The Power of the Cross

      THE POWER OF THE CROSS

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

 

I)        INTRODUCTION – BECAUSE OF THE HARDNESS OF PEOPLE’S HEARTS AND THE REJECTION OF THE GOSPEL IN OUR SOCIETY THERE IS A TEMPTATION TO WATER DOWN THE GOSPEL TO MAKE IN MORE PALATABLE TO MODERN SOCIETY.   YOU CAN TALK ABOUT GOD TO MOST PEOPLE; MENTION THE NAME OF JESUS AND MANY PEOPLE GET VERY UPSET, TALK ABOUT THE CROSS OF CHRIST AND THE BLOOD OF CHRIST PEOPLE GET UP IN ARMS.   THIS IS NOT JUST A MODERN DAY PHENOMEMA; IT WAS SO IN THE DAY OF PAUL.  WHY IS THIS? ALTHOUGH THE PERSON OF THE ANTICHRIST HAS YET TO BE REVEALED, THE SPIRIT OF THE ANTICHRIST IS ALIVE AND WELL AND HAS BEEN SINCE THE DAYS OF THE APOSTLES.  1Jn 2:18  Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many ANTICHRISTS… THE ANTICHRIST OPPOSES GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION REVEALED IN CHRIST & BLINDS US TO THE POWER OF THE CROSS.   TEXT: 1 COR. 1:18 – 31 (NKJV).

II)      THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS IS FOOLISHNESS TO THOSE THAT ARE BEING LOST. (1COR 1:18 MKJV)

A)      THOSE TRAVELING THE BROAD ROAD THAT LEADS TO DESTRUCTION SKOFF AND LAUGH AT THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS.  MSG TRANSLATION: 1Co 1:18 The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense…

B)       WE KNOW THAT JESUS DID NOT DIE AS A MARTYR BUT AS THE SON OF GOD, CARRYING OUT HIS FATHER’S PLAN. Isa 53:10 – 11 (KJV) YET it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 HE shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

C)       Read Luke 18:31-33

D)      TO US WHO ARE BEING SAVED, the CROSS IS THE WISDOM AND THE power of God.

E)       We remember who we were before “Him” & what we have become in Him

F)       THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD IS A WISDOM THAT (LIFE IN THE SPIRIT STUDY BIBLE) :

1)       EXCLUDES & DENYS GOD & HIS SON JESUS

2)       EMPHASIZES HUMAN SELF SUFFICIENCY & INDEPENDENCE FROM GOD

3)       REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE THE REVELATION OF GOD IN CHRIST

4)       REFUSES TO SUBMIT TO THE AUTHORITY OF GOD’S WORD

5)       GOD CALLS THIS WISDOM FOOLISHNESS FOR THROUGH IT WE HAVE FAILED TO FIND THE TRUTH OR RECOGNIZE OUR CREATOR OR SAVE OURSELVES

6)       THE BELIEVERS WORLD VIEW CAN NEVER BE RECONCILED WITH THE UNBELIEVER’S OR SECULAR WORLD VIEW.

G)      THE WORD “BEING” USED IN THE MKJV INDICATES CONTINUING OR ONGOING ACTION. IN ONE SENSE OUR SALVATION IS INSTANTANEOUS, BUT IN ANOTHER SENSE IT IS ON GOING.  THE FAITH AND TRUST IN CHRIST THAT BROUGHT US SALVATION MUST CONTINUE AND GROW THROUGHOUT OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE TO SUSTAIN OUR WALK WITH JESUS.  WE DO NOT RECEIVE THE FINAL INSTALLMENT OF OUR SALVATION UNTIL WE RECEIVE OUR GLORIFIED BODY AS WE MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR.

