Is the central place of change and it helps us to understand…
- evangelism, illustrating the move of position from the left-hand side to the right-hand side, becoming alive in God, born again into a new kingdom and dead to sin.
- a change in us. It is only from the change which occurred in our spirit that we can truly live a life aligned to what has happened to us when we became Christians. It is from the foot of the cross – our position in Christ, that we can express in practice as noted above.
Print the Cross.
The symbol of the cross sits predominately on the response step and is closely associated with the symbol of the square.
Some questions for you: Have you been born again into a new kingdom, received a birth certificate into a new family, as well as a death certificate to your selfish way of life? The symbol of the cross here represents our position in God – wherever we are dead or alive
The Bible states that when we become Christians, our spirit position changes. This is highlighted in the Gospels, Paul’s writings and the writings of Peter and John. When we became Christians, we moved in our spirit position from being dead in sin, to being alive in God and dead to sin. At this time, whether we believe it or not, we are changed. We have within us:
- His provisions of forgiveness, freedom and fullness.
- the place where he has located us in him… being a child of the Father, being Spirit and dwelt and being in Christ.
- His purposes for us to be dependent on Him and dedicated to Him.
- His presence within us like the sap within a tree, as we abide in the vine.
- the person of God who is now living within us in all His fullness.
What is the shape of the cross about? The shape of the cross is positioned in spirit circle. The bottom right part of the cross (beneath the symbol of the crossbar, which is placed beneath the shape of the square) is our spiritual position after we become Christians. Here we have been born again to God, we have been transferred into a new kingdom, we have died with Christ to our self-centred position and the spirit of God has come into our lives. We are now in a right relationship with God who is both in us and with us.
Personally, the cross and all it represents has become a priority in my life. The cross reminds me about my decision to become a Christian (justification). The cross challenges me about how much I access and use my spirit position (who I am in God as a result of my rebirth, and the place for repentance).
In coaching or counselling practice, change becomes so much easier where people can access what is already theirs in their spirit position, right in their central circle here at the foot of the cross.
Bringing together the 2 shapes brings together our spiritual position with the practice in life – in any of our circles, whichever quadrants the practice of our life might be in.
The combined shape of the cross in the square is so biblical. How does the new Testament say that we can change? Jesus said that it was through being born again and entering into a new kingdom. Paul said that it was through being filled with the spirit and being in Christ, as well as being children of the father. Peter talks about us being born again, being foreigners in this world and that we have his promises and his power so that we can become partakers of the divine nature. James says we should put our internal faith into external and outward practice. It is right through the Bible – the issue of living in alignment with who we really are.
The shape of the cross (spiritual position) in the context of the square (life experience). There is a continuum of our Christian practice and experience as expressed in the square which rests above the crossbar.
A consistent Christian life is living a God centred life, (right-hand side of the square) even if we are struggling beneath the water level in our experience. What should happen is that our experience and practice in our lives as illustrated in the circles should be in line with our position. We should be living a God centred life in the God centred quadrants of the square which rests above the crossbar.
An inconsistent Christian life is living a self-centred life, (left-hand side of the square) if we are succeeding or suffering. So often, individually and as a church, we actually find ourselves in the left-hand side of the square, which does not match up with who we say we are (that in a position we are on the right-hand side). It is as if what God has done in us (bottom right hand corner) has little relevance or affect. We so often see ourselves as living not much differently from before or when compared to other non-Christians, and when we see our churches as being little different from other organisations (and sometimes even worse than outside the church, in the way we at times can treat each other), we wonder and doubt if anything really fundamental happened to us when we became Christians.
Rather than believing God’s word, it can be easier to believe and respond to the experience of the past or the desire for other things which speak so loudly into our heart, mind and physical life. It can be easier to believe that I am
- alone and of no worth because of some bad experiences I had, rather than to believe that I am loved and that indeed God is with me. It is easier at times to be preoccupied by my sense of shame because I mess things up, rather than to receive his unfailing love.
- unkown and do not belong anywhere and have no respect for myself or sense of clear identity as to who I am, than to remember the truth that I am actually a child of God and connected with Christ. It can be easier to believe my guilt when I have done something wrong than to receive His forgiveness.
- out of control because of the situation around me, rather than see myself as being free to respond to God, who is ultimately above all situations.
- self-centred when in fact in Biblical reality, I died to and I am freed from my self-centredness when Christ died on the cross (Romans 6:6). I forget this, don’t believe it (my experience says I am self-centred) and so I just don’t live it out
- not a Christian because of my thoughts, feelings, actions and experiences which are self-centred and in the left-hand column of the square, than to remember and to believe that God’s presence is already within me, even though I am living a hypocritical life, which is not consistent with what God has already done in my central circle, the spirit.
Why do we live hypocritical, inconsistent lives?
Paul, particularly in Romans 6 and Galations 3 asked the same question. The problem is we don’t live from our centre, from who we really are and from what God has done in us. We so often forget or don’t believe what God has already done in our spirit when we took the first step and let Jesus into our lives, and were born again. It was at this time, that not only were we born again into a new family, but we actually entered into a new kingdom, with a different king other than ourselves or others, submitting ourselves to the lordship of Christ. It was also at that time, that because we became so connected with Christ, that just as he died on the cross, we also died to our selfish nature and self-centredness. This happened, even though we may not have been warned of this or I not aware of it. (Rarely is someone warned at the end of the church service that if they commit themselves to God, they not only get to receive a birth certificate but also a death certificate. Jesus at times warned people prior to them making a commitment to him. He certainly did not have a self-centred prosperity gospel.)
When we became Christians, it is as if we came to the cross and the cross was implanted in the centre of a life, in our spirit. God changed us then right in the middle of our lives, in our spirit. (The theological name for this is “justification”.) Christian wholeness happens as we keep on coming back to the foot of the cross. (The theological name of this is “repentance”.) Here at the cross, we receive again what is already ours, and is located in our spirit. So much happened inside of us that at least theoretically we should become very different people.