The Doctrine of the Cross

THE DOCTRINE OF THE CROSS

The material that we hope to bring you in this Chapter is the most important that you as a Believer will ever know or have presented to you. I realize that’s quite a statement, but I know it to be true. I am not speaking of my ability or the lack thereof as it regards the subject matter, but rather the subject matter itself. Unless the Believer understands this which the Apostle Paul gave to us, even as the Lord gave it to him (Gal. 1:12), while he can be a Christian, and can even make Heaven his home, the fact is, he cannot live a victorious, overcoming, Christian life.

Considering that our Lord paid an awful price for our Redemption, I should think it would be obvious that He wants us to have all that is possible to have at this time. But unfortunately, most Christians are living far beneath the Spiritual Privileges they could have.

I do not say this from an academic perspective, but rather from experience, even bitter experience. If by the Grace of God, we can impart Truth to you that will enable you to live a victorious life; your Victory will be my reward.

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

Paul said:

“For Christ sent me not to baptize (presents to us a Cardinal Truth), but to preach the Gospel (the manner in which one may be Saved from sin): not with wisdom of words (intellectualism is not the Gospel), lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect. (This tells us in no uncertain terms that the Cross of Christ must always be the emphasis of the Message) (I Cor. 1:17).

In this one Verse, the Apostle tells us what the Gospel of Jesus Christ actually is. It is the Message of the Cross.

This means, if the preacher is not preaching the Cross, then whatever it is he is preaching, in its own way it may be good, but it’s not the Gospel, and it will not help anyone. In fact, the only Message that will save, help, heal, bless, instruct, lead, guide, empower, is the Message of the Cross. In our next Chapter we will address the means by which all of this comes about.

Unfortunately, the modern Church is little preaching the Cross anymore. As a result, whatever is being preached is not the Gospel, at least for the most part, and will do precious little, if any, good.

The message that is being preached presently is one of “morality” and “ethics.” Now those two words sound very good to most, because most everyone wants better morals, and most everyone wants that which is ethical. But to treat this subject in the way that it is presently being treated, one is really only treating the symptoms. Man’s real problem is not a lack of ethics or immorality; even those things are the end results of his state. Man’s problem is sin, and there is only one answer for sin, and that is the Cross of Christ.

But modern man, at least according to most preachers, is not really a sinner, he’s just not properly motivated, or else he really doesn’t know how wonderful and good he actually is. So he needs a preacher to tell him these things, which will solve his problems; however, the sad truth is, no problems are solved at all by this means.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are speaking of the Message of the Cross, is not a Gospel of diplomacy. It is rather an ultimatum! We do the thing God’s Way or else it’s not done at all.

AN ILLUSTRATION

Some time back I saw a cartoon that explains the modern Ministry to the proverbial “T.” Two men were standing and looking at a huge machine that was working away. Smoke was coming out of its stacks, and pulleys were turning and wheels were churning. It was one great beehive of motion. One man asked the other one, “What does it do?” The one to whom the question was asked, looked somewhat blank and answered, “Do?” The truth is the machine did not do anything. It did not manufacture anything, it did not repair anything, it was just a machine of motion. That’s basically the same thing the modern church is doing. It’s just one vast beehive of motion, with nothing being done for the Lord. In other words, no souls are Saved, no Believers are baptized with the Holy Spirit, no lives are changed, no sick are healed, no bondages broken, etc. — despite all the motion! Let us say it again, if the preacher is not preaching the Cross, he’s not preaching the Gospel, and if he’s not preaching the Gospel, whatever it is he is preaching, is of no consequence!

THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS IS THE POWER OF GOD

Paul said:

“For the preaching (Word) of the Cross is to them who perish foolishness (Spiritual things cannot be discerned by unredeemed people, but that doesn’t matter; the Cross must be preached just the same, even as we shall see); but unto us who are Saved it is the Power of God. (The Cross is the Power of God simply because it was there that the total sin debt was paid, giving the Holy Spirit, in Whom the Power resides, latitude to work mightily within our lives) (I Cor. 1:18).

