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The Power of the Cross

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Scripture Reading

1 Corinthians 1:17–20 NIV84
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 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; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
1 Corinthians 1:17–20 NIV84
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 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; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
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Introduction

This section is Paul talking about unity.
There were divisions in the church in Corinth. There was pride in the church in Corinth.
Paul begins his letter to them by rebuking them for their divisions concerning who they follow.
Essentially, what he then does, is to explain that this is all about the cross. It’s not about one person or the other. It’s not about personalities. It’s about the cross.
As he does this, he paints a beautiful picture about the power of the cross, and the wisdom of God in the cross.
Today is a day that we focus our attention on the work that was done on the cross - Christ dying for sinners, so that we may know God.
It is through this cross of Christ, that the power and wisdom of God is demonstrated.

1. The Cross: The Proclamation of God (v. 17)

I. THE PREACHING—v. 17
In order to demonstrate to the Corinthian believers the foolishness of following of any man, not matter how capable or articulate, or dynamic their personality, he tells them firstly about the task that he was commissioned by Christ to fulfill.

1.1. Christ

1.1. Christ
Firstly, we see that Christ is central in the task. Paul writes:
“For Christ sent me [Paul] not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.”
Christ was the one that commissioned Paul as a sent one.
When Saul had be
The gospel is the good news ().
1.2. Conversion
“Not with wisdom of words.”
hey are simple words which convert man. All of Paul’s preaching was done with simplicity—. God’s Word is simple enough for all to understand. Man confuses God’s Word.
1.3. Cross
“Lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”
The gospel is simple. Man adds his ideas, making it difficult to understand. There is power in the gospel ().

2. The Cross: The Power or God (v.17)

Note the power of the cross.

2.1. To the sinner

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness.” Why is it foolish?
Sin—man has doubt as Eve did in .
Self—selfish plans and pleasures before God ().
Satan—Satan blinds man from the truth ().

2.2. The saved

To those saved, “it is the power of God.”
Power to save - .
.
Power to sustain - ; ; .
Power to sustain - ; ; .
; ; .
Power to satisfy—.

3. The Cross: The Plan of God (v. 19)

Since the Tower of Babel (), man has sought to make his own way to heaven.

3.1. God destroys man’s plan of salvation

. Christ has been, and always will be, the only way to heaven.

3.2. God destroys man’s power of salvation

. Man is saved by grace—not by his own good works.

3.3. God destroys man’s promise of salvation

. There is salvation in only one name—the name of Jesus!

4. The Cross: The Pre-Eminence of God (v. 20)

With all man’s knowledge, he cannot produce salvation.

4.1. Man can’t produce salvation

. Man’s ways end in death. Christ’s way ends in life (, ).

4.2. Man can’t produce security

. Only Christ can give this peace and security ().

4.3. Man cannot produce satisfaction

- Only Christ can give this abundant life.
Outline from: Pentz, C. M. (1975). Christian Life Outlines (pp. 33–34). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
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