Summary: Every year around Easter time, people typically focus/cross.
Pastor Allan Kircher
Shell Point Baptist Church
23 March 2014
The Centrality of the Cross
• Learn how/make/cross central in our lives
• we can experience/power, peace/mercy
• Comes through a relationship with Christ.
In football, the football determines everything.
• First downs/measured/ball is placed
• Touchdowns/measured/ball crosses/plain
• “Out-of-bounds” tied/your control/ball/relationship/feet
• Fumbles/determined/who grabs the ball.
• Field goals/measured/whether/ball goes through/Up Rights
Men fight over it, rejoice over it, and strive to possess it.
• In other words/football/missing there/no football game
Without/football, everything else/goes/stadium/field/waste/time.
• In football, the football is the main thing.
• In Christianity, the cross is the main thing.
Want/share something incredibly important with you:
• In Christianity, the cross is the main thing.
• What Jesus satisfied and gained at cross/main thing.
• no power/freedom/forgiveness/authority/strength/victory
• Nothing at all.
• The cross is the main thing.
Every year around Easter time, people typically focus/cross.
• We remember/Christ’s death paid/penalty for our sins.
We meditate on how/reality/cross enables those who believe and trust in Jesus to spend eternity in Heaven.
• However, once Easter passes
• we frequently go back to doing our own thing
• Trying to live our lives without the cross as the central focus.
1. THE CROSS IS CENTRAL TO THE CHRISTIAN
• Remember Christ and the cross
• Paul wrote to the Galatians in large letters
• He boasted only in the cross of Christ (Galatians 6:14)
• Paul recalled the historical reality of the cross
Make the cross central in your life
• To Paul, the cross was not a decoration or an icon
• it was/centrality of his very existence (see Galatians 2:20)
See, it isn’t enough:
• Gather together/right place each Sunday—the church
• Gather together/right people in our lives—fellow believers.
• There/program/plan/books, seminars
• Worship/personal devotional time on Sunday/thru out week.
All of that is good, and all of that is critical
• All that means nothing without centrality of the main thing—the cross.
• If we leave out the cross
• We are only left/empty shell called religion.
Without/cross, we/left/empty set of rules, laws, requirements, and judgments
An attempt to legislate spirituality without
• Power/intimacy/grace/ability/live spiritually victorious lives.
As a result, believers find themselves in perpetual defeat
• Measuring up--fully overcoming/struggles
• rising above/circumstances---fulfilling/destiny
• achieving the complete manifestation of their significance
Because they/operating without/power/deliverance of the cross.
trying to live/Christian life without the main thing—the cross.
2. THE CROSS PROVIDES POWER
…………….Look to the power of Christ
Church/Galatia looked/their flesh instead/Christ’s power Gal 3:1–3
Galatians focused/what they could do in their flesh instead of what Christ already did…Gal. 6:12
Many believers today want to live in victory yet continually live defeated lives.
Problem we face/modern, contemporary Christian culture
We view/icon reflecting something/happened thousands/yrs ago
• Little relevance/us today other than/communion or Easter
• That’s only/produce feelings of guilt or appreciation.
• Far too many Christians view the cross/historical event
• Take it for granted/something they deserve.
• Rather/current event wielding everything they need to bring heaven to bear on earth.
Electricity/flow of power/makes everything work in your home.
• Virtually everything/house operates because/electricity
Your appliances/lights/heat/air conditioning/computers/television work because they are receiving electricity.
If you are severed from electricity
• Flow/power stops even though you still own/appliances…..
It’s not/you no longer possess these items
• Nor is it you didn’t pay for/purchase them
• You can have something you have paid for/Not enjoy it
• Simply because/flow/electricity/no longer there.
To be severed from Christ or to fall from grace:
• Means/flow of what God wants to do in you and through you is no longer flowing.
• You have essentially been unplugged/disconnected
• From/power/Jesus even though you still have all of the paraphernalia of religion.
• hope is gone/peace is gone
• Courage is gone/faith is gone/authority is gone.
In writing to his audience at Galatia, Paul urged them over and over again, in one form or another, to remember Christ and the cross.
3. CROSS PROVIDES A RELATIONSHIP AND NOT RELIGION
Don’t let religion replace the cross
Judaizers had religious rules but not/relationship/Jesus
• Group/people/still attached/religious rules OT
• Judaizes were trying to subvert the message/cross
• Trying to convert new Christians/circumcision.
• They had religion. They just didn’t have a the relationship
In school, we may be asked to write a research paper.
• To accomplish this assignment/perform due diligence
• Control/material/analyze all/arguments.
• After our hard work, we feel great about our paper.
Suppose/get/paper back/professor/big fat red zero/top
• Along/smaller note/bottom scrawled
• “Great work. Great preparation. Wrong assignment.”
It wasn’t that/hadn’t done great work
• You had done great work/wrong assignment.
• You/researched/wrong topic.
• As a result, you didn’t get credit for what you had done.