Summary: There is soul saving power in the message of the cross.
THE WORD OF THE CROSS
I Cor. 1:17-18
INTRO. "preaching" = word (logos)
See John 1:1; explain - What is the significance of a word? Words without proper definitions are just so much useless babble. It is not the word itself that carries power, but rather the meaning of that word. God conveyed Himself to us through the Word, Jesus.
"Logos" - means the essence, meaning, power of statement.
It is not so much that we are preaching about the cross, per se. The message we bring is the meaning of the cross...the definition of what happened on the cross... we preach the "logos" of the cross.
I. THE LOGOS OF THE CROSS IS GOD’S DEFINITION OF BOTH HOLINESS AND SIN.
A. The significance of the cross is two-fold. It signifies the holiness of the One who suffered there. But it also signifies the vileness of the sin for which He suffered.
1. The cross defines the total wickedness and power of sin.
a. Do you think that being a sinner is not so bad?...LOOK AT THE CROSS!
b. Do you think that you are OK?... that you will come to salvation someday but not yet?... that all this talk about sin and salvation is just so much religious hype?...LOOK AT THE CROSS!
c. If your sinful condition is not of the utmost importance to you...it is because you do not understand the "logos", true meaning of the cross of Calvary.
1. (Jn. 8:34) - "Jesus said, Verily, verily I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin."
2. Romans 8:15 describes sin as the spirit of bondage.
3. There can be no true liberty where there is no breaking away from the sin that entombs you.
B. This freedom can only come through Christ who committed no sin.
1. (Heb. 4:15) - "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
2. Had He sinned He could not have been our Saviour.
C. He was holy, harmless, and separate from sinners.
1. Yet this Holy One bore our sins on the cross
2. II Cor. 5:21
3. See Acts 2:22-24 (explain)
D. The holiness of God and the sinfulness of man met in a great conflict on the cross. The logos of the cross is the statement of just how bad man can be and just how good God can be.
E. The logos of the cross is this...God’s holiness is victorious and the power of sin has been defeated.
II. THE LOGOS OF THE CROSS IS GOD’S DEFINITION OF BOTH LOVE AND SACRIFICE.
A. When God gave His Son it was not with any expectations that He might escape the cross.
1. Calvary was never meant to be an option for Christ. [see Heb. 9:15-16]
2. There was no other hope of saving man but by the sacrifice of the cross. John described Jesus as the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
B. The cross stands as a testimony to the love of God.
1. John 3:16
2. (Eph. 5:2) - "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor."
3. (I Jn. 4:10) - "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
C. The logos of the cross is the message of infinite and undressed love.
1. Only God could so love as to give His only Son.
2. Only the Son could so love as to give Himself for us.
III. THIS MESSAGE IS MERE FOOLISHNESS TO THOSE WHO ARE PERISHING.
A. It seemed as foolishness to the Jews that the supposed Messiah would allow Himself to suffer and die at the hands of sinners.
B. It seemed as foolishness to the Gentiles that God would exhibit such love for the likes of mortal man.
C. The message of the cross seems as foolishness to those...... who reject the deity of Christ,...
who refuse to acknowledge man’s need for a Saviour.
who trust in themselves and their own works for redemption.
IV. BUT TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE THE LOGOS OF THE CROSS IS GOD’S FINAL WORD CONCERNING THE POWER OF SALVATION.
A. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved IT IS THE POWER OF GOD."
B. The death of Jesus is the power of God to save.
1. It is the power of God to keep.
2. It is the power of God to raise and glorify those who have believed.
C. At the cross Jesus gave Himself to save men. It is as the cross that man must give up himself that he might find Jesus.