by Kenneth Copeland
The supernatural power to touch a bitter life and make it sweet.
That’s the secret people have been searching for almost since time began. Every human heart cries it out. Every person ever born longs for the power to turn sickness into health, loneliness into love, bondage into freedom and failure into victory. All mankind yearns to taste the full sweetness of abundant life…and to bring that sweetness to others whose lives have become little more than one bitter pill to swallow.
But does such power really exist? Is there truly a secret that can make any life an abundant life?
Absolutely. And, if you’ve made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, you’ve already discovered that secret.
It’s the secret of the Cross.
“What do you mean, Brother Copeland?” you might ask. “The Cross is no secret. Lots of people know about the Cross.”
Well, they may know some basic facts about the Cross, but they don’t understand the true power of it. If they did, then they’d know why the New Testament tells us quite plainly “…the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Notice that verse doesn’t tell us the Cross was the power of God in the past, in days gone by. It says the Cross is the power of God that brings us salvation (which means deliverance from all temporal and eternal evil) now, today, in the present—and every single day of our lives!
Everything good comes from the Cross. It changed the entire future of humanity and all of heaven forever.
The Cross affected everything. The problem is, most of us don’t even begin to understand the fullness of what happened there. We simply think of it as the place where Jesus paid the penalty for sin so we could go to heaven and escape hell. That kind of thinking is right, as far as it goes. But it doesn’t go far enough. There’s much more to it.
Looking Back to the Good Old Days
To see just how much more actually happened at the Cross, we have to go back to the beginning, to the creation of man, to see how this all began. We have to go back and find out how bitterness got into the life stream of humanity in the first place. God certainly didn’t put it there.
The book of Genesis tells us again and again everything God created on the earth was good. He created the land and the water and “it was good” (Genesis 1:10). He created all vegetation and “it was good” (verse 12). He created the sun, moon and stars; He created the animals and every other living thing and saw that they were good (verse 25).
Once all that was done, God made the body of man from the dust of the earth and breathed His own life into him after saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion…” (Genesis 1:26). At that moment, man became a living soul. He was clothed with God’s own glory. God Himself empowered Adam (and later, his wife, Eve) to bring blessing and prosperity to the whole earth.
And when it was all finished, the Bible says “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (verse 31). Those truly were the good old days.
The Touch of Death
In those days, Adam and Eve were free to enjoy God’s good creation and reign in Eden as His representatives in the earth. They were free to enjoy nothing but sweetness and light forever—on one condition: They were to keep God’s command.
Everything depended on that. If they obeyed God’s command, life would be glorious and wonderful. If they disobeyed His command, they would die.
Sadly, they made the wrong choice. They disobeyed…and the light of God’s glory that once radiated from them was snuffed out by the spiritual darkness of sin. Satan, whom they had obeyed, became their overlord. His deadly nature invaded their spirits, and everything beautiful God had breathed into Adam and Eve was instantly twisted and marred.
The fruit of God’s Spirit that once filled their souls—qualities like love, joy, peace and faith—were suddenly corrupted. Love became hate. Joy became sorrow. Peace became turmoil. Faith became fear.
The anointing of God that had once empowered them to bless the earth was transformed into a touch of death that cursed the entire planet. The very ground itself was cursed because of what happened to them. Every molecule was infected by it. The earth, and everything in it, was cursed.
That, in itself, would have been bad enough. But the horror didn’t stop there. Because God had ordained that every seed produce after its own kind, Adam and Eve were destined to reproduce children infected by the curse of sin. So the more they multiplied, the more the effects of the curse increased!
Under the curse of sin, life on earth which had once been so sweet became indescribably bitter. In fact, “bitterness” is the definition of the Hebrew root of the word curse.
I doubt if Adam realized the full extent of what had happened right away, but as time passed the magnitude of it must have dawned on him. He must have thought, Dear Lord, the seed of everything in the earth is bitter! My own seed is bitter! How will anything on earth ever be pure again? God, how can I ever be Your friend again?
Adam didn’t have a clue. He didn’t know what God’s plan was. It was a mystery hidden in God before the world began (1 Corinthians 2:7). Yet from the very first moment the curse hit the earth, God began to talk about redemption. Right there in the Garden of Eden after Adam sinned, God spoke to the devil and said, There is One coming, the son of a woman, and He will crush your head…. (See Genesis 3:15.)
God Did the Impossible
The devil himself must have wondered how God was ever going to find such a man. After all, the entire race of man was under demonic lordship. They were all sinners. They couldn’t defeat the devil. They were his slaves. And through their sin, they’d all earned the same wages: bitterness and eternal death.
Of course, according to God’s system of covenant justice, if God could find one pure man, the blood of that man could be shed for the rest of mankind. He could become their substitute and take their punishment. But God had no pure seed on the earth to work with. He couldn’t even start again from scratch to form a new Adam from the dust of the earth, because the dust itself was cursed and impure. How could God ever find human blood that was not already cursed with bitterness? It was impossible! Or so it seemed.
But God made a way. He visited a young woman named Mary and spoke His Word to her. She believed it and that Word went into her. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Jesus, the Word Himself, was born as the pure, sinless Son of Man and Son of God. There was no bitterness in Him. No trace of the curse. He passed every test of temptation Adam had failed. He lived as a free man. Death could not touch Him.
But then He did the unthinkable.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).
Jesus was already free. He didn’t have to do that. But He chose to do it so “…that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Living in Heaven’s Sweetness
That’s what happened on the Cross! Jesus redeemed us from the bondage of the curse by becoming a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). He not only paid the awful price for what Adam did, He broke the power of the curse and destroyed Satan’s authority to use it on any believer who, by faith, will walk in their purchased redemption.
Jesus took away the authority of bitterness and released the blessing—heaven’s sweetness—back into the earth! He bore our bitterness and gave us His sweet abundant life.
He opened Eden’s goodness to us again.
How do we live in that goodness? The same way Adam and Eve were supposed to do it—by obeying God’s commandment. If we’ll do that, the curse will be helpless to function in our lives and God’s good blessings will overtake us (Deuteronomy 28:1-2). The saving power of the Cross itself is released in every area of our lives—spirit, soul and body—when we keep God’s commands.
And as 1 John 5:3 says, “His commandments are not grievous.” In fact, they are delightfully simple. “This is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another” (1 John 3:23).
Or, as Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Believe and love. That’s all we have to do to live free.
There’s no need for us to suffer the effects of the curse any longer. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God has not only made it possible for us to taste the sweet life of God, He’s put a well of it inside us (John 4:14). He’s given us rivers of it, rivers that will never run dry (John 7:38).
The supernatural power to touch a bitter life and make it sweet has already been given to you. So release your faith and let that sweetness flood not only your own life, but the lives of countless others as well. Step into the overflow through the power of the Cross!
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