How does the Cross make the work of the Holy Spirit possible?
Everything the Holy Spirit has ever done on this Earth, with the exception of the time of Creation (Gen. 1:2), has been made possible by the Cross of Christ. Of course, before Jesus came, the Sacrificial System served as a stopgap measure, so to speak. But, inasmuch as the blood of bulls and goats was woefully insufficient to take away sins (Heb. 10:4), this limited the Holy Spirit as to what He could do for humanity. However, to be sure, He did all that was possible for Him to do at the time.
THE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM
As we have previously stated, the Lord introduced the Sacrificial System immediately after the Fall of Adam and Eve, which caused them to be driven out of the Garden. He did so for many reasons, but the primary reason at the time was that they could have forgiveness of sins and fellowship with Him. However, it had to be through the Sacrificial System, which consisted of a lamb being offered as a whole Burnt Offering. The Fourth Chapter of Genesis sets the stage for the conflict between God’s Way, which is the Cross of Christ, and man’s way, which is that of his own concoctions. It has held true from then until now.
Sometime back a couple gave an EXPOSITOR’S STUDY BIBLE to their pastor. The pastor was involved in a particular denomination that did not like Jimmy Swaggart at all.
At any rate, the next Sunday morning following the Bible being given to him, he made the statement from behind the pulpit that, “Jesus didn’t pay it all at Calvary’s Cross.” Now, that’s an interesting statement!
My Grandson Gabriel was talking with the couple and they were asking him, “Should we leave this church and find another one?” “Unequivocally yes,” Gabriel quickly answered! In fact, as it regards most churches presently, the people would do better if they did not attend. One cannot sit under false doctrine and not be influenced by such, and in a very negative way. Untold millions are in Hell right now because of that very thing, and sadly, untold millions of others, in fact, the majority of the world’s present population, are on their way to that place of darkness.
There is nothing in the world worse than a false way of Salvation. Regrettably, if the Church omits the Cross, it has omitted God’s Way, and to be sure, there is no other way. To be blunt, it’s the Cross of Christ or it is Hellfire. That’s the reason the great Apostle wrote to the Church at Corinth saying, “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect” (I Cor. 1:17). Paul wasn’t knocking Water Baptism; he was merely stating, and unequivocally so, that the emphasis must always be on the Cross of Christ and never other things, as worthwhile as those things may be in their own right. We should not forget that!
Please remember, we aren’t speaking here of mundane matters, but rather, the destination of the eternal soul of man. To be sure, nothing is more important than that. Paul said a long time ago, and it holds true presently:
“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? (A real friend is one who will tell his friend the truth, even though it hurts.)
“They zealously affect you (speaks of the Judaizers attempting to subvert the Galatians in order to win them over to themselves), but not well (not for your good); yes, they would exclude you (they would shut the Galatians out from the benefits of the Gospel of Grace), that you might affect them (means to be drawn to their side).
“But it is good to be zealously affected always in agood thing(Paul wanted the Galatians to be as zealous over Christ and the Cross as it seems they were tending to be over false doctrine), and not only when I am present with you. (Their zeal for the right thing should be present at all times.)”
UNTIL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU
“My little children (presents the language of deep affection and emotion), of whom I travail in birth again (deliver to you again the rudiments of the great Message of Christ and Him Crucified, as though you had never heard it to begin with) until Christ be formed in you (presents the work only the Holy Spirit can do, and does so exclusively within the parameters of the Sacrifice of Christ, which must always be the Object of our Faith),
“I desire to be present with you now (as a loving parent wants to be at the side of a sick child), and to change my voice (refers to the fact that his true love for them would more profitably come through were he only standing before them in person); for I stand in doubt of you. (The Apostle was perplexed as to how the Galatians could have forsaken the Holy Spirit, substituting in His Place the cold issues of dead Law. Any Christian who presently has as his object of Faith anything but the Cross is following the same course as the Galatians of old)” (Gal. 4:16-20).
If the preacher is trying to please everybody, above all, he most definitely is not pleasing God. Concerning that, Paul also said:
The Apostle in speaking to the same Churches in Galatia said:
“I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him (the Holy Spirit) Who called you into the Grace of Christ (made possible by the Cross) unto another gospel (anything which doesn’t have the Cross as its Object of Faith):
“Which is not another (presents the fact that Satan’s aim is not so much to deny the Gospel, which he can little do, as to corrupt it); but there be some who trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ (once again, to make the object of Faith something other than the Cross).”
