Over the last few days, I have expressed my concerns over the problems within our Lord’s Churches. We have lost sight of how important the Cross is to our faith. Many pastors and prominent leaders are “leading” with us with false teaching and twisting the Scriptures to fit an odd mix of Christian Mysticism, and meditation.
It is an attempt to gain “ultimate knowledge” of God by bypassing our understanding and intellect. It is an embracement of contemplative mysticism and it is actually transforming the New Age Movement from a counter-culture sub-culture into a source of spiritual vision for the world. This mysticism has invaded many facets of the Christian life without the support of Scriptures.
The Church has cozily assimilated itself to the mystery elements of pagan religions. Subjective religious experience, or mysticism, continues to be the meeting point of pagan religions and Christianity. But the moment you meld Eastern spirituality with sound doctrinal instruction, you have effectively hijacked public and private religious life and inverted the core beliefs and values taught in the Scriptures. Mystical God consciousness is an attempt to replace Christ’s redemption and salvation.
Somewhere along the way, our leaders have lost their view of the Cross. Our prayer life has either fallen to the wayside or has been lost in this mystical neverland. Some of the greatest heresies have come from the Monasteries who celebrate contemplative prayer and meditation. And, many times we make other things to be more important and allow them to occupy our time. What has happened is that the light of the cross has slowly dimmed and somehow that umbilical cord to the world, I mentioned yesterday, has reattached itself. And when we finally notice how much we have been diverted from our original path, we cry out, “What on earth happened?”
For me, I have always been a man of passion and zeal. I have never known a middle ground. It has always been either hot or cold; yes or no; in or out. I have yearned and hungered for the important things that were to come. But I finally discovered that it all happened 2000 years ago.
Even as a child I loved the hymns. Within hymnody, you discover a love and passion that is seldom found in modern music. I remember Isaac Watts’s “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.”
When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
save in the death of Christ, my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them through his blood.
See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all
My dear friends, we need to “Survey the Wondrous Cross.” What I mean is that we must view it and consider it comprehensively, thoroughly, soundly, the whole shebang, with full understanding, utilizing our whole mind, heart and body. Not contemplatively or through mediation. Our minds must remain intact and sober.
We need to see The Cross with a fresh revelation of the Holy Spirit. Everything that you and I need is there. The Cross is where the wisdom and the glory of our God are found. Our Glorious and Magnificent Father wants us to grasp, with no hesitation, the reality of what He won for us on the cross. He wants us to enter into the splendor of our inheritance – not tomorrow, not when we come into His Eternity, but today!
I encourage you to kneel before Him and to ask Him for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Ask Him for a deeper understanding of Jesus Christ bleeding and dying on the cross. We need to see the cross on open display before us and fix our attention on it, glorying in all the facts of it.
And then realize that He is no longer on that cross. He was buried and then gloriously brought back to life again, defeating death and the penalties of our sin. He lives today to bring the reality of that victory into our lives.
But sadly, that cross has become lost to the modern Church. We need to grasp and understand the truth of what Jesus accomplished for us on that cross. We need to receive everything that is ours through our faith in Him.
Through the cross, we were given a glorious inheritance. Take a look:
Our old self, our human nature without the Holy Spirit was nailed to the cross with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin (Romans 6:6)
His divine power has bestowed on us absolutely everything necessary for a dynamic spiritual life and godliness, through true andpersonal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises of inexpressible value, so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world, and become sharers of the divine nature (II Peter 1:3-4)
For the law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus the law of our new being has set you free from the law of sin and of death (Romans 8:2)
Wow! That’s right! We were once “slaves to sin,” but we now “share the divine nature.” Note only that, we have been “set me free from the law of sin and death.” Now you can start to rejoice . . . But wait!
You also have a new home:
He raised us up together with Him when we believed, and seated us with Him in the heavenlyplaces, because we are in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6)
We now swear allegiance to a new leader! No longer do we need to be ruled by our fleshly desires or the devil:
He has rescued us and has drawn us to Himself from the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption because of His sacrifice, resulting in the forgiveness of our sins and the cancellation of sins’ penalty (Colossians 1:13-14)
We also have a new life and a new mind:
If anyone is in Christ, that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior, he is a new creature, reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit; the previous moral and spiritual condition have passed away. Behold, new things have come because spiritual awakening brings a new life (II Corinthians 5:17)
We now have a New Friend and High Priest, forever making intercession for you:
I do not call you servants any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you My friends, because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from My Father (John 15:15)
He is able to save completely, perfectly, for eternity those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede andintervene on their behalf with God (Hebrews. 7:25 NAS)
We have a new, deep, loving relationship with our Heavenly Father, and should neve be taken lightly:
“I will be a Father to you,
And you will be My sons and daughters,”
Says the Lord Almighty (II Corinthians 6:18)
We now live with a comforter and teacher. This is ours every day and in every situation:
The Helper, Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf, He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you (John 14:26)
Victory over everything that hinders our walk of faith:
He disarmed the rulers and authorities, those supernatural forces of evil operating against us, and made a public example of them, exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession, having triumphed over them [How?] through the cross (Colossians 2:15)
We have inherited victory over Death:
That extraordinary purpose and grace has been fully disclosed and realized by us through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus who through His incarnation and earthly ministry abolished death, making it null and void and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (II Timothy 1:10)
We are able to experience and enjoy a continual relationship with our Lord and King while He continually washes away our sin:
If we continually walk in the Light, that is, live each and every day in conformity with the precepts of God, as He Himself is in the Light, we have true, unbroken fellowship with one another — He with us, and we with Him, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin [by erasing the stain of sin, keeping us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations] (I John 1:7)
Yeah, this is how I spend my days. Digging into the Word and reminding myself what our Savior has done for us. But this is only a sampling. There is so much more available to us. Just ask, and He will show you the wonder and magnificence of it all!
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you—a to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.