Summary: The importance of the cross of Christ.
SERIES: “OVERCOMING OBSTACLES THAT OBSTRUCT OBEDIENCE”
TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 1:18-25
TITLE: “THE CROSS OF CHRIST”
INTRODUCTION: A. A boy age ten was doing miserably in math in public school. His parents had
heard that students who attended private schools did much better in math than most
students in public schools.
This family had no church home and they only attended church every now and
again but they decided to send their son to a Catholic school. The math papers he
brought home showed dramatic improvement in his math skills. At the end of first
grading period, he made an “A” in math.
His parents were ecstatic! They couldn’t believe that their son made an “A” in
They couldn’t figure out what made the difference, so they decided to ask him.
The son replied, “The first day in school, I sat down at my desk and at the front of the
room I saw a man nailed to a plus sign. I figured they take their math seriously here
so I’d better buckle down.”
1. That young man symbolizes our world today
--They don’t know much about the cross of Christ and don’t care to know much
about the cross of Christ
2. The cross has basically become meaningless today
a. It’s worn as necklaces and earrings
b. It’s tattooed on people’s bodies
c. It’s hung up on walls as a decoration
d. It’s placed on top of steeples and embedded in stained glass windows
3. We have beautified the cross so we don’t have to think about the horrible suffering
associated with death by crucifixion and that our sin caused Christ to go to the
B. Paul reminds us in this passage about the central fact and pivotal issue of the gospel:
1. Rom. 5:8 – “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still
sinners, Christ died for us.”
2. He also reminds us that the cross exposes the fundamental choice we make:
--Are we committed to error or are we committed to truth?
3. Paul says that the answer to that question depends on our response to the cross of
C. 1 Cor. 1:18-25 – “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are
perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will
frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of
this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God
was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ
crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom
God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of
God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of
God is stronger than man’s strength.”
I. THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS
A. The method that God chose to communicate His message of love, mercy, and grace was preaching
1. The word in the original language means “message”
2. Rom. 10:13-15; 17 – “13For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 14How,
then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of
whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how
can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring
good news!’” “17Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard
through the word of Christ.”
3. It is the proclamation of this message that causes people to hear and believe
B. What message is Paul referring to?
--There are certain elements that mark the proclamation of the Gospel in the New Testament:
1. The great Promised One (the Christ; the Messiah) has come
--The Promised One is Jesus
2. Summary of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus
--also includes the reason He had to die
3. Everything that happened in His life, death, and resurrection is a fulfillment of prophecy
4. Jesus has ascended back to the Father but promises to return again
5. Involved some urgent invitation to make Christ Lord and Savior
C. The sticking point for many people is usually the cross
--a misunderstanding concerning the cross
1. The cross was by design and not disaster.
a. Jesus, Mk. 10:45 – “For even the Son of man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his