July 17, 2016

The Message Of The Cross

Preacher:
Passage: I Corinthians 1:13-31

THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS

I Corinthians 1:13-31

 

Introduction: In previous messages from I Corinthians chapter 1, we visited the church at Corinth and found them with a lot of problems. We saw a divided, contentious congregation, with personal rivalries damaging relationships within, and surely the reputation of the church toward the outsiders. In our study today, we want to focus on verses 13-31, and to connect with last week’s passage, read now verses 13, 17, 18, and 23. Can you see already what Paul’s answer to lack of unity is going to be? The crux of the matter is a deep appreciation for what Jesus accomplished on the cross.

BIG IDEA: When we truly understand the meaning of the death of Jesus, He will change us.

I.  What is the “word of the cross” (v18)?

  1. This term refers to a full understanding of the significance of the death of Jesus.  Crucifixion was an ugly, horrifying, bloody, intensely painful and shameful death. Examine Psalm 22:14-18, Isaiah 52:14, and 53:5.  See also Luke 23:33-36.
  2. Jesus bore the weight of our guilt; See Romans 5:8-9, III Corinthians 5:21, and I Peter 2:24.
  3. Jesus made His death His mission: See Luke 9:22 & 28:31; and John 10:11
  4. The death of Jesus provides forgiveness and reconciliation for us:  Colossians 1:22

 II.  Why does the message of the cross appear foolish to those who do not believe?

  1. The complete answer to this question is found in chapter 2. Be here next week!
  2. For the Jews, it is ridiculous to think that their Messiah would suffer such a defeat. The Greeks would demand that the way to truth must come from their learned philosophers.
  3. The message of the cross demands that we admit we are sinful and need a savior. This is counter to popular humanism.

III. How does the message of the cross become the power of God to those who believe?

  1. As the message is proclaimed and explained, the Holy Spirit uses it in our hearts.
  2. The message of the cross demands that we humble ourselves and admit our need of forgiveness. It is in admitting our total inadequacy before God that He gives us His power. See II Corinthians 12:9-10
  3. The salvation which we have in Christ is secure and complete, Ephesians 2:8-10, but it is a presently continuing process; we are being saved by Jesus—Romans 5:10; our salvation has a future completion, as shown by I Peter 1:5.
  4. I Corinthians 1:30-31 We are given a new identity as God’s family; each believer in now “IN CHRIST”, and Christ is in us through the working of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:9). The true wisdom of God is in Christ, who also becomes our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Thus, as we humbly walk with Jesus, we find ourselves seeing true wisdom in His working in us. Have you accepted Jesus, the one who loved you and died on the cross for you? Will you thank Him from your heart?

BIG IDEA: When we truly understand the meaning of the death of Jesus, He will change us.

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