Foot Of The Cross
Get close enough to the cross and you won't be able to see anybody else but Jesus and you.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. I’ve just been praying that God may put His love and His blessing and His truth and His power into my voice and into the words I say so that there may be something special there for you, my beloved friend, as you fellowship with me by way of radio. It’s great we can get together like this day by day, isn’t it? I’m so thankful that God has made that possible.
Just sort of hitting the high spots as we recap some of the truths in 1 Timothy before we go on to another portion of God’s Word to study it verse by verse. You know, what we do as we try to put a handle on God’s Word for you so that you can apply it to your own life day by day. And then we take it verse by verse and relate it to other portions of Scripture, see what the Spirit of God may say.
Well, the last time we got together we were thinking about this matter of the reason for God’s message is that our lives might be filled with His love and that this in turn might be the result of a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith unfeigned. Paul also says in 1 Timothy 1:19, “Concerning faith in a good conscience that if you put this away,” in other words if you sidetrack it, if you neglect it or if you ignore it, any of those meanings you could put in there. So if you do that he says, “They’ve made shipwreck of their lives.” Sad thing to see a wrecked life, isn’t it? I know God forgives and restores. He says, “I’ll restore unto you the years that the locust hath eaten.” And oftentimes believers have plead that particular promise as well as others in asking God to give them a new start, a new chance, a new blessing, a new touch. And thank God, He does.
But the facts of it are these, that once having shipwrecked a life through having neglected this matter of real faith and pure heart and good conscience, you’re never quite the same again humanly speaking. Yes, God can bless and God can forgive and Jonah can get a second chance. Of course, this is all true. Hallelujah. How often you and I have depended upon those promises, but just watch out that you don’t get on the rocks. And the way to stay away from the rocks in the little vessel of life is to make sure that your heart is filled with God’s love, and that you do have a pure heart, and that you do keep a clean conscience, and that you keep on trusting God absolutely without any trace of sham. Well, that’s that.
Now, there’s another verse there in 1 Timothy 1, upon which I wanted to dwell just for a moment and that’s verse 15. “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief. I obtained mercy that in me first, Christ might show forth all long-suffering for a pattern to them which should here after believe on Him to life everlasting I obtained mercy.” Now, there are many crimes that Paul the Apostle had no part in. Yes, he was full of zeal, misguided zeal. Yes, that zeal manifested itself in hatred of the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and those who followed him. Yes, he made havoc of the church dragging people to prison and all that, persecuted the church and then was wonderfully saved as a result of his experience while he was on the road to Damascus, chronicled for us there in the ninth chapter of Acts.
Now looking back he said, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation,” it applies to everybody, “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief.” Now Paul, you never robbed a bank and you never were guilty of some of the grosser sins of which others have had to repent,-why do you say I am chief of sinners? Well, now he says, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.” In other words, this is something that may very well apply to everyone, said he. How do you reconcile that of whom I am chief with the idea that applies to everyone? Well, first of all, the purpose applies to everyone. Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.
I wish that the liberal preachers and the compromising liberal college and university professors and all the rest of those who are trying to twist the Scriptures could see the truth of this. The real reason for our Lord Jesus coming into this world was not to be a good example although that He is, not just to be centuries ahead of His time in social theory (although that he was); not just to show the right way for human beings to react to one another in interpersonal relationships (although that he did) not simply to live a beautiful life which conformed the pattern for our own daily lives, although that too is true. He came into this world for the express purpose of saving sinners. The Son of Man came to give His life a ransom for many. We have in His own words, “To die for sinners.” He came to die. He came to die.
And in the process he lived a perfect life, born a perfect birth of the Virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, died a perfect atoning death, rose again bodily from the grave, ascended into the glories, coming again in power and glory to take us to Himself. All of these things are true, but right in the middle of all of that is the statement, “He came to save.” And the saving process means He had to die for us.
Now when he says, “This is worthy of all acceptation,” you don’t get anywhere until you realize that the Lord Jesus came to save you. And saving you involved dying for you and shedding His blood for you and rising again to be your justifier. You don’t get anywhere until you say, “Jesus, I believe you did it for me.”
