“IS THE CROSS OF CHRIST THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE PLAN OF GOD?”
by Jimmy Swaggart
While anything and everything done by the Lord Jesus Christ is of utmost significance and thereby played its part in this great Redemption Plan, irrespective as to what it might have been, still, the Cross of Christ is by far the pivotal part around which everything else revolves.
How do we know that?
We know that it is the most important part simply because the Cross of Christ is the Foundation on which everything else is built regarding this great Plan of God. It was the first thing formulated in the mind of the Godhead, making it the Foundation.
The Holy Spirit through Simon Peter said this, and I quote directly from THE EXPOSITOR’S STUDY BIBLE:
THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST
“Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold (presents the fact that the most precious commodities [silver and gold] could not redeem fallen man), from your vain conversation (vain lifestyle) received by tradition from your fathers (speaks of original sin that is passed on from father to child at conception);
“But with the Precious Blood of Christ (presents the payment, which proclaims the poured out Life of Christ on behalf of sinners), as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot (speaks of the lambs offered as substitutes in the Old Jewish economy; the Death of Christ was not an execution or assassination, but rather a Sacrifice; the Offering of Himself presented a Perfect Sacrifice, for He was perfect in every respect [Ex. 12:5]):
BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
“Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world (refers to the fact that God, in His Omniscience, knew He would create man, man would Fall, and man would be Redeemed by Christ going to the Cross; this was all done before the Universe was created; this means the Cross of Christ is the Foundation Doctrine of all Doctrine, referring to the fact that all Doctrine must be built upon that Foundation, or else it is specious), but was manifest in these last times for you (refers to the invisible God Who, in the Person of the Son, was made visible to human eyesight by assuming a human body and human limitations),
“Who by Him do believe in God (it is only by Christ and what He did for us at the Cross that we are able to ‘Believe in God’), Who raised Him (Christ) up from the dead (His Resurrection was guaranteed insomuch as He atoned for all sin [Rom. 6:23]), and gave Him Glory (refers to the exaltation of Christ); that your Faith and Hope might be in God. (This speaks of a heart Faith in God, Who saves sinners in answer to our Faith in the Resurrected Lord Jesus Who died for us)” (I Pet. 1:18-21).
In this statement given by the Holy Spirit through Peter, we have the following:
The Cross of Christ as the Foundation Of the Plan of Redemption.
The Cross of Christ addressed in “the Precious Blood of Christ.”
The Resurrection of Christ proclaimed by the fact that God “raised Him up from the dead.”
The Exaltation of Christ proclaimed by the short phrase, “and gave Him Glory.”
Understanding that the Cross of Christ is the Foundation of the great Plan of Redemption, this means that every doctrine must be built upon this Foundation. If it is built on something else, in some way it will be spurious. In fact, all false doctrine stems from a misunderstanding or the ignoring or outright denial of the Cross of Christ. Once we begin to understand this, then we begin to see how important this Message is, insomuch as it was formulated in the mind of the Godhead from before the foundation of the world.
As we stated, God, Who is Omniscient, knew before the foundation of the world that He would make man and that man would Fall, and it would be deemed desirable by the Godhead that God would become Man, the Man Christ Jesus, Who would lay aside the expression of His Deity, while never losing possession of His Deity, all for the express purpose of going to the Cross of Calvary.
THE PRIMARY MISSION OF CHRIST
The Apostle John tells us in the First Chapter of his Gospel exactly Who Jesus is and What Jesus has done. I continue to quote from THE EXPOSITOR’S STUDY BIBLE:
“In the beginning (does not infer that Christ as God had a beginning, because as God He had no beginning, but rather refers to the time of Creation [Gen. 1:1]) was the Word (the Holy Spirit through John describes Jesus as ‘the Eternal Logos’), and the Word was with God (‘was in relationship with God,’ and expresses the idea of the Trinity), and the Word was God (meaning that He did not cease to be God during the Incarnation; He ‘was’ and ‘is’ God from eternity past to eternity future).
IN THE BEGINNING WITH GOD
“The same was in the beginning with God (this very Person was in eternity with God; there’s only one God, but manifested in three Persons — God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit).
“All things were made by Him (all things came into being through Him; it refers to every item of Creation one by one, rather than all things regarded in totality); and without Him was not any thing made that was made (nothing, not even one single thing, was made independently of His cooperation and volition).
“In Him was Life (presents Jesus, the Eternal Logos, as the first cause); and the Life was the Light of men (He Alone is the Life Source of Light; if one doesn’t know Christ, one is in darkness).
