April 1, 2018: The Foolishness of the Cross

1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV)
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.

 

Philosophers and politicians and world rulers have all attempted to bring in a kingdom that will last forever.  The past six thousand years of history have exposed man’s attempts to do just that as weak and powerless.  Two thousand years ago a man entered human history claiming to be God. He said the reason he came was to offer himself as a ransom for many.  Just how can a man offer himself to ransom many, and from what was he ransoming them?

Philosophers have sought to discover the hidden truth behind logic and reason in the hopes of finding a cure for what ails man, but they have failed.  Rulers have sought for a perfect governing philosophy that would guarantee freedom and peace and justice but the six millennia have exposed their impotent ideologies.

What is the source of man’s problems and the solution?  The Apostle Paul writes it this way,  1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV)
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 Cross of Christ is the explanation of our problem and also the answer to our problem. The problem will not be received if you do not accept the premise of what the cross says.  The premise is that man is completely ruined by his sinful nature.  He does not possess the ability to change and he will not submit to anything that speaks of his need to obey God’s commands, so in our world, we find all sorts of pollution and corruption at every level of society.  This corruption is due to man’s sin.  He constantly is seeking ways to find life and pleasure apart from obeying God’s Word and as a result, he falls deeper and deeper into wickedness and evil.

There is only one way for man to be rescued, his sin must be paid for and he must die to his old way of living.  How does this happen?  When we see our sinfulness and God reveals how the payment for our sin was accomplished by His Son’s death on the cross we will find new meaning in life.  The power that raised Christ from the dead will be made available to you if you agree with God that it was in Jesus’ death that your sins found their full and final payment.

The cross is folly to those who continue to think they must pay for their sins.  They must promise to do better, they must work harder and harder to obey the laws of God so they can finally pay for their sin.  When they see the Cross they think it is foolishness. “How can another man’s death free me from the debt I have incurred?” It will be seen as utter nonsense.

But if you take a good look at your life you will discover that you cannot keep any of the laws.  All of the laws are born out of a holy love for God, a delight to do his will, and longing to know and be known by your creator God. You will understand that what you want to do you have not the power or ability to do.  This weakness and inability to do what you most want to do will cause you to see the cross for what it is, the way to finally and fully die to your old way of life and experience the full and complete pardon for all your sins.  It is also much more than that it is also to receive in your self the full power of Christ to do what it is you most want to do, love and worship God.

The cross is designed for those who want to love God completely, but it is also a reminder that if you attempt to earn your own salvation it will leave you on a cross along the the unrepentant dying criminal.

What is the cross to you?  Foolishness, or freedom?

 

 

Pastor Phil

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