Enemies of the Cross
When I say enemies of the cross what comes to mind? Is it a well-known atheist who debates Christian leaders? Do you think of religions opposed to Christianity? Perhaps you think of humanistic philosophers?
I want to talk with you about a different kind of enemy. The type of enemy I’m thinking of isn’t a person or religion. It’s an attitude, perspective or habit that’s opposed to the cross. What makes these enemies of the cross so dangerous is that they’re a part of many Christians’ lives.
We accept salvation as a free gift by faith Ephesians 2:8-9. For too many Christians the power of the cross ends there. It shouldn’t. God doesn’t just leave us to fend for ourselves after we become Christians. By the power of the cross He gives us victory over sin. Consider Romans 6:6
We know that our old (and renewed) self was nailed to the cross with him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. (Amp)
This verse makes a profound statement about the role of the cross in the everyday life of Christians. When you became a Christian you were joined to Christ. That means when Jesus was nailed to the cross you were, too. The result is sin’s power and control was made ineffective in your life.
Is that true for you? Or is each day a constant struggle with sin? Do you deal with sin by the power of the cross?
5 Enemies of the Cross
Many Christians don’t. Instead of living as free from sin many attempt to have victory over sin while ignoring the power of the cross. These attempts are enemies of the cross. They include:
- Self-denial – Some think that by denying ourselves things that give us pleasure, like food, drink, entertainment, social media, etc., they can control the flesh.
- Spiritual discipline – Others try to fill their lives with disciplines like prayer, Bible study, meditation and going to church so there’s no room in their heart for the flesh to operate.
- Discipleship – Some take the approach that biblical training leads to spirituality. Just focus on growing and learning how to share your faith, apologetics, a biblical worldview, etc. and you’ll defeat sin.
- Spiritual experiences – One approach seeks revival, re-dedication and deeper spiritual experiences to lead them to a higher level of spirituality where sin isn’t a problem any more.
- Cleansing – Some emphasize confession of sins since it washes away the guilt of sin. They suggest the need to devote oneself to maintaining a humble attitude of confessing our sins.
These are noble and well-meaning attempts to tame our sin nature. Don’t misunderstand me. There are benefits from these activities but they’re powerless to stop sin in our lives. None of these work because they’re all based upon human effort. These are all enemies of the cross.
The power of the cross is in our new identity. We’re now dead to sin and alive to God Romans 6:11
Try this today: When you have a sinful thought, mood, impulse or desire stop what you’re doing. Think and pray this, “I don’t have to accept this sinful desire. I’m dead to it. I’m alive to you Father and trust You to fill me with the Spirit. May I act so as to please You with my thoughts and actions.”
When you do that you’ll find the power of the cross ready to give you victory.
What do you think? Please leave a comment or question below.