“And the Light shines in darkness (speaks of the Incarnation of Christ, and His coming into this world; His ‘Light,’ because it is derived from His Life, drives out ‘darkness’); and the darkness comprehended it not (should have been translated, ‘apprehended it not’; it means that Satan, even though he tried with all his might, could not stop ‘the Light’; today it shines all over the world, and one day soon, there will be nothing left but that ‘Light’)” (Jn. 1:1-5).
THE REASON FOR GOD BECOMING MAN
“That was the True Light (there are many false lights; Jesus is the only True Light), which lights every man who comes into the world (if man is to find Light, it will be only in Christ, and it is for ‘every man’).
“He was in the world (the Eternal Logos, the ‘Creator’), and the world was made by Him (as it was originally created before the Fall of Lucifer and the Fall of man), and the world knew Him not (the world cannot know Christ by wisdom, but only by Revelation).
THE WORD MADE FLESH
“And the Word was made flesh (refers to the Incarnation, ‘God becoming man’), and dwelt among us (refers to Jesus, although Perfect, not holding Himself aloft from all others, but rather lived as all men, even a peasant), (and we beheld His Glory, the Glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father,) (speaks of His Deity, although hidden from the eyes of the merely curious; while Christ laid aside the expression of His Deity, He never lost the possession of His Deity) full of Grace and Truth (as ‘flesh,’ proclaimed His Humanity, ‘Grace and Truth’ His Deity)” (Jn. 1:9-10, 14).
THE REASON THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH
“And they which were sent were of the Pharisees (the Holy Spirit is careful to delineate the source of these questions; the opposition now begins).
“And they asked him, and said unto him, Why do you baptize then, if you be not that Christ, nor Elijah, neither that Prophet? (They were indignant that John not only baptized without ecclesiastical authority, but baptized contrary to the practice of the Pharisees. In other words, he had not asked nor sought their permission, nor did it seem that he cared whether they agreed or not!)
“John answered them, saying, I baptize with water (meaning that it was but a temporary symbol of the true, abiding, and effectual baptism of the One Who would baptize with the Holy Spirit): but there stands One among you, Whom you know not (points to their spiritual ignorance; Christ was in their very midst, and they did not know!).
WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD
“He it is (the Messiah is already here, even though you do not know Him, and He, as stated, is not me), Who coming after me is preferred before me (Who existed before me, in fact, has existed eternally), Whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose (by comparison to Christ, the greatest Prophet born of woman labels himself, and rightly so!).
“These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing (probably not far from Jericho).
“The next day (refers to the day after John had been questioned by the emissaries from the Sanhedrin) John sees Jesus coming unto him (is, no doubt, after the baptism of Jesus, and the temptation in the wilderness), and said, Behold the Lamb of God (proclaims Jesus as the Sacrifice for sin, in fact, the Sin-Offering, Whom all the multiple millions of offered lambs had represented), which takes away the sin of the world (animal blood could only cover sin, it could not take it away; but Jesus offering Himself as the Perfect Sacrifice took away the sin of the world; He not only cleansed acts of sin, but, as well, addressed the root cause [Col. 2:14-15])” (Jn. 1:24-29).
THREE THINGS HERE SAID
When John introduced Jesus, he said three things of Him that had never been said about another human being. They are:
1. “The Lamb of God:” Why did the Holy Spirit through John refer to Christ as “the Lamb of God?”
He did so simply because of all the multiple millions of lambs that had been offered in sacrifices before now, even from the dawn of time, which was meant to symbolize the coming Redeemer. He would be the “Lamb of God” Who would go to the Cross in order to redeem the fallen sons of Adam’s lost race.
2. “Which takes away the sin of the world:” Of all the millions of sacrifices that had been offered previously to this, as stated, even from the dawn of time, those sacrifices did not take away even one sin. The best that animal blood could do was to cover the sin, thereby serving as a stopgap measure until Christ would come. What He did on Calvary’s Cross literally took away the sin of the world, at least for all who believe (Jn. 3:16). Truly, every person who is Born-Again, their sins have been taken away. David had prophesied nearly a thousand years earlier:
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (This is equivalent to ‘blotting out our sins’ [Acts 3:19; Isa. 43:25; 44:22]. It is impossible to bring the east and the west together; so it is impossible to bring the forgiven sinner and his forgiven sins together. This Divine fact gives to those who believe it a peace which nothing can destroy)” (Ps. 103:12).
3. “Sin:” is used in the singular meaning, not only were all sins atoned but, as well, the root cause of sin was addressed.
(This message was derived from the book, “Brother Swaggart, Here Is My Question About The Cross”.)