By Patrick Hawthorne
If you have read many of my posts, you will notice that I write, in a large portion, to the Church – the body of Jesus Christ – as a whole. I don’t mean to step on toes; honestly, I don’t. Yet, when my thoughts lead me in a certain direction, I tend to follow through with a, “Damn the torpedo’s, full speed ahead” type attitude. My prayer, as I write this, is that my words are received with the good intent for which they are meant.
There is a hymn that has been around for many a year. It is a beloved hymn, a cherished hymn, a hymn that pulls on the heart strings of singers and listeners alike. It is “The Old Rugged Cross.” I have tried to like this hymn but as one who tends to walk more along the lines of a literal thinker, I have – as far back as I can remember – had issue with one portion of the lyrics, “I will cling to the old rugged cross.”
Do we need to think about the cross? Yes. Do we need to meditate on the cross? Yes. Do we need to remember the cross? Absolutely. To those I agree. However, do we need to cling to the cross? Not if your desire is to progress in your faith! Why? Because Jesus is no longer on the cross. “We were crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20) but were also raised up together with Him (Eph 2:6).
Yet, at the foot of the cross is where many of the Body of Christ remain. They never grow beyond the foundation of the salvation message. They never learn that if they want to grow in their walk with the Lord, there must come a time when they let go of the Old Rugged Cross in order to pick up their cross and walk in the victory of the resurrection of Jesus (Matt 16:24-26).
The Old Rugged Cross is surely our foundation. Without a firm grasp on the knowledge and the power of the cross and on the shed blood of Jesus, we are on shaky ground. However, the foundation alone offers no protection from the storms that are sure to come. For that, solid Biblical instruction must be built upon the foundation as directed by the Holy Spirit. For then, we will be in a position to learn the lessons of denying ungodliness and worldly lusts so that we may live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age (Titus 2:11-12). Be blessed.