The main purpose of our study is to gain a clear understanding of our purpose in Christ and what we must do to accomplish it. For this reason we are examining the steps to maturity so we can understand where we are, and what we need to do next. Because the strength of the foundation will determine the strength and magnitude of what can be built upon it, we are taking the time to lay the foundation correctly. Without question, the strength of our spiritual lives will be determined by the revelation, understanding, and application of the cross in our lives. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:18:
“For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
We will know the power of God in our lives to the degree that the cross has worked in our lives. Therefore, let us continually seek to sink our roots deeper into the knowledge of what was accomplished for us at the cross, and to take up our cross and carry it daily. The life of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is the salvation of God, the wisdom of God, the glory of God, and the power of God for those who are being saved.
Christ Jesus is called the Passover Lamb of God, and we have been studying the prophetic Passover sacrifice in Exodus to illustrate what the cross accomplished for us. In Exodus 12:8-11, we see several more important aspects of this feast and how Israel was commanded to eat it, which are crucial for us to understand.
“And they shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire,
and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water,
but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails.
And you shall not leave any of it over until morning,
but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire.
Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded,
your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand;
and you shall eat it in haste — it is the LORD’s Passover.”
The way they had to eat the Passover is summed up in these three points:
- with bitter herbs and unleavened bread
- they had to eat the whole thing
- as they ate they had to be ready to depart in haste
Because points one and three are related, we will save them for the next study, but point two is worthy in itself of a life of pursuit — they had to eat the whole thing. One of the most dangerous compromises we could ever make in our lives is to pick and choose which aspects of the gospel we are going to accept. This is possibly the one thing that has most weakened the church through the ages because it dilutes the very foundation of the power of the cross in our lives.
If we come to Christ with any conditions as to what we will accept, or what we will do, we are not partaking of His atonement as He has prescribed. He will be the Lord of all, or not at all. Let us consider the following Scriptures, beginning with what is called “the Great Commission” in Matthew 28:18-20:
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying,
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The basis for the Great Commission is “all authority” in heaven and earth has been given to Jesus. There is no place or person on earth that is beyond the exercise of His authority, if He chooses to exercise it. As King David wrote in Psalm 8:1, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Thy name in all the earth….”
In biblical times one’s name was equated with their authority. There is no place on earth that belongs to the devil. As the Scripture again asserts in Psalm 24:1: “The earth is the LORD‘s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.”
This must also be our quest in seeking to carry out The Great Commission — to see His authority revealed in all of the earth. That is why the commission is to “make disciples of all nations.”
The last part of that commission was to teach these nations to observe all that He has commanded us. This seems to have been the point made by the angel in Acts 5:19-20: that He has commanded us. This seems to have been the point made by the angel in Acts 5:19-20:
“But an angel of the Lord during the night opened the gates of the prison,
and taking them out he said, “Go your way,
stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.”
If we are endeavoring to fulfill The Great Commission, to be ministers of the gospel, we must present the whole message of the gospel. It has been the tendency for those who have been entrusted with this Great Commission to omit, or overlook, what they do not understand or agree with. This has perpetually opened the door to weakness and even heresy in the church.
For this reason we must understand, embrace, and refuse to compromise, 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
If we are going to partake of the Lord’s Passover, we must eat the whole thing. We cannot pick and choose what aspects of the gospel we are going to accept and what parts we are not.
There are aspects to the cross and the gospel that are stumbling blocks to many, but if we start watering down the message, then we have stumbled over the whole. That which would cause us to pick and choose what we will obey and what we will not was precisely the rationale for the first sin of mankind, and also what released death into the world in the first place.
Redemption will only be complete when we determine to die completely to our own will in order to be fully obedient to Him. If we do not, we will continue to be open for further disobedience and its accompanying consequences — death.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|