Two Aspects Of The Cross
Brother Michaux confronts his reader with reality. His article is both an admonition and a warning. May we pay earnest heed.
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
There is much cheap grace being taught, and even believed in. It is grace without responsibility, salvation without knowledge, and holiness without effort. There is no conversion required in the preaching of this cheap grace. But as in the natural realm death is the end of life, so in the spiritual realm there is no life without death. That’s the significance of the cross. It stops all argument. Faced with the cross, we are forced to think one thing —death. Not only death, but a cruel death, death by crucifixion. This makes grace very expensive.
Cheap grace produces cheap surface morality. It results in religion, not Christianity. It says we have no standard but love. This love, however, is weak, insipid, boresome. It ignores the words of Jesus Christ, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” It makes up rules of its own and places certain categories of people under bondage to live, to do, to act in a certain way, even if this way is contrary to the Scriptures, and excludes all others. It says, in effect, ‘To follow Jesus is to follow me.”
But the criterion must be the cross. It is the great divider. It separates the wheat from the chaff, the real from the illusory, the true from the false. It is clear, biting testimony of what is demanded of us. It says three things: First, deny yourself; second, take up the cross and take it up daily; third, follow Him, Christ, the forerunner, the file leader, the example.
Dr. Tozer related an incident of a little boy who asked his father: “What does crucifixion mean?” The father’s thoughtful answer was that it meant three things. “A man on the cross,” he said, “faces one direction, he is not looking back, and he has no future plans of his own.”
If we are crucified with Christ it means essentially these three things.