January 22, 2023, The Message of the Cross, I Corinthians 1:10-18 – Mtr. Kathryn Boswell

To listen to this sermon, click the link below:

Here is an outline of the sermon:

1 Cor. 1:10-18 Paul worries about factions – he already saw the first sprouts of denominations, all the schisms and separations that have followed from the very beginning – more than 45,000 Christian denominations worldwide.

But, Paul says, in reality, all that matters is the gospel, and the message of the Cross, which is foolishness to the world, but to us, it is the power of God – And a few verses later: I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

The cross is at the center. So, what is the message of the cross – what is this power at the center of all Christianity?

The Sunday School version is that Jesus died for our sins. Because we are sinners, which means because we have broken God’s rules, God’s holiness required that a price be paid so that we could be “saved.” So Jesus died on the cross, and that paid our debt to the Father, and so we are saved.

Col 2:13-15 On the Cross, Jesus shut the mouths of every accuser, he confiscated every weapon against us, he disarmed even death itself

1. Jesus never talked about his death in terms of settling accounts with an angry God.

John 15:12-16 “The greatest love a person can give is to give their life for another.”

John 10:11-18 “I am the good Shepherd – I give my life for the sheep.

Jesus didn’t die for our sins. Jesus died for love. He laid down his life for the sheep because he loves them. He gave his life because that is the greatest gift of love he could give. And he came to give his life because the Father loved his children so much that he was willing to send his own Son so they could have life – abundant life.

2. The cross is all about love. But the cross is also all about death. Not just the death of Jesus Christ, but our own death as well.

Bonhoeffer – when Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.

Matt. 16:24-26 “If you want to be my disciple,” he said, “deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.” “If you want this abundant life,” he says to us. “follow me, and lay down the life you have now.”

Image – the grain of wheat that has to fall to the ground and die before it can sprout.

The message of the cross is that we have to die to this world. To its priorities that rule us – to its standards that measure us and find us wanting – to its attractions that distract us and lure us away from God.

3. Pilgrim’s Progress – Christian at the foot of the cross The message of the Cross is perfect freedom – foolishness to the world, but to us, it has revealed the power of God:

our accusers have been silenced

we let go of the burdens of the world

and we are loved beyond measure

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