Lucia's Blog: EMPTYING THE CROSS OF ITS POWER
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

EMPTYING THE CROSS OF ITS POWER

 
"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." 
Colossians 3:2-4


When our faith and worship are based on excitement, feelings, and personal beliefs rather than the whole Gospel Message, we’re precisely doing the thing that Paul condemned in 1 Corinthians 1-2. When all we want is coffee, donuts, and barbecues rather than the simple proclamation of God’s Word, we are emptying the cross of its power.  Why?  Because we think that we must soften and change the Message of the cross of its power so that more people will receive it and accept it.  How can we call others to the Gospel without the Message of the cross?  

We must empty ourselves and die to self completely to embrace the Message of the cross and Jesus as our new life.  When we put into practice the words of Colossians 3:2-4, then our lives will be hidden with Christ in God, for Christ is our life and nothing else. But when we are ruled by our emotions, our own prejudices, and beliefs, that is, our own worldview, rather than engaging our minds and having our hearts pricked by the Message of the cross, then we have emptied the cross of its power.

The Gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).  Sadly, those who don’t set their minds on heavenly things want to feel good and have fun rather than face the cutting edge of the Word of God, the only thing that will produce faith and grow our faith.  Nothing else can cut to the very core of our heart than the Word of God! 

"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).


Likewise, we empty the cross of its power when we make worship about pleasing people with worldly tactics instead of the Word of God.  I must stress that the church is not about one person or people. It must be focused on Jesus and not on ourselves. When we use worldly tactics to make people pay attention to the Message of the cross, we empty the cross of its power.  We cause people to divert their attention and focus away from our Lord. Paul never wanted the attention of men to ever rest on him. To effectively deliver or proclaim the Message of the cross, the Gospel, we don’t need to have a methodology or eloquent speaking skills. The Gospel does not need such carnal skills. In fact, they actually get in the way of the Gospel Message!  

We must be clay jars that hold the treasure of the Gospel. Human brilliance or wisdom is antithetical to the cross of Christ. It messes up the essence and purity of the Gospel and empties the cross of its power.  In doing this, we are showing that we are ashamed of the cross.  Our worship and teaching must not be about ourselves. It must be about pointing others to God alone.  We cannot call people to Jesus without His Message of the cross. 

The world around us makes minimal effort to live by God’s Word.  As a matter of fact, they even scoff at the authority of the Bible.  But for us Christians, we have no other alternative but to submit to the Lordship of Christ and His rule. 

According to our culture, right and wrong are personal preferences, personal ethical standards.  "I say what is right for me."  Thus moral decisions are based on personal feelings or emotions.  According to this way of thinking (moral relativism), there are no absolutes or true beliefs because they are flexible and always changing. The only way we know we are right is by testing everything we do in word and deed with the Word of God.  Rather than depending on our own feelings, views, opinions, habits, or traditionsThis is our sole standard, and we must trust in the Message of the cross and its power.  

May we submit to the Lordship of Christ and His rule rather than on our own feeling, views, opinions, habits, and traditions.  May we never empty the Message of the cross of its power but rather trust in it to point others to God alone for salvation.  And finally, may we always set our minds on heavenly things and engage the Word of God to grow our faith, for it is the only thing that can cut to the very core of our hearts.  

"... For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power" (1 Corinthians 1:13-17).

"Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything, I hate every false way" (Psalm 119:128).


Luci


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