austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

March 19

19 MAR – The Demand of the Cross for Separation from the World

In the Cross, Christ created a great divide between the old world and the new, a divide which cannot be bridged. Two distinctly different systems, scales of value, standards of judgment, sets of laws, stand contrasted on the two sides of the Cross. The system of each is not only quite different, but irreconcilable and forever mutually antagonistic. The cross demands an absolute distinctiveness of interest and objectives, relationships and resources. It draws the final distinction between the saved and the unsaved, between the living and the dead.

The apostle Paul said that by the Cross of Christ he had “been crucified to the world” and the world crucified to him. The Word of God emphatically declares that this age is evil and that “the whole world lieth in the wicked one”. It says that the world’s ways, motives, purposes, ideas and imaginations are all the opposite of God’s. It further asserts that the world is utterly incapacitated from either receiving the revelation of the divine mind, growing of itself into the divine image, enjoying and appreciating real fellowship with God, or being entrusted with the privilege of co-operation with God.

Such capacities and relationships belong only to those whose new birth has delivered them from this present world. It is understandable that the world finds the condemnation of the Cross irritating and unacceptable, and it is to be feared that the presence of “worldliness” in the individual Christian life and in the Church is in direct contradiction to the essential purposes of the Cross. The Lord Jesus described His cross as being “the judgment of this world” (John 12:31). Those who follow Him must accept this verdict, and will consequently have to suffer from the offence of the Cross. The Cross condemns the world utterly and completely.

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