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The Power of the Message of the Cross
What is the power of the message of the cross?
The Greek term stauros (stow-ros'), from the base of G2476; a stake or post (as set upright), that is, (specifically) a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment); figuratively exposure to death, that is, self denial; by implication the atonement of Christ: - cross.
So, if we take the last translation as atonement of Christ---that speaks the atonement of our sins. Yet, what gives power to this atonement?
The Holy Bible said that Human wisdom and philosophy do not bring people to Christ as said in 1 Cor 1:17; 21-22 "For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power...Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom." (NLT)
Human wisdom alone does not bring people to the true knowledge of God; that comes only through the message of the cross, which the world considers foolish, but which saves those who believe.
The message of the cross has its own power to convert the human heart. The Scriptures said in Romans 1:16 and Galatians 6:14:
"For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile (also Greek)." (NIV)
"As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died." (NIV)
The Greek term euaggelion (G2098) means gospel, Good News. This noun means a message with a positive, public focus. In most New Testament contexts euaggelion refers to the specific message about what God has done in and through Jesus, the Good News. It can also refer to one of the first four books of the New Testament, the four Gospels.
Human weakness is no barrier to God's work. Second epistle of Paul to the Church of Corinth says, "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Paul did not rely on the persuasive power of his intellect or his dynamic personality, but on the power of the Holy Spirit.
"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption."
Two aspects of the cross
1. Justification for our salvation; the blood deals the power of sin.
2. Sanctification-there is deliverance and the it was the cross that deals with the power of sin
If we remember how the power of sin came into the life of all men, it originates from the first man--- Adam where:
-man was separated from God;
-sickness; pain; labor; sweat; anxiety; fear; depression; loneliness; curse came into existence in the life of men.
Before the coming of the Messiah, the first baptism was with water demonstrated by John de Baptist.
But when the fulfillment of God's promise to His people for salvation, Jesus Christ as the last man, which was the starting of a brand new race for He was conceived without sin. It was the perfect demonstration of life with abundance, love, peace, joy, no condemnation. There is acceptance, fellowship, hope and promises of health and prosperity.
All these things came into being when Jesus Christ died on the cross as ransom for many. Just as death entered the world because of that original sin with Adam. Life through Jesus Christ received by all Christians who believe in God. The Scriptures said “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
The message of the cross, it not only dealt with the power of sin, releasing us from its bondage but it gives us all the promises of God as His adopted sons and daughters by the blood of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. If in the Old Testament, it speaks only the atonement -covering through the blood of the sacrificed animals--- this atonement of Jesus Christ means we are covered by His blood. Our sins were totally wiped out. Cleansed. Paid in full by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
The power of the message of the cross is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes.
The real power is not in charismatic preaching, finesse of presentation, or logical persuasiveness, but in the message itself, centered on Christ and His death for our sins, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, who convicts the human heart.