6-11-2017 The Power of the Cross
The power of the cross is supported by four pillars of belief. Upon looking at these four pillars, I suspect someone is saying “OK, but where is faith?” Okay, I’ll mention faith because nothing in Christianity works without faith. These four pillars are rooted in faith for without faith, none of them will work – or even matter. For it is by faith in Jesus that we obtain the grace of God (Rom. 5:1-2) So It is impossible to please God without faith (Heb. 11:6). So, if you will, faith is not a pillar, but the very foundation in which these pillars are set.
By faith, we believe that the bible is the inspired Word of God (1 Tim. 3:16) profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. We believe that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence (proof) of things not seen (Heb. 1:1). Through faith we believe that the worlds were framed (made, created) by God and He made everything that is out of (from) that which cannot be seen (Heb. 1:3, Gen. 1:2).
We cannot ‘see’ faith, but we can see the results of what faith brings, so faith is the very foundation of these pillars and the pillars become the expression of our faith.
In the beginning God … (Gen. 1:1). By faith we accept the fact that God always is, always was and always shall be (Rev. 1:8). If we ‘can’t’ believe that God is and can and will do all that He says He can and will, why do we even bother with Him? Now, I put can’t in quotes because can’t really doesn’t exist. Even we can do anything to which we put our mind (Gen. 11:6). We may not be able to do it as well as some. Maybe not even as effectively as others, but we can do it. So ‘can’t’ really means ‘won’t’, for whatever the reason (fear, doubt, intimidation, etc.). We can do what we put our minds to because God can do and will do all that He says (Num. 23:19, Rom. 4:21) and we are made in His image (Gen. 1:26). So I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:13). And of course, if we don’t believe that God can do what He says, in what does our hope of salvation truly lie?
We believe that God loves us enough, that even though Adam and Eve messed up (Gen. 3:1-24) and ‘booted’ them out of Eden and though He wouldn’t allow “sinners” to enjoy eternal life, He did provide a way to come back into His grace and love (1 John 2:1-2).
God, the Father, is the husbandman who takes care of the vine (John 15:1-8). The vine is God the Son, Jesus and we, the believers, are the branches in that vine producing righteous fruit as we live our lives according to God’s love. (Don’t stop reading at verse ‘8’). And as the husbandman, God, the Father, is the base of our cross, the support system for all things. For even the Son has only done what He has seen of the Father (John 5:19-20).
In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1) and the Word was ‘with’ God and the Word ‘was’ God. The Greek transliteration (Greek spelled with English Characters) is “En archē ēn ho Lógos, kaì ho Lógos ēn pròs tòn Theón, kaì Theòs ēn ho Lógos.” With the translation as “In beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and God was the Word.”
As we read John Chapter one, we see that the Word was the Light of men and the light was made flesh and lived among us (John 1:14). John (the Baptist) identifies Jesus as this light when he says “Behold, the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
So we see that Jesus, is the Son and the Word and He is one with the Father (John 1:1) and if this isn’t enough Jesus states in His prayer, in part) “Neither do I pray for these alone (the disciples), but for all who should believe on Me through their word, that they may be one, as You Father are in me and I in you, that they may be one with us. (John 17:20-21)”.
Father and Son are one AND the Son (Jesus) is praying that we all may be one with Father and Son. But then, our part is part of Pillar #4.
Not only do we believe that Jesus is God (the Father) come in the flesh, but that He indeed died for us on the cross, cleansing us from our unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Things of the law are purged by blood and without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin (Heb. 9:22, Matt. 26:28)
So, we know that if we confess Jesus with our mouth and believe within our hearts that God raised Him (Jesus) from the dead, we shall be saved (Romans 10:9). But we also know that we need to confess our sins before God (John 1:9) and repent our transgressions against God that those sins might be blotted out (Acts 3:19). After which, God will put those sins behind His back, out of sight (Isaiah 38:17).
