The Lord has been dealing with me lately on how important it is to understand that the cross of Christ is the source of everything we need. It is not just for salvation, it is for everything.
When we accept what Jesus did for us at the cross we are saved, forgiven and born again. Our new life as a child of God begins at that moment. But what we so often forget is the importance of accepting we are not only forgiven, but at that time we enter into a covenant with the Lord. A covenant where He takes on the responsibility to be the strong party, the one who provides for us, heals us, guides us and protects us. We dont get to do anything is this covenant except for one thing, we have to believe.
Believe in what?
Believe that Jesus Christ died for us on the cross, for our sins.
That is our part of the covenant, believe in Jesus dying on a cross for us and our sins.
But the cross makes no sense if we dont admit to being sinners. Yes, sinners saved by grace but still sinners. And this is where most of Christianity today misses the mark.
I remember some years ago after being saved I heard a lot of preaching that told me we are saved by grace, through faith by the cross. But after being saved we should focus on who we are in Christ and our authority in Christ. The preaching I heard didnt say we should disregard the cross after salvation, but it never mentioned the cross for anything but salvation. The focus was so strong on the Father, the Fathers love, what we could and should do as believers and the importance of not being sin consciousness.
At that time I was a big fan of preachers like Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer. I bought all the books I could find and read them several times. They all sounded so good, so biblical and so true. I also read books by Andrew Wommack and John Eldregde. I felt so blessed, I felt like I was really growing into my new identity as a believer, but at the same time I began to feel more and more tired and I didnt sense the Lord the way I used to.
I remember buying the book “Battlefield of the mind”, “Power thoughts” by Joyce Meyer. I loved those books, and they promised so much. They promised victory if I could just focus my mind on those scriptures. I remember listening to Joel Osteen preaching about how God wants me to be succesfull, fullfilled, and how much He loves me. I remember how he preached about the importance of focusing on Gods love.
When I read those books and listened to those sermons at home it felt so good. This was the road to victory and I felt so blessed. It felt so easy, just qoute scriptures, just decree and declear “I am” and then the problem will go away. Being in the midst of lifes many challenges was a completly different story.
I soon discovered how difficult it is to focus your mind on scriptures or “I am ” decrees when you are stressed, tired, sceared and your mind is filled with worry and anxiety. It is easy when you are sitting at home, relaxing, but it is not easy when you are out there in the real world.
I soon got wery tired and I had to accept that the promises made by Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Andrew Wommack and John Eldregde was not true. They promised me victory but all I got was defeat. And looking back it is no wonder, because they did not preach grace, they preached law and if you try to live under law it will always bring defeat. God will never bless a person trying to make it by living under law.
What I actually was doing was comitting sin, because what it all comes down to is this: The cross is the only way to God and to Gods promises.
There is no other way to Gods promises then through the cross.
Yes God promises us healing, He promises us deliverance, He promises us protection, He promises us provision, He promises us a life the way we find it in psalm 23. He says we do not have to worry about anything, because He promises to take care of us.
All of the above mentioned authors (and many others) promised that if we did their way, we would find life more abundantly through Jesus. But this is the way the devil operates, he takes what is a part of the truth and then mix it with lies and then tempts well meaning preachers into buying his lies.
But the Bible says that there is only 1 way to the abundant life of Christ, and that is through the cross. And Jesus Himself even said we have to each day take up our cross if we are to follow Him.
So we have established that we need the cross for salvation AND after salvation because the cross is the only way to the abundant life God promises us.
To put it in another way, God has established covenants between Himself and us humans. In the old testament it was a covenant between Abraham and the Lord and all other people who would follow Abrahams example. Abraham was not allowed to enter that covenant on the basis of his works, what he did. He was allowed to enter that covenant on the basis of his faith. On the basis of that faith God promised to provide for, guide, take care and protect Abraham and all others who entered into the same covenant through faith.
This applies today, but we have a better covenant today. Because in the cross Jesus died for our sins. If we have our faith in the cross and what Jesus did for us at the cross we will automaticly become members of that covenant. The Lord will then automaticly include us into the covenant where He has sworn to provide for us, protect us, guide us and heal us.
But the way into that covenant is through faith, faith in the cross. And if you dont have that faith, then you will not be included in the covenant, and if you are not included in the covenant you will be outside of Gods promises. He has no obligation to provide for, protect, heal, deliver those who are not a part of His covenant. But if you are a part of His covenant you can trust Him to protect, heal, deliver and provide for you and your needs.
This can only happen if your faith is in the cross. To have this faith in the cross we must first admit to being sinners. And this is where most of Christianity today misses the mark.
You cant seperate the cross from our identity as sinners. Those who are not sinners have no need for the cross. And in the Christian world of today we see a strong focus on the Fathers love, the authority of the believer and our identity as Gods children. There is a total lack of admitting to being a sinner, and if we are never to admit to being a sinner, we will never need the cross. And if we dont have the cross we will be left out of the covenant of God.
So even though it sounds so good, so scriptural and so correct to focus on being a son, daugther of God, on my authority as a believer and the Fathers love, all of that ends up being sin and law.
It ends up being sin and law because it removes the focus from the cross and our identity as sinners. And then it shuts the door to the covenant we so desperatly need to be a part of. And then we end up with books like “The Battlefield of the mind” that lifts up works, law instead of grace and promises things we can only achieve through faith in the cross.
So we have no choice but to admit, I am a sinner but my faith as a sinner is and will always be in the cross of Christ. My faith will always be in Jesus dying for me on that cross instead of me. And that faith will “unlock” the rest of the Bible and give me access to the covenant of the Lord where He promises to provide for me, protect me, heal me and deliver me.
So through this faith I have access to all I need, and because of me being a sinner with my faith in Jesus dying for me on that cross, I know I will soon be debt free, have enough money to launch my own ministry and have all my needs met. Yes even though I am forced in the natural to continue with the process of selling my house I do believe this faith will give me the ability to harness the revenue needed to take care of my household, and go beyond so I can stay where I am at right now.
So I admit to being a sinner, but I am a sinner who believes Jesus died for me on the cross and that is the most important thing in my life.