††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† 1 Cor. 1:18 The Word of the Cross
Intro: We saw in our last study here in Ch. 1 that the First problem Paul addressed in Writing to the Church in Cor.† Was Division
A) The Problem stemmed from the fact that - the people were focused on men & had taken their eyes off of Christ.
B) How did Paul deal w/ this problem ? He took them to the cross !!!
1) †Paul said I wasnít crucified for you
C) And I didnít come to you trying to win people to myself - but I came preaching Christ - Jesus & Him crucified - all I knew
In this next section that Paul deals w/ He is still - dealing w/ the issue of Divisions - by contrasting human wisdom w/ earthly wisdom .
A) We will get into this section in detail - the next time we come together to study .
B) But since we are celebrating communion tonight - I think it would do us some benefit to focus on v.18
18† 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.
C) Now the first thing we want to draw our attention to is that Paul is not talking about salvation in the context of Justification here.
1) †He is talking about sanctification !
D) Justification is the miracle of a moment - But Sanctification is the process of a lifetime .
1) †Justification is when we are taken out of Adam & placed in Godís son . Placed in Christ Jesus -† Declared Holy
E) Sanctification is what God does in our lives to make us more like His Son. To conform us into the image of Christ.† Process of making us Holy!
††††††††† 1) Difference between Positional & Practical holiness !!!!!!
So The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, But it is the power of God to those who are being sanctified!
A) Being a Christian means you are in a battle w/ 3 forces the world the flesh
††† & the devil.
B) Our Position in Christ is one of being declared righteous - not because of who we are but because of whoís we are .
1) †Not because of what we have done but because of where we are at. ! We have been placed in Christ.
C) But in our flesh we daily come into contact & have to battle w/ the world & the devil - and the struggles of our flesh
1) †Where do we find VICTORY ? The power to resist temptation?
It is not only power for Victory that we need but we also need† power to serve / Power to endure suffering / Power to wait .
AA) See I know there are those of you here tonight who are frustrated because not the husband you would like to be. or the wife.
BB) Been praying Lord work in me - Help me !† Others here have been struggling - temptation or having hard time changing habits
1) †Others are wrestling w/ feelings of inadequacy as it relates to ministry & service
CC) Probably all could relate to that song we sing here sometimes† MORE LOVE MORE POWER
1) †Because we are constantly faced w/ the fact that we are so lacking
WHERE DO WE GET THE POWER NEEDED ?
Paul says the message of the cross IS THE power of God for those who are being saved -†
B) But in what sense is the Word of the cross the Power of God to those who are being sanctified?†
1) †That is what we want to contemplate tonight - before we come to the table .
C) Now some of your bibles may read that the preaching of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
D) Now although that is a true statement : Recall in Rom. 1 Paul said that he wasnít ashamed of the gospel because it was the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes
E) At the core of the gospel is the message of the cross.† But to say that the preaching of the cross is the power of God
1) †Doesnít capture the full meaning of what is being said here
See the Word - message here is the word Logos - in the Greek . It is the same word used in John 1
A) In the beginning Was the word & the word was w/ God & the Word was God.
B) The Logos was God - Logos became flesh & Dwelt among us.
BB) The Word Logos speaks of the sum total of Divine Revelation - And Christ is the Living embodiment of that Revelation.
Col.1: 15 †He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
16† For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
17† And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
18† And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
19† For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,
20† and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
C) So when Paul says that the Word of the cross is the Power of God to those who are being sanctified -
1) †He is speaking of† the whole embodiment of what the cross stood for including He who was on it.
D) That is why the preaching of the cross is powerful / See it is through the preaching of the cross that men find the Word of the Cross - who is Christ.
So How does Christ on the cross relate to us in this matter of sanctification ?
A) How is the power activated that enables me to be the husband that God wants me to be? Power to Resist temptation?
B) How do I come into that power to serve.
CC) What is the correlation or the connection between Godís power & Christ Cross in our lives ?
1) †I BELIEVE THE ANSWER TO THAT QUEST. IS FOUND NOT ONLY IN CHRIST WORK BUT HIS EXAMPLE .
D) Through His work we who were dead made alive / weak made strong - we who were - lost found / in chains set free/
E)It is found in Christ example in going to the cross. / Total act of submission
††††† to God . Some other way - Not my will but yours be done !
DD) I am troubled but you be glorified .
1) †Great example to us - Fathers will time / heart /way/
†††† Needs to be our hearts as well.
D) The supreme condition for the working of the power of the Word of the Cross in our lives is that we know what it is to be crucified with Him,
1) †to enter into the place of death with Him.
Paul declared in Gal. 2:20
E) 20† "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
F) It is when I come to that point ceasing to try & do things in the power of the flesh, or in the power of my own intellect.†
1) †that the power of the Cross becomes operative in me, and through me.
It is the crucifying of my flesh / of my selfish ambitions / of the desire to have my own way / crucifying of self & the yielding of self to Christ.
A) Christ taught us that through death comes life .
††††††††† Through dying comes fruit -
B) And if we desire to experience that life in our marriage - that fruit in our walks - Power over temptation / Power to serve
1) †It starts as I begin to walk in the reality of Gal. 2:20 - Begin to allow Jesus to live through me. - So that People see more Him & less of me.
C) That great power of the Cross operates in and through only men and women who are content to die with Him, to be at the end of self, that He may be the one supreme Enthroned and crowned Lord of the life.
†But it is this dying that hinders us. Those ambitions must be laid aside, these prejudices must be crucified, this pride must be humbled; that goal toward which I have been running, which is, in the last analysis, pure selfishness, must be swept away, and I must be willing to say, "I live, yet not I it is ChristĒ
†It is that canceling of the "I" in the life of the Christian that creates contact with the power of the Cross, It is only as we are prepared to go down into the death of the Cross that we shall begin to find its dynamic and its thrill - and shall know its mastery in us, over all that is against us, and through us, over all that is against God.
So tonight as we approach the communion table and par-take of the elements which speak to us of the body & blood .
A) We are not merely recognizing & celebrating the Salvation that Christ accomplished for us
B) But we can also acknowledge once again - that when Christ died - we died .†††† 1) This is a time of yielding to the Lord
C) In this area where I have been demanding my own way† - Lord tonight I am confessing once again my need to die.
1) †I am confessing once again my need to be yielded to you.
D) Place of confessing forgiveness for seeking to walk in the flesh or to serve in the power of the flesh.
When we do that we open up the door for the power of God to be manifested in us.