The cross is not just about Jesus Christ dying for the sins of all mankind, but it was a death to purchase mankind. (Ben Parker/creationswap.com)
Back in the days of the early church, being in ministry leadership was the greatest sacrifice anyone could make and it reflected the message of the greatest sacrifice that was made—the cross. To be in ministry leadership today could be as easy as ordering an ordination certificate through the mail, taking a few Bible courses, polishing your sermon presentations, learning some leadership and church-growth principles, including how to win friends and influence people, and you’re in. I know this sounds a little sarcastic, but the point is made nonetheless.
In the early church’s purest form, the cross was the power of God and the center of Christianity, ruling the lives of the early believers. They had as their examples apostolic men who apprenticed under Jesus and who hazarded their lives for the sake of the gospel. There was no mistaking the pattern and the purpose of the lives of those first-day apostles. It is the reason they had power to make radical disciples who were distinct from the world. What they preached and what they practiced enabled them to transform the minds and hearts of so many. We have so little power to transform people’s lives today because we do not preach and live the cross……………………….
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-17).
Lest any professing Christian take this lightly or throw this off as some legalistic form of doctrine, or a turning back to the law, let me remind you that Jesus called it the depths of Satan.
“Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known thedepths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. But hold fast what you have till I come” (Rev. 2:24-25)………………………………………………………………
Beware of a cross-less Christianity that breeds spiritual adultery and fornication.