A CALL TO ARMS FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST
C. R. Solomon, Ed.D.
This is an urgent and impassioned plea to the Church fathers and leaders, down to the youngest believer reading this message! It is to challenge you to volunteer as a soldier of the cross; you will not be drafted! With enough soldiers of the cross, a new front, called New Reformation, could be opened which is desperately needed to repel the enemy and recover lost ground!
As with Luther of old, I am calling the Church to arms after being called of God to teach our union with Christ in death and resurrection in a counseling model (Rom. 6:3-14). First, it was necessary for me to lose my life (Gal. 2:20) in 1965 so that I could find it (Matt. 16:25). Based on that sovereign work of God, He called me in 1967 to share the message with believers, young and old, and to found Grace Fellowship International (GFI) in 1969, beginning full time ministry in 1970. Since that time, He has transformed the lives of believers around the world! Not only my eternal rewards but also my temporal existence, and that of my family, have depended upon God’s ministering this truth to hurting believers, since we have lived by faith these last 44 years, with many spin-off ministries here and abroad. The message and method were documented in my first book in 1971, which was published by Tyndale House, Handbook to Happiness, and entitled Spirituotherapy® or victorious life counseling.
Since He has been faithful to transform lives to the present day, a new Reformation is not an if, and, or maybe, but is ours for the asking! It is merely a matter of our exchanging our lives for that of the Lord Jesus! All it will cost you is your life—guaranteed; but it will be replaced with resurrection life which is better, by far! (Rom. 6:4,5).
Since I am now 84, I believe God has led me to lay down the gauntlet to the Church whose response to date has been exceedingly underwhelming! However, present world conditions dictate that she gets back to basics and grounds believers in the Christ life. It is to that end that I issue this challenge, that hurting and defeated believers might know the victory of the life in Christ, rather than settling for surface Christianity.
The books have been written to make the victorious life accessible to the rank and file believer, with all necessary supporting materials shown on our web site, www.gracefellowshipintl.com, that one believer might share with another and see their lives transformed by the Holy Spirit as the result. The theme of soldiers of the cross is more fully developed in Handbook for Soldiers of the Cross by the author, which is a manual for basic training for such conflicts as Operation Reformation. The tactics have been field tested for 44 years and used in basic training for four decades, under orders from our Commander-in-Chief, the Master Strategist!
I am believing God to allow me to see a Reformation beachhead established in the Church before my homegoing. It is to that end, and for God’s glory, that I make this impassioned challenge and plea. Prior to the first Reformation, the Catholic Church was selling indulgences which Luther railed against! Today, the evangelical Church also has a problem with indulgence, since the experienced cross is little taught, with its absence indulging the flesh by default!
The message of the First was a proclamation of justification by faith, Luther’s battle cry. Five centuries later, we need to complete that Reformation with a cry of sanctification by faith! The first Reformation clearly preached that Christ died for us; the second must be equally clear that we died with Him, and both must be revealed reality by the Holy Spirit and accepted by faith.
By not including our death and resurrection with Him in gospel presentations, we have effectually omitted the victorious half of the gospel! Though some experience a deep conversion, living the Christ life, most cannot articulate the experience, nor pass it along to others. Those who finally understand the cross (Gal. 2:20) are usually years into their Christian lives; and most never do, due to an inadequate or incomplete presentation of the gospel initially. Sadly, this is also true of the majority of pastors, in my experience. Also, those in whose lives the cross has tacitly given great victory are not aware of the need to reckon it to be so daily (Luke 9:23), if they do not know it was part and parcel of their salvation experience, as was the case with believers in the Welsh revival of 1900.
And those who believe that receiving Christ’s death for their sin and going to Heaven was a complete package, are doomed to a lifetime of trying to live for the Lord because they do not know the victory of His living through them! Or, to put it another way, they are primed to do (and not do!) in order to be (First Reformation or Old Covenant) because they have not been taught to be (who they are in Christ—Second Reformation or New Covenant) in order to do!
The last several generations have been deprived of their birthright by being saddled with a ‘do it yourself’ Christianity—a caricature of the life in Christ which could have (and should have!) been theirs at salvation. As a result, revival or revitalization is desperately needed in the Church. Many are sincerely attempting to ‘pray it down’, when they could share the victorious half of the gospel and see it take place in a believer’s life right before their very eyes by Holy Spirit illumination or filling (Eph. 5:18)!
Of course, the believer must be convicted of fleshly living (indulgence?) (Rom. 7:24,25) just as the unbeliever must be convicted of sin. The sinner prays a sinner’s prayer, believing Christ died for him. The believer must usually pray a selfer’s prayer, believing he died with Christ and was resurrected with Him! (Gal. 2:20, Rom 6:3-14). In both cases, the Holy Spirit must show up and give new life to the new believer and victory to the believer—the first step in discipleship (Luke 14:27). Absent this vital dimension, the believer is not a disciple; and learning spiritual disciplines will not make him one! That being the case explains why we have all but powerless churches as the rule rather than the exception!
When we give the missing half of the gospel, believers are challenged to become disciples; and new believers, given a complete gospel, will begin their Christian walk as a disciple, thereby infusing new life and power in the Church (sometimes known as revival!).
