Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27-28)

There are two primary focuses in the New Testament: the first coming of Jesus at the Cross and the second coming of Jesus at the Day of the Lord. Some traditions focus focus primarily on the former, e.g. the Reformed tradition, and some focus on the later, e.g. the Dispensationalist tradition. One focuses on the issues of human depravity and our righteousness before God hidden in the Cross. The other focuses on the hope and future of the Christian faith in the return of Jesus.

The focus on one to the exclusion of the other leads to death. When the Cross and crucifixion of Self is the only thing in view, the human heart shuts down. When the return of Jesus is the only thing in view, the human heart deceives itself in delusion. It is only the combination of hope in the resurrection that empowers self-crucifixion under the Holy Spirit. There is no path to glory except through the Cross. And this is the pattern that God set forth in the Christ:

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

It is the hope of the resurrection that the Holy Spirit uses to impart joy to the heart in the midst of the crucifixion of self. And this informs the culture and value system of the people of God. Whatever aspect of the gospel is centralized in word and deed, the Holy Spirit confirms individually and corporately, because it is beliefs and ideas that inform culture and practice. If only the Cross is preached, then only a culture of self-crucifixion is developed. If only the Day of the Lord is preached, then only a culture of hope is developed. Unfortunately, the depravity of the human heart deceives men to think they will attain that hope apart from the Cross.

It is a culture of joyful hope in the return of Jesus that empowers us to walk in the way of the Cross. And it is the way of the Cross that the Holy Spirit delights in.