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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - Is The Cross In Your Life Displaced From The Center?

Derek Prince - Is The Cross In Your Life Displaced From The Center?

Derek Prince - Is The Cross In Your Life Displaced From The Center?
TOPICS: Cross, Priorities, Focus

This is an excerpt from: The Cross At The Center - Part 1

Now let's look at one other statement by Paul in Romans 8:31 and following. Again, Paul emphasizes the all sufficiency of the sacrifice of Jesus. Romans 8:31 and following. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

So that's what's provided through the sacrifice of Jesus. God, having given Jesus, will not withhold anything but also, with Him freely give us all things. I'm going to say that again because it's a staggering thought. Also, with Him freely give us all things. So, the one sacrifice of Jesus releases the total abundance of God's mercy and provision. We do not need any other basis. In fact, there is no other basis. This is the one and only and all sufficient basis for the release of God's mercy and grace. It's very important to understand this because if you come to God, for mercy and grace on any other basis but the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, God will not meet with you because it's a false basis, it's not true.

And God is a God of truth. We can't come to Him on the basis of our good works or our religiosity or our family background or our nationality or our talents because God is not impressed by those. They do not release the mercy and grace of God. The only thing that releases God's mercy and grace is the fact that Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness, died in our place and rose again from the dead.

I want to urge you never to pass a day without meditating on that. Never to displace this truth from the center of your thoughts, and your words and your life. Because as soon as the cross become displaced you'll find that you're not any longer enjoying the abundance of God's grace. You'll find yourself struggling, you'll find yourself perplexed, confused. And very often you'll find yourself feeling guilty. You won't understand what's happened in my life, why have things gone wrong.

The answer is what has happened in your life is that the cross has been displaced from the center. The second aspect of the cross that I want to speak about is that it's through the cross that God's supernatural grace is released in our lives. You see, Christianity is not a set of rules. I remember saying this to quite a large audience somewhere, I think it was in the United States but I forget. I wasn't really expecting to astonish people but I said to them casually, 'Of course, Christianity is not a set of rules.' They looked at me in astonishment. I think they would have been less shocked if I had said there is no God. To me this is something that's become obvious over the years. Christianity is not a set of rules. It's not a set of laws. Israel had had a set of laws, for 14 centuries given by Moses.

Paul tells us that the law is perfect, it's righteous, it's holy, it's good. We can never improve on the law of Moses if it comes to a law. If that would do it there would have been no need for Jesus to come. I smile sometimes because it seems to me Christians who talk the most about grace sometimes know the least about it. I think of the people who say we're not under the law and then they construct their own set of religious rules, which is sometimes quite complicated. Let me tell you, dear brothers and sisters, if the law of Moses wouldn't do it, Baptist law won't do it, Pentecostal law won't do it, Catholic law won't do it. We can never improve on the law of Moses. But the law of Moses failed. Not because there was anything wrong with the law but because there was a problem in us. We were unable to keep the law because of the weakness of our fleshly nature.

I'd like to read some words of Paul on this theme in Galatians 3:11-12. But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for 'THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.' Yet the law is not of faith; but, 'THE MAN WHO DOES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.' So, Paul says no one can ever achieve righteousness with God by the law. Actually, the translators have put in the word 'the,' the law. Which is legitimate because he has primarily in mind the law of Moses. But if you leave out the word the it's still true. No one can achieve righteousness with God by keeping any law. There is no law that can enable us to achieve righteousness with God. It's not the way we can ever become righteous with God.

I can see some of you looking puzzled. I'm not surprised. I think this is one of the most frequently made statements in the New Testament which is the most persistently ignored by Christians. There must be at least a dozen places in the New Testament where it says it in one way or another you can never achieve righteousness with God by keeping a set of rules. And yet the majority of Christians that I move amongst have somehow got the idea that if I keep the right rules I'm all right. It doesn't work, God doesn't accept it. It doesn't produce the results that God wants.

As a matter of fact, it tends to produce the exact opposite. Because people who focus on keeping laws become what we call legalistic. And then whatever particular section of the church they belong to, they say, 'Our laws are right and we're righteous because we keep them. Those people over there in that section of the church don't keep our laws so, they're not righteous.' So actually, legalism tends to split the church up into a lot of different groups according to the particular set of laws which one group is keeping.
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