Are you on the throne or the cross?

Freshwater Staff   -  

In the second message of our series on the Holy Spirit, David Lane, our district superintendent with the C&MA, unpacked our role with the Holy Spirit by first sharing this quote from A.W. Tozer’s book “The Radical Cross: Living the Passion of Christ“:

“In every Christian’s heart there is a cross and a throne, and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross. If he refuses the cross he remains on the throne. Perhaps this is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among gospel believers today. We want to be saved but we insist that Christ do all the dying. No cross for us, no dethronement, no dying. We remain king within the little kingdom of Mansoul and wear our tinsel crown with all the pride of a Caesar, but we doom ourselves to shadows and weakness and spiritual sterility.”

Specifically, David highlighted this sentence: “We want to be saved but we insist that Christ do all the dying.”

Salvation, David continued, comes in three stages: justification, sanctification and glorification.

As believers, the moment we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9), we are raised from death to life, we are seated positionally in the heavenlies with Jesus, and we receive our identity as a child of God. This is justification, and it is a past, complete event that rescues us from the penalty of sin.

Sanctification is the ongoing process of the Holy Spirit aligning our life experience, our character, our nature and our behavior with our status. It’s a transformational rescuing from the power of sin, the process of our soul aligning with our position in Jesus.

And finally, glorification is when we one day will be rescued from the very presence of sin.

It is in the second stage, during our ongoing sanctification, where we step into our role with the Holy Spirit.

In Galatians 5, Paul outlines what it means to “walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16), using “walking” as a metaphor for the rhythm of our daily lives. If we don’t function from the identity that we received in our justification, we begin to live as if we’re still in bondage instead of having been rescued from the penalty of sin.

In this sanctification process, we find ourselves at a cross-section of the choice that Tozer illustrated in the opening quote: Am I on the throne of my life, or is Jesus?

David reminded us that, the only way to receive the Kingship of Jesus in our daily routine – to “walk by the Spirit” – is to put to death the “self.” In other words, the key to more of God’s Spirit is to empty the vessel of “self.”

When we surrender every area of our life through the vehicle of our will, we gain more capacity for more of the Spirit’s power and presence.

Paul writes this in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

We get more of the Spirit only when there is less of us.

So, what’s our role with the Spirit? To allow him access to do whatever He wants by crucifying “self” so Jesus can sit on the throne in our lives.

As believers, we have some difficult questions to consider:

  • If you have been justified, you have the Spirit. But does the Spirit have you?
  • Are you going to be on the throne in your life, or are you going to be on the cross?
  • Are you going to create space through the vehicle of your will for the Holy Spirit to have access to every aspect of your life?

And, finally, David closed with this question:

Is there more evidence of the personality of Jesus in your life this month than there was last month? This year than last? Today vs. the moment you were justified?

Do you look more like Jesus? If not, are you living as if you expect Jesus to do all the dying?

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