Cross of Jesus and Cross of Christians

"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

 

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.

Cross of Jesus and Cross of Christians

1. What is the Cross?

What is the cross? The cross is death, that follows by glory in resurrection, but it is not and it should not be an Idol. It means martyrdom. If the cross is not visible, it will mortify the deeds of the body of sin (Romans 8:3 & Colossians 3:5). Philippians 3:10 & 11 and Hebrews 11:35 say, if we endure suffering conformable unto his death, we will attain glory as unto his resurrection. The cross of Jesus Christ, put him to death when he was a man. The cross is a symbol of death to anybody. Of course, the cross that killed Jesus, is the most important one. Jesus Christ has begun the teaching of the cross to his disciples. The preaching of the cross includes the unseen cross of every true Christian. Cross is not an ornament to wear or to carry for decoration with dignity, but it is an instrument of death, and it will kill.

2. The Cross of Jesus Christ.

God the Father has decided that God the Word will become a man and give himself as a sacrifice on the cross. Preachers preach that Jesus died in our place so that we do not have to die, but it is a lie and the devil is the one preaching through them. You will see it as we go through. Just before the cross, Jesus was exceedingly sorrowful and asked God the Father, if the cross could pass from him (Matthew 26:39, 42) even though he knew that he came to the world for this cause. It proves that the cross is not only a hard task for us, but it was an extremely sorrowful event even to Jesus. But he endured the cross by looking forward to the resurrected glory, as in Hebrews 12:2 … “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” So also as in verse 3, we must also endure our cross, looking forward to our rapture. Romans 8:17 says “... we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” We are not expected to escape the cross, but to endure our cross, and to mortify our body of sin on our cross.

3. But it is Our Cross, not the Cross of Jesus.

Preachers preach that we all will hide under the cross of Jesus Christ, so that we do not have to die. But Jesus Christ told us to pick up our crosses and our cross will take our life, either as martyrs or as living sacrifices. He tells us to think twice, before we take our cross, whether we really want to take it or not. Our crosses will not take our life as a surprise, but it will be our dedicated submission. Jesus Christ says in Matthew 10:38 & 39 “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. In Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” He says the same thing in Matthew 24:24 & 25, and Mark 8:34 & 35. In Luke, we see something more. Jesus Christ says in Luke 23:26-30, “26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.” That is, we must lay our life down willingly and knowingly, but it should not be a surprise or as an accident. If you cannot afford to do it, then stay away from the cross, since it is not mandatory for every one, but it is a must to the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ. It will be a difficult work, and those who desire a better resurrection, will take up the task.

4. Martyr or Living Sacrifice

Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” So, Let us not die, but live being sacrificed our body of sin on our cross. Let us live as a living sacrifices for God. If it is not a real cross to kill our body to make us martyrs, it should be our invisible cross that kills our life of sins. However, many of his disciples and followers were actually martyred, many of them withdrew, and others have mortified their body of sin, in order to live a holy life. Colossians 3 says, “3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.” These verses say that these people were living in sin some time before, but they have crucified or killed or mortified all sinning and now dead to sins, and so their life is in Christ, so they have escaped the wrath of God and will be with Jesus Christ on the second coming rapture. If we do not die to sin on this invisible cross, we will have no rapture. Romans 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. So, if Jesus Christ is in us, our body of sin is dead and by the Spirit we live in righteousness. So, we will be raised in the rapture. So, if our sins are mortified, we will be the sons/daughters of God. So, our cross, but not the cross of Jesus Christ, that mortifies our flesh of sins, causes us to become sons of God and to be with Jesus Christ on the rapture. This is the preaching of the cross. But, preachers will never preach our cross and our mortification. But they will say that we take shelter on the cross of Jesus Christ to escape our death. This is a blatant lie of the devil and it is deception. Romans 8:13 says, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” We must crucify our body of sin on our cross by the spirit of God and then we will be sons. Verse 17 “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Then we will be joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.

5. Preachers tell Us to Escape Our Cross

But the ungodly religious people and the people of the world will think that escaping the cross or even getting out of the cross is the proof that God is on our side. They are ignorant. Here, let us see the case of Jesus and his cross. Matthew 27:39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. Mark 15:29-32 also say the same thing. Jesus did not come out of the cross and so we should not come out of our crosses. But, our preachers preach that we will escape our cross, by taking shelter under the cross of Jesus Christ. Luke 9:22 says, “Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. 23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” It shows that our cross is inevitable for our eternal life. Our eternal life is through our crosses, by killing our body of sin.

