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SHELO- A person who knows how to be happy though may be sad. I am a woman, a mother, a daughter. I am loving and caring. I have shattered dreams but I have hope.I have a God who arranges everything for me. I may not have a desirable past, but no one can destroy me and I am still standing. All I want is to be accepted and loved for who I am cause that is Me and That is all I can be.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Word of the Cross

A lot of people today as part of the religious tradition are commemorating the work of Christ on the cross. Malls, offices, public establishments are all closed in the observance of the Holy week. Plays and shows typifying the crucifixion and death of our Lord has been portrayed as part of the yearly religious tradition. I see people do some sacrifices particularly this time of year by hurting themselves, by religious chanting and fasting in remembrance of the Lord's death. But do we really know the true meaning of the death of Christ? Is this the way the Lord wants us to remember His great act of Love?

Let me share something about the effectiveness of the death of Christ and His ultimate love by being hanged on the cross. The death of Christ is not merely an act which we should remember and celebrate at a certain period of the year. This must be diligently lived day by day. When the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross, not only did He die for the sinners, opening a living way for sinners to obtain eternal life and to come to God, He also died with the sinners on the cross. If the effectiveness of the cross were merely in the aspect of substitution so that sinners would have eternal life and be saved from perdition, God's way of salvation would not be complete. Therefore, in His salvation the Lord Jesus had to accomplish both aspects: to save man from the punishment of sin and also to save man from the power of sin. When the Lord Jesus died for the sinners on the cross, He delivered man from the punishment of sin—the eternal fire of hell. When the Lord Jesus died with the sinners on the cross, He delivered man from the power of sin—the old man is dead, and he is no longer a slave of sin. We are human and descendants of Adam thus we inherit sin and that lives within us. In a matter of how we think, how we speak or even through what we see, we sin for sin lives within. This is now where the effectiveness of Christ death applies.

Our old man is truly worthless, irreparable, unchangeable, incorrigible, and incurable. The way God deals with the old man is to crucify him. God wants to give us something new. The old man has to die. God's words charge us to wash away all of our sins in the precious blood of the Lord Jesus. "The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." "Who loves us and has loosed us from our sins by His blood." The sins here refer to the acts of sins committed by a person outwardly. The Bible never tells us that the old man within is to be washed. God's word never says that the old man should be washed. The old man needs to be crucified. This is the word of the Bible. God wants the old man to die, but He caused the Lord Jesus to die on the cross instead. By doing so, He brought all the sinners along with the Lord onto the cross. First there is a substituting death, then a participating death. This is the clear word of the Bible. Jesus Christ is the One who "died on behalf of all; therefore all died."

This point should be emphasized and should not be glossed over easily. When the Lord Jesus died, our old man died together with Him and died in Him. This is the effectiveness of the death of Christ. By His death everything old was terminated on the cross. He terminated the law of the commandments and generated the law of life which is He Himself as the life within us. His death germinated the new creation. By His death, the resurrection life has been displayed and that He became the life giving Spirit which gives life to our deadened spirit. The enemy would be always there to tempt as he did with Adam and Eve, yet by the power of God's death we will be able to withstand the subtle attack of Satan.

Therefore, daily and hourly, consciously or unconsciously, no matter what we do, we should always stand on the foundation of the cross and should reckon our old man as dead. This is the real way to remember the death of Christ. It should be a pattern of our living. To remember the cross is to die daily with our old man and have Christ as our life and living. Here is the secret to overcoming sin and the devil. Sin and the devil are related to each other. If sin cannot be our king, spontaneously the devil will not have any ground in our hearts. What is then a way for the old man to die? There is no other way but by the cross. We have to read two passages of Scripture to understand the relationship between the cross and the self.

"I have been crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2:20).

"If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23).

The above article deals with questions of the spiritual life. May the reader not consider this as a kind of theory. One should compare his spiritual experience with the words here. If he does this, he will understand these words. We are all babes in Christ. May the Lord guide us step by step. If we do not have the experience of the death of the self, it is better to say we do not have it. But we must never take the self life as the spiritual life. May God bless us.


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