The Cross as an Instrument of Power

Dr. Rob Green March 21, 2019 1 Corinthians 1:18

3 truths that will help us value the power of the cross

I. Reject the Deceitfulness of Worldly Power

A. Despite the attractiveness of some gifts

1 Corinthians 1:12 - Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”

B. Despite the connection with certain leaders

1 Corinthians 1:13-16 - Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one would say you were baptized in my name. Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other.

C. Because it results in divisions

1 Corinthians 1:10-11 - Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.

D. Because it results in minimizing the cross of Christ

1 Corinthians 1:17 - For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void…

II. Embrace and Communicate the Power of the Cross

A. Because the message of the cross results in salvation to those who believe

1 Corinthians 1:18b - …but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…

Romans 10:9-10 - …that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation…

1 Corinthians 1:21 - For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 1:24-25 - …but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

B. Because the message of the cross remains foolishness to those who reject

1 Corinthians 1:18a - For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing…

1. The cross was an instrument of death, not life

2. The cross was an instrument of shame, not glory

3. The cross was an instrument of ending things, not beginning things

Acts 5:34-39 - But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”

4. A savior crucified does not rescue because He dies

1 Corinthians 1:19-20 - For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

1 Corinthians 1:22-23 - For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness…

III. Praise God for the Results of the Power of the Cross

A. Knowing that God chose you so that He would get the credit

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 - For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.

B. Knowing that you are in Him

1 Corinthians 1:30 - But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption…

C. So that we would have a unifying purpose

1 Corinthians 1:31 - …so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Dr. Rob Green

B.S. - Engineering Physics, Ohio State University
M.Div. - Baptist Bible Seminary
Ph.D. - New Testament, Baptist Bible Seminary

Pastor Rob Green and his wife, Stephanie, joined the Faith staff in August, 2005.  Rob’s responsibilities include oversight of the Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry, Chair of the MABC program, and teaching New Testament at the Faith Bible Seminary. He serves on the council board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and as a fellow at the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.

Read Rob Green's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Green to Faith Church.