First of all, the word translated “preaching,” in the above Scripture, in the Greek is “logos.” It either means “word” or “message,” and should have been translated that way.

It would then read, For the Message of the Cross. . . .

How is the Message of the Cross the Power of God?

There was no power in that wooden beam on which Jesus died! In fact, if the actual Cross on which Jesus died had been preserved all these centuries, and was now found, there would be no more power in that piece of wood than in any other piece of wood. As well, there was no power in the death of Christ per se.

In fact, the Scripture says, He was crucified through weakness (II Cor. 13:4).

This does not mean that He was personally weak, but that it was a contrived weakness. In other words, he could have called down any number of Angels if He had desired to have done so. So, how is the Message of the Cross the Power of God?

The Power is in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). The idea is, when Jesus died on the Cross, He atoned for all sin, past, present, and future, at least for all who will believe (Jn. 3:16). Now that the sin debt is forever paid, this made it possible for the Holy Spirit to come into the heart and life of the Believer, there to abide permanently (Jn. 14:16-17).

The Cross of Christ was a legal work. It satisfied a legal debt that man legally owed God, but could not pay. When the Law was satisfied, which it was by the Death of Christ, then the Holy Spirit could come into the heart and life of the Believer to reside permanently (I Cor. 3:16). As stated, He is the One Who has the Power. But it is the Cross of Christ that has made it all possible.

Unfortunately, most in the modern church don’t know this. In other words, they don’t know how the Holy Spirit works. In fact, this which we are bringing to you is so much a legal entity, that the Holy Spirit calls it a “Law.”

THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS

He said:

And I quote from THE EXPOSITOR’S STUDY BIBLE:

“For the Law (that which we are about to give is a Law of God, devised by the Godhead in eternity past [I Pet. 1:18-20]; this Law, in fact, is ‘God’s Prescribed Order of Victory’) of the Spirit (Holy Spirit, i.e., ‘the way the Spirit works’) of Life (all life comes from Christ, but through the Holy Spirit [Jn. 16:13-14]) in Christ Jesus (any time Paul uses this term or one of its derivatives, he is, without fail, referring to what Christ did at the Cross, which makes this ‘life’ possible) has made me free (given me total Victory) from the Law of Sin and Death (these are the two most powerful Laws in the Universe; the ‘Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus’ alone is stronger than the ‘Law of Sin and Death’; this means that if the Believer attempts to live for God by any manner other than Faith in Christ and the Cross, he is doomed to failure) (Rom. 8:2).

To show how close the Sacrifice of Christ and the Holy Spirit are, please note carefully the following:

THE SLAIN LAMB AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD

The following is the Scripture and the notes concerning this subject, taken directly from THE EXPOSITOR’S STUDY BIBLE.

John the Beloved wrote:

“And one of the Elders said unto me, Weep not (states that man’s dilemma has been solved): behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the Book, and to loose the Seven Seals thereof (presents Jesus Christ).

“And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the Throne and of the four Beasts, and in the midst of the Elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain (the Crucifixion of Christ is represented here by the word ‘Lamb,’ which refers to the fact that it was the Cross which Redeemed mankind; the slain Lamb Alone has Redeemed all things), having seven horns (horns denote dominion, and ‘seven’ denotes total dominion; all of this was done for you and me, meaning that we can have total dominion over the powers of darkness, and in every capacity; so there is no excuse for a lack of victory) and seven eyes (denotes total, perfect, pure, and complete illumination of all things spiritual, which is again made possible for you and me by the Cross; if the Believer makes the Cross the Object of his Faith, he will never be drawn away by false doctrine), which are the Seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the Earth (signifying that the Holy Spirit, in all His Perfection and universality, functions entirely within the parameters of the Finished Work of Christ; in other words, it is required that we ever make the Cross the Object of our Faith, which gives the Holy Spirit latitude, and guarantees the ‘dominion,’ and the ‘illumination’ [Isa. 11:2; Rom. 8:2]).