Jesus is the Word of God and the Father and Son are one. We know that Jesus Shed His blood on the cross (Col. 1:20) reconciling us to the Father so we know that He is the “only” way to the Father. We know that He prayed for us so we (all true believers) could be one with Him and the Father, here in this world and forever. He prayed that the Father would keep us from evil (John 17:15). He will come back for He is preparing place for us (John 14:2-3)
Not only is Jesus the Word of God, ergo our Savior, but He is also the power and authority of God. Father gave the Son power over all flesh (John17:1-2) to be authority and judge (John5:22-27, Acts 10:38-42)
So salvation cannot be obtained through anyone else but Jesus (Acts 4:10-12) because He is the way, the truth and the life, therefore no man comes to the Father but by Him (John 14:6)
But you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you (Acts 1:8). This is ‘active’ power, not passive. The power not just to believe, but to ‘do’.
How many of us have a power generator as a supplementary power source for our homes for when power goes out? The Holy Ghost, or more specifically, the Baptism, or infilling, of the Holy Ghost is a renewable source of power for us to live this life (in this world) and to walk in God’s love.
I rent so I don’t own a generator, but those who have power generators have done so as protection against power outages, so their homes can still function with power when others may be basking in the darkness. They set it up, connect it to their electrical system and fuel the tank up. Then it (the generator) waits for a power emergency. When we receive Jesus into our lives, the Holy Ghost becomes our spiritual generator and is hooked up to our power system, our heart, our spirit and waits for us to activate Him. But all too often, that’s where He sits. waiting for us to call. He’s (the HG) there, He’s available and He’s waiting for us to call upon Him. Too many of us may tap into this power source only in ‘dire’ emergency, nowhere else to turn. We call upon Him when nothing else works. Some of us have realized that He’s there to help and guide us and are taking advantage of His presence (PTL) on a regular basis. And to take advantage of His presence, we do have to push the “on” button, don’t we? And that’s what too many people don’t do.
Pushing that on button is ‘activating’ the Holy Ghost, yielding our lives over to Him so He is free to operate. Remember, He is a gentleman and will not force Himself upon us. We have to ask for His help, then yield to His direction. Give Him the ‘reins’ of our lives.
Once we’ve pushed that on button to tap into His power, He fills us with His presence (the baptism or infilling) and the initial evidence of this is the heavenly language Father gives us. WE can experience a degree power without the infilling of the Holy Ghost, for He does take up residence in us with our profession of faith. But to get full charge, we need to be totally filled. Now, as with the generator, we access this power, we become drained the fuel tank will need refilling. Remember the five foolish virgins (Matt. 25:1-12).
So how do we refuel our tank? 1) Read the bible so we can discover who God is, how He operates and the relationship He wants with us. How can we now His will if we know nothing about Him? (2 We pray, communication with our Lord. Communication is a two-way street so not only do we set forth our concerns, requests and issues, but THEN we ‘zip the lip’ (quit talking) and listen to see what God has to say. Because the Holy Ghost is inside (us), God answers us through our hearts, but as a friend of mine says , He may take us to the scriptures when we don’t hear his voice so clearly. He will take us to the appropriate scripture for a given situation when we ask. 3) He may answer through other Christians. Nothing wrong with taking the advice of others as long as that advice is consistent with scripture. 4) Or through the situations which we encounter. Something will suddenly ‘click’ and we realize that the answer is right in front of our nose, in plain sight and again, it will be consistent with scripture. Not necessarily book, chapter and verse, but in concept. And 5) Praying always in the Spirit (Eph. 5:18), that’s using the spiritual language Father has given us. No matter how He answers our prayers, the answer will always be in agreement, consistent with scripture.
Praying ‘in the Spirit’ give us a ‘hotline’ to Jesus. Like the phone that was in the White House, a direct connect from Washington to Moscow. The president could pick up the phone and talk directly with (then) Russia’s premier. No in-between overseas operators. Our Spiritual language gives us that direct connect because our spirit is speaking directly to God via the Holy Ghost who understand the deep mysteries of God (1 Corinth. 2:10) and knows how to pray, when we don’t (Rom. 8:26).
When our tank is full, we empty it out by sharing with others what Father has shared with us (like this blog). And when we feel our ‘spiritual’ tank running low, we fill it back up moving with the confidence that we can accomplish whatever it is that Father has given us to do.
We yield, listen then follow what the Holy Ghost tells because He is our source of power! He helps us to communicate more perfectly with the Father and He gives us the power to not only do things as we live this life, but to magnify and glorify His Name (pillar #4).
