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The Scandal of the Cross Bearer

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Galatians 5:11.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Its the love of God which constrains us to keep the law. The law of Christ does not keep us a prisoner, but our love for him constrains us to do that which is right. O what liberty! liberty in Christ. No wonder Paul talked of being in christ, “I can do all things through Christ,” (Phil 4:13). and “if any man be in Christ he is a new creature,” (2 cor 5:17). Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: – (Romans 3:24). There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. – (Romans 8:1). For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. – (Romans 8:2)..Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – (Romans 8:39).. Paul a man of the law knew a new freedom that kept him holy. That he did not have to be religious about being holy, but he did have to be in Christ. Paul has been stooped in the law but was kept in Christ and found it far more profitable.

Stand fast in the “liberty” O what liberty there is in Christ. Man by nature needs rules, man by Christ keeps these rules because he loves Christ. It’s not a liberty to induce in the things of the flesh, the old carnal nature, but rather a liberty to indulge in the things of the spirit.

2Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

7Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? this truth the truth of liberty in the Holy Ghost. 8″This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 10I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. 11And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. 12I would they were even cut off which trouble you.”

Here is the centre of it all, the cross. What causes the “offense” or the whole issue of law and grace? The cross! What caused the Jews to be offended at the Cross, it was that Christ’s death abolished their religious system which they thought would bring them deliverance. The cross changed the order, the cross changed the order from man paying for the sacrifice to God paying for our sins with his own blood, that was the offense of the cross.

Further, the cross meant man being now accountable to the Lord not to Jewish laws. Jesus demanded he who follows him, must bear his own cross. The cross provided them a higher law which superseded the Old laws in that a man was still bound to a law but that  new law made him a free man in Christ. There is no such thing as a faith without a cross any more than there is law without grace. The cross symbolises both liberty and freedom. Liberty the “liberty” is from the freedom of bandage, the curse of the law and the dominion of satan, be free from that! If you are free from the curse you are free indeed. The liberty is in carrying the cross. The scandal of it too!

The cross then is an offense!  What do we see in the cross? weakness, no! Strength! Humiliation, no! glory! Look at the cross, its strength was in the dismissal of the law and this providing the law of life in Christ Jesus. Look at the cross for we see mans attempt to govern by his law failing, we see man and his laws being dealt a fine blow, look again at the cross we see governments and systems crumbling and being useless in face of this man who at his death brought liberty to any man who relied on the law and religion for his salvation.

THE SCANDAL OF THE CROSS WAS THIS.. HOW CAN THE CROSS FIX THE PROBLEM OF LAW OR GRACE? Which one should I serve?

It did! It revealed the solution for man who could not keep any law, for failing in one point he fails in keeping any of it. The crucifixion reveals a man who carried the law and conquered its demands for all men. The cross reveals a man whose love exceeds that of obedience to laws and standards. The law brings death but the cross leads to resurrection thats why we have baptism we are baptised into his death and so partake of his life. The life that no law could give.  The bearing of the cross is a higher life and a far greater life a far more demanding kind of life than one would live under the law

The work of Christ ended with a breaking of the law but for the man that carried the cross, his work was about to begin. Where the law ended life began, indeed all life begins with the cross. No wonder the scandal and scorn of a cross. It is finished! stand fast in the liberty wherein Christ has set you free and be ye not entangled again. Carrying the cross is enough, do that and so fulfil the law of Christ.

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