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SERMON DATE AND TITLE:20170402 THE POWER OF THE CROSS

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Senior Pastor Phil Roland

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Pastor Ray Scott

 

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THE POWER OF THE CROSS
SERMON STARTER
        It is written in the first Surat of the Quran, verse 157,

"And because of them saying we killed Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of Allah. But they killed him not, nor crucified him. But the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man. And they killed that man (the man who was changed to resemble Jesus Christ, according to the Quran). And those who differ there, are full of doubts. They have no certain knowledge. They follow nothing but conjuncture for surely they killed him not, Jesus, son of Mary."

        In May of 2015 in Italy, a Muslim boy of African origin beat a 12-year-old girl during school because she was wearing a crucifix around her neck. The African schoolboy, who had only started to attend the school approximately three weeks earlier, began to bully the Christian girl—“insulting her and picking on her in other ways all because she was wearing the crucifix”—before he finally “punched the girl violently in the back.”
          Believing in the Cross in the Middle East today is a dangerous proposition. ISIS Islamic terrorist brutes slaughter anyone who loves Jesus and believes in the saving power of His Cross. On February of 2015 ISIS beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians at one time. A masked terrorist coward held a knife high and says ISIS is “chopping off the heads of those that have been carrying the cross illusion.”
There are more examples of Islamic violence toward Christian believers who display and believe in the Cross of Jesus. They are too many to list. Jesus' Cross is simply an illusion to these brutish slayers of helpless men, women and children. To the followers of Jesus His Cross is God's Power to transform lives. Jesus has been in the life changing business for the past 2,000 years. Lives are changed even today by the same power of the Cross of Jesus.

Pastor Phil  <><<

 

http://raymondibrahim.com/2015/06/20/islamic-hate-for-the-christian-cross/

April 2, 2017 - Sheepfold Ministries
Pastor Phil Roland

THE POWER OF THE CROSS
The Cross has POWER over the Foolishness of this World
1 Corinthians 1:17-31

 
“The Cross of Jesus stands as the single symbol of man’s inhumanity and injustice to his fellow man. To we who follow Him the Cross is God's  power of personal renewal and eternal life.                                                                                             Pastor Phil   <><<

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 POWER OF THE CROSS
I. TRANSCENDS HUMAN WISDOM -  Verse 18

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.
        A. People of Corinth were Sophisticated - Proverbs 26:12

                                     2Do  you see a man wise in his own eyes?
                                         There is more hope for a fool than for him.
            1.  Sophisticated, from the Greek Root, SOPHIS, "Wisdom"
            2. In ancient Greece, sophists were a category of teachers who
                  specialized in using the techniques of philosophy and rhetoric for the                       purpose of teaching "excellence" or "virtue"—predominantly to young
                   statesmen and nobility. The practice of charging money for education
                   and providing wisdom only to those who could pay
        B. We have become like the Greek Sophists - 2 Corinthians 10:12
                    12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who
            themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and
            comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
            1. Our Modern Educational System is much like theirs
            2. Worldly Wisdom is based on the world's standards
            3. Seeing their world through their own politically correct eyes
            4. There is a fine line between Educating and Indoctrinating
           5. Our culture and generation has crossed that line
        C. We have become a generation without the Cross
            1. Billy Graham was invited to visit w/the UN Attorney General
               He took Graham into a tiny dark room that was designated as a Prayer
                Prayer Room. The first things Graham noticed was there was NO CROSS.
            2. Obama had Crosses removed or covered up B-4 speaking
              In 2009 Obama was speaking at Georgetown Catholic University. His
                security team even frisked people and forced one official to check in his
                Crucifix and his IHS Tie Tack.
            3. Culture is offended by almost everything, bur especially the Cross
          4. Crucifixion was designed by the Romans to OFFEND
THE POWER OF THE CROSS, cont. p. 2

            5. "Are you one of THEM?"

THE POWER OF THE CROSS IS
II. GREATER THAN HUMAN STRENGTH - Verse 25
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
A. Stronger than the strongest man in the world, Brian Shaw
            As he trained for the 2013 World's Strongest Man, Brian Shaw hoisted
             some incredible weights. Just weeks before the WSM competition in
             China, the 6'8", 430 lb. behemoth pulled a 985 lb. deadlift in the gym.
          1. Gospel Song: Stand Up Stand Up for Jesus
              Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Stand in his strength alone;
              arm of flesh will fail you, Ye dare not trust your own.
 