H)      PEOPLE ARE LOST, NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THEIR SIN BUT THEIR ON-GOING REJECTION OF JESUS CHRIST.  SOME REJECT CHRIST BECAUSE THEY LOVE THEIR SIN.  SOME REJECT CHRIST BECAUSE HE IS NOT A PRIORITY – THEY ARE CAUGHT UP WITH THE CARES AND PLEASURES OF THIS WORLD – SATAN HAS BLINDED THEM. MANY ARE JUST TOO PROUD.  THEY CANNOT HUMBLE THEMSELVES. SATAN HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES, EVEN AS HE DID THE SCRIBES & PHARISEES THAT WITNESSED JESUS MIGHTY MIRACLES BUT REFUSED TO ACKNOWLEDGE HIM OR GIVE GOD GLORY.

III)    PAUL SAID, the Jews ask for a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; BUT we preach Christ crucified (1COR 1:22,23)

A)     We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness.

B)       the Jews were looking for a king to deliver them from the Romans, but god sent Jesus to deliver them from their sins.

C)       KING HEROD SAW JESUS HE WAS HAPPY; HE WANTED A SIGN.  HEROD WAS LOOKING FOR NOVELITY, ENTERTAINMENT, AND THE SATISFACTION OF COURISITY.  HE WAS NOT PENTINENT SOUL LOOKING FOR SALVATION AND FORGIVENESS.

D)      JESUS SAID  “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. And there shall be no sign given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”  Mat 12:39

E)       WE ARE STILL LOOKING FOR A SIGN… THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE RUNNING TO ORAL ROBERTS SERVICES OR BENNY HINN SERVICES LOOKING FOR A SIGN THAT NEED TO STOP RUNNING A FIND A LOCAL CHURCH AND BE FAITHFUL AND OBEDIENT TO THE WORD THAT THEY ALREADY HAVE.

F)       THE APOSTLE PAUL ENCOUNTERED THOSE LOOKING FOR  WISDOM: Act 17:18  Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.  THE EPICUREANS LIVED FOR PLEASURE.  THEIR MOTTO WAS EAT DRINK AND BE MERRY FOR TOMORROW WE DIE.  THE STOICS WERE FATALISTS.  WHATEVER WILL HAPPEN, WILL HAPPEN.  THEY ACCEPTED THEIR FAIT WITH RESIGNATION.

G)      WE ARE LOOKING FOR A GOSPEL THAT STIMULATES OUR INTELLECT…WE SPEND MANY HOURS ON DOCTRINAL ISSUES THAT NEEDLESSLY DIVIDE THE CHURCH AND DETRACT US FROM REACHING THE LOST AND BUILDING HIS CHURCH.

H)      1Co 3:19, 20  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 AND again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

IV)    GOD HAS CHOSEN THE FOOLISH AND THE WEAK THINGS OF THIS WORLD TO CONFOUND THOSE THAT ARE WISE AND THOSE THAT ARE MIGHTY.

A)      GOD WILL GIVE A SIGN WHEN HE IS READY.

B)       MOSES BEFORE MIGHTY PHAROAH.  MOSES ASKED WHO AM I AND WHO SHOULD I SAY SENT ME?

C)       GIDEON HAD TO KNOW THAT GOD WAS WITH HIM BEFORE HE FACED THE ARMIES OF MEDIAN WITH 300 MEN.

D)      ELIJAH CONFRONTED KING AHAB AND THE PROPHETS OF BAAL, CALLING FIRE DOWN FROM HEAVEN.

E)       JOHN THE BAPTIST LIVED ON LOCUSTS AND WILD HONEY WHILE PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF REPENTENCE.  HE WAS NOT AFRAID OF CONFRONTING HEROD WITH HIS SIN.

V)      THOUGH THE POWER OF THE CROSS, God is made to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, IN CHRIST.  (1COR 1:30)

A)      “He who GLORIES let him glory in the Lord.”   NO FLESH CAN GLORY IN GOD’S   PRESENCE.  Isa 2:11 – 12 THE lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. 12 FOR the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.

