14 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.
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Gal. 6:14-15
For the believer who truly desires to follow after Christ, the revelation of the cross of Jesus Christ is the most welcome guest they could possibly receive in their hearts. Nothing – no physical miracle, no heavenly vision, no celestial visitation – nothing in earth or in heaven could compare to the beauty of the revelation of the cross in our hearts.
The Apostle Paul says that in Christ Jesus (which means that as far we believers are concerned) nothing is needed apart from a new creature. This is a creature that is completely cut off or separated from this world. There is an umbilical cord that connects us to this world. That umbilical cord is our flesh.
The cross of Christ is the the only force that can deal with our most attritive enemy, the flesh. The Apostle Paul said that this revelation was what set him free from the power of the world.
If we are truly intent on following Christ and partaking of His glory, then we ought to joyfully welcome the revelation of the cross into our hearts and into our lives.
Let us consider the two famous scriptures that Paul wrote to the two churches which had backslid from the doctrine that he had initially given to them. Notice that nowhere in the scriptures are we told the doctrine that Paul taught the churches that he pioneered; but in these his two epistles he gives us clearly what it was that he taught them: he says he brought to them the revelation of the cross of Christ.
To the Corinthians he says: “1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:1-2).
And to the Galatians he wrote: “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” (Gal. 3:1)
These two statements make us to understand the gospel that Paul preached to every church that he founded or visited. If this generation is serious with God, we can only desire to understand and to welcome with open arms this revelation.
Let us conclude by considering Paul’s words in Galatians 5:5: “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”
Here it is clear that Paul is saying that we may not be completely righteous at the present time, but we do have one thing: faith. Faith sees into the future. Faith sees the unseeable. And here Paul says all that God has given us for now is faith. And through this faith we await, having in us the hope of being made completely righteous one day; and that hope is there with us through the faith that the Holy Spirit gives to us.
Let us therefore cast aside doubt and run to embrace this revelation. It does not matter how it may have come to us; in whatever way it has come to us, if we have seen and understood it even slightly, let us quickly and wholesomely embrace it, by faith. Walking by faith means we may not understand everything at the present time, but if we have faith we will trust and hope! Through that faith we can embrace the revelation that God brings to our hearts and trust Him to work everything out to complete the transformation that He needs to in our lives.
In practical terms, embracing the cross means accepting to suffer for Christ’s sake; and suffering means walking in love, as Paul makes it so clear in Galatians. It means walking in forgiveness, and in every aspect of the love of God. That is God’s interpretation of love!
[Below: In the heat of the mid-day sun in Dar es Salaam, it is not unusual to find everybody in a city bus, including the driver, asleep at the traffic lights]