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Introduction

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

1 Corinthians 15:3–4, ESV

Hello, and welcome to Golgata.no. I am the author of this blog, Tom-Roger Mittag. This blog is dedicated to the Lord, Jesus Christ, and His marvelous work on the Cross of Calvary, where He accomplished what no fallen man could ever do. I have, to paraphrase Paul, “decided to know nothing else on this blog except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). This message is the power of God onto salvation (Rom. 1:16). Oh, and what a glorious message it is, the most glorious one in all of creation. It means everything.

God loves righteousness. He is sitting on His throne of perfect justice in heaven, from which He will judge the world with righteousness (Ps. 9:7–8; 33:5). Unlike the fallen men who sit and judge on earth, God cannot be deceived, persuaded, or bribed. He loathes injustice and the judges who let the guilty go free: “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord” (Prov. 17:15).

No criminal can be pardoned in His eternal courtroom just because they did a lot of philanthropy. God is judging them for their transgressions, not conducting a performance review. That is a good thing because it means that no evil will ever go unpunished.

Unfortunately, everyone has sinned by breaking the perfect Law of God and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). There is none who is righteous, no, not one (Rom. 3:10). Everyone is guilty. Like criminals being led to the courtroom, we were sinners being led to death and judgment, every day, every second of our life bringing us closer to the inevitable date when we would have to stand before God in his eternal courtroom, doomed to spend eternity in jail once the gavel goes down, lost forever in the endless abyss, hell.

But doesn’t the Bible teach about forgiveness for sin? It does, and that is the great paradox of the Bible. The Lord, Yahweh, summarized it best when He spoke to Moses in Exodus 34:6–7: “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty.” These sound like contrary statements, don’t they? How can God be both a God who forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin, while being a God who will be no means clear the guilty?

It makes sense once you realize what exactly happened at the cross. The cross is at the center of the universe, the intersection where God’s justice met God’s love, manifesting His majestic nature and glory to all of creation. To save men from the consequences of their own actions, God offered to pay the price. Because of the richness of His grace and the depth of His love, God sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty and die on behalf of guilty sinners, the innocent for the guilty, the righteous for the unrighteous, the impeccable Son of God for the fallen sons of Adam. It is an exchange so profound and compassionate that no human can ever plumb the depths of His amazing grace, even if they had an eternity to do so — which they will, thanks to the Son, who willingly offered up Himself for them (John 10:18; 13:34). Through the cross, God revealed how He could be both “just and the justifier” (Rom. 3:25–26).

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

John 3:16–17, ESV

Oh, but what an abominable burden He carried. Jesus Christ, the Holy Son of God, took upon Himself the profane sin of His people. At that moment on the cross, when He carried all of our wretched sins, He held onto the most grotesque, dark mass of sin that has ever appeared on God’s green earth. So He had to be punished. The Father turned His face away and unleashed His holy wrath upon the Son. The just wrath that we had been storing up for ourselves (Rom. 2:5), which we would have had to suffer in hell, Jesus suffered for us on the cross (Rom. 5:9; Col. 2:14). Darkness covered the land, and Jesus cried out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46).

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV

Like a lamb that is lead to the slaughter and a sheep that is silent before the sheers, Jesus didn’t open His mouth but carried the cross to Golgata while Roman soldiers beat Him, and the Jews mocked Him. There, He was crucified, pierced for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities. For hours, the Lamb of God hung upon the cross, bearing our griefs and carrying our sorrows. The spectators assumed He had been struck and smitten by God. And he had, but not for His own sin, but ours. It was the will of the Lord to crush Him. Jesus gave Himself as an offering for guilt, and through the anguish of his soul, He suffered for His people. He was punished so that we could go free (Is. 53). Finally, He said: “It is finished,” bowed his head, and poured out His soul to death (John 19:30; Is. 53:12). He died on the cross.

