Gregory Dickow - The Cross Is Love
Hi, precious family. Welcome to "The Power to Change Today". And I've got a very special teaching that I wanna share with you called "The Cross Is Love". I believe the cross is the single most significant act of love that will change your life; it's the most incredible story of love ever told because it's a story that will free you from everything you've ever been afraid of. Are you ready to experience freedom today in every area of your life? We're also gonna take communion during today's teaching, at the end, so make sure to get your communion elements ready. And what you're about to hear will give you such a beautiful picture of the supernatural benefits of the cross and the power of God's love through the cross. So enjoy today's teaching, share it with someone who needs to hear it, and I'll be right back at the end to pray for you.
There's no death more painful than crucifixion, that's why the Romans invented it, because it's slow, it's agonizing, it's death by suffocation. Crucifixion in and of itself, it's not the nails in Jesus's hands or the nails in his feet or the spear in his side that killed him, it's suffocation that killed him. It's actually a broken heart that killed him because he had to breathe so heavily just to get breath. He had to put all the pressure on his feet and on his hands just to catch his next breath that eventually his heart broke and he suffocated. That's what crucifixion did to people and it's described in Isaiah chapter 52, verse 14. I'm not trying to gross anybody out here, I'm not trying to be somber or negative here, I hope you understand this is the Great News, Jesus did this for us so this would not have to happen to us.
It says in Isaiah 52, verse 14, in the Margin, cross-reference Bible, "Just as many were amazed over him, and princes on his account shuttered, they were astonished and appalled, amazed and frightened. His visage," or his image, his presence, "Was so marred unlike to a man, and his form unlike to the sons of man. So deformed was his appearance, not to be a man, and his figure no longer resembled a man". That's crucifixion. But when you add, crucifixion is not just the painful death and the slow process of it, add to it, plus he knew it was coming. Not only did he have to endure all that pain, he also knew it was coming; that's even more painful. Plus one of his best friends betrayed him; even more pain. Plus all of the people of Israel turned against him, plus he was a victim of the Roman Empire's cruelty, plus he was completely innocent, plus everybody knew it, plus they chose to release a criminal instead of him, knowing how guilty the criminal was and knowing how innocent Jesus was.
This is the worst death, the worst punishment. So in the same way that you cannot write a more tragic story about his death, you could not write a more beautiful story about his love. There is no more beautiful love story than the story of Jesus's crucifixion. As gruesome as it is, God wants you to get the message of how deep, how wide, how far, how high his love goes for you and for me, that he would pay the full price for you and for me. It's a story of love because it's a story of freeing you from everything that you've ever been afraid of.
There is no life more beautiful than a life with Jesus, in Christ, in the bosom of the Father; plus you know he's making a home for you in heaven, plus you know he's coming back for you, plus he now considers you his best friend, plus you are now no longer a victim of this world's system, no longer a victim of Adam's sin, plus you are now completely innocent and found not guilty, plus there's no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, plus you are now the righteousness of God, plus all the demons in hell and in earth know, all of them know you are the righteousness of God, plus you are now released from whatever has tormented you, plus you are now healed and you can be healed from all the trauma that you've experienced in your life, plus he gives you a family where love will never end, where love will never cease, where love will never fail, plus he's given you all his authority to rule over the demons, the pain, the sickness, the worry, the anxiety, the fears.
"Behold, I give you authority," Jesus said, "To trample upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy," plus, "Nothing shall be able to injure you, hurt you or harm you," plus, "No weapon formed against you shall prosper," plus nothing can separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. Romans chapter 8, verse 31, "If God be 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 also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies. Who is he who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. For who will separate us from the love of God"?
Whoo, you cannot read this chapter and not get excited at some point. If verse 31 doesn't do it for you, verse 32's sure to do it for you. If verse 32 doesn't do it for you, verse 33 has got to get you. If verse 33 doesn't get to you, verse 34 is gonna change your life forever. If verse 34 doesn't get to you, look at what verse 35 says. Who will separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ? "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword"? These are all, you know these are all rhetorical questions, right? He said, "If God be for us, who can be against us"?
The point is, it doesn't matter; rhetorical means the answer is obvious. "If God be for us, who can be against us"? It doesn't matter who's against us 'cause, "No weapon formed against us can prosper," because of Jesus, because of Jesus. Amen. Just, "As it is written: 'For Your sake, we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.' Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us". I wonder if we would just believe this for a moment how happy we would become. "For I am convinced," listen to what he says, "I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers".
The Gospel of man's holiness is a fallacy, our holiness is in Christ just like our righteousness is in Christ. As you meditate on what Jesus did for you and feed yourself the Word of God, you begin to become a healthy person that is able to form healthy habits and is able to be strong in areas where you were once weak, and God is cool and patient to give you time. If God was in such a hurry to fix you why did he wait from the time Adam was created, 4,000 years before he sent Jesus to the earth? How could God wait 4,000 years before he fixed Adam's mistake? 4,000, people. We're not talking about 40 minutes, we're not talking about four years, we're talking about 4,000 years of human history passed. From Adam and Eve til Jesus came, there are 6,000 years of human history that has existed.
