.
He is the son of god, the lamb of god who came and who was slain before the foundation of the world, and it became a reality some 2000 years ago, in order that your sin in my sin may be forgiven because he was the substitute for us and bore the penalty himself.
That’s who he is. Now I ask you a question.
Have you ever, at any given time in your life, ever applied the message of the cross to your personal life.
What do I mean by that?
Has there ever been a time in your life when you, before almighty god, said to him, god, I know that I have sinned against you, left you out of my life, rebelled against you, sort of had it my way, god.
I recognize that my sin has separated me from you, and I need your forgiveness.
And so therefore, I am accepting your forgiveness provided for me through the death of your son, Jesus Christ at calvary.
I do believe that when he died, he paid my sin debt in full.
And I’m accepting Christ at his work at Calvary for the forgiveness of my sin.
And I want to invite you that if you’ve never made that decision, your life, This, listen, this is a key moment in your life.
You have heard the heart of the whole Bible.
And I want to ask you, are you willing to ask the lord Jesus to forgive you of your sins?
That you do believe the witness of scripture concerning the cross, and you’re accepting his forgiveness by faith.
By faith, we’re saved. We believe what the Bible says.
We act on it. Listen.
You can believe about it, but until you act on it personally, A confession of your own lips.
Yes. I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of god. Yes.
I believe he died on the cross for my sins. Yes. I believe my sin debt was paid in full.
Yes. I receive him as my savior. In that moment, your whole eternal destiny gets changed.
And you can pray that simple prayer in your words any way you want to.
And if your heart is sincere, you can’t, listen, not want. You cannot ever be the same again.
If you’ve been blessed by today’s program, please visit us intouch.org.
As I stand here in Doctor Stanley’s study, it is hard to believe it’s already been a year since doctor understandley went home to be with the lord.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and miss him deeply, as I’m sure you do.
It seems like just yesterday, he and I were praying together for you as we so often would that the words the lord had given him to preach would help you walk in god’s will and grow closer to him.
As the reality of his passing hit me, I thought What are we gonna do without our pastor?
But god immediately gave me a piece that transcends all understanding.
Having worked side by side with Doctor Stanley in touch for almost 2 decades, he often reminded our staff.
It isn’t a man we follow. But the everlasting god who doesn’t fail or forsake us.
Many have wondered what will in touch ministries continue to do.
We’re gonna keep broadcasting Doctor Stanley’s messages, proclaiming the word of god like he would as quickly, clearly, and irresistibly as possible to the ends of the earth.
We’re gonna honor doctor Stanley’s legacy by seeking out new ways to proclaim the gospel.
And we’re gonna keep fighting all of our battles on
our knees, obeying god, and leaving all of the consequences to him.
In today’s sermon, why we believe Doctor Stanley quotes the Apostle Paul in Galatians 614 saying, may it never be that I would boast except in the cross of our lord Jesus Christ.
That’s how doctor Stanley lived his life and how he’d want us to live.
Thank you for staying with in touch as we continue leading people around the world into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ without compromising the word.
Doctor Stanley’s calling remains our calling, and I’m so grateful it remains yours as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button