Leaving The Cross Behind - Part II
THE EXODUS CONTINUES. DECEIVED into thinking we no longer need Calvary as the focus of our faith, some pastors openly mock the messengers and the Message of the Cross alike. In so doing, they teach the modern church to leave the Cross behind.
IT’S NOT A NEW BATTLE
The attack on the Message of the Cross is not just a modern-day battle. Paul, the instrument God used to bring forth the precious Message of the Cross, addressed enemies of the Cross. “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18).
DO YOU SEE THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS AS FOOLISHNESS?
“For the preaching of the Cross is to them who perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18). Logos translated “preaching” in this verse could actually be translated as “the doctrine of the Cross,” “the teaching of the Cross,” or “the Message of the Cross.” Just as the attack on the Cross is not a modern-day battle, the Message of the Cross is not a modern-day doctrine. Paul taught the Message of the Cross.
THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS IS THE POWER OF GOD
How then should the child of God view the Message of the Cross, “… but unto us who are saved it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18)? You are either part of those in the very act of perishing, or you are part of those who are saved. There’s no third group. It’s sad that many professing Christ as their Saviour share the same attitude in regards to the Message of the Cross as those who are in the present act of perishing. Makes one wonder, doesn’t it?
WHY THE EXODUS FROM THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS?
There’s a stigma attached to the Message of the Cross. The image of Calvary is disturbing. If we would view a true representation of how Jesus actually looked while on the cross, we would be somewhat traumatized. However, when we understand the pivotal role the Cross has in our salvation, sanctification, redemption, justification, and future glorification, we embrace the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ — the Message of the Cross.
I CAN BUILD MY CHURCH FASTER WITHOUT IT!
Some see the Message of the Cross as a hindrance to church growth. I know of pastors who experienced a mass exodus when they first introduced the Message of the Cross. Some feel a more seeker sensitive approach to church growth yields more favorable results. You may build your church by avoiding the Cross, but then it ceases to be His church you are building. Jesus said, “I will build My church.” He does so on the foundational teaching of the Cross.
SAVED BY GOD — SANCTIFIED BY SELF
Many have no problem with saying that we are saved by God’s grace. Yet, they struggle to understand that we are also sanctified and continue to be sanctified through what Jesus Christ did at Calvary. It can’t be saved by God and sanctified by self. It can’t be saved by grace and sanctified by works. What brought us into the kingdom of God is what keeps us in the kingdom of God.
WITHOUT THE CROSS, THERE IS NO CHRISTIANITY
Without the Cross, there is no Christianity. It is the basis of man’s acceptance by God, the means of our victory, our source of healing, and the very foundation of our Christian walk. It is the power of God.