Summary: We must realize, as the early church did, that Calvary is not merely about how Christ died, but also how we should live.
INTRO: 1. We must realize, as the early church did, that Calvary is not merely about how Christ died, but also how we should live.
a. Modern day Christianity has often limited the Cross of Christ to the doctrinal boundaries of Salvation.
b. But it’s clear from the epistles that they had learned to live in light of the cross, not merely as a result of it.
c. As we hear Paul here in Galatians we must admit that to him the cross was the standard, not just for salvation but for living.
2. If you can view what took place at Calvary and just walk away saying “Oh, Look how much Jesus did for me!” then you’re only half-way there.
a. A true revelation of the cross in our lives will leave us also crying “What can I do for you, Lord?!”
b. Since you’ve gave so much for me, what can I give to you?
c. Since you’ve suffered so for me, how much can I suffer for you?
d. Since you’ve lived for me, how much can I live for you?
3. Paul here let’s us know that the cross must be more than a historical reality for us…but a personal, daily reality for us.
a. Salvation is the personal power of the cross in our lives.
b. Salvation is dying to sin, to self and to ownership of our lives.
1 Cor. 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
c. But the power of the cross is letting that Crucified Christ live in me.
4. Nothing demonstrates who Jesus was more than his cross does…not his teachings, not his miracles, not even his resurrection…His light shown the brightest in the darkest hour of his life.
a. If we are to allow Jesus to live through us, instead of allow our old man be resurrected, we must recognize Christ in us.
b. I suggest to you tonight, that the way they could recognize Jesus at work in them is by continually revisiting that cross and what Jesus proved of himself there.
5. Tonight, I want to endeavor to trace in the epistles how practical the early church found the cross in their everyday living.
6. Calvary became their standard for living, let’s see just how.
a. Leave your bibles open tonight and go with me as I tour a number of references to how the cross impacted the lifestyle of those early apostles.
b. Not come here with the intent on stirring you emotionally or giving you a warm and fuzzy feeling about your faith, but to lay the foundations of a life crucified, a life in which the crucified Lord is revealed and glorified in all I do.
7. If I can just show you how to apply the cross in every area of your life, I’d consider tonight an eternally significant one.
a. I want to show you how to glean the examples that Christ crucified gave you.
b. This will not be a complete message, since the cross fills the epistles… but merely a starting point.
I. CALVARY SET THE STANDARD OF LOVE IN OUR LIVES
a. Yes, it is true that there is no greater demonstration of love than what Jesus went through for you and me on Calvary.
b. But Calvary goes farther— it set the standard for what Christian love is all about.
c. The cross pushed Jesus’ teachings concerning love to the limit, we see the conviction of these principles in his life.
d. Jesus did more than preach this kind of love, but on Calvary demonstrated it.
e. What I’m about to preach is a ‘radical love’ for real Christians…it’s not popular even among religious church folk…but it’s still the standard the cross has set.
A. A LOVE THAT LOVES THE UNDESERVING.
1. Mocked, spat upon, and treated with the depth of cruelty…yet loved them still.
2. I’m not talking about a love that comes naturally, but one that still flows from the cross through you and me.
3. When you think someone is undeserving of your love, remember how undeserving you where of calvary.
4. Jesus left us no grounds to hold grudges and harbor hate in our hearts…if he can be treated that way and pray for those who did he wrong… so should we.
5. But I can’t! Then you hadn’t really seen Calvary yet.
6. You can if you let the same crucified Christ love through you.
B. A LOVE THAT TURNS THE OTHER CHEEK.
1. Peter uses the cross to teach about dealing with those who wrongfully mistreat you.