The Cross - Powerful or Pathetic

{here are our notes from last Sunday}

1 Cor 1.17-19 - For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. 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. 

The Scandal of the Cross: The cross splits the world.  Either you look at the message of the cross and think – that’s pathetic – or you look and you think – that’s powerful.  It’s either pathetic or powerful.  If you think it’s pathetic, Paul says “you are perishing in pride.” If you look at it and say “that’s powerful” then you are being quickened and set free. 

 

2 Sides of the Cross

One side - the Powerful Side: The place of salvation, the great exchange. The Just for the unjust. Where all our sin was taken and removed from us. No more guilt and no more shame! Free from the past. Hallelujah!

 

The Message of the Cross is so Powerful - The cross is not a person or a situation - “that situation is my cross”. But it’s a historical fact we reckon on:

  1. The Effectiveness of the Cross: Gal 6.14 - The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. We have no place in it anti has no place in us. 
  2. The Reconciliation of the Cross: Eph 2.16 - Jesus in His flesh, became the likeness of sinful flesh and it took away sin having slain the enmity caused by the law of Moses. 
  3. The Forgiveness of The Blood of His Cross: Col 1.20 - And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, 
  4. The Advantage the Cross gives us in Spiritual Warfare: Col 2.14 - Breaks the power of accusation sin, fear and shame.

 

Take up your Personal Cross

But there is another side that is very often overlooked by Christians, that’s the side of death, crucifixion - the side that appears very weak, undesirable & where the cross could be easily rejected. 

The side where we are set free from the power of the flesh, from the control of the right to live in my flesh, the security of my personality defects, my opinions and my will. An exchange has happened and I am no longer my own. [List some things that our “my own”]

 

No Personal Cross - No Power, only the Energy of the Flesh.

Ex. - Paul’s Ministry of the Cross in Corinth which was a very dysfunctional unhealthy church - The Corinthian church was rich, it was big, it was gifted but lived in the flesh grieving the HS thus they were not a spiritual church that God could use in that region. The Corinthian church was not being edifying nor was it edifying anyone.

Paul wasn't strong in his flesh towards the Corinthians: 1 Cor 2.2 - For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Paul was not worried about people’s flesh in Corinth - he wasn’t trying to manipulate his flesh or other people's flesh. The Cross already addressed that. He applied the cross in his personal life and toward the Corinthians. He was not lambasting the Corinthians. The cross did the offending and the conversion. 

The Offense of the Cross: Gal 5.11 - When Jesus spoke of the Cross in John 6.66 everyone left offended - they had other dreams and ambitions for Christ other than the Father’s Plan. Flesh always get offended.

Take Home: 
Healing is in the Cross by surrendering to God’s Grace & Love
delivers us daily from our selves, our flesh, the world and the Devil. We are either being offended by the Cross or we are being converted, set free in a new identity to live in compassion.