Two tools are available for sharing the complete gospel: the Wheel and Line tract and the Romans Road tract, with both to be used in evangelism and discipleship. The first, a condensation of Chapter 2 of Handbook to Happiness, has been greatly used of the Lord for 34 years and is now in 48 languages. The second, which is more recent, has not yet been time tested, but shows the entire journey from Egypt to Canaan and does not deposit them in the Wilderness (where most Christians live their entire Christian experience!) with no GPS (God’s Positioning System!). Lacking guidance by the Church or a more mature believer, they wander in the Wilderness rather than claiming their victory and rest in Canaan (Heb. 4:10,11). The cross (Gal. 2:20) is the entrance ramp to return to the Romans Road for passage through the Wilderness and crossing the Jordan. The Red Sea is symbolic of Christ’s death for us and the Jordan our death with Him, and both should be crossed simultaneously! Lacking that, there must be a second understanding of the true nature of our new birth.
There you have a brief history of what has become a victorious life movement, or the foundation for a completed Reformation. This could easily spread throughout the Church, as believers claim their birthright of death and resurrection with Christ and learn to share in the Spirit with other believers who are yet bogged down in the Wilderness. I found God’s Word and Spirit to be more than sufficient, but I believe some discipling by the Church could have shortened my years of defeat!
It is my prayer that God will reveal this precious truth to you, which you will not be able to keep under wraps but will be compelled to share life-changing truth with fellow believers still struggling with (or against!) the self life. As victory in Christ is communicated from one believer to another and pastors preach the Cross (1 Cor. 1:18), a new Reformation will be fostered, and God will receive the glory on Earth as He does in Heaven! Amen.
(Exodus 3:14, John 14:6)
“I am the way” (John 14:6)
You are to walk; (Col. 2:6, 1 John 2:6)
I’m to be the theme
Of your daily talk. (Deut. 11:19) '
“I am the truth” (John 14:6)
You are to believe; (Acts 16:31)
New birth is yours (John 3:3)
When Me you receive. (John 1:12)
“I am the life” (John 14:6, Col. 3:4)
You are to live; (Phil. 1:21)
As yours you lose, (Luke 9:24)
My life I give. (John 10:28)
C. R. Solomon
October 23, 2009
SOLDIERS OF THE CROSS
Are you a soldier of the Cross,
Marching to our Lord's command;
Do you even know there is a war
Raging throughout the land?
The inroads of the Enemy
Are causing widespread destruction;
Many of us are lulled to sleep,
Since his strategy is seduction.
The loss of life and casualties
Stagger the imagination—
Multiplied millions of babies killed,
With the approval of our nation.
Millions of others have been seduced
By cults, New Age, and gay pride;
Many of these have never heard—
There is freedom in the Crucified. (John 8:32,36)
The good news of the Gospel
Has been taught without its power; (2 Tim. 3:5)
Absent the victory of the Cross,
Soldiers tend to retreat and cower.
We meet in enclaves to worship
And depart to do our thing;
And Enemy forces unite to fight,
While we our choruses sing!
Political candidates garner votes,
Sanctioning abortion and perversion—
The faith of our fathers undermined
By ill-disguised forms of subversion
.Mandates of God's Word forsaken
In favor of gay rights and pro-choice;
Opponents of the right are exalted—
The truth all but denied a voice.
All that's required for evil to win
Is for believers to do nothing;
The Cross of Christ, the power of God, (1 Cor. 1:18)
Replaced by lies in New Age clothing.
Churches go about business as usual,
Answering questions people aren't asking;
The Enemy's plan pushes full-bore ahead,
With believers, in salvation basking.
Soldiers in God's tattered army
Are ill-fed, ill-trained, and defeated;
Unless we awake and don our armor, (Eph. 6:10,11)
Sodom and Gomorrah will be repeated.
God is looking for righteous men
Who are willing to stand in the gap; (Ez. 22:30)
Suffering and sacrifice are the watchwords—
Victory will not just fall in our lap!
Has been the order of the day;
A generation has been spawned
That has rarely heard The Way.
"Peace, peace, when there is no peace", (Jer. 6:14b)
Is the Enemy's battle cry;
Those accustomed to the 'good life'
Are conditioned to believe the lie.
Our freedoms are rapidly eroding;
We have taken our blessings for granted.
Will God grant us a reprieve,
While His Word and Life are implanted?
It is no longer a matter of choice;
It will soon be a fight for survival.
Human effort will no longer avail;
Our only hope is Holy Spirit revival.
Are you ready for revival to come
And to have it begin in you?
Are you ready your life to lose,
That yours He might live through?
The Cross is no longer optional;
And, really, it never has been!
Our life to save we must lose, (Matt. 16:25)
If we are a new life to begin.
Preaching the Cross, the power of God, (1 Cor. 1:18)
Is the message believers need;
But the pleasure-mad throng drives onward—
Blinded by self, and refusing to heed.
It is not easy ourselves to deny (Luke 9:23,24)
And to find our meaning in Him; (Col. 3:4)
But without revival in the church,
The future of our nation is dim.
His challenge to us is simple:
Allow the Spirit our hearts to search; (Ps. 139:23,24)
Only as we're transformed, one by one, (Rom. 12:2)
Will there be life in His Body, the Church.
The world has chosen darkness; (John 3:19)
Humanism and sin are a blight;
We must die in order to live,
If to the world we're to be the light. (Matt. 5:14,16)
I am dead with Christ yet I live, (Gal. 2:20)
And as the branch in the vine, I abide; (John 15:5)
The world is crucified unto me
;Unto the world I am crucified. (Gal. 6:14)
All is not lost, if we're willing to lose
Our lives as the Scripture saith; (John 12:25)
Thanks be to God for triumph in Christ (2 Cor. 2:14)
As we overcome the world by faith. (1 John 5:4)
Charles R. Solomon