Keeping the Cross in Focus

John Calvin, in his commentary on Galatians, wrote, “Let those who would discharge aright the ministry of the gospel learn, not merely to speak and declaim, but to penetrate into the consciences of men, to make them see Christ crucified, and feel the shedding of his blood.”1

What Calvin stated so forthrightly is in keeping with the apostolic example and admonitions. For instance, the Apostle Paul explicitly stated, “I determined not to know anything among you except Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2) and “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14). Sadly, this commitment has not always been enthusiastically exemplified and embraced by ministers. The flesh hates to focus on Christ and him crucified because the sufferings of Christ are an affront to our self-righteousness and pride. In order to encourage us to keep the eyes of our hearts fixed on the crucified Christ and the benefits of redemption, I want to give you what I consider to be 10 of the best sermons that help us keep our focus specifically on the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent benefits that flow from his sufferings on our behalf:

  1. Martin Luther, “Christ, A Curse for Us” (sermon on Galatians 3:13)
  2. John Calvin, “Fourth Sermon on the Passion of Jesus Christ” (a sermon on Matthew 26:67-27:10)
  3. John Maclaurin, “Glorying Only in the Cross” (a sermon on Galatians 6:14)
  4. Jonathan Edwards, “Christ’s Agony” (a sermon on Luke 22:44)
  5. George Whitefield, “The Lord Our Righteousness” (a sermon on Jeremiah 23:6)
  6. Charles Spurgeon, “The Believing Thief” (a sermon on Luke 23:42-43)
  7. Ralph Erskine, “The Harmony of the Divine Attributes” (a sermon on Psalm 85:10)
  8. Martyn Lloyd-Jones “The Vindication of God” (a sermon on Romans 3:25-26)
  9. Eric Alexander, “The Cross in the Experience of God the Father” (Romans 8:26-39)
  10. Sinclair Ferguson “No Condemnation, No Accusation” (Romans 8:31-39)


1. John Calvin’s Commentary on Galatians (see comments on Galatians 3:1).

1 Response

  1. Mike Ford

    Along the same lines of this lesson, I read a paper which pointed out that the “sufferings” of a Christian in this life on earth are the struggle between who is “on the throne” in our life – God or Self. This is also the fundamental difference between eating from the Tree of Life or the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil!

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