Christians believe in the Holy Spirit. Very many desire to know the Holy Spirit as a reality and power in their lives. But it should really be understood and recognized that the Holy Spirit is committed and wedded to the Cross. His coming awaited the work of the Cross. Only after the symbolic representation of the Cross in death, burial and resurrection with Christ by baptism did the Holy Spirit take His place in power in the lives of the first believers. Because the taproot of everything that the Cross was meant to deal with is the self-life, the self-principle, the New Testament word for which is “the Flesh”; the Holy Spirit leads those under His government into the experiences which are calculated to expose and bring to the Cross the self-life of the child of God. It is a primary and inseparable part of the Holy Spirit’s business to make good and real the meaning of the Cross.
This is not popular truth, but the Cross is the gateway to fullness, and the deeper the Cross the greater the measure of Divine life, power and light. This is the only way for things to be as they should be, and as God wishes them to be. Life, food, light, fellowship, and much more depend upon the degree in which the Cross is a reality in the individual and in the company. This touches the whole realm and range of Satan’s power and work. Power, authority over him is inseparable from the Cross. Therefore he will do everything to undercut, to set aside, to belittle, and discredit the Cross. The Person of Christ and the Cross of Christ have been the two grounds of the most bitter controversy in the history of Christianity. Of course, they are really one thing. It is the Person Who gives the Cross its real meaning, and it is the Cross that vindicates the Person, provided that by the Cross is meant the death, burial, and resurrection.
The Cross and fullness of life in its several aspects – that is, abundance of life, food, light, fellowship, finance and victory over Satan – is not just theory or idealism. We have written history and experience in our own time. We have seen this in reality, and have also closely studied the course of things in many Christian communities.
The Scriptures make it quite clear that the Cross of Christ is something that has to become very real in the experience, and not only in the doctrine, of the Christian.