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Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:17-25
Messages of the Cross
1. Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? Simple question which all must ask and find an answer. Yet, answer sums up whole Bible.
2. History converges at the cross.
3. 1 Cor. 1:17-31: The gospel is the message of the cross. The death (cross) of Jesus sends out many messages which we must hear and heed.
I. GOD MADE THE CROSS AN OBJECT LESSON LIKE NO OTHER, 1 Cor. 1:17-25.
A. Cross Seems Like a Strange Object to Teach Greatest Message Ever Heard.
1. Instrument of death for worst criminals.
2. Paul admits it is not the world’s wisdom, 1 Cor. 1:17. It is not a worldly philosophy (does not make sense to worldly-minded).
a. “Foolishness” to those perishing, 1:22-23.
1) A “dying” Savior! 1:19-21
2) How can Jesus dying on the cross help me?
b. “Stumbling block” to Jews, 1:22-23.
1) They wanted military victory and physical relief (savior).
2) So, they rejected Jesus on the cross, Rom. 9:32-33.
B. The Cross is the Focal Point of the Bible, 1 Cor. 1:23; 2:2.
1. OT sacrifices pointed forward to the cross, Heb. 9:22.
2. NT baptism (into His death) points back toward Jesus on the cross.
I. THE MESSAGES OF THE CROSS.
A. The Power and Awfulness of Sin.
1. No light matter: God willing to give Son to remove it.
2. Causes death: Ours and God’s Son as an offering for sin, Isa. 53:10.
3. It brings pain (elaborate on Jesus’ death).
4. No remedy without God’s intervention, Heb. 10:4-10.
B. Love of God Magnificently Revealed.
1. Who do you love enough to die for?
2. Human love at its greatest, Jno. 15:13.
3. Yet, Rom. 5:6-8.
C. God’s Grace is Revealed in the Cross.
1. “Love dealing with sin.”
2. Absolutely nothing we, in sin, could do to remedy. No reason for God, except for His love, Rom. 3:24; Eph. 2:5, 8-9; 1 Jno. 4:9-10.
D. God is Declared both Just and the Justifier, Rom. 3:25-26.
1. Just: He did not ignore sin.
2. Justifier: Means now exists.
E. Means of Making Peace and Reconciliation, Col. 1:20.
-Sin destroyed peace; Cross paid sin’s penalty – Parties reconciled – Peace restored, Rom 5:10.
F. God’s Power Fully Revealed, 1 Cor. 1:18, 24.
1. Not God’s judgment power; God’s loving power, Jno. 3:16-17.
2. Power beyond human power:
a. Might God revealed in self-sacrifice.
b. Conquering evil by enduring evil.
c. Conquering death by dying.
G. God’s Wisdom is Revealed, 1 Cor. 1:21, 25.
-Justice, mercy and love converge there.
H. We See Our Ultimate Example for Living and Dying, 1 Pet. 2:21-24.
1. Happiness and security found through self-sacrifice.
2. There IS purpose in suffering; good comes.
3. Living right is worthwhile, even if we die for it.
I. Righteous Suffering is a Powerful Attraction to Men, Jno. 12:32-33; 4:14-15. -cf. Joseph, Mk.15:43
1. Jesus’ death on the cross was God’s plan from the beginning.
2. In the cross God shows us our hopeless condition in sin (on our own) and His great love for us.
3. Its central message: Salvation.
4. The Lord’s invitation is still to deny self, take up our cross and follow Him, Matt. 16:24.
-Adapted from Outline by Randy Blackaby
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: April 11, 2014