Jesus tells us – “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Yet some preachers, having a twisted understanding, teach that you don’t have to take up your cross to follow Jesus since He took up the Cross for you. These preachers claim to be Jesus’ disciples while denying His words. Have you heard them?
In their error and false doctrines, they have no room for Jesus or His words in their distorted view of grace and their Corrupted Covenant.
How well Peter instructed us:
“And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him, speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.” 2 Peter 3:15-16
The Cross is all about finding our identity in Christ.
We must deny ourselves and believe that we died in Christ so that we can live in Him. Paul, the Apostle said it best when he said, “that I may know Him.”
The Cross is all about intimacy with Jesus. When Satan tells us we are sick, we take up our cross and believe we died in Christ and now live in Him – by His stripes we are healed. The Cross is all about finding ourselves in Jesus. The message of the Gospel is that Jesus came to die that you might live. It is life and life more abundantly that Christ has called us to walk in.
My Cross is God’s love for me. We know him through the fellowship of His sufferings. I want to fellowship with the sufferings of Jesus until I am fully conformed to His death, so that in every area of my life I can say, “FINISHED!” The power is not in the His death alone but rather the resurrection – but there can be no resurrection without death. It is with a passion for Jesus and a desire to know Him that Paul says, “I die daily”.
God wants us to conform to His death not ours (Philippians 3:10) – what do I mean by that? You don’t have to suffer to get God to answer you – yes, as you serve Christ you may indeed suffer and be persecuted by this world. However, you don’t have to kneel until rigor mortis sets in or fast until you faint to receive the life of Christ. It is His death and His life. I want to die in Christ so that I can live in Him. I want to deny myself and accept Christ. My life in exchange for His… shouting Hallelujah now is acceptable!
Preachers who say that you don’t have to take up your Cross essentially preach that the “resurrection has passed.”
They have not rightly divided God’s word. These preachers do not have a true revelation of Spirit, Soul and Body. They should have known better and given heed to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. They have gone ahead of Christ in their error.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Tim 2:15-19
Yes we are new creatures and are perfected by oneness with the Spirit in our spirits through an abiding relationship with Christ. We are the church whose spirits are made righteous and perfect (Hebrew 12:23) but we are still clothed in flesh. In Philippians Chapter 2, Paul, after speaking of the power of the resurrection and fellowshipping in the sufferings of Christ, continues, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect…” and finally he concludes that perfection is not a work of human effort but faith in the Gospel, “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded.”
Perfection is a daily walk of faith in the Gospel not a process of human effort.
Perfection is achieved by taking up our cross and being made conformable to the death of Christ so the He may live through us. So beloved, I tell you the words of our Lord Jesus Christ,
“If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine….” Matthew 10:38
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