Summary: A reading of Ephesians 1:15-2:10 shows you how the power of the cross impacts your life.
Subject : The Cross
Text : Ephesians 1:15-2:10
Theme : The Power of the Cross
Power is a word much loved by us. Who doesn’t love power? We know that those with power have influence. Whether physical, political, financial, military or spiritual power we often find a strong compulsion to search for, acquire and demonstrate power in our lives. We seek power in our lives over circumstances and relationships. The world teaches us that power is good and weakness is bad, power is proof that you have arrived as a success in life, weakness is proof that you are a loser. The one with the power calls the shots and often determines the outcome of things. Gaining power or being affiliated with those who have it too often becomes the goal of our life. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:17-18:
“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel - not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ should be emptied of its power. 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”
The Cross – a symbol of power! A fashion statement around someone’s neck or as a tattoo maybe – but definitely not power! Perhaps a wonderful emblem upon the highest place in the church for us to gaze upon but who can call that power? When was the last time that you saw someone flaunting an electric chair or a hangman’s noose as a symbol of power? Well they are the equivalent today of what the cross was for many people in ages past. There was an ancient horror and revulsion at crucifixion. In the quarters of the imperial page boys on the Palatine Hill of Rome a very interesting drawing has been found. It dates back to the third century. It is a picture of a crucified man with the head of a donkey and beneath is a boy worshipping him. The inscription reads, "Alexamenos worships his God." Clearly one of the pages was a Christian and the other boys were teasing and taunting him, ridiculing the fact that the Lord of Alexamenos had been crucified. Death on the Cross was a most demeaning death in the past. It was reserved for the basest and worst of slaves and criminals and also for those who opposed Roman rule. To picture a dying man on the cross so torn and tattered that one could hardly recognize Him and to call that power being demonstrated seems to be a ridiculous idea. Yet Paul calls the Cross the Power of God! What cross is this? Many have been crucified upon a cross – some good, most bad, yet none with the power to help you or to change and transform your life as the cross of Christ. You see it wasn’t any cross but the Cross of Christ that makes all the difference.
Even today, put aside every distraction and hear what God’s Word says about the impact the Power of the Cross has over those who believe and walk in obedience with Jesus. Once you have experienced His power, your life will never be the same again! Let us pray. (Lead in congregational prayer).
Trans sent. :
A reading of Ephesians 1:15-2:10 shows you how the power of the cross impacts your life.
I. The Power of the Cross delivers you from your past. (Eph 1:19,21-23; 2:5-6)
A. Exposition of Eph 1:19,21; 2:3
1. The Power that defeated all other powers (Eph 1:21-23)
2. The Power that is in all those who believe (Eph 1:19)
3. The Power that is Christ in us! (Eph 2:5,6)
B. Illustration of best friend’s brother with a past that wouldn’t go away.
1. You can lead the overcoming life only by being connected to Christ – the source of power.
2. You can experience victory only when you are willing to believe in Christ for help and strength.
3. You can walk free of your past as long as you abide in Christ and He in you.
II. The Power of the Cross defines your present life. (Eph 1:17-18a; 2:2-3)
A. Exposition of Eph 2:2-3
1. The Power that changes the direction of your walk (Eph 2:2-3)
2. The Power that transforms you from within (Eph 1:18a)
3. The Power that comes in knowing God (Eph 1:17)
B. Illustration of personal trials in life.
1. You have to walk close to God if you have to get to know Him.
2. You are transformed by ‘taking your cross and following Jesus’.
3. You truly live when you crucify the self and its sinful cravings – thus dying to yourself day by day.