>> AUDIO: Session 3 – The Cross The Cross
Newmarket, ON, 27 June 2009, Session 3: Frank Viola
WE WANT TO KNOW HOW… to partake… practically how to know Christ together, and express Him together
THE CROSS: Church life doesn’t work without the cross. It never has and it never will.
Luke 9: 23-24
Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.
Deny yourself daily
The cross = principle of the cross and all its aspects
– dying to yourself – losing – surrender – yielding – deny your self nature
It is hard and difficult and “bloody”
Jesus – the shadow of the cross – two wills moving in two different directions – Gethsemene – “not my will but your will be done”
If you will have organic church life, live a shared life together, the cross is at the centre of that community, bidding you to die to self.
It is hard, filled with pain, and cost. Injured souls. Hurt people hurt people.
Organic church life is a railroad track to the cross.
I am either going to die on it, or going to run away from it.
But, the cross will follow you. Just wait, the cross will find you.
Christians give away the cross to one another. You cannot crucify yourself. Others “nail” you. This is where your brothers and sisters crucify you to the cross.
It is death to everything that you are, so all that remains is himself. This is authentic organic life.
The Lord’s metric for success is losing. It is failure. In the failure is the winning. The most dangerous people in the church are those with a vision. They will push and push to make the vision work, they will trample on God’s people, just to have their way and agenda.
It takes time and patience with God’s people. Victory is found on the other side of failure. The cross is the key ingredient to life.
2 Cor. 4: 8-14 – We find life on the other side of death
The church works when all the Christians are dragging a cross wherever they go.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.
So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,
because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.
The Lord is a carpenter who can make the perfect cross just for you, to destroy you. He will use those closest to you to mortify you.
You will grow the most as a Christian when you will be looking down from the cross. No one will notice. No one will notice you dying on the cross.
All that you are has to be nailed to the cross, if not you will hurt people in the body of Christ. Your vision, your agenda, your ministry, your talents, will be nailed to a cross, or you will hurt people in the body of Christ.
The apostle Paul hurt people.
Get used to a lot of dying. The most painful things will happen to you. Because God is trying to get “you” out of the way, of what He has purposed in and through you.
ARE YOU WILLING TO BEAR THE CROSS?
Christ-likeness stands on the other side of the cross. It requires going there again and again. Tabernacle of Moses – Altar – place of death and sacrifice. You only experience the presence of God through death. Temple – stones held together by friction – cut, sanded, polished – to be rightly fitted together (Eph. 2) – chiseled by the cross. Cut and shaped, and connected and built together by friction – requires the cross.
Dictator – controlling, dominating personality – articulate – creative – gets people to follow them – could direct people where they want >> they will hurt other people without realizing that they are >> bent on getting their own way, no matter what they have to do – and are classic manipulators.
Self righteous judgmental person – incapable of seeing their own flaws. Legalists who have standards of conduct and behavior and push it on others. They will kill other people by judging the motives of other people. Jesus loved sinners – “friend of sinners” BUT he could not tolerate self-righteous people. Read their own motives when they judge others.
Libertine – poison to a church that wants to move on. “We are under grace” so that it doesn’t matter what we do. They will hold up and derail a group of people that wants to move in a particular direction, because they don’t want to go there.
Passive aggressors – self pity and passivity paralyzes the church
Don’t persons – opposed to leadership of any kind
Intense brother – believes humour is of the devil – puts people on edge
The antidote for all these is the cross – they each have to die
It is harder on the saints when it is a sister than a brother.
Dictator – I yield
Self righterous – I am wrong How a person comes to faith in Christ, dominantly impacts and imprints for life.
People try to bend
the direction of the church to their disposition.
Purpose to die is the only solution.
The only imprint of God is the cross.
A season for outreach and all the evangelistic ones jump in and evangelize. Different bents and stirrings have different seasons. When that season passes, there is a part that remains.
What is the season?
It could be evangelism
It could be prayer
It could be home life
It could bible study
DO BUSINESS WITH YOUR LORD. CONSIDER THE COST.
It is about bearing the cross.
Organic church life is a wedding of gore and glory, death and resurrection.