The Badge of Christianity (Cross Examined Review)

Posted Dec 11, 2021 in Cross Examined Feedback
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Cross Examined and Cross Encountered is a wonderful book written by Adrian Ebens on the theme of the meaning of the Cross to mankind. When we come to the realization of the value of the soul to God by looking at the Cross of Calvary, we will see the great need of knowing who we truly are in the eyes of Our Father. Christ suffered for all those who live upon the earth. To accept the reality of Christ's agony and suffering involves the complete surrender of oneself to walk with Him and come into the fellowship of His sufferings in concern for others.

KJV Philippians 3:8-9

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

This pierced my heart when I realized that we are blinded by our own sinful nature. I learned that the reason God gives us what we want is because; when a person has sin in their heart, the first work of God is to show the person their sin. He does this to help us know those things are wrong, but unfortunately we misunderstand what is happening and judge God thinking He is doing good and evil things at the same time. Every seed sown produces a harvest of its kind as Paul says:

KJV Galatians 6:7

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Jesus feels the pain when His children are caused pain. He wants to protect them but many are not cherishing His protection. He feels sorrow and pity for us, but He cannot force people to stop doing evil things because the use of force does not change the character of those doing the evil. Our Father does not use force, that's not His character. He gives freedom of choice.

This attribute of God allowing His children to see their sinful nature is seen in the life of Adam. He had wrong impressions about the Character of God: He believed that God would protect His own interests by putting others to death. He was waiting for the punishment of death according to how He understood Genesis 2:7 ‘’You shall surely die’’ because of what they did. Adam thought God selfish and flawed; Adam had underlying hostility and animosity to God (the "enmity" of Ephesians 2:15) and therefore he didn't feel he made a mistake, nor did he ask for forgiveness. Instead Adam blamed God and said it was Christ who was responsible for Adam's mistake (through His creation of Eve) and therefore it was Christ who should die. God manifested what Adam had in mind about Him by allowing him to do a sacrifice of a lamb signifying what Adam die to Christ in his mind - therefore Christ was the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8)

An interesting thing learnt from this book is that we are all invited to consider the sacrifice of Jesus to draw us out of our selfish natures. God desires people to trust Him and receive His grace to obey rather than desiring sacrifices to be appeased.

KJV Micah 6:7-8

Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

The Law is used as a mirror to show us what is in the heart.

KJV Romans 3:20

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

I came to realize that each time I do what I know is wrong, I pierce Christ, that is: by my thoughts, words and actions. So sad! (Hebrews 6:6). Inspiration says;

The Spirit reveals the ingratitude of the heart that has slighted and grieved the Savior, and brings us in contrition to the foot of the cross. By every sin Jesus is wounded afresh; and as we look upon Him whom we have pierced, we mourn for the sins that have brought anguish upon Him. Such mourning will lead to the renunciation of sin. {DA 300.3}

It will be impossible for us to live for ourselves if we think about His suffering every day. The book expounds further to elaborate that the Law concerning sacrifices in the Old Testament is giving to us a knowledge of the sinful heart of man.

I had to question my conscience:

‘’Will I allow myself to be drawn to the Love of God in this manifestation of the Cross and consider that Christ has been slain in His Spirit from the foundation of the world until now?"

The whole world got deceived when Adam and Eve took of the fruit, for we inherit their mindset and think as they thought toward others and towards God. The saddest thing of all is this misunderstanding is growing - it is a darkness that covers the earth through the gross darkness in the people. As it is written:

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: (Isaiaih 60:2)

It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. {COL 415.3}

When the devil knows that a deception strategy works, he repeats it over and over again. He does this by placing doubts as he first did to Eve, which he also did to Jesus Christ in the wilderness even though it didn't work out for him that time. This is so encouraging to know that Satan cannot overcome me if I build on the strong foundation which is Christ. 

When I look at the Cross, I see Christ's loving merciful character. The Father’s gift of the Son is the source of the cross. The offerings made are not the source of salvation, but rather a visible channel for the invisible heavenly reality God offered in His Son.

 KJV John 17:24

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

God loved His Son before the foundation of the world. That love is eternal and overcomes all sin.

KJV Titus 1:2

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

God's love for His Son and their love for us, not even yet created, led to the establishment of the everlasting covenant where we find the first promise of the kingdom prepared for us. They had a solution if man sinned, not when. What love!

This book is for you who would love to see the main reality of the Cross and what it means to us. You'll be in a position to know how the devil has deceived us to believe that God is like the devil; that is why we see God surrounded in darkness. What is the difference between God’s justice and Satan’s justice? How does God reveal what is in the heart? Why does God seem perverse at times? How does God save us despite our sinful nature of hating Him?

Are the things of this life that you seek to enjoy, that you know keep you from walking more closely with your Savior, worth the suffering that our Savior feels?

May the Lord attract souls to Himself and impart to them individually a sense of their sacred responsibility to form such characters that Christ will not be ashamed to call them brethren.

Shalom. Allan.