The Cross

December 4, 2001 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn in your Bibles with me to the book of Galatians chapter two. Galatians chapter two. In Galatians chapter two and verse twenty, this is a very familiar passage of Scripture. The apostle Paul said,

20. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

If you would, turn with me in your Bibles to the book of Matthew chapter twenty-seven. Matthew chapter twenty-seven. In Matthew chapter twenty-seven, beginning with verse thirty-five.

35. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

36. And sitting down they watched him there;

37. And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

38. Then were there two thieves crucified with him; one on the right hand, and another on the left.

39. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads.

40. And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

41. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

42. He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

43. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank and praise You for this time together here in Your Name. Father, hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You, and not me. Father, as I decrease, I ask that You would increase. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

When we look at that word "crucify," what does it mean to be crucified? It means to be persecuted. Not only does that word crucify mean to be persecuted, but it means to be tormented. It means to be tortured. Glory to God.

Jesus was being tortured because of His confession. He was confessing that He was the Son of God. When you are being tortured, and when you are persecuted, and when you are being tormented, you are being these things because of your confession of who you say that you are.

The apostle Paul said, "I am crucified with Christ." In other words, he was saying, "I am tortured with Christ because of who I confess to be."

When you open up your mouth, and the words you speak, those are your confession. And that's who the devil (glory to God) is going after-those that confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Hallelujah, Jesus.

This is the season that you'll really know who's crucified with Christ. Oh, you don't hear me yet. This is a season that you'll know who's really (glory to God) been crucified with Christ. You'll really know (glory to God) who's really being persecuted.

Many people are put in a situation (glory to God) where they get depressed and oppressed, because of the season. But Jesus is the reason for the season. If I'm crucified with Him (you don't hear me tonight), I ain't got to worry (glory to God) about how much money I got in my pocket. Because I'm crucified with Him.

Saints of God, our confession is causing the warfare. You've been wondering why the warfare has been there? It's because of what you confess every day. It's because of those (oh, hallelujah), those spiritual words that come out of your mouth every day. It's because of who you say you are. The warfare has been intense. And the warfare has been great.

The Bible says in the last days there's going to be a great falling away from the faith. He's... Oh, He's in the position right now where He's allowing those that are not truly (glory to God) rooted and grounded in God to be exposed.

They confess one thing but live another thing. They're one way (Oh, you don't hear me tonight) in our presence. But once they leave this door, it's like it's a set of twins.

Your confession is bringing the warfare on you. He's trying to prove to the world that you're not who you say you are. They said, "If You be the Son of God, then You come down." In other words, "If..." They wanted a confession other than the true confession of who He really was. That's why they hung over His head the accusation, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews."

He wants to make a mockery of you. He wants to make a mockery of your testimony. And that's why the warfare is there. That's why you've been on the cross, Brother Stephen. That's why I've been on the cross. Because he wants me to come down.

Your confession. He wants to cause you and I to be a mockery. But Jesus said, "I won't come down." Jesus said, "I won't even take anything for the pain." We've been searching for a spiritual pain killer. But if I'm crucified with Him, I can endure the cross.

The cross is going to cause people to see right through me. When I hang on the cross, I can't hide nothing. Because I must say what's really on the inside of me. I'm going to do (glory to God) what is in me to do. I'm going to go where's in me to go. It's going to cause people to see right through me. When I through (glory to God) warfare, Brother Stuart, you'll see who I really am.

If I'm going to change my confession of who I profess to be, things can be easily seen.

Jesus stood there and waited for them to put Him on the cross. He didn't kick. He didn't scream. He didn't holler. He didn't change His Name. He didn't say, "You must have the wrong one." He said, "I am the Son of God."

Who are you tonight? Who are you? Are you a different person when the pain starts, when the persecution begins? Who are you? Do you change your name until the warfare stops? When all hell breaks lose on your job, do you change your name? That gun hoe Christian that you used to be, does it begin to subside? Who are you?

I'm crucified. Nothing about me should ever change. I should be the same every single day. Even though I'm going through something, I should still retain my joy. I should still have my peace, Sister Melody.

The cross is not going to change who I am, Elder Tucker. It's not going to change who I am. Because I know who I am in Christ.

Whenever you see me, whenever I see you, no matter what the situation, I should be able to see straight through you. I shouldn't put on no masks. I should be able to see straight through you. Because you're always the same. No matter what the situation or the circumstance, you're always the same.

Does that mean that I don't rise up with righteous indignation? No, it doesn't. But my Christian attitude should always be in place.

John twelve and verse twenty-four says, "Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground die, it abides alone. But if it die, it bears much fruit."

There's life within that grain of wheat. But there's a shell casing. And except the shell split open, what's on the inside can't grow.

Except I'm truly crucified with Him, I won't really grow. It may seem as though I'm growing on the outside to everybody else, but on the inside I know it's a real pseudo, because my outer man is not dead yet. My flesh is still in control. I don't allow that outer man to die, that that inner man can show forth through me.

If the outer man does not die, then we could never be a true blessing to the church. Because they'll always wonder if it's my flesh or if it's God. But if I cause my outer flesh, not my body, but my flesh, my soulish man to die, and I allow my spirit man to live, then they don't have to wonder. Because I'm the same even in the warfare.

He was on the cross. They wanted Him to change His confession. You think that you've been going through something. You're not really going through anything until you answer the call. That's when your hell begins. Because you have confessed that there is a calling on your life. And Satan is setting out to prove you wrong.

If you don't stay on that cross until He takes you down, you won't mature into who He has called you to be.

When He died and said, "It is finished, it was time for Him to go into another realm. When you truly die to yourself, it's time for you and I to go into another realm. That's when I can really say that I'm seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Because I've left this realm, and I've gone to another realm.

Saints of God, when you really do the ministry, much persecution is going to come your way. But just like Jesus, don't say a mumbling word. Endure it. Endure it. Endure it until you mature. Because once you mature, He'll take you down.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise tonight.

Saints of God, Paul said, "I'm crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." He said, "I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

He was saying that, "I'm not afraid to be tormented." I'm not afraid to be tormented. I'm not afraid of these things. It won't change my confession. It won't change, Sister Orange, My confession. It will not change my confession. Because my confession is not situational. It is not situational. It's the same all the time.

Many of us have been in situations where for a moment we've hidden our Christianity, because of a situation or because of who was around us. But now it is the season for the real saints to stand up, to stand up, to truly stand up.

Don't wait until it's all good around you, and they pat you on the back. But stand up right now, while you're in the midst of the persecution. That's a real Christian. That's a real Christian. In the Name of Jesus.

Give God a handclap of praise. Hallelujah.

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