There have been some wonderful photo shots of lightening of late. There is a whole lot of power in each one of those bolts of light. The one’s who know those things could tell you how much, but I am coming up without any trivia on that except to know there is so much power that just one bolt can kill a man with one quick flash. I know that because I had a cousin who was killed by lightening many years ago.
I am fascinated by lightening, and its power; yet I know at least one greater Power. He is the One who formed the Universe, and placed everything in unison, and precision. This post is not about lightening however, it is about the power of the cross of Christ.
My reading this morning was 2 Corinthians 7 through Galations 6.
The apostle Paul had written this letter as an encouragement for their agreement with him concerning the sin of the young man of 1 Corinthians 5; his correction of the matter, and the young man’s coming around to repent, and now Paul has told them to receive the man back again into the fellowship. He then, however, addresses another issue.
It seems that they are gullible for any persuasive teacher who might come to them with a different message –
“Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 (KJV)
He warns them of the deception of Satan who works through false apostles and teachers (11:13-15). It seems to me that we live in the midst of many professing Christians who are believing and falling for anything in our day; and neglecting the power of the cross of Christ. In the final chapter of Second Corinthians the apostle exhorts them to “Examine yourselves…” –
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 13:5
Where Paul was concerned about the Corinthian church’s possibility of being deceived; we find that the Galatian church had fallen for the deception of the Jewish legalists. From May 18, 2011 through April 11, 2012 we studied the book of Galations at Carr Lane Baptist Church. Follow this link to the study notes for that Wednesday evening study. Hear what the apostle says to the Galation church –
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, ‘If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.'” Galations 1:6-9 (KJV)
The Judaizers [legalists] had come in and were convincing the Gentile converts that they needed to practice Jewish law; especially the law of circumcision; or they could not be saved. Paul is correcting this false teaching, this deceiving lie; and expressing with great conviction the power of the cross of Christ. It is by the cross of Christ Jews and Gentiles are born again. There is no law one needs to keep, no sacrament, no ordinance, one must keep in order to be saved. By the cross of Christ you are saved.
The apostle has written,
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” 2:20
and also we read,
“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. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” Galations 6:14-16 (KJV)
For anyone who adds a sacrament, an ordinance, a law, unto grace; it ceases to become grace, and becomes a debt which God owes. God owes no man anything. He has purchased us with the blood of His own Son. That is the power of the cross of Christ.
-Tim A. Blankenship