Many of us may have heard about the “Final Solution”. This was Hitler’s plan to exterminate the Jews from all of Europe and, if possible, from the face of the world. The Jews were a problem to Hitler, and he wanted them gone. Well, obviously, that plan never worked. All it did was to strengthen the Jews’ resolve to live, and today the Jews are more alive than ever!
But God has something that I would call the “Singular Solution”. What I refer to as the “Singular Solution” is God’s solution for all the problems that the church is facing. And what, pray, is the problem of the church?
The problem of the church are the works of the flesh. There are people who think that the problem of the church is the devil. Well, maybe so; but the devil comes a far second to the flesh. The example of Jesus makes this clear. When the hour of Jesus’s suffering and death arrived, He told His disciples:
“… for the prince of this world cometh, and he hath nothing in me.” (Jn. 14:30)
Jesus knew that once the devil had the opportunity (and that opportunity was coming up pretty soon) the devil would descend on Him like a ton of bricks. The devil was filled with fury! And, indeed, just a few hours after Jesus spoke these words, the devil did descend on Jesus. We all know what happened. Satan used all his powers to make Jesus suffer and to humiliate. The soldiers arrested and bound Him (Jn. 18:11); they mocked Him and beat Him with everything from reeds to their bare hands (Lk. 22:63; Jn. 18:22); they insulted Him (Lk. 22:65); they spit on Him; even the servants struck Him “with the palms of their hands” (Mk. 14:65).
They stripped Him naked; they smashed a crown of thorns upon His head (Mk. 15:17). They parted His clothes (Lk. 23:34). And finally, they crucified Him. And even as He suffered in agony on the cross, His enemies continued to taunt Him, saying,
“29 Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross.” (Mk. 15:30)
But what was Jesus’s reaction?
Jesus continued loving them. He prayed for them,
“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Lk. 23:34)
The Bible tells us in 1 Pet. 2:
“22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously”.
Jesus opened not His mouth when He suffered. And the Bible states that Jesus did all this to leave us an example to follow.
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” (1 Pet. 2:21)
This was what perfected Jesus before the Father. Long before He died on the cross, Jesus had crucified His flesh. No matter what “the prince of this world” did against Him, Jesus would not react in the flesh.
No doubt this hour arrives for every believer in Jesus. An hour when “the prince of this world cometh”. Will he have something to latch onto in us? That’s talking of the flesh.
Notice, therefore, that in 1 Peter 2:21 the Bible tells us what our calling is. It is to crucify our flesh. It is to guard our hearts and to keep our mouths shut when we suffer.
It is to bless those who persecute us; to bless and not to curse. It is to pray for them.
When we thus crucify our flesh, the devil can have nothing in us. The devil’s instruments in us are the works of the flesh. If the flesh in us is dead, the devil has nothing in us.
For His children, God has a singular solution for each and every problem plaguing the church: the cross. If we were to take up our cross and follow Christ, we would not have any problems to talk about in the church save for dealing with works of the devil in the world but not within the church!