Preaching Christ Crucified

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1 Corinthians 1:22-24 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Are You Living The Life God Designed You To Live?

As humans, we spend many precious hours – even days – doing things that really don’t matter all that much. Though I love technology, and use my computers, my I-pad, DSL lines and WIFI connectivity,

I believe the devil and his demons are doing their level best to keep our minds and our activities on the mundane, the vain and useless.

If the devil can keep our young people and, might I say, you?, staring at a phone screen, you will miss out on the best that life has to offer. So often I see parents and grand parents with beautiful families, families they ignore while they stare at social media and get indignant over memes.

Go outside, and look around. Everywhere you look there is evidence of God’s grand design. It’s in the Fall leaves. It’s in every blade of grass, every butterfly, every cloud, every star in the sky. It reminds me of the scripture,

Psalm 33:6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

It was God, not evolution or chance, that made the earth and all that is in it. It is God Who spoke, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3), and “there was light”. It is God Who framed the earth, Who separated the atmosphere from the waters, Who established the dry lands.

The devil wants us to live mundane lives. God wants us to live miraculous lives, joyous lives, peaceful lives.

There is power in the life that can say …

Psalm 121:2 My help cometh from the Lord, {Who} made heaven and earth.

It is God Who made all things. The Bible specifically says it was God the Son, the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Christ, who made all things. If you have received Christ as Lord and Savior, then the Bible says:

Colossians 1:13-17 … {God the Father} hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 {Jesus Christ} is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

It is Jesus – the Jesus Who “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same {Jesus} was in the beginning with God {the Godhead}. All things were made BY HIM and FOR HIM, and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:1-3). Jesus Christ is the Maker of Heaven and earth. He is the Maker of Adam and Eve, the Maker of us all.

Because we, as a nation, have drifted from the Biblical truths, we have drifted from the God Who made us. We all need God. We all need His forgiveness and mercy. We need Jesus Christ.

He Who breathed the breath of life into Adam, we need Him to breathe the breath of eternal life in each one of us. Oh, how America needs to come to Jesus.

And yet, so many procrastinate. They withhold allegiance to Christ. Feeling the call of God, they linger, and question. They harden their hearts. The Bible says:

Proverbs 28:14 … he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.

Just last Sunday as I preached to you, a good man and a good friend, John Riley, sat on the back row listening. Little did I know this would be the last time I would speak to John. John is a good Christian man, and I believe he is now with the Lord. A member of a Methodist church, he many times popped in to visit us. Now he is before the Lord, leaving this life at the call of the Master. John knew where his final destination was – do you? If you do not, do not hesitate. Do not harden your hearts.

If You Keep Waiting For A Sign,
You’ll Miss God’s Heaven

The Apostle Paul spoke to a wide audience of people while he walked this earth. He loved the Jews, and sought to preach Christ to them even when they tried to kill him. He writes:

1 Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign …

It doesn’t matter how good the preacher is – if you harden your heart to God’s call, you will not be saved. The Jews hardened their hearts, even when the preacher was Jesus. The Bible says that Jesus came unto His own people, but His own people would not receive Him (John 1:11). Israel had long waited for the Messiah. Now He is here, and they would not receive Him. Why not? Why wouldn’t they receive Him? Because they wanted a “sign”. They told Jesus …

Matthew 12:38 … “Master, we would see a sign from thee.

The word translated “sign” is the Greek σημεῖον sēmeîon, (pronounced say-mi’-on), which means something miraculous that shows a person is of God. Jesus had shown the scribes and Pharisees many different signs, proofs that He is the Messiah, the Son of God. In verse 22 of the same chapter in Matthew we read that someone brought unto Jesus:

Matthew 12:22-24 … one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

The problem with the Jews was NOT that they had no signs from Christ that He is the Messiah. Jesus reached out to them. Jesus reaches out to you. And yet, many harden their hearts against God, just as the Jews did. They ..