         2. Strongest Man in the World cannot prevent aging and death
          3. Strongest Men will stand before God's Judgment - Heb. 9:27
                         27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
B. The Cross both Judges and Accepts mankind - 2 Corinthians 5:10
                     10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one
                may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done,
                whether good or bad.
            1. For those who have accepted Christ as Savior. . .Mercy
          2. For those who did not. . .Accountability - Galatians 6:7,8 NIV
            7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he

               sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature
               will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the
              Spirit will reap eternal life.

THE POWER OF THE CROSS IS
III. GREATER THAN MANKIND'S FOOLISHNESS - Verse 23
23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and
   to the Greeks foolishness,
       
A. Corinthians were blind to the meaning of Jesus' Crucifixion
            1. Foolishness - Greek, "Moria"
           2. In English we derive the word, Moron from Moria
3. Seeing the Cross and the Gospel thru Corinth eyes
                     a. Moronic - foolishness, nonsense, illogical
                    b. Did not fit their sophisticated notion of wisdom
        B. The Cross is both the Wisdom of God and Power of God
            1. Wisdom and Power to those who are being saved
            2. Believers accept Christ to understand it completely

THE CROSS HAS POWER OVER

IV. THE SIN OF ALL MANKIND - 1 Corinthians 15:3,4
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that 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,
        A. Scripture teaches the Soul that Sins shall surely Die - Ezekiel 18:20a
THE POWER OF THE CROSS, cont. p. 3

               20 The soul who sins shall die.
                1. Sin's Wages are Death - Romans 6:23
                          23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ
                    Jesus our Lord.
                2. Blood is the Covering / Atonement for Sin - Hebrews 9:22 NIV
                            22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood,
                    and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
3. Gospel Song, What Can Wash Away My Sin?
                    What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus
                    What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus
        B. The Blood of God's own Son Covers our Sinfulness - 2 Cor. 5:21
                    21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become
               the righteousness of God in Him.
                1. God's Love caused Him to send His Only Son - Romans 5:6-8
                             6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the
                   ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for
                   a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates
                  His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died                        for us.
              2. The Power of the Cross is found when we personally find His                          Love through His Cross
                                                 

THE POWER OF THE CROSS CHANGES LIVES

A FOOL FOR CHRIST
D.L. Moody was the Billy Graham of the 1860-1900 era.  At one meeting where he was speaking an usher handed him a note.  As he sat down he opened the note in which someone had cruelly scrawled, “Fool!”  When Dr. Moody stood up to speak he waved aloft the note and spoke to the audience, “Many times in my ministry people have given me notes they forgot to sign, but tonight is the first time someone signed a note they forgot to write!”  He went on to speak on the subject of foolishness from Psalm 53:1, “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.”
The Cross of Christ is foolishness to those who walk in this world, whose hearts are darkened to the things of God.  To those who know and love Jesus the Cross of Christ is the power of God to everyone who believes.

CROSS OF CHRIST

          The government of Polish Prime Minister Jaruzelski had ordered crucifixes removed from classroom walls, just as they had been banned in factories, hospitals, and other public institutions. Catholic bishops attacked the ban that had stirred waves of anger and resentment all across Poland. Ultimately the government relented, insisting that the law remain on the books, but agreeing not to press for removal of the crucifixes, particularly in the schoolrooms.
          But one zealous Communist school administrator in Garwolin decided that the law was the law. So one evening he had seven large crucifixes removed from lecture halls where they had hung since the school's founding in the twenties. Days later, a group of parents entered the school and hung more crosses. The administrator promptly had these taken down as well.
          The next day two-thirds of the school's six hundred students staged a sit-in. When heavily armed riot police arrived, the students were forced into the streets. Then they marched, crucifixes held high, to a nearby church where they were joined by twenty-five hundred other students from nearby schools for a morning of prayer in support of the protest. Soldiers surrounded the church. But the pictures from inside of students holding crosses high above their heads flashed around the world. So did the words of the priest who delivered the message to the weeping congregation that morning. "There is no Poland without a cross." 
Chuck Colson, Kingdoms in Conflict, pp. 202-3.

A
THE POWER OF THE CROSS
1 Corinthians 1:17-31 (NKJV)
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
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.
19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;
23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,
24 but to those who 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.
26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,
29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.
30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption--
31 that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD."