B)       THE PROPHET ISAIAH HAD A VISION OF THE LORD HIGH AND LIFTED UP AND THE WHOLE EARTH WAS FILLED WITH GOD’S GLORY.  THE FACE OF MOSES SHINED SO BRIGHTLY THAT HE HAD TO BE COVERED WHEN HE DESCENDED FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOP MEETING WITH GOD. THE FACE OF STEPHEN SHOWN WITH THE GLORY OF GOD AS HE WAS BEING STONED TO DEATH.   THE GLORY OF GOD IS SEEN ON MANY OF YOU…

VI)CONCLUSION –  IN THE INTRODUCTION OF THIS MESSAGE WE ASKED THE QUESTION “WHY DO WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED WHEN SO IT OFFENDS SO MANY?  MOSLEMS BELIEVE THAT JESUS WAS A GREAT PROPHET BUT THAT HE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE SON OF GOD.  GOD WOULD NOT HAVE ALLOWED HIMSELF TO BE KILLED BY HIS OWN CREATION?

A)           1ST CHRIST, CRUCIFIED PRESERVES THE SENSE OF GOD’S HOLINESS.  IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WE FIND MEN LYING PROSTRATE IN THE DUST, WHILE THEY CRY OUT IN FEARFUL WONDER: “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY IS THE LORD OF HOSTS.”  THE BOOK OF REVELATION DESCRIBES STRANGE HEAVELY CREATURES THAT RESTED NOT DAY AND NIGHT CRYING “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY WHICH WAS, AND IS AND IS TO COME.  THE GOD THAT WE WANT TO BELIEVE IN IS LAX, LOOSE, AND EASY GOING, AND GOOD NATURED, A GOD THAT WE DARE TAKE LIBERITIES WITH.  THAT IS NOT THE GOD OF THE BIBLE; GOD IS HOLY, SO VERY HOLY.   THE FATHER-HOOD OF GOD DOES NOT EXCULDE OR OBSCURE THE FACT OF HIS HOLINESS.

B)             2ND, CHRIST CRUCIFIED, DEMONSTRATES THE GRACE OF GOD TOWARD MAN.  CHRIST CRUCIFIED RECONCILES THE HOLINESS OF GOD WITH THE SINFULNESS OF MAN.  ENGLISHMAN JOHN NELSON SPOKE OF THE EFFECT OF JOHN WESLEY’S PREACHING ON HIM.  HE SAID, “THIS MAN CAN TELL THE SECRETS OF MY HEART, BUT HE HAS NOT LEFT ME THERE, HE HAS SHOWED ME THE REMEDY, EVEN THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.  THEN WAS MY SOULD FILLED WITH CONSOLATION, THROUGH HOPE THT GOD, FOR CHRIS’S SAKE, WOULD SAVE ME.”  BUT THAT HAS NOT BEEN MERELY THE EXPERIENCE OF JOHN NELSON, WHEREVER CHRIST, AND HIM CRUCIFIED HAS BEEN PREACHED, SINNERS FIND HOPE AND SALVATION AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS.

 

THERE IS A WONDERFUL OLD HYMN ENTITLED “THERE IS ROOM AT THE CROSS”.   IF YOU HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED THAT HOPE OR ARE NOT WALKING IN THE LIGHT OF THAT HOPE,  I PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED THE HOPE OF GLORY, TO YOU THIS MORNING; THERE IS ROOM AT THE CROSS FOR YOU THIS MORNING.   I INVITE YOU TO KNEEL AT THIS ALTAR AND EXPERIENCE THE POWER OF THE CROSS – GOD’S FORGIVENESS FOR YOUR SINS & AND THE INDWELLING PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

1Co 1:18  For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, it is the power of God.

1Co 1:19  For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the perceiving ones.”

1Co 1:20  Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1Co 1:21  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom did not know God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.

1Co 1:22  For the Jews ask for a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom;

1Co 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness.

1Co 1:24  But to them, the called-out ones, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1Co 1:25  Because the foolish thing of God is wiser than men, and the weak thing of God is stronger than men.

1Co 1:26  For you see your calling, brothers, that not many wise men according to the flesh are called, not many mighty, not many noble.

1Co 1:27  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1Co 1:28  and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are;

1Co 1:29  so that no flesh should glory in His presence.

1Co 1:30  But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption;

1Co 1:31  So that, according as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

 

Your Support is Greatly Apreciated

Speak Your Mind

*