Ephesians 4:18 …. {had} the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

How many times did Jesus give the Jews a sign? Here’s just a few cases from the Scripture:

  • Jesus changed water into wine (John 2:1-11). Not grape juice into wine, but water into wine. This shows He has absolute control over the elements.
  • Jesus cured a nobleman’s son in Cana of Galilee (John 4:46-47).
  • Jesus called out a great haul of fish for His disciples (Luke 5:1-11).
  • Jesus cast out unclean spirits (Mark 1:23-28).
  • Jesus healed lepers (Mark 1:40-45).
  • Jesus raised people from the dead (Luke 7:11-18).
  • Jesus stilled the storm and waves (Matthew 8:23-27).

When John the Baptist asked Jesus, “Are You the Messiah, or should we expect another?”. The Bible says:

Luke 7:21-23 …. in that same hour {Jesus} cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. 22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. 23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

There were ample signs that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, and yet the Pharisees continued to ask for a sign. Jesus refused them.

The Jews – like many today – say “I’ll surrender to Jesus when I see a sign”. How many signs do you need?

Our nation is falling to pieces. Politically we are a train wreck. Families are in shambles. Children are raised by single parents, often without the slightest bit of Biblical discipline. Young people have been sent to colleges, and taught Marxism and violent political activism. The heart is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). It needs the control of God.

When you say to God, “Give me a sign, and I’ll believe on Jesus, and receive Him as Lord and Savior”, God’s response is just this:

Matthew 12:39-42 … An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah: 40 for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and, behold, a greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

God has given all the signs He is going to give. His thumbprint is on all of creation. He sent His Son to die for you and I. Jesus died on Calvary, suffering terribly for your sins and mine. We know He was dead. His death and its witness is recorded in:

John 19:34 … with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

When a body dies, the blood cells separate from the plasma. Jesus Christ was dead on that Cross. He died making payment for our sins. And yet, though Christ died for our sins, Jesus rose again on the third day. There were many who witnessed the resurrection of our Lord:

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Many people saw the resurrected Savior, our Lord Jesus. These people acknowledged the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, even though many were martyred for what they professed. Do you wish a sign that Jesus is Who He says He is? Then receive Him by faith. Beloved, there are many who have discovered that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).

James 4:14 … what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Do not hesitate to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. He will save you. You are not promised another day to believe. Do not put it off any longer!

If You Keep Waiting For The World’s Approval,
You’ll Miss God’s Heaven

The Jewish mindset is to put off coming to Christ until “God gives me a sign”. The Gentile mindset is to put off coming to Christ
“Because I may look foolish and unwise”.

1 Corinthians 1:22 … the Greeks seek after wisdom

What do others say? What do my peers say? What do the scientists say? These wise people seek the approval of the world before coming to Christ – and come up with the most astounding ideas in order to cover their unbelief. God addresses the unbeliever, saying:

Psalm 14:1 … The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

The atheist touts his wisdom, saying, “We have evolved from goo into complex living beings. All that we are is but an accident of nature, a chance being.” Sadly, the wisdom of the world dehumanizes us. How else can you explain those who would abort a human life by vivisection, by chemical burning, and then turn around and sell that baby’s body parts for experimentation. Yes, this happens.

If humanity developed by accident, then that which is good and right is determined by the consensus of the people. If the people decide – by majority rule – that an action is right and proper, then there is no real moral truth. I once had an individual ask me,

Why would you be against a mother aborting a child that had Downs Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, or some other limiting factor that would make them less than other children?”

My response was quite simple. I replied,

For the same reason I do not advocate the death and dismemberment of senior adults in Nursing Homes, or adults who are no longer contributing to our society. Life, for me, has value because God says that it does. When we begin devaluing life at it’s beginning, it is not long before every life – even your own – can be devalued.”

The Greeks were well known for their pursuit of worldly wisdom. Yet worldly wisdom does not build a stable, moral citizenship. God has said:

1 Corinthians 1:19-21 … I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Our America is disintegrating. How do we fix it. We don’t – but God can. We need to come to God in Christ. The Bible says:

Proverbs 16:6 … By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.

When people depart from the Biblical truths handed down to us by our Creator through His Prophets and Apostles, it isn’t long before the nation decays. In America we are definitely in the midst of an absolute moral decay.