 

 

B

 

 

Isaiah 61:1-6 (NKJV)
1 "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."
4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations.
5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, And the sons of the foreigner Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, They shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, And in their glory you shall boast.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SING ABOUT?
Clarence Darrow, the famous atheist lawyer – once took part in a debate at a church in Chicago. In his attack on the Christian faith, he tried to play on the emotions of African American  people who were there, and on their social misery. This was the heart of the depression he said – no money, jobs and little hope. He amplified their despair and frustrations. In one moment of eloquence Darrow said:
"I don’t understand it – you sing such great music – I have heard you singing here today – amid all the woes of life – how can you sing? What in the world do you have to sing about in the face of life like this?"
Darrow had asked a rhetorical question, not expecting an answer; like a flash a woman stood up right in front of him and said, "Why do we sing? What do we have to sing about? We have JESUS to sing about!"

They all shouted, "Amen!"

 

Marred Hands Settled the Issue

The price Jesus paid for our redemption was terrible indeed. When we think of the extreme suffering He endured to purchase our freedom from sin’s penalty, our hearts should overflow with love for Him. Leslie B. Flynn told a story that illustrates this truth.
An orphaned boy was living with his grandmother when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy’s cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck.
Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town’s wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad’s eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his arms around the man’s neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue.
Many voices are calling for our attention. Among them is the One whose nail-pierced hands remind us that He has rescued us from sin and its deadly consequences. To Him belongs our love and devotion. -D.C.E.

George Washington Carver (1864-1943) had a laboratory he named “God’s little workshop.” One day, Carver prayed,
“Dear Mr. Creator, please tell me what the universe was made for.” God responded,
“Ask for something more in keeping with that little mind of yours.” So Carver tried again.
“Dear Mr. Creator, what was man made for?”
Again the Lord replied,
“Little man, you ask too much. Cut down the extent of your request and improve the intent.”
So the scientist tried once more.
“Then Mr. Creator, will you tell me why the peanut was made?” “That’s better,”
the Lord said, and beginning that day Carver discovered over 300 uses for the lowly peanut.25

 

REMBRANDT'S THREE CROSSES
If you were to look at Rembrandt's painting of The Three Crosses, your attention would be drawn first to the center cross on which Jesus died. Then as you would look at the crowd gathered around the foot of that cross, you'd be impressed by the various facial expressions and actions of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Finally, your eyes would drift to the edge of the painting and catch sight of another figure, almost hidden in the shadows. Art critics say this is a representation of Rembrandt himself, for he recognized that by his sins he helped nail Jesus to the cross.
Source Unknown

C

The word, “Repentance” conjures up for present-day society images of hypocrisy. We see images from Sinclair Lewis’ novel of expose, religious hypocrisy and social protest, “Elmer Gantry.” We see. . .
Sweaty, hoarse voiced evangelists calling people to leave their tent-meeting seats and walk down sawdust strewn aisles to sit at wooden plank “mourner’s benches,” wailing over their sins, both real and imagined.
When literal, heart-felt repentance occurred in my life I was 29 years of age. I read a testimony book in 1969 by Pat Boone, “A New Song.” After reading the book and being much affected by Pat Boone’s sincerity and deep levels of self-disclosure, I was struck by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. The only to describe the effect of God’s power on my personal life is by analogy.
Have you ever awakened in the night with a stomach ache? You knew the only remedy you had was to kneel before the ceramic throne in the bathroom and “give it your all.” But the process of emptying out is discomforting, humiliating and painful. The process is called “catharsis:” the purging or emptying out of something that offends.
Well, this particular experience of catharsis involved a need to purge myself spiritually. I wasn’t sure I knew how to accomplish this, and I didn’t trust religious rituals to help me with this task. I discovered in a practical way the power of 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  I decided in a determined and disciplined way to confess to God just what was offending me.
The process of repentance I entered into took me more than 30 months and resulted in an experience with God that forever changed my life. This sermon explores in a deep way the on-going power of repentance and its power over guilt, sin and death.
Pastor Phil   <><<

D

The Christ of Calvary

 
I nailed Him to the cross you see,
The Christ, the Christ of Calvary.
I pressed the thorns upon His brow,
And still He suffers, even now.
 
I pierced His hands, His feet, His side.
I even mocked Him when He cried.
“Father forgive them,” He had said,
While chorus of scomers I had led.
 
I spat upon His tear-stained face
As weight of cross He fought to brace.
What's that! You say he died for me,
A death of shame and agony?
 
For my sins He bled and died;
For my scorn, “Forgive,” He cried;
For me He bore the crushing weight
That life eternal be my fate.
 
Can you forgive one such as me,
My Christ, my Christ of Calvary?