|1 Corinthians 1:17-18 |
17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel, and not with eloquent speech, so that the cross of Christ should not become of no avail.4 [How might the cross of Christ become of no avail?—If people incorrectly think that water baptism saves them, then bearing the cross is thought to be useless; this has happened in Christianity, whose billions consider the necessity of bearing the cross foolishness and of no value. So Christianity is perishing; and Christianity also being blind to the true gospel, is perishing on two counts.]
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing; but to us who are being saved the cross is the power of God.5 [Those who take up the inward cross of self-denial quickly experience the power of God to begin freeing them from sin. From the Word of the Lord within: "With the true gospel there is ample proof along the way. There are many that deny the cross and all that is necessary. He who is not on the cross is not worthy of me. The purpose of this website is to teach you how to carry your cross. Every man that comes, must come through the cross;—I say every man!"]
5 the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing; but to us who are being saved the cross is the power of God. The cross is the power of God to change you to become sinless, to become pure, to cleanse you, to become like him, capable of Him then uniting Himself with you. The power of God to salvation is unleashed by: the true gospel of the true hope, the name of Jesus, and the cross of Christ, which is the inward cross of self-denial. Self-denial begins with repentance: to stop lying, cheating, sexual immorality, oppressing others; to share the necessities of life with others, to forgive others of the injustices done to you. And then you must go to Him. You must persistently and patiently wait on Him in humble silence as you listen, watch, and hope for Him to speak His teachings and commands to you. Self-denial occurs by obeying the Lord's voice instead of your will, (His will, not your will); this is taking up the cross, which is the power of God to free you from sin. The cross is to your will and your carnal mind, which must be denied. Wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. You must endure to the end, when you see Christ bring your salvation.
Christendom denies the cross is necessary. Christendom calls crucifying your lusts and affection on the cross, foolishness. Christendom claims that believing the cross is necessary, is to deny Jesus having saved all believers through his death. Although Christ's death did pay for the sins of all men, our bearing the cross is not to pay the penalty for our sins; Christ has already paid for that. We don't physically die on the inward cross of self-denial. We suffer, so that our selfish spirit dies on the inward cross to be finished with sin, and then by the grace of God, we receive salvation, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, union with God, and entry into the Kingdom of Heaven, to be there forever.
So because Christendom denies the cross is necessary, which Jesus said at least five times was absolutely necessary, then Christendom is perishing: for the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. 1 Cor 1:18. To Christendom, the cross has the aroma of death. 2 Cor 2:15-16. But the cross is the power of God to be delivered from sin, to be made free from sin forever, a forever cleansing and perfection.