Proverbs 10:27 … The fear of the Lord prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

Proverbs 14:27 … The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

God loves America – it is time for America to love God. We need to hear His call, to cease hardening our hearts, to give ourselves to Jesus Christ. The Bible says:

1 Timothy 2:3-5 … this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; 4 who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

God gave His Son to this world so that all could be saved. The way to salvation is to come surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is:

Luke 2:32 … a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

How do we grow in wisdom? We learn more about Jesus. We study His Word and His truths. Listen Beloved, if you know little of Christ, you will never be wise. The Scripture says:

Colossians 3:16-17 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

It is the Word of Christ, the Holy Scripture, that brings knowledge and wisdom. Though all the world call me a hater, homophobic, misogynist, deplorable, or whatever, I choose to seek out my Lord’s will through His Scripture. The Bible tells us that the Christian was once foolish, and is still considered foolish by the world. The Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 1:27-31 … God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: 29 that no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

We need to get back to the Cross.

It Is Through The Cross We Are Saved And Secured

1 Corinthians 1:23-25 but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

A mamma tucked her little girl in for the night. The child asked “Mommy, will you bring me a glass of water? I’m thirsty!” The mother replied, “No honey, you’ve had enough water. Go to sleep”. The mother went and laid down to sleep. Just as she was about asleep the child cried out to her mamma. “Mommy, will you get me a glass of water? I’m thirsty!” The mother, exasperated, yelled back to her child. “If you ask for water one more time, I’m going to spank you!” A moment passed, then the child said “Mommy, when you get up to spank me, will you get me a glass of water?”

This little girl knew what she needed, and was willing to suffer a spanking to get what she desperately wanted. How about you? Are you thirsty? Jesus said:

John 7:37-38 Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

If we would come thirsty to our Lord and Savior, He will satisfy our needs. Jesus Christ died on Calvary to be the covering for our sins. Christianity is not a DIY (Do It Yourself) religion. Christianity is a faith that relies on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The Bible tells us that God the Father …

2 Corinthians 5:21 … made {Jesus} to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus Christ bore the payment of our sins on His own body. The Prophet writes:

Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely {Christ} hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. {5} But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. {6} 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.

Though Jesus suffered in our place, never once did He cry against the injustice of it all. It was all of justice. We are all sinners, lost and undone, unable to pay for the evil we have done and continue to do. Jesus Christ …

Isaiah 53:7-9 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. {8} He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. {9} And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

It pleased God the Father to save us by bruising His Only Begotten Son.

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, …

The devil despises the Cross of Christ. He despises the Gospel of the Shed Blood of Jesus. When the early preachers were caught by Satan’s henchmen they were beaten – then warned – to cease preaching Christ crucified. “Do not speak in the Name of Jesus!” (Acts 5:40). What did the disciples do? They departed from the council, and preached Christ all the more in the Temple and in every place. “They ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42). We preach Christ crucified for this is the only thing that will change a life, the only thing that will save a soul.

Are you saved by faith in Christ? Not an empty faith, but a life changing, Christ centered faith? If you are saved by faith in Christ, you are to live out your life by faith in Christ. Live for Him. This is the greatest witness you can give to the world.

In the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit sent Philip the Evangelist to an Ethiopian Eunuch to explain Christ in the Book of Isaiah (Acts 8:26). The Ethiopian was reading from Isaiah 53:7, and Philip explained how the text related to Jesus Christ. That dear man was saved that day. God can save anyone if they will but look to Jesus.

One snowy Sunday, January 6th, 1850, a young 15 year old boy was under conviction, and felt that he needed to find someone who could help him. He had listened to many sermons, but had never been moved to turn fully to Christ. The young man came into a Primitive Methodist facility where just a few people were gathered. The Pastor had not made it to Church that day, but one of the old Deacons had. That grand old man read from Isaiah:

Isaiah 45:22 Look unto ME, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

The young man would later testify, “… when I heard that word, Look!, what a charming word it seemed to me. Oh I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away. That happy day when I found the Savior and learned to cling to His dear feet was a day never to be forgotten by me. An obscure child, unknown, unheard of, I listened to the Word of God; and that precious text led me to the Cross of Christ.” This young man would grow up to be C.H. Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers of all time.

This is the peace and contentment that the Christian has. Do you have this in your life? If not, come to Jesus Christ, and receive Him as Lord and Savior. Surrender your life to Him, and He will give you true life, a blessed life, eternal life. May Christ Jesus touch you through His Word and His Spirit this very day. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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