“But though we (Paul and his associates), or an Angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you (Jesus Christ and Him Crucified), let him be accursed (eternally condemned; the Holy Spirit speaks this through Paul, making this very serious).
“As we said before, so say I now again (at some time past, he had said the same thing to them, making their defection even more serious), If any man preach any other gospel unto you (anything other than the Cross) than that you have received (which Saved your souls), let him be accursed (‘eternally condemned,’ which means the loss of the soul).
“For do I now persuade men, or God? (In essence, Paul is saying, ‘Do I preach man’s doctrine, or God’s?’) or do I seek to please men? (This is what false apostles do.) for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the Servant of Christ (one cannot please both men and God at the same time)” (Gal. 1:6-10).
WHAT TYPE OF OTHER GOSPEL?
The type of gospel of which Paul spoke was anything other than “Christ and Him Crucified.” Please note the following carefully:
• The Source of all blessings that we receive from God is the Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6; Col. 2:10-15).
• The Cross of Christ, and the Cross of Christ alone, is the Means by which these things are given to us (Rom. 6:3-5; I Cor. 1:17, 18, 23; 2:2; Gal. 6:14).
• The Cross of Christ as the Object of our Faith, and the Cross of Christ alone as the Object of our Faith, is the way and, in fact, the only way that we can receive these things given to us, which Source is Christ and which Means is the Cross (Rom. 5:1-2; 6:1-14; Gal., Chpt. 5; Eph. 2:13-18).
• The Holy Spirit Alone is the arbiter as it regards our Faith and, in fact, everything we do (Rom. 8:1-2, 11; Eph. 2:13-18).
Getting back to the pattern laid down at the very dawn of time, it quickly becomes apparent as to the difficulties faced by the Child of God. Living for the Lord is not a simple thing. The first three Chapters of Genesis give us the re-creation of this planet plus the creation of man and his ignominious Fall. Beginning with the Fourth Chapter of Genesis to the end of Revelation 22:21, instructions are given as to how to live for God. Considering the voluminous amount of information, it should give us an idea as to the complexity of this situation. As we’ve stated, and say it again, it’s not simple! As we have also stated, God has a way and man has a way. They are forever at juxtaposition with each other. Let’s see what this Fourth Chapter tells us:
A MAN FROM THE LORD
“And Adam knew Eve his wife (is the Biblical connotation of the union of husband and wife in respect to the sex act); and she conceived, and bore Cain (the first child born to this union, and would conclude exactly as the Lord said it would, with ‘sorrow’), and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD (by Eve using the title ‘LORD,’ which means ‘Covenant God,’ and which refers to the ‘Seed of the woman,’ [Gen. 3:15], she thought Cain was the Promised One; she evidently didn’t realize that it was impossible for fallen man to bring forth the Promised Redeemer).
“And she again bore his brother Abel (‘Abel’ means ‘vanity;’ Cain being the oldest, this shows that Eve by now had become disillusioned with her firstborn, undoubtedly seeing traits in him which she knew could not be of the Promised Seed; she was losing Faith in God.). And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground (both were honorable professions).”
AN OFFERING UNTO THE LORD?
“And in process of time it came to pass (the phrase used here refers to a long indefinite period), that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. (This was probably the first offering that he brought, even though the Lord had explained to the First Family the necessity of the Sacrificial System, that is, if they were to have any type of communion with God and forgiveness of sins.
“There is evidence that Adam, at least for a while, offered up sacrifices. Cain knew the type of Sacrifice that the Lord would accept, but he rebelled against that admonition, demanding that God accept the labor of his hands, which, in fact, God could not accept. So we have in the persons of Cain and Abel, the first examples of a religious man of the world and a genuine man of Faith.)”
THE FIRSTLINGS OF THE FLOCK
“And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof (this is what God demanded; it was a blood sacrifice of an innocent victim, a lamb, which proclaimed the fact that Abel recognized his need of a Redeemer, and that One was coming Who would redeem lost humanity; the Offering of Abel was a Type of Christ and the price that He would pay on the Cross of Calvary in order for man to be redeemed). And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: (As stated, this was a Type of Christ and the Cross, the only Offering which God will respect. Abel’s Altar is beautiful to God’s Eye and repulsive to man’s. Cain’s altar is beautiful to man’s eye and repulsive to God’s. These ‘altars’ exist today; around the one that is Christ and His atoning Work, few are gathered, around the other, many. God accepts the slain lamb and rejects the offered fruit; and the offering being rejected, so of necessity is the offerer.)”
