Summary: A MESSAGE ABOUT THE POWER OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST
THE POWER OF THE CROSS
1 COR 1:17-24
I. THE CONDITION OF THE RELIGIOUS WORLD
A. All religions are not the same, they are not different ways to the same God
-ill of the Christian fish with the Buddha in the center
-the one thing that sets us apart from all others is the cross
B. The world is looking for a “Do as you want to” religion
-2 Tim 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
C. Sadly, there are many within the church that want the same thing
D. In spite of worldly views of the cross, the church must never lay down it’s blood stained banner
II. THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS
A. When the followers of Christ began preaching the cross, they were met with opposition
-the Ephesian encounter, Stephen, Paul stoned, many put to death
B. Yet the power of the cross was seen in the saving of souls all over the world and is still working today
C. Time and technology do not change the fact that we are born in sin and need a savior, that Jesus Christ bore our sins on an old rugged cross and it is only through the cross that we can be saved
D. Take the cross out of Christianity and it becomes a dead religion
III. ENEMIES OF THE CROSS
A. Paul plainly tells us that there are many who think the cross is mere foolishness - (18)
B. The preaching of the cross faces much opposition today and has many enemies
-Phil 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
-Janet Reno, Attorney General of the United States as interviewed on CBS "60 Minutes" on June 26, 1999.
"A cultist is one who has a strong belief in the Bible and the Second Coming of Christ; who frequently attends Bible studies; who have a high level of financial giving to a Christian cause; who home schools their children; who has accumulated survival foods and has a strong belief in the Second Amendment; and who distrusts big government. Any of these may qualify a person as a cultist but certainly more than one of these would cause us to look at this person as a threat and his family as being in a risk situation that qualifies for government interference.”
C. Jesus never said Christianity would be popular with everybody, there are many who hate it
-one of the things that makes Christianity unpopular to many, is it’s claim to be the only way to God, but our claim is based on the Word of God
-John 14:6 ...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
-John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
D. Many compromise the preaching of the cross because of the backlash they receive from it
-Gal 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
E. The cross is the most simple structure ever built, yet it is the most powerful
IV. THE POWER OF THE CROSS (EPH 2:12-22)
A. The cross is the battering ram that broke down the wall of partition and bridged the gap between God and fallen man
B. The cross is the instrument that brings peace to the human soul and spirit
C. The cross is the power that destroys the work of sin, because our sins were nailed there
-Col 2:14-15 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
D. The cross brings us into unity with the Holy Spirit and the Father
E. The cross makes us a part of the church, the body of Christ
A. The cross is the tool we must use to reach a lost world
-many times we say, “If I can get so-and-so to church maybe they’ll get saved”
-if we can simply lead them to the cross we can get them saved
B. How long has it been since we led someone to the cross