Golden Pillars Class Study, pastor Dave Goble.

We’re looking at how to study the scriptures. In thinking about this scripture, what is in the cross? Does it mean, 1. If I’m killed and resurrected from death then all mankind will find salvation in me? Or does it mean, 2. Everything he taught and stood for is what will attract all mankind to me and to salvation? Let’s see what the text says and let it speak to us.

John 12:32-33 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.

The previous verses (John 12:29-31) show there was a noise from heaven when an angel said, “if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Does verse 33 help answer what verse 32 means? 1. His death on the cross, resurrection, would draw all men into salvation. Or 2. The does the cross represents all my sayings and teachings that will draw all men into salvation. Perhaps it means both: Jesus body is lifted up on the cross and crucified to save us from our sins. And if Jesus is lifted up, his death results in the death of sin for whomever will find belief in Jesus Christ and turn from their sins. Also don’t leave out the resurrection 3 days later, without that there is no newness of life. There would only be the death of sin and his elevation on the cross that it doesn’t have the same meaning. Being crucified and resurrected go together. If Jesus didn’t preach for 3½ years before he was crucified, the cross would not mean the same thing. We would read there was a man who claimed to be a prophet. The news would report that he was arrested for insurrection, crucified, and then was resurrected. It would just be another report of some man being crucified and a miracle of him being resurrected. People wouldn’t have paid much attention to it. Everything Jesus stood for was elevated in his death and resurrection as the final act of that gospel. The symbol of the cross is not simply the death of our sins but is everything Jesus taught and stood for. It’s important for the church to find its identity in the cross of Jesus. Paul said to take up your cross daily, but what’s in the cross? People have different opinions about what’s in the cross. They may feel strongly about some aspect of their life, a way of worship or of living. They say that must be in the cross or we can not be a Christian. In 1 John 1:7, it says, if I “walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another…” Walking in the light is what creates fellowship. Walking in the light also says what is in the cross. Walking in light and the cross create fellowship. Anything that man puts in the cross or light is going to create division or error. We have to get what is in the cross or in the light from the scriptures. If Jesus didn’t die on the cross, we don’t have salvation. We rely on what we’ve heard but we need to rely on scripture (John 12:33).

To see what is in the cross, we need to rightly divide the word of truth as we study the scriptures. We can see what Jesus stood for as we read the four gospels about Jesus – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Some say the book of Romans is the dictionary on the gospel of Jesus. Reading the following scriptures in the gospels, we see the main subjects Jesus taught.

Behavior of the Saints, virtues, blessings, benefits of serving God.

Matthew 5:3-11 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: …shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile…persecute you, and shall say all…evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Our testimony, responsibility, good works, alignment with the Spirit.

Matthew 5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father…

Resolving conflict or problems, forgiveness.

Matthew 5:21-26 Ye have heard…said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say…That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and…first be reconciled to thy brother, and then…offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly…in the way with him; lest…the adversary deliver thee to the judge…and thou be cast into prison…Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

Love enemies, love neighbors.

Matthew 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say…Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Be authentic, don’t pretend, fasting, connect with God.

Matthew 6:5-18 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and…streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say…  They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and…shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say…They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father…which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

False prophets.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets…come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly…are ravening wolves.

Healing, faith to meet needs.

Matthew 8:1-13 When he was come…great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand… saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith…See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came…a centurion, beseeching him…Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith…I will come and heal him. The centurion answered…Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh…When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said…Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say… That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said…Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done…And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

Prophesy fulfillment.

Luke 45:18-21 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book…gave it again to the minister…the eyes of all…fastened on him. And he began to say…This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

There were things Jesus didn’t teach. Paul said he spoke some things by permission (1 Corinthians 7:6). They were not commandments but could be helpful to their present circumstances. Some in the past may have mistakenly elevated such teachings to the status of doctrine. There are conflicts between what the old testament and the new taught. The scripture says a woman shouldn’t wear clothes pertaining to men, nor men to wear what a woman wears (Deuteronomy 22:5). Jesus never actually referred to this scripture as being important. The principle it would be associated with this scripture is modesty, respect for gender, keeping the identity of the sexes. In relationship to this we can look at Genesis when God created a man and a woman as genders. This relates to an eternal principle. Things about style and fashion of clothing is temporal. Let the eternal be our guide, not the temporal. That doesn’t mean we ignore the temporal. There was a crazy  man in the tombs who was naked. Evidently there’s some relationship between walking around nude and being crazy.