6. The Enemies of the Cross of Jesus Christ

Philippians 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) Here we see that those who work for God in order to become rich and for selfish ambitions are addressed as the enemies of the cross. Their end will be eternal destruction. If we look at this, we may say that the vast majority of preachers will get to the tragic end of eternal destruction. But, we shall be friends to the cross!! How? By crucifying our body of sins on the cross, that is not physical death, but death to sins, and we live for God. Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” So, our cross is an alter on which we lay our life of sin and sacrifice it, and then we live for God as living sacrifices.

False preachers use the following verses, to make all other scriptures obsolete. But, no verse will make the other verse obsolete in the scriptures, unless God upgrades or reveals a few of them. Let us study it with caution. Colossians 1 says, “20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” Here, by his death or shed blood on the cross, God may reconcile all things to himself. In verse 21, sinners are reconciled. Reconciled means, enemies are now friendly terms speaking to each other. It is not salvation. Sinners have to be converted to become servants or sons of God in order to inherit his kingdom, or to receive eternal life. But, false preachers preach that reconciled is already saved by the blood. It is false. Verse 22 and 23 say that they are to become as un-blamable and un-reprovable and it will happen only if they continue to obey the gospel that Jesus Christ has preached. So, salvation come when they obey Jesus Christ, and obedience includes to pick up their crosses, and to follow Jesus Christ, and to mortify their body of sin on their cross.

7. Ceremonies of Churches, OR, Mortification on the Cross

Here we see that our cross as well as the cross of Jesus Christ, will mortify our body of sin. The cross of Jesus Christ will not protect us from our death to sin, it will kill our sin body. Galatians 6:14 says, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” The cross of Jesus Christ also brings the same effect on us, that we and the world are crucified to each other. So, either if it is our cross or the cross of Jesus Christ, the result is that our flesh of sin is mortified, or crucified. So, our sin is dead. If our sins are not dead, we do not have any cross. Again verse 15 says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” So, the sinning person (body of sin) is crucified, we will be converted to a new person after Jesus Christ. Present day Christianity opposes the mortification of the flesh, but ceremonially worship Jesus Christ around his cross. Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. Here we see the two opposite preaching, one is the cross and the other is circumcision. The cross is our mortification of sins. The circumcision is the word to ceremonially to enter Christianity. God has rejected ceremonies, but he accepted the life (what they do in life- righteous works). But Christian religion rejects what we do in our life, that is good or bad, and accepts the ceremonial worship as the real thing for eternity.

8. Foolishness of the People who Perish

1 Corinthians 1:18 says “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” Verses 19 & 20 says that the cross will destroy the wisdom of the world and of the devil, but it will be wisdom to godly people. Verse 21 says, “... it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Galatians 5:11 says, “And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.”

We saw the mortification of the body our sins, on our cross, or on his cross, which changed us as a new creature. Here we will see our crucifixion with him. Romans 6 says, “6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:” This need no further explanation, since we have already seen the same thing. Galatians 5 says, “24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Here, an additional warning is given. Most Christians say that they are in Christ, or they are new creatures, etc, but still continue in sinning life. The word of God warns these fake Christians saying that if they say that they are new, walk as a new creature.

9. Cross Abolished Ordinances and United Jews and Gentiles.

We saw that we have to crucify our flesh of sinning on the cross of Jesus, or on our cross in order to be raised on the rapture or to be with Jesus Christ into eternity. Now, let us see, what else our Lord Jesus Christ has accomplished through his cross. Ephesians 2 says “13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.” All these verse say that By the death on the cross, he has abolished the enmity between the Jews and the Gentiles and made them one, to reach God for eternity. Even from the previous scriptures we have seen that Jesus Christ has thrown out the circumcision as a privilege to be saved. So, Jews has no preference. Colossians 2 says “14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; … 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: So, it is also confirmed that all ceremonial works, including feasts etc, are made void by the cross of Jesus Christ, but the works of obedience or of the cross, is needed for salvation.

10. What should we Learn from the Cross of Jesus Christ?

Jesus Christ has obeyed God the Father unto the death of the cross, and he was made Lord and God, for heaven, earth, and hell. God has cited this obedience of Jesus and tells us to obey with fear for our own salvation. Philippians 2 says, “8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Christians must pay attention to these scriptures very carefully. The fact that his death on the cross in obedience to God the Father, was considered for him to become Lord of all (verses 9-11). Verse 12 is important to us, who obey God. It is not for the disobedient, since they have never obeyed God and they will not obey God in the future, so they will be damned in hell. But, we must continue to obey him with fear and trembling, since it is our own salvation.

Hebrew 12 says, “1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Here, Jesus Christ endured the sufferings and shame of the cross, by looking at the joy that was set before him. God wants us also to run the race in the same way, shedding out all the worldly things and all our sins, and by enduring the cross that mortifies our body of sins, and looking at how Jesus Christ was seated by God, knowing that we will also be seated with Christ.

Note: If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find an error according to scripture,
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