Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cross-Centered Ministry

Here is a small portion of an article by Jay Wegter of Frontline Ministries titled A Cross-Centered Ministry for Christ-Centered Living:

"The cross brings the sinner low; it dashes to the ground all human strategies for managing depravity. The man brought low abandons all false refuges and hiding places from judgment; he comes clean and owns his guilt. He judges himself worthy of divine judgment. Only then (through this Spirit enabled conviction and repentance) does the “altar” of the cross become the sinner’s treasured everlasting meeting place with God (Heb 13:10ff.).

The Christian comes back to meet God there over and over again. By fresh acts of faith in the message of the cross, we are renewed and we are motivated to maintain our relationship with the Lord. The outcome of maintaining our relationship with the Lord is practical progress in sanctification (Rom 6:22-23).

The “grace” part of sin and grace tells us that the cross-centered life demands our full attention. It refuses to be peripheral; it cannot be compartmentalized nor formalized. Life as a living sacrifice calls for universal obedience – every area of life is to be characterized by ongoing conformity to God’s Word.

Cross-centered living calls for courage; a daring to draw near again and again in order to have the light of Christ and His work shine upon our affections, our identity, our behavior, and our relationships – there is a constant renewal of our determination to take refuge in Christ the covenant and hiding place.

The cross-centered life calls me to a path of radical identification with Christ in which the Word of God dominates exceptionally in every area of my life. The cross is inseparable from self-denial -- there are 10,000 places where God’s will cuts across my will. Those who take up the cross understand this intimately – they “feel” the ruggedness of the cross upon their flesh. What they would prefer to pamper and excuse, the cross condemns and slays...

The Church has many who walk at a determined distance from the cross. They walk so as to give the cross a wide berth. Those who do not take up the cross fail to cooperate with the purposes of God’s heart (Rom 8:28-29). As a consequence they do not have as their life goal to be presented complete in Christ (Col 1:28)...

We must learn to display Christ not only in His sinless life of infinite virtue made manifest, but we must also learn to display the perfections of His Saviorhood – a Saviorhood perfectly suited to the sinner’s every need (Heb 7:26-28); a Saviorhood that is co-extensive with the sinner’s ruin."
To read the whole article, which I highly recommend, click here.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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