“And He (the Lord Jesus Christ) came and took the Book out of the Right Hand of Him (God the Father) Who sat upon the Throne. (All of Heaven stands in awe as the Lamb steps forward to take the Book)(Rev. 5:5-7).

THE MANNER IN WHICH THE HOLY SPIRIT WORKS

Most so-called Christians ignore the Holy Spirit altogether. Even Pentecostals and Charismatics, at least for the most part, have little idea as to how the Holy Spirit Works. They think that whatever He does is automatic. Consider the following:

If the Holy Spirit, without our cooperation, automatically did whatever it is that needed to be done, this would mean that there would never again be another failure on the part of the Believer, never again a sin committed, etc. But we all know that’s not the case, don’t we?!

The truth is, if the Believer doesn’t place his faith exclusively in Christ and the Cross, and maintain it exclusively in Christ and the Cross, the Holy Spirit will be greatly limited as to what He can do in us, by us, or for us. As we have stated, He Works strictly within the parameters of the Finished Work, i.e., “the Cross of Christ,” which demands that our Faith be exclusively in the Cross of Christ. The reason is simple, that’s where the price was paid, and the Victory was forever won (Rom. 6:1-14; I Cor. 2:2; Gal., Chpt. 5; 6:14; Eph. 2:13-18; Col. 2:14-15).

The Holy Spirit doesn’t require much of us, but He does require one thing, and without reservation. Our Faith must exclusively be in Christ and the Cross, understanding that this is God’s Prescribed Order of Victory.

THE CROSS OF CHRIST IS THE FOUNDATION OF ALL DOCTRINE

The heading means that every doctrine in the Bible must be built on the Foundation of the Cross, or else in some way it will be spurious. An erroneous understanding of the Cross of Christ, or ignoring the Cross of Christ, or denying the Cross of Christ, presents the seedbed of all false doctrine. This is where we go astray, that is if we do not have a correct interpretation of the Cross of Christ. If our faith is in something other than the Cross of Christ, whatever is produced will be false.

As we have stated, the Cross of Christ is the Foundation on which all doctrine must be constructed.

How do we know that?

Peter said:

“Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold (presents the fact that the most precious commodities [silver and gold] could not redeem fallen man), from your vain conversation (vain lifestyle) received by tradition from your fathers (speaks of original sin that is passed on from father to child at conception);

“But with the Precious Blood of Christ (presents the payment, which proclaims the poured out Life of Christ on behalf of sinners), as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot (speaks of the lambs offered as substitutes in the Old Jewish economy; the Death of Christ was not an execution or assassination, but rather a Sacrifice; the Offering of Himself presented a Perfect Sacrifice, for He was Perfect in every respect [Ex. 12:5]):

“Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world (refers to the fact that God, in His Omniscience, knew He would create man, man would Fall, and man would be redeemed by Christ going to the Cross; this was all done before the Universe was created; this means the Cross of Christ is the Foundation Doctrine of all Doctrine, referring to the fact that all Doctrine must be built upon that Foundation, or else it is specious), but was manifest in these last times for you (refers to the invisible God Who, in the Person of the Son, was made visible to human eyesight by assuming a human body and human limitations) (I Pet. 1:18-20).

The Cross of Christ is the Foundation of all doctrine, meaning that all doctrine must be built on this Foundation, simply because it was the first Doctrine formulated in the Mind of the Godhead, even before man was created, or even the world was created.

This means many things, of which the following two are a beginning:

1. The Cross of Christ is the dividing line between the Church and the Apostate Church. In fact, it has always been that way. We find the first account given to us in the Fourth Chapter of Genesis, as it regards Cain and Abel. Because we are nearing the end, however, I believe this dividing line of the Cross is more prominent than ever.

2. The Cross of Christ is the only answer for sin. There is no other, because there need be no other.

The Message is ageless.

