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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Centrality of the Cross

Below is an extract from a book or series of sermons with the above title by Jessie Penn-Lewis.
Every serious Christian should consider her work and teachings.
These are a few paragraphs taken from her writings.
You can find all this book at the following link.

Put simply the cross of Christ is the key to Christian Living,Experience and Victory.
Some teachers like John Stott,Neil Anderson, Charles Solomon,Frank Hunting and others will show you how we can exchange our lives for the life of Jesus.
The Great Exchange.
Romans 6 is the key.

from Jessie Penn-Lewis

"Now let us pass on to see the Cross as the centre, or 'fixed point', for VICTORY OVER SIN, OVER THE WORLD, OVER THE FLESH, AND OVER THE DEVIL. For a clear unveiling of the Cross as the 'fixed point' for the Christian's victory over sin, we turn to Romans 6. It is the basic chapter in the whole of the New Testament, where the deep meaning of the death at Calvary is set forth, in language which is extraordinary in its simplicity and clearness, and marvellous in its comprehensive explanation of the gospel. No wonder that the "god of this world" has influenced so many to relegate Romans 6 to the theologians, so as to keep believers from understanding its simple truth, because the deceiver knows it to be the CRUCIAL MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL from the experimental standpoint.
God-ward, the death of the Lord Jesus Christ was the atonement, and the propitiation for sin, but in Romans 6 we are shown the Cross in its manward aspect-in its dealing with the sinner. Here is the practical, deep and vital message to the sinner, showing him the way of deliverance from the power of sin, from the world, the flesh and the devil. Here in the Romans 6 message of Calvary, Paul laid the foundation deep and, strong. Here lies the bed-rock depth of the Cross, as the 'fixed point' for the personal life of the believer, personal equipment, and personal victory in every aspect of need.
Let us read the passage slowly and carefully: Verses 1-2, "What shall we say then? Shall we persist in sin that the gift of grace may be more abundant? God forbid! WE WHO HAVE DIED TO SIN." Here is the Cross in its aspect of the death of the sinner with the Saviour. It is clear from this that Christ's Cross was the sinner's cross, not, of course, in the matter of atonement God-ward, but in the taking of the old creation life to the Cross, that the believer should be delivered from the power of sin; and that, not by conquering it, but by dying to it. Here is the key to victory. The deepest things are the simplest.
The real trouble about understanding the sixth of Romans is not a theological, but a moral one. When we sincerely want deliverance from the power of sin, it is within our reach. It lies just here for the simple soul who will take the statements as a fact. For the sake of a lost world, let us have no 'moral' hindrances to our knowing the reality of the Cross. If men and women would be utterly willing for the deepest work of the Cross to be wrought in or applied to them, there would be a trembling of the powers of hell, a shaking of the kingdom of darkness. The pivotal secret of God's plan for the redemption of a lost world lies in the meaning of Romans 6. The central fact of the Cross being the sinner's cross, as well as the Saviour's.
Moreover, this Romans 6 meaning of the Cross must be recognized as the root foundation of the Christian life, just as the 'root' is necessary to the life of the tree. A tree cannot part with its root, but must strike it deeper into the ground, so that all external growth may have strong support in the earth, and strong life-force for its maintenance.
" We who have died to sin," how can we any longer live under the mastery of sin? Or "have you forgotten that all of us ... were baptized into fellowship with His death?" writes the Apostle. 'All of us'-not the few who wish to be advanced souls, but young converts also! If every convert to Christ was 'born again' through the gospel message of this chapter, and they knew its power in experience at the very beginning of their Christian lives, there would be less backsliding, and need of careful nursing lest they fell away, for a new life would be imparted to them in stronger power, and Christ as the Living One would be known as a real Saviour."

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