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Summary: Do you believe that the message of the Cross is the true answer to mankind’s greatest need?

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Cornerstone Church November 5, 2006

THE CROSS – OUR STATUS SYMBOL

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

“There is a moving story of Steinberg and a gypsy girl. Struck with her beauty, Steinberg took her to his studio and frequently had her sit for him. At that time he was working on his masterpiece ‘Christ on the Cross.’ The girl used to watch him work on this painting. One day she said to him, ‘He must have been a very wicked man to be nailed to a cross like that.’ ‘No,’ said the painter. ‘On the contrary, he was a very good man. The best man that ever lived. He died for others.’ The little girl looked up at him and asked, ‘Did He die for you?’ Steinberg was not a Christian, but the gypsy girl’s question touched his heart and awakened his conscience, and he became a believer in Him whose dying passion he had so well portrayed. Years afterward a young Count chanced to go into the gallery at Dresden where Steinberg’s painting of ‘Christ on the Cross’ was on exhibition. The painting spoke so powerfully to him that it changed the whole tenor of his life. He was Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf, founder of the Moravian Brethren.”

– Clarence Macartney, Preaching without Notes

Are you still awed by the Cross of Christ?

Do you find hope in the simplicity and power of it’s message?

Do you love the Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross to redeem you?

Do you believe that the message of the Cross is the true answer to mankind’s greatest need?

WHY WOULD I ASK THOSE QUESTIONS?

The message of the Cross of Christ alone has the power to transform lives.

Not human wisdom.

Not human strength.

Not human resources.

Christ!

“A status symbol is something, usually an expensive

or rare object, that indicates a high social status

for its owner.”

Wikipedia

We live in a world of Status Seekers and Status Symbols.

Status Symbols of Western Society

The trophy wife

A large, expensive house

Expensive luxury cars, yachts, or aircraft

Fine clothes

A marketable degree from a prestigious university, especially the Ivy League (USA)

Expensive jewelry

Expensive gadgets

Vacation homes

Vineyards

We look up to the popular and powerful.

Celebrities

Sports Figures

Models

Singers

Breakups, babies and betrayals monopolized the headlines nearly eclipsing the careers of actors such as Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie (who, in a future twist of tabloid fate, tie for 35th on our annual list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Celebrities.) But generating headlines isn’t enough to solidify your standing in Hollywood. A fat paycheck won’t do it, either. Only a combination of earnings and sizzle will land a celebrity a coveted spot on our Celebrity 100. To generate the list, we used a combination of factors including income, Web references, press clips, TV/radio mentions and the number of times a celebrity’s face has appeared on the cover of 26 major consumer magazines.

Celebrity 100

The World’s Most Powerful Celebrities

Edited by Lea Goldman and Kiri Blakeley 06.16.06, 6:00 PM ET

Forbes.com

Sadly, we allow these individuals and objects to set our values or establish our happiness and joy in this world.


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Talk about it...

Eric Evans

commented on Apr 8, 2015

Good thoughts, brother! About the opening illustration - I am wondering if anyone knows "who" this "Steinberg" is in the closing illustration. I know this illustration appears in other places on Sermon Central, and even in book of illustrations by Charles Swindoll (where is appears Brother Finitzer got it). Yet I can find no evidence of "who" is being referred to online. I found one art critic, Leo Steinberg, who passed away in 2011, that had some obsession with Renascence art of Christ on the cross, but after reading about him I seriously doubt he is the one in the illustration. If you know, please post. I like to be able to verify at least some fact of what is a true illustration before I use it myself. Thanks!

Rick Finitzer

commented on Jul 14, 2015

H i Eric, I wish I could be more help to you! You are correct that I think Swindoll also used this illustration. I site it as from? Clarence Macartney, Preaching without Notes. It would be even more interesting to have your question answered. It could make the illustration even more powerful! I'm sorry I had not seen your comment earlier! May Christ bless you as you seek to honor Him in the proclamation of His WORD! Rick

Eric Evans

commented on Apr 8, 2015

To be clear - the opening illustration here. I posted this on another sermon that uses it a the closing illustration. Just trying to verify. Thanks.

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