The Talking Donkey
Why I preach the Cross
Blog 2 06/12/2015
Why preach the Cross?
Allow me to first to make the statement that when Paul or any of the writers of the Bible, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, use the word Cross they are usually not talking about a literal piece of wood but the Gospel of Christ and Him Crucified. It encompasses all He did and all He is. It is the birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and exaltation, of Christ, but called the Cross because it was there, at the Blood stained Cross, that made the former and latter possible.
Why preach the Cross, the simple answer is, it is the Power of God. Paul unsympathetically states in 1 Corinthians,
1Co 1:17-18 KJV - For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are Saved it is the Power of God.
Before I came to receive the Revelation of this Glad Story of the Cross, I would say in all confidence that my faith was in the Cross. But the sad fact was, my faith was in anything but the Cross, maybe it was for Salvation, but not for my Sanctification, my daily living and walking in this new life with the Lord. I knew how to be Saved, and still many Churches today, although that number is dwindling, preach the Cross for Salvation. We know that to be Saved you must believe in Jesus Christ, that He was born of a virgin, He is the only Begotten Son of God, that He lived a perfect unspotted life, and gave that life on the Cross as the Lamb of God for a sacrifice and propitiation for all those who will believe, to be forgiven of sin, reconciled to God, and to become a New Creation in Christ. Without the sacrifice of the Son of God, the perfect Lamb, we are all hopeless in this life and doomed to eternal Hell fire, for all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, BUT GOD, so loved the World that HE GAVE HIS SON, that we might have life and life more abundant. But sadly, for most of modern Christendom, that is where the preaching of the Cross stops.
The Salvation of souls is our ultimate goal but it shouldn’t be our only goal. If we only preach the Cross for Salvation we are leaving our congregations without the means and ways to live for the Lord. How do you know if your Church is preaching the Full Gospel of the Cross, as most claim to be? If you are struggling in some area of your life, and most of us will at some point in time, and your church’s answer is you need to try harder, you need to read your bible more, you need to fast, you need to give more, you need to see a counselor, you need to, you need to, you need to…….. then your church is doing you a great harm, and not preaching the Full Gospel of the Cross. If the focus is on what you need to do and not on what HE (Jesus) DID, then it's not the Cross. If your church is preaching or teaching a series on the latest best seller off the shelf, they are not preaching the Power of God and doing you a grand injustice, even though they Love you, and what they are presenting is out of Love, done with their best intentions, and done in ignorance, it is still of the Devil and designed to keep you from the only Truth God works in.
Once a person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior, then what? You still have a whole life ahead of you. There is nothing more exciting than receiving the Lord Jesus, being forgiven of sin and becoming a Child of God, but soon the time comes when we realize we must now begin to live what we profess to believe and walk in this new Resurrection life we have received. However, since today’s Church has lost the full understanding of the Cross beyond Salvation many find themselves losing the joy they once had and returning back to their old ways. Some completely lose their Salvation, saying, “I guess it just wasn’t for me”, some believe that once saved they are always saved and regardless of how they live they remain a child of God, and thus they have a License to sin, because we just can’t help it, which is of course not biblical, in Romans 6 Paul says, “Rom 6:1-2, 7, 14-15 KJV - What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? ... For he that is dead is freed from sin. ... For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Others struggle and strain to try to do their best, only to live a miserable or at best mediocre Christian life, a life still dominated by sin, a life they know is wrong and fight with everything in them to overcome, a life which God never intended. They are stuck living a Romans chapter 7 experience never finding the way or means of escape, unable to grab ahold of all that the Bible promises: the Abundant life, Victory, Freedom, Liberty, Joy unspeakable and full of Glory. Paul says in, Rom 7:9 KJV - For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. Paul was excited when he was Saved, he was New Creation in Christ, old things had passed way and behold all things had become new, but soon the time came when he knew he had to start living what he believed. Not understanding the full message of the Cross Paul resorted to that which he knew, which was law, a Ministry of doing, a Ministry of Condemnation, “2Co 3:9 KJV - For if the ministration of condemnation (Law) be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness (Grace) exceed in glory”, and thus he died, which is spiritual separation from God. Paul died because he took his eyes off of what saved him and began to look to himself as a means of living for the Lord, he was no longer, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, Heb. 12:2”. Please understand this, if we can’t Save ourselves, what makes us think we can Sanctify ourselves. We can’t; however, that is where the modern church has gone off course, it has left the narrow way. Paul would mention this years later when writing to the Galatians, “Gal 3:3 KJV - Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Paul did what he did out of ignorance, which is of course no excuse, and much of the Church of today is in the same boat, while another large portion, a portion that is growing leaps and bounds, of the Church, truly believes it has a better way, that God’s Word is not relevant for today and thus is thinking more highly of itself than it ought, Rom 12:3 KJV - For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Beware of the latest and greatest translations of the bible because sadly the Church’s answer is, “if we don’t like what it says then we just change it, alter it to our way of thinking, mold it and make it into our own way of living”. I have heard so many over the years say the bible, usually speaking of the KJV, is just to hard to read, so they find a so called easier translation, but sadly a translation that has been altered, removing the Blood, removing the deity of Christ, removing the sin. If you are having trouble reading God’s Word it isn’t because of the, Thee’s and Thou’s, but simple because you are not reading it with an understanding of the Cross. So why do I preach the Cross, because it is the Power of God, man’s only hope of Victory and Joy over all that troubles him. The Word of God is still relevant, it’s for today, it’s for you, that’s why I preach the Cross.
God Bless, Bro. Scott.