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The Fellowship of the Cross

Good Friday Message  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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FELLOWSHIP OF THE CROSS
[Good Friday Slide]
Good Afternoon, welcome to Eastern Hills Baptist Church’s Live Good Friday Service.
I’m Pastor Joe Vivian, the Children’s and Families Pastor. Humbled and honored to be bringing you the message live from my living room. We’re practicing responsible “social distancing” so my Audio/Visual Director and Producer today is my lovely bride, Kerry. Thank you Kerry.
Before I get started, I have two announcements:
[EHBC KIDS Live]
A Reminder that each weekend we are bringing an EHBC KIDS Live Children’s Ministry Bible Teaching each week. Join me tomorrow at 4pm MDT for ur Easter Bible Teaching- “The Empty Tomb” . Streaming live on Facebook-YouTube and our Web Page.
[Easter Slide]
This Sunday, Drive-In Easter Service at 9am We will continue to be responsible and practice social distancing by remaining in our cars as we pull into 3100 Morris, the church south parking lot and listen to Pastor Bill Connors share the Easter Message. We will also rebroadcast the message at 10:30am MDT on YouTube, Facebook and our web page.
Sunday, April 12th, 9am MDT- Eastern Hills invites you to our Easter Sunday Drive-In Church. We will continue to be responsible and practice social distancing by remaining in our cars as we pull into 3100 Morris-EHBC and listen to Pastor Bill Connors share the Easter Message. We will also rebroadcast the message at 10:30am MDT on YouTube, Facebook and our web page.
[Fellowship Cross Slide]
So let’s get started. Turn to . If you are able, will you please stand as we read the word of God [Scroll thru Each Verse Slide: 19-20-21]
Galatians 2:19–21 CSB
19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
Let’s pray...
[Fellowship Cross Slide]
You may be seated
[ Slide]
“I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me and the life which I now live in the body I live through faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up to death on my behalf” ()
Galatians 2:20 CSB
20 I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
“I have been crucified with Christ”
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the second Adam, was potentially the crucifixion of humanity all are represented in Him.
It is a great discovery to make, that I have been crucified for my sins on the Cross of Christ.
With all the “uncertainty” in the world today, this is a certainty that brings me comfort and can for all of us in Christ.
This is the discovery faith makes when the Gospel of Christ is believed.
Have you seen it and received it; how that God has accepted the death of His only Son as your death for your own sins, that you might no longer live in sin, but in that newness of life which is yours in Him?
The Lord was crucified about twelve months before Paul was converted, however Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ” It was a thing done before he was born of God through Jesus Christ.
He had found out that the Lord Jesus Christ had so identified Himself with him and his sins that he (Paul) had been put to death for them with Christ on the Cross Now, he says, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
The old self-confident, self-centered life is dead, and now “I live through faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up to death on my behalf.”
Please realize this, Paul does not speak of crucifying Himself.
[Fellowship Cross Slide]
Self-crucifixion is impossible.
No person could drive the nails into their own hands and feet.
No.
However, we are commanded to crucify the flesh with its passions and lusts, crucify that selfish spirit that would exalt itself against God.
The question then remains. Who shall crucify it?
[ Slide]
Romans 7:24–25 CSB
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am serving the law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin.
By the death which Christ died he became, once for all, dead in relation to sin.
By the death which Christ died he became, once for all, dead in relation to sin.
Likewise, realize and regard yourselves as dead in relation to sin (, ).
[ Slide]
Romans 6:10–11 CSB
10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all time; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Not our sins only, but our sinful selves have been, in the great redeeming purpose of God, nailed to His Cross.
Not our sins only, but our sinful selves have been, in the great redeeming purpose of God, nailed to His Cross.
Let me repeat that: [This is a Slide-] Not our sins only, but our sinful selves have been, in the great redeeming purpose of God, nailed to His Cross.
It is now, “Not I, but Christ who lives in me.”
I have been crucified with Christ, therefore I must surmise my sinful self as judged by God in His own Son on the accursed tree, and put in the place of death.
You are dead, and your life is now enveloped by Christ in God.
Blessed paradox—dead, yet alive! Wonderful mystery—Christ living in me!
[Fellowship Cross Slide]
Again, in these times of uncertainty, this is the certainty that gives comfort and peace…Christ lives in me!
All who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as their atoning sacrifice before God, have been by the Holy Spirit baptized into His death, that they might be sharers in His resurrection ().
[ Slides…]
Romans 6:3–5 CSB
3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection.
Romans 6:
There is no possibility of knowing the power of His resurrection in our souls, if we have not first been made conformable unto His death ().
[ Slide]
Philippians 3:10 CSB
10 My goal is to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death,
When the mother of Jesus saw her Son dying upon the Cross, and when the soldier “pierced His side with a spear,” then were the prophetic words of old Simeon to Mary fulfilled, “A sword shall pierce through your soul also.” Through Mary’s Side
She was pierced with Christ on the Cross.
Had it not been for the faith and love that Mary had in and for her Lord and Savior, the spear that cut the heart of Christ would never have touched her soul.
