It is important that we remember the message of the cross. In all of our explorations of the ‘manifold grace of God,’ we should never lose sight of the message that sets men free and releases them from the grip of death.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:18)
The cross and the resurrection of Jesus is the primary message of the book of Acts and the Epistles. No matter what other topic is being discussed, the New Testament authors would always return the message of the cross.
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. (Gal. 6:14)
The message of the cross redefines our relationship with the world. We were not only set free from the power of sin, we were also separated from the power of the world. In fact, we were translated from the dominion of darkness into the Kingdom of God (Col. 1:13).
When on the cross Jesus declared ‘it is finished’ concerning the fulfilling of the Law, it was also finished concerning our slavery to the corruption of the world. Too often we only understand the first part of that message. The second part is equally powerful! We have been crucified to the world and the world to us. Just as we reckon ourselves dead to sin, we should also reckon ourselves dead to the corrupting lust the world system offers.
That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom. 10:9)
When Paul declares that by confessing Jesus and the fact that God raised Him from the dead we would be saved, he wasn’t only speaking of being saved from the power of legalism, or even the power of sin in the flesh. He was also speaking of being saved from the world system.
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:17)
For the form of this world is passing away. (1 Cor. 7:31)
The message of the cross isn’t only about the Law, or sin in the flesh. It is also a message of crucifixion concerning the world system. That is why Paul says that we should not be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Rom. 12:2) Let the power of the cross fully separate you from everything that steals, kills and destroys!