Whatever people think about the millions of years before that, the gap theory of Genesis chapter 1, verse 1, and Genesis chapter 1, verse 2, now I'm getting really over my head and yours so let me back it up. There's only 6,000 years of human history that have existed on this earth, and it was 2,000 years ago Jesus came, 4,000 years late, because of Adam's sin. 4,000 years late. So you don't think he's gonna be patient with you while you struggle with some thought that's been obsessing you or some habit you're trying to kick or some habit you don't even want to kick? and you start staying away from church because, "I don't want to get in there and just feel all the guilt". Then stop feeling guilty, 'cause Jesus already paid for it, you don't get guilt-free because you don't do anything wrong, you get guilt-free because Jesus washed it all away. He's cleansed us from a guilty conscience, Hebrews chapter 9 and 10 tell us. Oh, I wish I could get this across to you but I'm just gonna do my best.
Galatians 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me". "I've been crucified with Christ". The cross is the proof of God's love, it's the demonstration of God's love, it's the manifestation of God's love. And when Jesus died on the cross, you died on the cross, you died spiritually when Jesus died spiritually. You just haven't died physically yet, but when you do die physically you will be united with Christ in heaven because you're already seated with him in heaven, you're already seated with him in heavenly places. And I can't explain all of that but I can tell you this, is that there is not going to be ever a remembrance, God doesn't have any memory of your sins.
Hebrews chapter 8, verse 12 says, and your sins and your iniquities he will remember no more. He remembered people's sins under the old covenant, but under the new covenant he doesn't remember your sins anymore because the blood of Jesus is that good, the blood of Jesus is that thorough, the blood of Jesus is that powerful. The blood of Jesus, that we worship to and that we sing about and we talk about, it really is the greatest thing that's ever happened to us, it really is powerful enough to remove all of our sins and to remove the guilt from them. When it says, "I have been crucified with Christ," in Galatians 2:20, it means we have been judged with Christ, we have been condemned with Christ, we have been cast out with Christ, we have been stripped naked with Christ, we have been nailed to the cross with Christ.
When we see, in the Bible, what happened to Jesus, that was Jesus doing that on our behalf. He didn't need to do it for himself, he did it on our behalf. So if it was only him that died then the price is not paid, but because he died, and we died with him because he became what we were so that we could become what he was before he became what we were. He became sin for us that we would be made the righteousness of God, 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us. Listen to this. 2 Corinthians 5:21, "He... who knew no sin," he never sinned, he, "Was made to be sin for us," he didn't become sin for himself, he became sin for us, "That we might become the righteousness of God in Him".
He didn't need to become the righteousness of God, he already was the righteousness of God, but he did that so that we could become the righteousness of God, which means to be in right-standing with God; to stand with God, to stand in God's presence without reference to your sin, to stand in God's presence without fear, without shame, without inferiority, without condemnation and without guilt. I will not stand before my Heavenly Father in any bit of shame, not because I haven't failed and not because I won't fail again, but I will stand before my Heavenly Father because I've been made the righteousness of God in Christ. And you have been made the righteousness of God in Christ too, and it has nothing to do with what you've done and it has everything to do with what he's already done. Can anybody say amen?
It literally says, in Isaiah 53, verse 10, "Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise Him," it pleased God to crush him. Why? because God's eternal justice had to be honored. In every society there is a justice system, 'cause every human being knows that there are some things that are just and some things that are not just; and everyone in this world understands justice, everyone. You cannot find a culture, no matter how educated or uneducated, you will never find a culture that doesn't believe in justice. And it's true because there is justice in this world because God is a just God, but justice demands a price to be paid and you don't have the account to cover it. Nonsufficient funds, people, N.S.F. Anybody know what I'm talking about?
It pleased him to crush him; the devil didn't crush Jesus, this was God's own doing. God did this to Jesus so that your sins could never do it to you. "He put Him to grief," 'cause he rendered himself as a guilt offering. How could these things be written hundreds of years before Jesus came? because God knows what he's doing and he's right on time. Let's stand together and let's get ready to receive Holy Communion. I want you to believe that by his stripes you are healed, I can't emphasize enough to you it's already done. It's not getting done when we eat the bread and drink the cup, it's not getting done when we confess our sins, it's already done, it's already done, it's already done. It's already done, you're either embracing it and say, "Yes, amen". We don't even have to say yes, God says, "Yes," we say, "Amen," I'm just agreeing with God, amen just means, "Let it be". The Beatles had that one right too.
I want you to know real things happen when we take communion 'cause we're saying yeah, we're saying amen, we're saying amen. "I've been in a challenging abusive relationship for years," someone said, "I have children that have overcome so much alongside of me, I've never heard the Word of God delivered as I have after being connected to Life Changers Church online. I never understood Communion or the power behind it. I do now. I give thanks to the Father for connecting me with this teaching that has been so real and has renewed my understanding that the blood of Jesus paid my entire price. I am now able to recognize my emotions, hold them accountable, no longer be a slave to them, I'm no longer in need of anti-depressants due to the incredible revelation of love that I never realized. I know now that God has made this revelation so available to us and I'm forever one with Jesus. Thank you so very much, Life Changers".
I say amen to that 'cause I need that. He became sin so that we could become the righteousness of God, he was cursed so that we could be blessed, he was weak so that we could be strong, he suffered shame so we could experience his glory. He was condemned so that we could be forgiven, he was made sick in order that healing would come to us, he was cast out of God's presence so that we would be welcomed in to God's presence. He is our righteousness, he is our peace, he is our Savior, let's receive his precious body.
I want you to say, "Jesus did it all, it's already done, my debt's fully paid, my sentence fully served, my victory fully won. I am the righteousness of God because of the blood of Jesus. I am dead with him, I shall live with him. 'It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life that I now live I live by faith in the Son of God,' and the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and delivered himself up for me. Nothing can separate me, no one can separate me from the love of God". Let's receive this beautiful love. Hallelujah.