It will never have to be amended in any form, simply because it is perfect (Heb. 13:20).

THE CROSS OF CHRIST IS THE STORY OF THE BIBLE

One might say that “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified,” is the Story of the Word of God, even as the Word of God is the Story of “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.”

The very first example of the Cross is found immediately after the Fall.

At that time, the Scripture says as it regards Adam and Eve:

“And the eyes of them both were opened (refers to the consciousness of guilt as a result of their sin), and they knew that they were naked (refers to the fact that they had lost the enswathing light of purity, which previously had clothed their bodies); and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (sinners clothe themselves with morality, sacraments, and religious ceremonies; they are as worthless as Adam’s apron of fig leaves) (Gen. 3:7).

Concerning their nakedness, the Scripture says:

“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them (in the making of coats of skins, God, in effect, was telling Adam and Eve that their fig leaves were insufficient; as well, He was teaching them that without the shedding of blood, which pertained to the animals that gave their lives, which were Types of Christ, is no remission of sin; in this first sacrifice was laid the foundation of the entirety of the Plan of God as it regards Redemption; also, it must be noticed that it is the ‘LORD God’ Who furnished these coats, and not man himself; this tells us that Salvation is altogether of God and not at all of man; the Life of Christ given on the Cross, and given as our Substitute, provides the only covering for sin; everything else must be rejected)” (Gen. 3:21).

The Fourth Chapter of Genesis proclaims in vivid detail the Substitute. The Lord had related to the First Family even though fallen, that they could have forgiveness of sin and fellowship with Him, and He gave the manner in which this could be done.

They were to build an Altar, which was a Type of the Cross, and they were to kill a lamb, which was a Type of Christ, burn its little body on the Altar, a Type of the Judgment of God, which came upon our Lord, instead of upon us, with the blood poured out at the base of the Altar. The blood signified Him giving His Life. Hence, the principle of Redemption is spelled out, in the offering up of the slain lamb. Thus was the Sacrificial System introduced on the first page of human history, and continued through the centuries. When the Law of Moses was given, the Sacrificial System was the very heart of the Law. In fact, had it not been for the Sacrificial System, Israel would have been doomed, just as man is doomed now unless he takes hold of the Christ of the Cross.

All of this was a stopgap measure until Jesus would come, Who would be the literal Sacrifice.

His very purpose of coming to this Earth, of God becoming Man, the Man Christ Jesus, was to be a Sacrifice.

The Apostle John outlines it perfectly in the great Gospel that bears his name.

THE INCARNATION

He said:

“In the beginning (does not infer that Christ as God had a beginning, because as God He had no beginning, but rather refers to the time of Creation [Gen. 1:1]) was the Word (the Holy Spirit through John describes Jesus as ‘the Eternal Logos’), and the Word was with God (‘was in relationship with God,’ and expresses the idea of the Trinity), and the Word was God (meaning that He did not cease to be God during the Incarnation; He ‘was’ and ‘is’ God from eternity past to eternity future).

“The same was in the beginning with God (this very Person was in eternity with God; there’s only one God, but manifested in Three Persons — God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit).

“All things were made by Him (all things came into being through Him; it refers to every item of Creation one by one, rather than all things regarded in totality); and without Him was not any thing made that was made (nothing, not even one single thing, was made independently of His cooperation and volition).

“In Him was Life (presents Jesus, the Eternal Logos, as the first cause); and the Life was the Light of men (He Alone is the Life Source of Light; if one doesn’t know Christ, one is in darkness).

“And the Light shines in darkness (speaks of the Incarnation of Christ, and His coming into this world; His ‘Light,’ because it is derived from His Life, drives out ‘darkness’); and the darkness comprehended it not (should have been translated, ‘apprehended it not’; it means that Satan, even though he tried with all his might, could not stop ‘the Light’; today it shines all over the world, and one day soon, there will be nothing left but that ‘Light’)(Jn. 1:1-5).

