Summary: The message of the cross is the power of God unto salvation.
Title: The message of the Cross
“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.”(1 Corinthians 1v18)
“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.” (1 Corinthians 1v22-23)
1. The message of the cross is Christ crucified!
2. The message of the cross is never going to be the most popular message out there.
3. The message of the cross is… always going to be the most powerful message.
This creates a tension:
Do we want to be popular with the world or do we want to be powerful with God?
If we want to be popular with the world preach anything but Christ crucified.
If we want to be powerful with God preach nothing but Christ crucified.
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Cor. 2:2-5)
Believing we would rather be powerful with God than popular with the world…
We need to understand what’s so powerful about the message of the Cross- Christ crucified?
1.Preaching Christ crucified powerfully communicates the holiness of God.
We don’t hear a lot about the holiness of God anymore.Instead we tend to hear only about other attributes of God that make him a kinder and gentler God.Sadly we are even hearing about new attributes of God that God never had before; attributes such as… “God is an open and affirming God”.
Application: When you don’t hear a lot about holiness you don’t see a lot of holiness
Proposition: The most powerful way to communicate God’s holiness is by preaching Christ crucified.
Illustrate: And to prove this we only have to look back at what Paul wrote in 1 Cor 2:2.
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and with much trembling.”
Interpretation: When Paul preached Christ crucified he did so in weakness and fear and with much trembling.
Question: Who did Paul fear and tremble about as he preached Christ crucified?
One possible answer is that he feared and trembled about those who might be listening to him as he preached Christ crucified.
It’s possible that he may have feared they would not like him? Or maybe Paul feared they would throw stones at him.
But is that the kind of man Paul was? Do we see Paul as a man full of fear?
So if he did no fear other men-who might Paul have feared and trembled over as he preached Christ crucified?
Could it be that Paul trembled over the holiness of God when he preached Christ crucified?
Could it be that for Paul to preach Christ crucified was to also preach the holiness of God?