Read: 1 Co. 1:17-25
The preaching of the cross to some seems old-fashioned. Maybe even useless in the world in which we live today. However, I contend that the only hope for this world is the preaching of the cross. Because, as the song said, it's still the cross where new life begins!
I have to admit that it is not very popular to preach the cross today. All too many folks come to church to hear some little pep talk to make them feel good about themselves. We have hundreds of visitors each year who come with who knows what in mind, but they hear the preaching of the cross! Some will return, others will not.
What a privilege to be able to witness people getting saved! People surrend-ering their lives for service to God. People repenting and confessing sin before God and finding victory! People coming to God in obedience to His Word!
Why does that sort of thing happen here at Grace Baptist? It isn't because of me, it isn't because of our buildings, it isn't because of our music, it isn't because of anything that we have here, but it is because of the preaching of the cross! Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." cf Jn. 12:32 Why is it so important that the cross of Christ be preached?
I. The Preaching of the Cross Sweeps Away Man's Pretenses.
A. Of being good outside of Christ.
1. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." cf Is 53:6
a. The picture represented by this verse is a sheep who has no shepherd and therefore continues to wander aimlessly.
b. Man apart from Christ is simply wandering in this world with no goal or promise at all.
c. They are going their own way: religion is just a collection of rituals that man has tried in a feeble attempt to please God on their terms.
2. Ro 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
a. This verse simply means that even with all of man's attempts he still has fallen miserably short.
b. This is man's religion from God's viewpoint.
c. As a man looks at himself he is often proud of his accomplish- ments.
d. Pro 16:2, "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits."
3. So to preach the cross of Christ means that man is hopelessly lost without Christ!
(The Preaching of the Cross Sweeps Away Man's Pretenses)
B. Of being saved by his own works.
1. If man cannot be good outside of Christ, it is for sure that he cannot save himself.
2. Ep 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
3. Not long ago I watched a documentary concerning man's attempt to fly, like a bird, under his own power.
4. Each contraption ended up the same way, in pieces on the ground...the force of gravity was too great for man to overcome by himself.
5. In the same manner, sin is too powerful a force for us to overcome by ourselves.
6. To preach the cross of Christ shows that man cannot reach God on his own!
II. The Preaching of the Cross Reveals the Love and Grace of God.
A. At the cross we see the love of God.
1. The crucifixion of Christ was the greatest exhibition, the greatest demonstration, and the greatest revelation of God's love toward man.
2. At the cross we see:
a. Man's crime along with God's compassion.
b. Man at his worst, but God at His best.
c. Man's ruin, and God's plan of redemption.
3. The cross reveals that Christ didn't die for good people; He died for sinners.
4. Ro 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
B. At the cross we see the grace of God.
1. God's grace found us!
a. Man does not seek after God.
b. "...there is none that seeketh after God." cf Ro. 3:11b
c. Jesus said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him."
2. God's grace found the thief on the cross.
a. He certainly wasn't expecting to find eternal life at Calvary!
b. He went expecting death and found the Lord instead.
c. The day I received Christ started out like any other day, I wasn't searching for Him...but by His grace He found me!
3. God's grace is sufficient.
a. It was sufficient for the thief to face death without fear.
b. It was sufficient to answer all of my questions as well.
III. The Preaching of the Cross Divides the World into Two Groups.
A. Those who are saved.
1. On one side of the cross was a man who, by faith believed that Jesus was the Son of God who could save Him for eternity.
2. That day he received the promise of salvation.
3. That promise is given to all who will put their trust and faith in Him.
4. Jn 3:36a, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:"
B. Those who are lost.
1. Just as surely as the man who trusted Christ was saved for eternity, so the one who rejected Him was lost forever.
2. Imagine...so close to Jesus, but still he rejected Him.
3. The sad truth is that there have been those who have sat in this auditorium and heard the message of the cross proclaimed...
4. But they have rejected it and will die and spend an eternity in hell.
It isn't a very popular message, the message of the cross. By many it is considered to be foolishness, but it is the power of God unto salvation.
The cross overshadowed the cradle the moment that Jesus was born. He was born to die for you and for me. It is up to us to receive Him or reject Him. It is still the cross where new life begins! Will you come this morning and receive Christ?
Christian, there is only one message that we need to be busy about proclaiming...it's still the cross. Do others know that you are a believer? Have you shared with them the saving message of the cross? Will you live for Him today?