Senseless Religious Laws - Part II
As believers, if we could effect our sanctification, effect victory, could overcome Satan, and could be what we ought to be in Christ by any means other than the cross, then Jesus died needlessly on that cross. It should be understood and understood in totality that Jesus did not die needlessly on that cross. He came to go to the cross and did go to the cross simply because what had to be done we could not do for ourselves.
When Will The Church Understand That We Cannot Do What Needs To Be Done?
Yet, whenever the church (various preachers) comes out with a new fad, irrespective as to what it is, and I speak of that which is other than the cross, the church flocks to it as if it were manna from heaven. The truth is, it is anything but.
In my lifetime, I can recall any number of fads or schemes that have been popular. Some are still attempting to effect the work in our lives, but all to no avail.
When Frances and I started in evangelistic work back in the 1950s, the great rage at that time was casting demons out of Christians. If a Christian had a problem with temper, then he had a temper demon, and it needed to be cast out. If he had a problem with lust, then he had a lust demon, and it needed to be cast out. If he had problems with anything, then he had a demon concerning that situation. He needed to go to a preacher who understood these things and, with the demon spirit being expelled, then victory could come to the individual.
In those years of long ago, I did not understand the cross as it regarded sanctification, but I knew that the problems Christians were having were not caused by demon possession.
To be sure, demon spirits most definitely may have been involved, as they always are as it relates to sin, but the truth is, no Christian can be demon possessed. Demon oppressed, yes, but demon possessed, no.
At any rate, Christians were lining up at particular churches to have various demons cast out of them, which was supposed to solve their problems. That didn’t solve their problems then, and it doesn’t now.
Back in the early 1990s, the Promise Keepers came into being. This was supposed to build godly homes and godly marriages, etc. Most of the church world fell for it, but all to no avail. Whether understood or not, these were promises which were made in the flesh, consequently, could not be kept.
Also in the 1990s, the “holy laughter” thing hit the church. Christians were rolling around on the floor giggling hysterically for hours at a time. This was supposed to bring about great victory. It did not.
As well, back in those years the “Buddy System” came into vogue. This claimed that every believer needed to have a close buddy to whom they could confide and then both of them together could claim victory over various problems. All of this came from humanistic psychology.
And then somewhere in the mid-1990s, the “family curse” made its debut. This was the claim that Christians today were having problems simply because their great-grandfather, for example, did something terrible, and now that curse had passed down to them. Never mind that they became new creations when they were saved, with old things passed away and all things becoming new (II Cor. 5:17). So Christians were lining up (and some still are) to have a preacher who is supposed to understand these things break the curse over them.
Is there such a thing as a family curse? Yes, there is. In fact, there are all kinds of curses on the human race. But when a person gets saved, that curse is totally and completely broken.
Concerning curses, the Scripture plainly says: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law (He did so on the cross), being made a curse for us (He took the penalty of the law, which was death): for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (Deut. 21:22-23): That the blessing of Abraham (justification by faith) might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ (what He did at the cross); that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (All sin was atoned at the cross which lifted the sin debt from believing man, making it possible for the Holy Spirit to come into the life of the believer and abide there forever [Jn. 14:16-17])” (Gal. 3:13-14, The Expositor’s Study Bible).
And then, a few decades ago, the “confession message” made its debut and took the church by storm. This simply meant that if a Christian had a problem of any kind, he should find two or three Scriptures in the Bible, memorize them, and then quote them over and over again, which then caused God to move, etc.
It’s very good for all Christians to memorize Scriptures and to quote them, which I do constantly, but when we claim that this is the avenue to victory, we turn such into “works,” which the Holy Spirit can never honor.
For the last several decades, almost the entirety of the church world, at least the United States and Canada, has opted for humanistic psychology as the thruway to life and living, and it has done so in totality. Regrettably, the church has embraced this nefarious system—a system conceived by Satan.
In truth, this list of fads in the modern church is long and now includes “The Purpose Driven Life,” and the “Government of Twelve.”
All of these things we’ve named, plus scores that we haven’t named, all constitute man trying to do for himself that which he cannot do for himself.
The Cross Of Christ, The Only Avenue Of Victory
There is no victory outside of the cross! There is no overcoming power outside of the cross! There is no way out of the bondage of law except by the cross. Listen again to Paul:
“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].) Whereof the Holy Spirit also is a witness to us (a witness to the cross): for after that He had said before (refers to the fact that the Holy Spirit has always witnessed to the veracity of the Finished Work of Christ),This is the Covenant that I will make with them after those days (proclaims its distinctive feature as being the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit who would be caused to take up His permanent abode in the believer, all made possible by the cross), says the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them (the work of the new covenant, which accompanies the born-again experience); “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (He has taken them all away and did so by the cross.) Now where remission of these is (with all sins atoned, the argument is settled), there is no more offering for sin. (No more offering is necessary, for Christ paid it all)” (Heb. 10:12-18) (The Expositor’s Study Bible).
Sin Is The Problem!
Many Christians will read this and disavow that their problem is sin because they have been told such. But the truth is, the problem is sin.
Whatever manner and whatever way it may come, or whatever label may be placed on it, the truth is, as it regards believers, the problem is sin, or more particularly, the sin nature, which most believers do not understand (Rom. 6:1-14).
The entirety of Romans 6, as given by the Holy Spirit through Paul, tells us how to have victory over sin, i.e., “the sin nature.”
If the believer doesn’t understand Romans 6, then he doesn’t understand how to walk in victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The church has become very adept at claiming the problem as being something other than sin. So, if the definition of the problem can be changed, and it has been, then the solution, which alone is the cross of Christ, can also be changed—and that’s exactly what the modern church is doing.
The modern church is disavowing that the problem is sin and thereby doesn’t have to embrace the only solution for sin, which is the cross.
Understand that whatever label you want to put on it, or whatever description you might embrace, the problem is sin. And the only answer and solution to that problem—and I mean the only answer—is the cross of Christ and our faith in that finished work.
A more comprehensive explanation of this subject can be found in the Jimmy Swaggart Commentary: Romans (11-078), and in the book by Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart titled, The Sin Nature (09-157)—both available at www.shopjsm.org.