The Radical Effects of the Cross on the Conscience of the True Believer

When a man sees the cross of Christ with the eyes of faith, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, that man is radically changed.  He can no longer take sin lightly.  Conversely, a casual attitude toward sin is evidence of a shallow vision of the cross.  The regenerating power of the Holy Spirit does not just change the man – it radically changes the man.  God’s hatred of sin is impressed upon the believer’s conscience.  Though that believer struggles with sin, and often falls into it, nevertheless he hates the sin that so easily besets him, and he loves holiness, though it is hard for him to reach the holy state he desires.  The wicked conversation (life style) of the people of this world vex his righteous soul, as it did Lot’s soul. 

Dear reader, if you lack a desire for holiness, and the struggle against sin is absent from your heart, and you experience no vexation living in this sinful world’s agenda, then I would encourage you to see the cross if you can.  See the wrath of God poured out on His only begotten Son.  See the Son of God perishing at the hands of foolish, wicked men, while God Almighty pours out His judgment on the innocent Jesus.  See Him hanging there where you belong.  Are you not yet changed?  How can you not be changed?  Why will you die in your sins?  Turn to Christ and be saved, all ye that are weary and oppressed. 

“I saw One hanging on a tree”

John Newton, 1779

I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agony and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.

O, can it be, upon a tree,
The Savior died for me?
My soul is thrilled, my heart is filled,
To think He died for me!

Sure, never to my latest breath,
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.

My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair,
I saw my sins His blood had spilt,
And helped to nail Him there.

Scripture proofs:

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Hebrews 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

1 Thess 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

1 Cor 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Gal 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

2 Peter 2:7-8 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

2 Cor 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

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