JOHN THE BELOVED

Then John the Beloved said:

“And the Word was made flesh (refers to the Incarnation, ‘God becoming man’), and dwelt among us (refers to Jesus, although Perfect, not holding Himself aloft from all others, but rather lived as all men, even a peasant), (and we beheld His Glory, the Glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father,) (speaks of His Deity, although hidden from the eyes of the merely curious; while Christ laid aside the expression of His Deity, He never lost the possession of His Deity) full of Grace and Truth (as ‘flesh,’ proclaimed His Humanity, ‘Grace and Truth’ His Deity) (Jn. 1:14).

 

And now John gives the reason for the Word being made flesh. He records the statement about Christ given by John the Baptist.

He said:

“The next day (refers to the day after John had been questioned by the emissaries from the Sanhedrin) John sees Jesus coming unto him (is, no doubt, after the baptism of Jesus, and the temptation in the wilderness), and said, Behold the Lamb of God (proclaims Jesus as the Sacrifice for sin, in fact, the Sin-Offering, Whom all the multiple millions of offered lambs had represented), which takes away the sin of the world (animal blood could only cover sin, it could not take it away; but Jesus offering Himself as the Perfect Sacrifice took away the sin of the world; He not only cleansed acts of sin but, as well, addressed the root cause [Col. 2:14-15]) (Jn. 1:29).

GOD’S PRESCRIBED ORDER OF VICTORY

When we say “victory” we are speaking of Victory in every capacity, be it spiritual, financial, domestically, physical, etc. God’s Prescribed Order for this Victory is “the Cross of Christ.”

Of course, the primary victory of which the Bible addresses itself is Victory over sin. That properly handled and addressed, everything else will fall into place.

Paul said:

“But this Man (this Priest, Christ Jesus), after He had offered One Sacrifice for sins forever (speaks of the Cross), sat down on the Right Hand of God (refers to the great contrast with the Priests under the Levitical system, who never sat down because their work was never completed; the Work of Christ was a ‘Finished Work,’ and needed no repetition);

“From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. (These enemies are Satan and all the fallen Angels and demon spirits, plus all who follow Satan.)

“For by one Offering He has perfected forever them who are Sanctified. (Everything one needs is found in the Cross [Gal. 6:14]) (Heb. 10:12-14).

The first five Verses of Romans, Chapter 6 proclaim to us God’s Prescribed Order. Of course, the entirety of the Sixth Chapter of Romans opens up to us this great truth, and in every capacity; however, the first five Verses tell us what the Prescribed Order actually is.

THE PROBLEM IS SIN

More particularly as it regards the Believer, the problem is the sin nature.

The sin nature is that which happened to Adam and Eve at the Fall, and which passed down to all thereafter.

It means that their very nature became one of sin, transgression, iniquity, disobedience, etc.

It is the cause of all the difficulties, war, crime, man’s inhumanity to man, that’s in the world presently and, in fact, ever has been the cause.

Every unbeliever is ruled by the sin nature 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When the believing sinner comes to Christ, at that moment, the sin nature, although not removed, is made dormant.

But unfortunately, every single believing sinner, after coming to Christ, fails the Lord in some way.

It happens to every one of us.

Now, sin is abhorrent to the Believer.

Now knowing God’s Prescribed Order of Victory, the Believer sets about to try not to commit the same sin again.

Every time, he will place his Faith in something other than the Cross.

While many other things may be very helpful in their own right, and very legitimate, still, the answer for sin, and the only answer, is the Cross of Christ. But inevitably, the flesh gravitates toward works, i.e., “law.”

Now, the Believer doesn’t understand that he is placing his faith in that which God cannot bless, and it will be some time before he fully understands this.

Regrettably, and because of a lack of teaching on this all-important subject, most Believers never come to a place of proper understanding; therefore, they remain in the Seventh Chapter of Romans all of their spiritual existence.

That’s the reason the teaching of the Cross as it regards both Salvation and Sanctification is so very, very important.

