“ For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the POWER of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
“ But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the POWER of God, and the WISDOM of God.” I Corinthians 1:24
•The basic principle of self-giving is symbolized in the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross stands for self-sacrifice. The cross is a principle that spawns true Christian character and generates the only energy that drives the church in evangelism and missions.
•In this book, the author has sincerely attempted not to superficially gloss the cross as a historical event, but to break through the apparent and lay hold on the deep lying principles of its wisdom and power.
•Jesus stands at the threshold of a new era, inviting us to follow Him into the future, He invites us to lay down our lives and pick up our cross. He invites us to lose our lives in order to find life. He invites us, like the mustard seed, to fall into the ground and die, so that we may be part of a great tree extended into a chaotic world.
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
“From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” Matthew 16:21
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
•It is paramount to see the very important reason why in the same chapter, location, and time frame, Jesus introduces both the concept of the church and also the cross. The significance is that these two realities are effectively inseparable. The true church and the cross are indivisible in concept and Christian function.
•Jesus is clearly disclosing that the cross is a product of His death. Life in the church continues to generate as this same principle of selfless love is repeated by its members.
“ For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Matthew 16:26-27
•Jesus warns those who follow Him that they will not survive as a living, contributing part of His church unless they accept into their lives the same principle that produced the church.
•It may come as a surprise to people whose careful, well-studied theology has made a very secure place for the believer, to observe that Jesus pictured the end result of the self-saving principle in the Christian’s life as the actual loss of his soul.
The cross is never imposed on us, it must be chosen. God will not force you to pick up the cross, but is there such a thing as a cross-less Christian?
“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:38
•Self goes and dies at the cross. All of the crucified person belongs to God. It is a costly decision. There is no place for fleshly gain.
•This is in such contrast to the soft death we hint at today in much of our preaching. We are led and conditioned today, it seems, by emotional highs, which appeal so often to the natural instincts of life.
*****This book will inspire you to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus.******