Preaching the Cross Part 6
This week I will demonstrate more clearly why the Martyr, the Happy and the Happy-Martyr Christians can never fully experience the power of God on a daily basis. I will do this by showing how the Martyr and the Happy Christians would interpret the promise given in I John 5:14&15. I will only refer to them because the Happy-Martyr is simply a mixture of the two.
In I John 5:14&15 we are given a very powerful promise which says:
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (Emphasis supplied).
Because the Happy Christian is about feeling good he/she would put more emphasis on verse 15, saying: “The Lord says, ‘Whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.’ ” So Happy Christians go out and claim the car they have always wanted (or healing or whatever). If it does not happen the way they think it should, or at the time they think it should, they believe it is because their faith is faulty. Therefore they try harder to believe. It never occurs to Happy Christians that the problem could be in their interpretation of (1 John 5:14, 15). To them the promise is simple: “Whatsoever we ask.”
Because the Martyr Christian is about sacrifice he/she will limit the promise of “Whatsoever we ask” with the phrase that says, “if we ask anything according to his will”. While this may sound like a more correct approach to the interpretation of I John 5:14&15 I have a problem with this approach as well because it usually puts serious limitations on the part that says, “Whatsoever we ask”. Martyr Christians struggle with this part because their concept of the cross causes them to believe that we must sacrifice what we want in order to please God. Therefore Martyr Christians do not really believe that God will give us “Whatsoever we ask”.
Both, the Happy or the Martyr Christian’s interpretation of this scripture limit the power of God. The Happy Christian limits God’s power by making human desire more important than God’s will. The Martyr Christian limits God’s power by making God’s will insensitive to human desire. Therefore, neither can fully experience the fullness of God’s power on a daily basis.
Only a correct understanding of the cross of Christ can solve this dilemma. It can solve this dilemma because a correct understanding of the cross of Christ makes it possible for God’s will and human desire to be in complete agreement at all times.
Next week I will deal with how the cross of Christ makes it possible for us to have “Whatsoever we ask” while at the same time making it possible to be “according to his will”.