At the core of Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism today, is an absence of the Cross.
It’s not an absence of preaching about the Cross; it’s an absence of the application of the Cross to the inner man.
Which is evidenced by a focus on good works instead of faith in the words of God.
Sick of Christian Self-Help Teaching
All of us wrestle with sin in our lives.
The question is how we wrestle?
Most believers are pre-occupied with some form of behavioral psychology or will-power applied against our inner sins and failures. Which takes a million-and-one forms. A million variations on a theme.
There are countless books about this battle. Most promise some form of freedom and deliverance. But most give neither.
The problem is that we place confidence in our own will against our sin. We try to bring our own will into submission; so that then we may, by the Lord’s help, win the victory over sin. The victory we sing about but seldom experience.
This sounds good. And, because it sounds good, virtually every type of Bible church preaches some form of this idea
The idea that my sin-leaning life, with God’s help, can be overcome. Again, we are dealing with a combination method here. The idea that the Lord and I together will conquer. In order that, we can be “more than conquerors“.
Admittedly, there are some verses that seem to validate this idea of bringing all our evil tendencies “under submission“. But, as in all things scriptural, we absolutely must compare scripture with scripture and consider the whole counsel of God.
At the End of Our Ability
Liberty and Freedom are gifts. They are freely given to us by the Lord.
However, they are given based upon faith.
And faith requires two very basic things.
One: That I see my complete and utter need for the Lord’s deliverance.
Two: That I rely on Him completely for that deliverance.
Now, I know this sounds like a common, obvious concept. Boring, even, to many Christians. Especially those who have lived a long Christian life. Who have spent all their lives in church. And have heard it all.
But this is a message meant only for those who are ready to receive it. It is meant for those who will not settle for anything less than the reality of the Lord’s presence in their lives. And who are sick of all the games that Christians play.
A Christian must be brought, by the Lord, to a point of utter weakness before the Lord is able to deliver us. And that deliverance is just the beginning point. That moment when the Lord opens the windows of our soul and reveals to us how He, by Himself, will deliver us.
This demands that we allow Him to apply the Cross to our lives. That we believe in those verses that show how we “are crucified” with Christ. How our “old man” has already been dealt with by the Cross.
Until we come to the funeral of our own abilities, we are useless to the Lord. We are simply doing Christian service in a “natural” way. In the way of a “natural man”. And not in the way of a “spiritual man”.
He is Able
I remember well that moment for me. When the Lord opened the window of my soul to show me the wonderful truth of His own “I AM”.
He showed me how He wanted to be all things to me. How He was to be my “Sanctification”. When I saw that my sanctification was not anything that I had done or would do, but who He is for me.
This is how, in an instant, a believer can go from the depths of his own failures, whatever they are, to the glorious heights of joy. By realizing that all that we are and all that we have done are nothing.
Only what He is, in us, is of any value. We must learn to live in the reality of what He has already done for us through the Cross. Not only by giving us His Salvation, but by the “much more” of the Life of His Spirit within us!
This is only possible because the Lord Jesus is, Himself, our Sanctification. Our Sanctification is a Person and not a Thing.
A Person who never changes. A Person who is the gift of God to us.
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