The Preaching of the Cross - Part 4

Posted in: 2009
By Tom L. Ballinger
Jul 20, 2009 - 9:59:44 AM

July 15, 2009

Part 4

The “preaching of the cross” deals with the Adamic-nature. This principle is to be, consciously, reckoned upon daily. In fact, it is a moment by moment reckoning. The “cross of Christ” is to be allowed to touch every aspect of life. Even the recesses of our minds are to be touched by “the cross.” Nothing is to be spared, or held back for Adam.

Secret compartments of the mind are to be touched .These small closets of the mind, which are reserved for only Adam, are to be purged with the “principle of the cross.” As this is done, Adam finds no hiding place. No provision is made for him—“Neither give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27). Only then, may the “word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col. 3:16). Then, and only then, can a believer be “strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16); thereby, enabling Christ to dwell in the hearts by means of faith (Eph. 3:17).

There is a correlation between the principle of the “preaching of the cross” and “the operation of God.” The latter is, basically, the same as the former, except it has the added dimension of the believer being reckoned as being ascended and seated with Christ at God’s Own Right Hand.

The Lord has provided these spiritual principles which will work. Alas, many believers find other means which they employ as they attempt to live “godly.” Many try to live godly by means of observing rites and rituals. Some practice religion with all of the trappings and services. Such as the lighting of candles, bowing, kneeling, and the kissing the hand of some man who is believed to be especially “appointed by God, or the church.” Some allow themselves to be used and made merchandize of by throwing themselves, wholeheartedly, into “church work.” Today, this is referred to as “becoming involved.”

Some practice “will worship” in abstaining from certain things. They will have a false humility and, even, “neglect the body.” All of the above, in one way or another, “satisfies the flesh (i.e., Adam).” In each instance, a provision has been made for Adam. Paul wrote in Colossians 2:20, “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances?”

The “preaching of the cross,” or faith in “the operation of God” provides no place for Adam.

As one surfs the Christian TV broadcast channels on Sunday mornings, it is, abundantly, apparent that Adam-congregations are given free-reign in their made-for-TV-church-services. The choir is “jumpin’ for joy,” heads are bobbing and keeping time with the drum beat, feet are tapping, and hands are clapping. The congregations are full of “Adams”—the old nature has been turned loose. The “old man” is on parade for all to see. Disorder reigns supreme. The minister struts and prances across the platform as he delivers the “Prosperity Gospel.” Riches are extolled more than the Blood of Christ. Faith is measured by material possessions. If anyone suffers, they must be out of the will of God. “God wants His people to live the abundant life”—abundant in the things of this world.
These congregations of “Adam,” as viewed on TV, refuse to believe, if they have heard of it, that their Adam-nature has been assigned to the cross and the grave. There is nothing for him. The believer is a “new creature,” only a “new creature availeth.” The “new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph.4:24), is the new creature of the Church, which is His Body. Paul instructs the believer, in Colossians 3:10, to “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.” The renewing is the result of the “operation (i.e., the working) of God.”
The principle which we endeavor to set forth is one which works by means of the Spirit. It is not a principle of “doing,” but of “being.” It only works as the principle is appropriated by the member of the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14). “For ye are dead” (Col. 3:3); this is to be counted as being so, as well as “and you … hath [He] quickened together with Christ” (Eph. 2:5).
These facts provide the basis and enablement to “Mortify [put to death] therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” (Col. 3:5).
Enemies of this Principle
The Apostle Paul found enemies of “the preaching of the cross” during the Pentecostal Dispensation. We have looked at this, previously, in great detail, how the “persecution of the cross” and the “offence of the cross” ceased if one submitted to “another gospel.” “Another gospel” provides a place for Adam. However, to insist that only the new creature had spiritual force or power, much hatred was generated by those who didn’t comprehend this truth. As it was during the Acts Period, Paul points out that, even, after the Mystery was made known, members of the Church, which is His Body can expect to find “enemies of the cross of Christ.”

Sadly, we must repeat; the “enemies” are saved people. They are Christians. They have believed in the propitiatory work of Christ on the Cross. However, they fail to see all that the Cross means to the believer.
In this dispensation, the members of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head are the “true circumcision.” Paul said of the “true circumcision;” they “worship God in spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, AND HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH [the Adam-nature]” (Phil. 3:3).
A great deal more can be said along these lines, but we will leave that for you to consider. Those who are saved are the “true circumcision.” Paul had the following to say:
(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: Whose end is destruction [ruin or loss], whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things) (Phil. 3:18-19).
Adam Wants to Live
Of course, the Adamic-nature doesn’t like the Spiritual principle that he is dead. He wants to live. He has chances to live, again, in our mortal lives if we fail to “put on the new man,” daily. He dreads the fact that when we are “raised again” from the dead, or changed from mortal to immortal, he will, forever, be left behind—with no hope at all.
“The Preaching of The Cross” will never be the subject of revival. Cathedrals, stadiums, or arenas will never be filled to hear a message on this subject. Christians will not flock to hear a great evangelist proclaim “The Preaching of the Cross.” Modern-day choirs, soloists, and choruses must not inhibit Adam. Let him “show his stuff.” Worship God “in the flesh” and place “confidence in the flesh.” Be excited, be emotional, cry, walk an aisle, jump for joy, lift up hands, and shout, “Thank You Jesus!” Adam loves these outbursts.
In closing, it must be said that Adam hates the “reckoning” associated with “the preaching of the cross.” That is why Paul wrote the following:
“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” (Col 3:3-5).