El cristianismo primitivo--Primitive Christianity--O cristianismo primitivo
The Supreme “If”
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Romans 6:5
As our blessed Savior, who had come expressly to destroy the works of the devil, hung upon the cross of Calvary, Satan knew that he had but one more chance to stop the one and only Power that could defeat all that he had done. If he could but stop our Redeemer just short of passing through death, he would forever retain the keys to that awful and final enemy. He well knew on the other hand that if he failed in this last attempt, his fatal weapon and the final wage of even the faintest pleasure of sin would be broken and conquered. Thus his venomous words: 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. Oh... that he could make this appealing to Him since all else he had tried had failed. Surely in the agony of death—that death not only physical, but that death from which even His Father must hide his face—surely this final offer would appeal to Him. But thank God, Satan failed and Jesus won! ... he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
As He bowed his head, obeying even the demands of sin's final wage, death, He did not save Himself; He died unto sin. This was no play on words; it was not a mock scene; it was not a semblance; it was death. He died!
If you have grasped this, then look carefully again at our text. The supreme “if” of Romans 6:5 was not a theological formula imagined by some pious prelate of sacred history; it is not some figure of speech that would sound radically righteous to a holier-than-thou appetite. It is an eternal maxim laid down by the inspired words of Him who passed through that death. If we...we shall be also. There is no other solution for sin. There is no other pathway to resurrection life given in all the sacred Word of God than this: If we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. And this “if” is still the focal point of Satan's temptation (most often all too successful) to fallen man. The most serious deception in [churches] today is a death that is not like His. And you ask, wherein is it unlike His? It comes down from the cross just short of death. And much of what is called “holiness” or “sanctification” today is still super-saturated with that which never died.
Had Jesus come down from the cross just short of death, Satan promised that the world would believe in Him. They would have loved to. The appeal would have been dynamic beyond all the charisma of the most charming of silver tongues. Sounding brass nor tinkling symbol would ever need be employed again to deceive the sinful heart of man, for he would now have found the offer of the saving of self as well as the reward of heaven.
Could this writer be suffered to be a bit blunt for a moment? There is no resurrection to heaven hereafter until there is a death to self and sin here below. Not a figurative, symbolic, warm and fuzzy figure of speech, but a death. Jesus died unto sin. He laid down every single natural human desire and allowed it to be crucified. He would suffer physical hunger, but He would not yield to Satan's method of satisfying it. He would endure reproach and shame to the point of being dubbed a devil, but He would not bow to the status quo of the best of religious piety about Him. He would view from His middle cross a sorrowful and broken-hearted mother, feel the moral demands of his obligation to care for her, yet die to her rather than fail to fulfill the will of God.
Friend, have you ever been planted in the likeness of His death? Has there ever been a time in your life when you passed though a death to all that is you and yours until there was not a breath left in you except this: I come to do Thy will, O God? If not, then you have not been resurrected as He was either, and this, we sadly fear, explains very succinctly why there is such a dearth of real, dynamic, spiritual power among the professors of today. Some of us that are older can remember hearing the groans of a dying soul in the night, "Oh God, let me die; let me die." Die they did, back in those days before it became so trendy to come down from the cross before the last breath. And those old saints came up in the likeness of His resurrection too. Oh what power with God they had around an altar of prayer. What a willingness to labor with another and tarry until that soul too was endued with power from on high. Whether we have learned to accept something other, or something short of this or not, does not change a fact that will not change until heaven changes, and that is this: If we...we shall be also.
God will never alter the conditions of this supreme "if". He will never give resurrection power until there is a death such as He died to all of self and sin. Paul said, But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. And that is a pretty severe indictment against those who are preaching and promoting [an] experience that does not entail a complete death such as His. That same subtle enemy that made his appeal to Christ on the cross, is winning his point around too many altar scenes [in our experiences]. Satan’s call is bringing many down from the cross before they really die to all of self and sin. And when this happens, it is not long before that which remains and was never crucified begins to exert itself in getting others to stop short just like they did, and a veritable antagonism arises toward that old saint or preacher who will faithfully blow the gospel trumpet that God does not change His "ifs".
... Remember that our text contains a little word “if”? Oh preacher brethren and lay people as well, when will we come back to God's terms to receive the old time power? Dying is ugly; dying is painful; dying is work; but dying is the only path to resurrection power. Do you recall that after Jesus had passed through the agonies of death on the cross and been laid away in the tomb, He came forth again? Do you recall what it was He said after He had risen from the tomb? All power is given unto Me... Do you recall something else He said? But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. Where, oh where, is this power in the church of today? Make no mistake it is on yonder side of that supreme "if". And, thank God, He said, even to us, Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an eat let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Adapted from “The Evangelist of Truth”
I exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 1:3
Me ha sido necesario escribiros amonestándoos que contendáis eficazmente por la fe que ha sido una vez dada á los santos. Judas 1.3
Tive por necessidade escrever-vos, e exortar-vos a batalhar pela fé que uma vez foi dada aos santos. Judas 1:3