THE LORD HAD NO RESPECT FOR CAIN’S OFFERING
“But unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect (let us say it again, God has no respect for any proposed way of Salvation, other than ‘Jesus Christ and Him Crucified’ [I Cor. 1:23; 2:2]). And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell (that which filled Abel with peace filled Cain with wrath; the carnal mind displays its enmity against all this Truth which so gladdens and satisfies the heart of the Believer).
“And the LORD said unto Cain (God loves Cain, just as He did Abel, and wishes to bless him also), Why are you angry (Abel’s Altar speaks of Repentance, of Faith, and of the Precious Blood of Christ, the Lamb of God without blemish; Cain’s altar tells of pride, unbelief, and self-righteousness, which always illicits anger)? and why is your countenance fallen (anger, in one form or the other, accompanies self-righteousness, for that is what plagued Cain; God’s Righteousness can only come by the Cross, while self-righteousness is by dependence on works)?”
THE RIGHT SACRIFICE
“If you do well, shall you not be accepted (if you bring the correct sacrifice, and thereby place your Faith)? and if you do not well, sin (a Sin-Offering) lies at the door (a lamb was at the door of the Tabernacle). And unto you shall be his desire, and you shall rule over him (the Lord promised Cain dominion over the Earth of that day, if he would only offer up, and place his trust in, the right Sacrifice; He promises the same presently to all who trust Christ [Mat. 5:5]).”
THE FIRST MURDER WAS CAUSED BY RELIGION
“And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and killed him (the first murder; Cain’s religion was too refined to kill a lamb, but not too cultured to murder his brother; God’s Way of Salvation fills the heart with love; man’s way of salvation inflames it with hatred; ‘Religion’ has ever been the greatest cause of bloodshed).
“And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel your brother? (Adam sins against God and Cain sins against man. In their united conduct, we have sin in all its forms, and that on the first page of human history.) And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper (He showed himself a ‘liar’ in saying, ‘I know not’; ‘wicked and profane’ in thinking he could hide his sin from God; ‘unjust’ in denying himself to be his brother’s keeper; ‘obstinate and desperate’ in not confessing his sin)?”
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
“And He (God) said, What have you done (this concerns man’s sins, the fruit of his sinful nature)? The voice of your brother’s blood cries unto Me from the ground. (There is some Scriptural evidence that Cain cut his brother’s throat. Thus, with the first shedding of human blood, that ominous thought sprang up, divinely bestowed, that the Earth will grant no peace to the one who has wantonly stained her fair face with the life-stream of man)” (Gen. 4:1-10).
The Sacrificial System would continue until the First Advent of Christ, a time frame of approximately four thousand years. During that time, God raised up a people of which at least some of them among the group would have Faith in God and, thereby, serve Him. To be sure, Israel was raised up from the loins of Abraham and the womb of Sarah, but regrettably, even after they grew into a large nation, most of them did not live for God. In fact, they destroyed themselves by crucifying their Messiah and our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Irrespective, the price was paid, and the Blood of the Sacred Victim was shed in order that the fallen sons of Adam’s lost race could be Saved. The song says:
“Millions have come,
“But there’s still room for one,
“There’s room at the Cross for you!”
WERE PEOPLE BORN-AGAIN BEFORE THE CROSS?
Yes! People were Born-Again before the Cross, but they did not have nearly the privileges that we presently have since the Cross.
We must remember that while Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ, still, He operated under the Old Covenant. In other words, the happenings of the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, took place under the auspices of the Old Covenant. Admittedly, those times were the doorway to the New Covenant but still were under the Old.
The New Covenant did not come about until the Lord gave its meaning to the Apostle Paul, which, in essence, is the meaning of the Cross. Even though the date is not certain, it is probable that, regarding Paul, this Revelation took place about the year A.D. 44 or 45.
(This message was derived from the book, “Brother Swaggart, Here Is My Question About The Holy Spirit”.)