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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Galatians 6:12-14 "As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 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."

The old testament, with the law and the prophets, the animal sacrifices, and all that they entail, points FORWARD to the cross of Christ. The new testament points BACK to the cross, but the entire Word of God does indeed point TO that cross. To the lost, Christ's death on the cross makes no sense, and is even ridiculed- 1 Corinthians 1:18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

Sadly, even in some Christian circles, the cross is minimized, with the preaching of the Gospel, in all of its power and glory, giving way to more pleasant, costless, self-gratifying teachings...

Oh, and don't forget the coffee, and the 'I'm OK, You're OK' pat on the back as you leave the church! I'll tell you, the world will never see the need for the cross unless and until WE see the need for it! The crucifixion of our Lord is not only a painful yet wonderful event which took place 2000 years in the past- it is a God-ordained way of life for the believer. The cross experience is something that every single believer will go through- God sees to that as the Orchestrator of all of our circumstances. No one escapes it, as our God loves us too much to let us. The cross in our lives brings us to maturity in Christ, causes to see life as we should and as it is (in reality, not mere fancy or opinion), and brings EVERYTHING that happens in this world into perspective.

The apostle Paul spoke so much of the cross- both the historical event and its work in his own life, because he was intimately acquainted with it. Are we? God have mercy on us, we MUST be! When we truly know the cross in our own lives, it will guard us from doctrines of demons and every false teaching that may be thrown at us, because it is what God uses to check us. Our emotions, our feelings, our intentions, our ambitions- they all must be put at the foot of the cross of Christ, and as they are, we experience life as we were intended to.

Listen to Paul, and listen intently- "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." He knew that the wonderful relationship which he had with his Savior was due to Christ's death on that cross, and he knew that the cross worked in his life DAILY.....

Lord Jesus, let us see this precious truth for ourselves, that we may submit to it and therefore more passionately follow You!

Pastor Jim Ewing