There is a lot of focus on the “finished work of the Cross” among hyper-grace/unscriptural grace preachers. While speaking about the “finished work of the Cross” they focus only on the privileges of the Cross. This is what I call as the “unfinished preaching about the finished work of the Cross”! A careful reading of the New Testament reveals that the Cross calls us towards responsibilities as well. In this essay, I want to point them out.
Along with the Cross comes a biblical clarion call for SANCTIFICATION. Yes, the Cross of Jesus calls us to live a holy life. To go on “sinning willfully” is the same as trampling under foot, the Son of God who shed his blood for us on the Cross (Hebrews 10:26-29). Part of this sanctification process is to constantly regard that we are “crucified with Christ and we no longer live but Christ lives in us” (Gal. 2:20). Apostle Paul writes, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24). Being crucified with Christ who was crucified for us sounds very spiritual. What is the meaning of this? It is to respond like Jesus would when we are tempted. We quote Scripture when the Devil tempts and we come out as winners (Matt. 4). We pray in the face of temptation (Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane did that). When we are tempted to watch porn we quote Scripture. We quote Job 31:1 in The Message version which goes this way: “I made a solemn pact with myself never to undress a girl with my eyes…”. When we tempted to be lazy and hug our pillow and sleep on we quote John 9:4 where we read, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.” This kind of Jesus imitation causes to walk in “newness of life” post our identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (water baptism) (Rom. 6:1-4). Have you heard a modern-day preacher who brags about the finished work of the Cross talk about sanctification – holy living – before he finished his message? If he believed in all the Bible and in declaring the whole counsel of God like Apostle Paul did (Acts 20:27).
Along with the Cross comes a biblical clarion call for MISSION. You will have to be stone blind to miss this in the New Testament. John 3:16 we all know. But do we know I John 3:16 which goes this way: “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (I John 3:16). While sharing Christ with the perishing through our life and lips, there could be times when may have to suffer and, who knows, even die. But that should not deter us! The writer to the Hebrews put it simple and straight: “So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured” (Heb. 13:12-13). We need to be willing to leave our comfort zones and go to tough places to share about what Jesus did for us on the Cross. When was the last time you heard a hyper-grace cult preacher who often talks about the “finished work of the Cross” talk about the responsibility of MISSIONS before he/she finished the sermon? Did he/she give you an impression that you have no responsibilities at all in response to the wonderful privileges/blessings of the Cross? The pretense of hyper-grace/nonsensical new covenant preachers that the Bible has only privileges to talk about but no responsibilities for us believers, is what makes them very dangerous and cultic. I have labelled them ‘nonsensical new covenant’ preachers because while the new covenant that the Bible talks about always couple responsibilities with privileges, this gang’s new covenant preaching has only privileges/blessings sans responsibilities. A half-truth is a full lie and a total nonsense.
I want to clarify that that fulfilling the responsibilities of SANCTIFICATION and MISSION do not save us! But having tasted the privilege of God’s grace, we respond in gratitude with these (staying holy and doing mission) empowered by the Spirit of God with whom we actively cooperate, day in and day out.
(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. Find out more at www.dukev.org).