The back drop for this series of three articles about “ the Church,” is about the Church in the western world, as it is “playing out” it’s Godlessness in this present day. Over the years, I have read one of the timely articles written by Dr. A.W. Tozer more times than I can remember. The impact of that short piece on my life continues. “The Old Cross and the New,” addresses the deceptive transitions Satan has been successful in perpetrating upon the present day church with increasing influence as the years have passed. We will talk more about that as we proceed.
(Note: I will be posting 2 and 3 in the series over the next few days)
I will do my best to keep them reasonable in length. However, you must know, these articles, along with those yet to come, are the reason I spend many long nights in prayer for The Church of Jesus. These expressions from my heart, arise from Jesus ’passion for Unity in the Body of Christ. I have condensed my thoughts to three articles in this series. There will be more as we continue.
The progression will follow in this order: “The Old Cross Church”, “The New Cross Church,” and “The No Cross Church.” I have written enough that I now know many Christians do not read the scripture references in books and articles. Since I believe the Word is necessary as evidence of the truth I am writing about, I will quote them, and reference them, despite the length it will add to this piece. Matthew 16:24-26 NLT! “Jesus said,…If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, 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. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your own soul?” (Seriously, please pause to ask yourself, ‘ do I really believe these words and are they in obvious evidence in my life?)
The Old Cross is the symbol of death! His and…mine! Yes, His, FOR mine. And, since that has happened in me, now it is mine for others ! Death!! The genuine kind. Physical, in the grave kind of death, doesn’t cost us anything other than living longer. Spiritual death to our fleshly, self-focused life; now THAT is real death, because it is an on-going, living death to what I once thought I would like to have been. Salvation is a Life and Death transaction!! It is a heavenly exchange of your earth-bound, sin-filled, self-centered spirit, soul, and body, for His God focused, others minded, Love generating, Life-giving , Spirit, Soul and Body. All of Who He is, for all of what you were!! Overwhelming!!!
This is a new life, in Christ creating a new kind of man. It is now Christ in me the Hope that He will receive all the glory due His Name through His life transplanted in me. THAT is Salvation! No mixture! No compromise! No adjustments for any reason! Merely the unaltered truth of the Word of the living God! Absolutely No Tolerance for just “a little” sin. No! “minor” sins become immediately challenged by your “…Simplicity and purity of devotion to Jesus.” (2 Corinthians 11: 2-3 NLT) This is a radical transformation of every detail of your life. This not a mild-mannered, gradual change in your way of life. This is not a self- accommodating lifestyle. It is not a slow, choose your time and availability so you can work it out with time to do all your other stuff first. This an abrupt, almost violent, bringing of yourself, on an “as needed” basis, back to the Cross to die in yet another expression of your ‘self’ and sin. This is the essence of the “Old Cross” message. The Christian life is designed for Jesus and His purposes. Redemption is your choice on His terms. He will not share His wife with anyone else!! It is His intention that you will understand, life was made by Him, for Him! Not you!! Although, you will benefit beyond anything you would have gained or imagined had you continued in your own ways without Him.
Galatians 6: 14-16 NLT ! “As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified , and the world’s interest in me has also died…What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s mercy and peace be upon all who live by this principle; THEY ARE THE NEW PEOPLE OF GOD.” The Old Cross Church will ruin your life for anything other than the transforming power and presence of the Holy Spirit in and upon you’re your life.
It may not be a popular Church, or meet any of the religious world’s criteria for a “happening ministry,” but when you lead folks to Jesus, The Cross will make the difference for every one of them!
Check up time. How many will actually read this passage; Philippians 3:7-10