Preaching the Cross Part 7
Last week I stated that I disagree with the basic philosophies of the Martyr, the Happy and the Happy-Martyr Christians because they are all based on the wrong understanding of what the cross really means. To each of these groups, the cross means something negative, unpleasant, and burdensome. But is this what Jesus wants us to lift every day in order to follow Him? Is this supposed to be our daily lift, and if not, what is and how does it make it possible for human desires and God’s will to be in complete agreement at all times?
First, Psalms 37:4-6 says:
37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass. 37:6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.(Emphasis supplied).
This text tells us when we trust in Jesus enough to commit our way to Him, Jesus will not only satisfy the desires of our hearts (v.4) but He will also bring forth our righteousness (v.6). In other-words, the way to bring human desires and God’s will into complete agreement at all times is to commit our way to Him daily. The apostle Paul makes it clear that the cross of Christ is the only way to commit our way to Jesus. Notice what he says about the cross of Christ in Galatians 6:14&15 and Galatians 2:20:
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Galatians 6:14 (Emphasis supplied).
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (Emphasis supplied).
In Galatians 6:14&15 Paul tells us that the purpose of the cross is to make us a new creation (creature) by making us dead to the world. In Galatians 2:20 Paul tells us that this death is absolutely necessary if we want to experience the power of Jesus living in us. This is the only way to experience and live by the power of God. Without the cross of Christ we can only live by the power of sinful flesh which can never experience the power of God. I Corinthians 2:14-16 says:
2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
The only way to know and experience the power and goodness of God is to have the mind of Christ: The only way to have the mind of Christ is to be crucified with Him, then we can say; not I but Christ liveth in me. This is why Jesus said:
And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. Luke 9:23&24.
Next week I am going to delve further into why it is imperative to take up our cross daily and lose our lives for Jesus’ sake.