Christ's death on the cross has accomplished far more than we can imagine and the five threads in my previous blog are only scratching the surface of Gods plan, played out on the hill called Golgotha. We are apt to view the cross as the place where Christ became sin for us so that we could be forgiven. And being forgiven we have eternal life. But such a view is a very shallow understanding of the transactions that took place in that most explosive happening in known history, that we have glorified as the crucifixion. Artists have painted sanctimonious pictures of the cross, while the rugged cross has become a cultus symbol among some segments of the church.
But the greatest work of the cross often goes un-mentioned, for the five threads as outlined in the previous blog were only the fore taste of the real work wrought on the cross. Paul speaks about the glorious richesof this mystery, in Colossians, a mystery that the saints of old longed to look into and to be partakers of. Sadly many believers today, long attendees of church, such a significant work on the cross is still a mystery to them for it has been hidden from their eyes as the deceiver has deluded them with half-truths.
This great mystery is CHRIST IN YOU. This is the greatest and most significant work of the cross. Because of the blood shed on the cross the life of Jesus has invaded our hearts. We have been born again by the Spirit of God to a new and living way. God in the Old Testament spoke of the time when he would place a new heart into mankind. This was accomplished by Christ's death on the cross.
The first Adam was created to walk in the fullness of the spirit, as the culmination of Gods creation; but Adam forfeited his rights as a son of God, for he chose self realization over God. Thereby Sin entered into the heart of man and has corrupted, twisted and perverted the personality of mankind ever since. For God to have communion with his created beings and fellowship with them as he had planned for the second Adam had to be sacrificed, so that the life God embodied in the Son of God could once again be born into the hearts of mankind.
Paul writes this most profound statement in Galatians 4 - My dear children,for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you. This is the ultimate work of the cross. As we walk through the door of the cross and are washed in the blood of Jesus, instantly his personality is born into our hearts. This is not a transplant as some teachers teach, for such is an erroneous understanding and has no place in the scriptures. Our heart has become another Bethlehem. This re-birth is a mystery, for just as Jesus had two natures, undivided, so the born again believers have the personality of their flesh and that of Jesus dwelling with in them, undivided. Paul speaks of these two dispositions at great length in Romans 8
I have been crucified with Christand I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Gal. 2:20. Our heart has now become, by a supernatural work of God, because of the cross a temple of the living God. The disposition/personality of Jesus now resides in our heart.
As in the natural, so in the spiritual, growth must ensure as night follows day, for we as recipients of Christ's personality, must, by a series of moral decisions turn Christ's personality into our disposition. This is our vocation to make certain that we are of use to God for in so doing so we are becoming sons and daughters of God. By obedience we decrease and Christ increases in our hearts. We cannot grow into holiness, but we must grow in it. The apex of the work on the cross is that Christ is growing into maturity in us, through our mouths, hands, feet and mind.
God's greatest work in a saved soul is to bring that soul into glory, but we hinder him with our refusal to co-operate with the life born into us. We refuse to buckled down and carry our cross, that of denial of all self interest. My dear children,for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you. Are we allowing the personality of Christ to be formed in us? We are exhorted to put on the new man, to have the mind of Christ. We may be a new creation in Gods eyes which is a revelatory fact, but in experience our old habits, our old way of thinking need to be transformed by the life of Christ within us by obedience, so that we all may grow up into the head. I have been crucified with Christand I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved meand gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20
The reason why there is a falling away is because many in the evangelical camp have been stuck in the 'saved souls' thought patterns. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death Phil. 3:10. How well do we know Christ? Are we sharing in his sufferings as we turn our personality into his glorious personality?