And remember when The Spirit I alive and well within our hearts, we won’t call Jesus accursed, nor can we confess Jesus without the Holy Spirit motivating us (1 Corinth. 12:3)
We worship God in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24), for otherwise it is impossible to please God. When we are not honest and sincere with our praise and worship, our efforts fall upon God’s deaf ears for He sees them as Cain’s offering (Gen. 4:3-5, Jude 11, Heb. 11:4,). Our praise and worship should not be an afterthought or something through which we ‘think’ we may gain more favor (personal gain). We come and worship our heavenly Father because we truly want to give back to Him for the goodness and grace He has shed upon our lives. We should do it simply because we want to please Him. There are no other Gods beside Him (Isaiah 45:5), so He desires us to worship Him with all our energies (Luke 10:27). He tells us to have no other gods before Him (Exod. 20:3) and He will provide all that we need (Matt. 6:25-26).
My first girlfriend came in High School. She took a shine to me (even today, I still don’t understand why), but she did. One of her ‘classes’ was working in the school’s office, so she had access to information on all students. She ‘checked me out’. That is she gathered all the information about me that she could find in the school records. She may have even talked with some of my friends. Now, understand, I was always afraid of being turned down, so I did not take those chances in asking for dates back in those days. So she did what she needed to do. She asked me to a school dance. She pursued me. I was pretty ‘dense’ back in those days (some may argue any change since then) and where I should have been flattered ‘out of my gourd, I just took it in stride and said “OK.” Back then and through much of my life, I’ve always taken whatever befell me in stride.
The point of sharing this is that she pursued me and this is an inkling as to how we should pursue God. Learn all that’s available about Him so we can please Him and trust me, God will not receive our affection for Him as flippantly as I did hers. And He will surely bless us for our efforts (1 Tim. 6:17).
I love Psalms 150. The Psalm tells us to praise God with everything that we have available to us (horns, stringed instruments, tambourines, organs, etc.) and with all our energy and strength (dance, very breath- song). With all that we are, giving Him our best (Luke 10:25-28). And when we do it from our heart, the stage is set for a lot of good things to come our way (from Father).
Praise and worshipping Father includes living for Him. As Jesus tells us to be one with Him and the Father (John 17:21). Being one with Him and pursuing Him with all that we are means being obedient to His word and will. Of course, we have to seek what that is and that’s why we read the bible. When we love Jesus, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15) and by keeping His commandments, Father and Son (the Holy Ghost is already inside, so the godhead) will abide with us (John 15:23).
So we need to search Him out and discover those things which please Him in order to truly worship Him. Then do so, with all that have and are.
So we have four pillars, Father, Son, Holy Ghost and praise & worship and what holds all this together is the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7) which cleanses us inside and out so we can have a
relationship with God – Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
God, the Father, is our basis for all that is.
Father gave His life (through the Son) so we could obtain fellowship with Him, paving the way for the four pillars to be put into action with the blood being the interconnecting factor. For God (the Father) so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus) that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Had Jesus not shed His blood on the cross, we would still be living by our actions only and not by faith. How could we truly please Father? The blood brings meaning to our faith.
Jesus also promises us the Holy ghost who will give us power (Acts 1:8) and be in us (John 14:16-17). We remember that when God created all things, He brought them out of nothing into existence by speaking words. Then the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God carried those words into action as He moved upon the face of the waters. The Hebrew word here is ruwach (Strong’s 7307) which means breath or wind. The Greek eqjuivalent is pneuma (Strong’s 4151) which means breath or wind. So, the breath of God carries His Word into action.
So with the Father and Son living in us, within our hearts, we also gain an extra dimension in praise and worship for we don’t always know how to pray so the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (we don’t know how to speak it) (Rom. 8:26-27). In this way, we are able to praise God with our whole being. In case you missed it (note the *) that trickle of red is the blood of Jesus.
And we show our love for God by praising His Name and worshipping Him for all that He does, has done and will do for us. And we offer that praise up with all our energy.
So, there are four pillars of the cross which establish a relationship with the Father, through the Son because the Holy Ghost is alive and well within our hearts. Because of this, we give God all our adoration, praise and worship, thereby solidifying our relationship with Him. And it’s all made possible through the blood of Jesus.