Then Jesus was buried, and on the third day, he rose again. He had paid the fine in full, saving us “from the wrath of God” (Rom. 5:9). “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). God gives us eternal life as a gift, not because of our works but because of Jesus’ triumph. He did everything for us. All we have to do is repent from our sins and turn to Him. He did what none of us could. From conception until death, He lived the perfect life by obeying every one of His Father’s commandments, perfectly, keeping every jot and tittle of the Law, faithful every day from dawn to dusk, even at night, every thought and every dream like a pleasing aroma to God: That is the perfect Savior.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:4–9, ESV

So great is the love of God and the Lamb. They are love (1 John 4: 7–8). The Father loved the world, so He sent His Son to save it (Joh 3:16). The Father did not force the Son to sacrifice himself. No. The Son wanted to because of His great love (John 10:18; 15:12–13; 1 John 3:16). The Son willingly laid down His life to purchase and free people from their debt. Come and be free from your debt. Come to the eternal Son of God who laid down His life for you, and He will give you rest (Matt. 11:28).

Why I write

My words cannot even begin to glorify the brilliant light of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and His majestic gospel. But I try my best on this blog. It’s the least I can do for such a mighty Savior who has brought me out of the miserable, dark life I lived in before.

Because I want my magnificent savior to be glorified, and I want to share “solid food and not milk” (Heb. 5:12; 1 Cor. 3:2) with my brothers and sisters in Christ, I write Bible devotions and articles that cover a wide range of Christian topics, including biblical history, theology, and apologetics, all in a devotional format like this article, all centered around Christ. I try to make the gospel my “first importance” (1 Cor. 15:3).

Why so much focus on the gospel? I yearn for revival that will glorify my Savior and save my neighbors, and there is only one way to achieve that. Perhaps you’ve noticed the subtitle to the blog: “The Word of the Cross is the Power of God.” It comes from two verses in the Bible: 

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the Word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:17–18, ESV

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:16, ESV

Verses like this make it clear that the promises for revival are tied to the gospel of my Lord Jesus Christ. He even said in one His parables: “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead” (Luke 16:31). No miracle, regardless of how glorious it is — and they are all glorious — can revive the soul. No philosophy, no emotional testimonies, no special effects, nothing except God and His Holy Word can create new life inside of sinners who are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). People can see miracles all the time and still have hearts of stone like the Israelites did when they wandered through the wilderness for 40 years with signs and wonders on all sides, surrounded by mana from heaven (Heb. 3:15–19). Physical miracles cannot convert the soul; a spiritual miracle has to take place. And that spiritual miracle is so mighty that Paul compares it to the creation of the universe (2 Cor. 4:6).

There is extraordinary power in the Word. When the devil came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, he twisted Scripture in an attempt to deceive Him, but Jesus was prepared and used Scripture to defend Himself (Matt. 4:1–11). In the Acts of the Apostles, when the Apostles were preaching about the risen Lord, they were frequently citing the Old Testament. They believed in the authority and power of the Word. It was their spiritual sword which they wielded in their fight against the spiritual forces of evil (Eph. 6:12), a living and active sword, “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). And they have passed this sword onto us. They wrote the books of the New Testament so that we would believe in Jesus Christ, receive eternal life, and be certain about the truth (1 John 5:13; John 20:30–31; Luke 1:3–4). The entire Bible was written for the church (Rom. 15:4; 1 Pet. 1:10–12). We have to use it. We cannot live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).

Nothing except His Holy Word can restore this crumbling world and revive its citizens. I want people to thrive, love, and flourish. I want God to be glorified. So I write. Thank you for reading.

More Verses about the Word/Gospel

For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:21–24, ESV

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.

Romans 10:13–17, ESV

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16–17, ESV

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my Word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10–11, ESV

And there are even more. I recommend exploring this marvelous topic in depth.

Bible Copyright Notice

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations in English are from the ESV.

“ESV,” the “English Standard Version,” the “Global Study Bible,” and the ESV logo are registered trademarks of Crossway, registered in the United States of America. Use of any of these trademarks requires the prior permission of Crossway.

Thank You

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Remember, God is love (1 John 4:16). So, rejoice in the Lord, always (Phil. 4:4).
All glory to God alone. Grace and peace to you. Amen.
Sincerely, Tom-Roger Mittag.