In fact, it is the single most important body of understanding that the Believer could have.

The tragedy is, irrespective of its great significance, most Christians, even preachers, have no idea as to the part the Cross plays as it regards our Sanctification, i.e., “How we live for God on a daily basis.”

The only way to have victory over the sin nature, and we speak of perpetual Victory, even on a daily basis, is for the Believer to place his faith exclusively in Christ and the Cross, and maintain his Faith in Christ and the Cross.

Then and only then can the Holy Spirit work within our lives, thereby bringing about the Fruit of the Spirit and, thereby, helping us to be what we ought to be in Christ.

That is God’s Prescribed Order.

Concerning this:

THE SIN NATURE

Paul said:

“What shall we say then? (This is meant to direct attention to Rom. 5:20.) Shall we continue in sin, that Grace may abound? (Just because Grace is greater than sin doesn’t mean that the Believer has a license to sin.)

“God forbid (presents Paul’s answer to the question, ‘Away with the thought, let not such a thing occur’). How shall we, who are dead to sin (dead to the sin nature), live any longer therein? (This portrays what the Believer is now in Christ) (Rom. 6:1-2).

THE CROSS OF CHRIST

Now the Apostle tells us the answer to the sin nature and, in fact, the only answer.

He said:

“Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ (plainly says that this Baptism is into Christ and not water [I Cor. 1:17; 12:13; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 4:5; Col. 2:11-13]) were baptized into His Death? (When Christ died on the Cross, in the Mind of God, we died with Him; in other words, He became our Substitute, and our identification with Him in His Death gives us all the benefits for which He died; the idea is that He did it all for us!)

“Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death (not only did we die with Him, but we were buried with Him as well, which means that all the sin and transgression of the past were buried; when they put Him in the Tomb, they put all of our sins into that Tomb as well): that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the Glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in Newness of Life (we died with Him, we were buried with Him, and His Resurrection was our Resurrection to a ‘Newness of Life’).

“For if we have been planted together (with Christ) in the likeness of His Death (Paul proclaims the Cross as the instrument through which all Blessings come; consequently, the Cross must ever be the Object of our Faith, which gives the Holy Spirit latitude to work within our lives), we shall be also in the likeness of His Resurrection (we can have the ‘likeness of His Resurrection,’ i.e., ‘live this Resurrection Life,’ only as long as we understand the ‘likeness of His Death,’ which refers to the Cross as the means by which all of this is done)” (Rom. 6:3-5).

Perhaps the following formula, as simple as it is, will help us to understand this all-important subject to a greater degree.

THE WAY OF THE SPIRIT

• FOCUS:
The Lord Jesus Christ

(Jn. 14:6).
OBJECT OF FAITH:
The Cross of Christ

(Rom. 6:1-14).
POWER SOURCE:
The Holy Spirit

(Rom. 8:1-2, 11).
RESULTS:
Victory

(Rom. 6:14).

MAN’S WAY

• FOCUS:
Works.

OBJECT OF FAITH:
Performance.

POWER SOURCE:
Self.

RESULTS:
Defeat!

A guide to help you understand they way of the spirit concerning Salvation and Sanctification.sbn-01aA

 

Now let’s use the same formula, but the manner in which it is being used by most Believers.sbn-02aA

Regrettably and sadly, the latter formula is the manner in which most Believers are attempting to live this life for the Lord. They aren’t doing it God’s Way, but rather man’s way, with the latter always leading to continued failure.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PREACH THE CROSS?

Paul said:

“For the preaching (Word) of the Cross is to them who perish foolishness (Spiritual things cannot be discerned by unredeemed people, but that doesn’t matter; the Cross must be preached just the same, even as we shall see); but unto us who are Saved it is the Power of God. (The Cross is the Power of God simply because it was there that the total sin debt was paid, giving the Holy Spirit, in Whom the Power resides, latitude to work mightily within our lives) (I Cor. 1:18).

