Nov 12, 2008

Devotional - Glory in the cross

Resurrection of Jesus"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." Galatians 6:14

Conformity to the death of Christ can only be obtained by close, individual, realizing views of the cross. It is in the cross sin is seen in its exceeding sinfulness. It is in the cross the holiness of God shines with such ineffable luster. This is the sun that throws its light upon these two great objects-the holiness of God, the sinfulness of the sinner.

Veil this sun, remove the cross, blot out the Atonement, and all our knowledge of holiness and sin vanishes into distant and shadowy views. Faith, dealing much and closely with the cross of Christ, will invariable produce in the soul conformity to His death. This was the great desire of the apostle: "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death." This was the noble prayer of this holy man. He desired crucifixion with Christ; a crucifixion to sin, to indwelling sin, to sin in its every shape-to sin in principle, sin in temper, sin in worldly conformity, sin in conversation, sin in thought, yes, sin in the very glance of the eye. He desired not only a crucifixion of sin, of one particular sin, but of all sin; not only the sin that most easily beset him, the sin that he daily saw and felt, and mourned over, but the sin that no eye saw but God's-the sin of the indwelling principle; the root of all sin-the sin of his nature. This is to have fellowship with Christ in His sufferings. Jesus suffered as much for the subduing of the indwelling principle of sin, as for the pardon of the outbreakings of that sin in the daily practice. Have we fellowship with Him in these sufferings?

There must be a crucifixion of the indwelling power of sin. To illustrate the idea: if the root be allowed to strengthen and expand, and take a deeper and firmer grasp, what more can we expect than that the tree will shoot upward and branch out on either hand? To cut off the outward branches is not the proper method to stay the growth of the tree: the root must be uncovered, and the axe laid to it. Outward sins may be cut off, and even honestly confessed and mourned over, while the concealed principle, the root of the sin, is overlooked, neglected, and suffered to gather strength and expansion.

That the inherent evil of a believer will ever, in his present existence, be entirely eradicated, we do not assert. To expect this would be to expect what God's Word has not declared; but that it may be greatly subdued and conquered, its power weakened and mortified, this the Word of God leads us to hope for and aim after. How is this to be attained? Faith dealing frequently and closely with Christ-the atoning blood upon the conscience-the "fountain opened" daily resorted to-the believer sitting constantly at the foot of the cross, gazing upon it with an eye of steady, unwavering faith-"looking unto Jesus."

In this posture sin, all sin-the sin of the heart, the sin of the practice-is mourned over, wept over, confessed, mortified, crucified. Let the reader again be reminded that all true crucifixion of sin springs from the cross of Christ.

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