An equipping ministry to Disciple the Church.
A mission base to Send the Church.
Philippians 3:18-21 (NIV)
18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.
19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
The Apostle Paul makes Christ and Him crucified the Center-piece of his preaching:
1 Corinthians 2:1-2 (NIV)
1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
The message of the Cross, for which he suffered so much, was the glory of his life:
Galatians 6:14 (NIV)
14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
The message of the cross is really another way of saying - The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Romans 1:16-17 (NIV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
The message of the cross is the glorious News that Jesus the Messiah suffered, bled, died, and raised for the full salvation of mankind from sin and Satan.
Paul experienced many enemies of the Cross in his lifetime.
The ultimate enemy is Satan who deceives and manipulates to distract from and even to sever our faith from the Crucified Christ.
But there were also human agents that were enemies which who Paul is speaking of in Philippians.
Philippians 3:2-3 (NIV)
2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh.
3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—
Philippians 3:7-9 (NIV)
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ
9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
Who were the enemies of the cross?
They were those that preached and practiced the mixing of Jesus AND Judaism - called Judaizers.
Actually, being an enemy of the cross would include anyone who preaches or practices a faith that is not solely placed upon the sufferings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the sole means of receiving the redemption and righteousness of God.
- Peter was acting as an “enemy of the Cross” when he tried to keep Jesus from the Crucifixion.
- The crowd around the cross were acting as “enemies of the Cross” when they were saying “save your self and come down from the cross and then we will believe in you”.
- The Judaizers were acting as an “enemy of the cross” by adding Jewish religious activities to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- And you are acting as an enemy of the Cross if you are trusting in anything other than the full and free work of Jesus for your deliverance from sin and Satan.
The diabolical and damaging result of “religion” is that it distorts a pure and full faith in Jesus alone!
This distortion of our faith leads to lack of power and victory over sin and Satan in our real life experience.
Closing examples of being enemies or allies of the cross.