Most preachers, at least those who claim to preach the Bible, preach the Cross of Christ for Salvation, and rightly so! However, most preachers have no idea whatsoever as to the part the Cross plays in our life and living as it regards Sanctification. That’s the reason that the church is constantly putting forth one scheme, one fad after the other, trying to address the problem of sin, in other words, failure in the lives of Believers.

There is only one answer, and that is the Cross of Christ.

If the Preacher is truly preaching the Cross, this means that he understands that the Cross of Christ pertains not only to our Salvation, where all sin was atoned, but, as well, to our daily life and living, in other words, our Sanctification.

And how does the Cross apply to our Sanctification?

When the Believing sinner comes to Christ, the truth is, he knows nothing about the Lord, and he certainly knows nothing about the Cross. He just simply calls on the Name of the Lord, means it in his heart, and he is Saved (Rom. 10:9-10, 13).

But after the believing sinner comes to Christ, is made a new creation, with old things passing away, and all things becoming new, in other words, he is truly Born-Again, he is to understand, that as his Salvation is in the Cross, his Sanctification is in the Cross also. This means that we are to place our Faith unreservedly in the Cross of Christ, in fact, ever making the Cross the Object of our Faith. This is to be done constantly, ever understanding, that all that we need, is found in what Jesus did at the Cross.

And please understand, when we speak of the Cross, we aren’t speaking of a wooden beam, but more particularly, the benefits of what Jesus did for us there. These benefits, upon Faith, will continue to come to us forever and forever.

The idea is this:

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE BELIEVER

What we need to be in Christ, we cannot bring it about by our own machinations, strength, or power. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said, that if we were to come after Him, that we had to “deny ourselves” (Lk. 9:23).

To be sure, He wasn’t speaking of asceticism, which refers to denying ourselves all things that were comfortable or pleasurable, but rather, denying our own ability, talent, education, motivation, strength, power, in other words, everything that is indicative of the human being.

No matter how strong we are, no matter how much education we have, what we need to be in Christ, we cannot by our own machinations bring it about ourselves. And this is where the great problem begins. Now that we are Saved and even Spirit-filled, somehow, we think that whatever it takes we can do it.

We can’t!

It is the Holy Spirit Alone, Who lives within our hearts and lives, and does so permanently, Who can bring about that which we need to have and need to be. And He works exclusively within the parameters of the Finished Work of Christ.

In other words, it is the Cross of Christ that has given the Holy Spirit the latitude, i.e., “the legal right,” to carry forth His Work within our lives. It is the Cross that has made it all possible.

In fact the Scripture says: The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, has made me free from the Law of Sin and Death (Rom. 8:2).

THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS

Because this is so important, please allow me again to quote this Scripture from THE EXPOSITOR’S STUDY BIBLE:

“For the Law (that which we are about to give is a Law of God, devised by the Godhead in eternity past [I Pet. 1:18-20]; this Law, in fact, is ‘God’s Prescribed Order of Victory’) of the Spirit (Holy Spirit, i.e., ‘the way the Spirit works’) of Life (all life comes from Christ, but through the Holy Spirit [Jn. 16:13-14]) in Christ Jesus (any time Paul uses this term or one of its derivatives, he is, without fail, referring to what Christ did at the Cross, which makes this ‘life’ possible) has made me free (given me total Victory) from the Law of Sin and Death (these are the two most powerful Laws in the Universe; the ‘Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus’ alone is stronger than the ‘Law of Sin and Death’; this means that if the Believer attempts to live for God by any manner other than Faith in Christ and the Cross, he is doomed to failure)(Rom. 8:2).

While the Bible, as stated, does not teach sinless perfection, it most definitely does teach that “sin (i.e., the sin nature) is not to have dominion over us” (Rom. 6:14).

The only way this can be achieved, the only way it can be brought about, which is God’s Way, is that we ever make the Cross of Christ the Object of our Faith. That and that alone, is the way of the Spirit.

http://www.francesandfriends.com/js/the-doctrine-of-the-cross.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *