Clarence Jordan is the author of The Cotton Patch version of the New Testament. A fellow minister once gave him a tour of his church. The proud pastor pointed to the imported pews and luxury decorations. As they stepped outside into the darkness, a spotlight highlighted a huge cross on top of the steeple. The minister commented, “That cross alone cost us $10,000.” Jordan replied, “Looks like you got cheated. There was a time when Christians got crosses free!” Jordan’s comment about free crosses when followers of Christ were crucified on them contrasts sharply with the way modern crosses are often venerated today. In Matthew 16, our Lord underscored the significance of the Roman cross when He said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” Salvation is certainly God’s free gift to us when we repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. A disciple of Christ is one who makes a radical commitment to abandon the self-centered life to follow, learn, and live by the values Jesus taught us.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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