Have you done that yet, beloved? Some of you are so kind and friendly. A man called me up one time in the middle of the night and he ended the conversation by saying, “Frankly, I don’t believe a word you say, but you’re such a nice fella.” [chuckle] Well, I’m glad. [chuckle] I always wanna be a nice fella. But, oh, the important thing, the important thing is to believe the message of God. Have you done that? Have you done that? Have you thanked the Lord Jesus for dying for you? Have you asked Him to save you, to cleanse you, to forgive you?
See, “This is the thing,” Paul says, “that applies to everybody, worthy of all acceptation.” You can’t get around it. There it is. He came to save you, and I think you can say if there had been no other human being in all of this universe, but you beloved, our Lord Jesus would have laid down His life gladly for you. “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost,” said He.
Oh, how do you get at this? Somebody says, “I don’t know what to do.” Talk to Him. “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Talk to your Blessed Lord, ask Him to forgive your sin. “Lord Jesus, forgive my sins and come into my life right now. Take control. I’m sick of the way things have been going. I want you to take control of my life and run it. Be my Savior and my Lord.” Talk to Him that way. He’ll answer you. “For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
So he says, “Worthy of all acceptation,” that means it applies to you. He came to save you. You don’t get anywhere until you’ve realized that that is so, for you. And by the way, He came to save sinners. Awfully hard for us to admit that we are really sinners, isn’t it? We tend to compare ourselves with other people. I’m not as bad as he is. I’m not as bad as she is. Well, you see, God is not interested in comparing the garbage of your life with the garbage of somebody else’s life. God wants holiness, God wants righteousness and the only way you can get that is to let Him bestow it upon you by faith. The righteousness of God is manifested unto and upon all them that believe even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
You have no way in the world of meeting God’s standards unless He helps you do it by giving you Himself, His righteousness. And you get this when you receive the Lord Jesus Christ into your life as your Lord and your Savior. Sinners, now he says, “Of whom I am chief.” And we’re back to the question we raised at the outset, “Did Paul ever rob a bank?” No, not that we know of. Did he ever do any of these other things that are on the grosser sins and failures of human nature? No. He said, “Concerning the righteousness which is in the law blameless.” He kept the law. He was a good person, but unsaved. Now he says, “Of whom I am chief.” Now why is this? Well, the key to it is he said, “This applies to everybody.”
You get close enough to the Cross and you won’t be able to see anybody else but Jesus and you. You get close enough to the Cross and you won’t be able to see anybody else but Jesus and you. And it will be then that you say, “I’m chief of sinners. I’m the one. I’m the one Lord that you died for. I’m the one who broke Your heart. I’m the one who deserved nothing, but judgment in Hell and You came and You loved me and You sought me and You’ve called me by Your Spirit. You’ve convicted me of my sin. I’m the one, Lord!” That, beloved, is what God wants you to see.
And I think this applies not only to those who, for the very first time, are committing themselves to Christ as Lord and Savior, but those of us who’ve been on the way a long time need to renew our commitment to this precious Savior in terms of our absolute need of Him every moment of the time.
The old holiness preachers used to call it digging the well deeper- do any of you people who may have been brought up in the holiness denominations, do you remember that? Sometimes they’d have a meeting of preachers, a pastors’ meeting and they would they would get down and and say, “Now let’s have a season of prayer, let’s seek the Lord and dig the well deeper.” What did that mean? Oh, it meant get down before God and let Him cleanse your heart and break it and let Him reveal His holiness to you, His love, until you realize how much you need the Savior and how great He is in having saved you.
And then one by one as these brothers and sisters had been praying and they prayed as we say “prayed through” until God spoke to their hearts with peace, then with eyes that had been moistened with tears and hearts that were tender, oh how they could praise God. [chuckle]
Dig the well deeper. That’s sort of gone out of vogue anymore, we have what we call “a word of prayer” which means a slight genuflection in the direction of Deity while we go on about our own business, which may account for the fact that our hearts sometimes are awfully cold. Get close enough to the Cross, beloved, where you can’t see anybody but Jesus and you, and let Him speak to your heart.
Father God today, oh may we stay close to the Cross with our hearts opened to Jesus, I pray in His name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today, and be a blessing!
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