So it is with us.
If we believe that that awful death of the Cross was voluntarily chosen and endured by Christ in love to our sin-ruined souls, with that belief there springs up within the soul a new affection for the suffering Son of God, a love so pure and tender that the pangs of Christ’s Cross pierces our own souls, then hard-hearted, cold-hearted, sinful self is crucified with Christ.
If we believe…we must believe this truth.
We have never seen Christ pierced for us to any advantage, unless we have felt the spear-thrust of conviction in our own souls.
Question for your heart, your soul… “Has the fact that Christ was wounded and bruised for your iniquities ever made any wound or bruise in your soul?”
If, through unbelief or hardness of heart we refuse to “die as He died,” then we can have no “share in His sufferings,” and so cannot “know the power which is in His resurrection.”
Seeing that the crucifixion of self is such a definite and painful experience, surely the effects of it will be marked and well-defined.
Let me try and express to each of you a few of them.
First…
I. The Crucifixion of the World.
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul says,
Galatians 6:14 CSB
14 But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world.
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“But as for me, God forbid that I should glory in anything except the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, upon which the world is crucified to me” (chap. 6:14).
To Paul the world had been stripped naked of all its glory and power, and nailed as a helpless, shameful thing on the Cross with Christ.
To him it was a dead or a dying thing, without power to tempt or tantalize his soul.
The glory of the grace of the crucified Christ had come between him and the world, and so blinded his eyes with the vision of heavenly things, that the things of this world became to him as so many corpses. “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15
The workings of the principles of this world found, as it were, their climax in the crucifixion of the Son of God.
The world by wisdom could not find out God, it could only crucify Him, therefore its ungodly spirit should be as a crucified thing to us.
Next…
II. The Crucifixion of Self.
Not only is the world crucified to me, but “I to the world,” adds Paul.
The death of Christ has not only separated the world from me, but it has also separated me from the world.
I have a quote from the book by Jerry Bridges, “The Pursuit of Holiness.”
“To be holy is to be morally blameless. It is to be separated from sin and, therefore, consecrated to God. The word signifies ‘separation to God,’ and the conduct befitting those so separated.”
The Crucifixion of Self means I am now Separated To God!
The Cross of Christ has come between me and the world, and has crucified it to me, and me to it.
That “old self,” which loved the world, and sought a share of its honor and glory,
“was nailed to the Cross with Him, in order that our sinful nature might be deprived of its power, so that we should no longer be the slaves of sin” ().
He who has paid the penalty of death stands free from his sin (v. 7).
The first act of self in Adam was too long for a forbidden thing.
This is the self that was crucified with Christ—the self that would long for anything outside the good and perfect will of God.
Although the self in Christ was perfectly human and perfectly sinless, yet “He pleased not Himself.”
He delighted to do the will of His Father.
The demands of self are many and urgent, and usually put in the most plausible way, but every time self is pleased and honored, the Cross of Christ is denied.
One of the messages that comes through the Crucified One to us is, “I have died for you, in order that that self-life of yours might die in Me.”
That self-life of yours will abide alone in barrenness and fruitlessness, unless it dies, and is buried in the cross of Christ.
But if it dies—comes to an utter end of itself—it will bring forth the fruits of a new life in Christ Jesus.
To be dead to the world is to be alive unto God, and abundantly fruitful in the world.
To be crucified with Christ implies further—You are separated to God.
Finally…
III. A New Life for Service.
“It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me” ().
Romans 6:5 CSB
5 For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection.
“Having become one with Him by sharing in His death, we shall also be one with Him by sharing in His resurrection” ().
If I truthfully acknowledge my self-life crucified with Christ, then I may favor Him living in me in the power of His resurrection.
If self has died, then there is no hindrance to the life of Jesus being manifested in our mortal bodies
2 Corinthians 4:10 CSB
10 We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body.
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One of the clearest proofs that we have died to self and sin is that we are wholly “alive unto God.”
One of the clearest proofs that we have died to self and sin is that we are wholly “alive unto God.”
The measure of our life and liberty for God is the measure of our freedom from the power of self and sin.
Self spells bondage in the service of the Lord.
There is no room for it if Christ is to be glorified in us.
If Christ lives in me, then He has taken this me that He might sanctify it, fill it, and use it for the glory of His own Name.
To seek our own praise and honor is to deny Him who lives within.
If Christ lives in me, then all the wealth of His unsearchable riches is within my reach for His service among everyone who believe in Him.
The life of the unregenerate man is, “I, not Christ;” the life of the regenerate man is, “Not I, but Christ.”
Let me close with this excerpt from New Morning Mercies from Paul Tripp
The cross is evidence that in the hands of the Redeemer, moments of apparent defeat become wonderful moments of grace and victory.
At the center of a biblical worldview is this radical recognition—the most horrible thing that ever happened was the most wonderful thing that ever happened.
Consider the cross of Jesus Christ.
Could it be possible for something to happen that was more terrible than this?
Could any injustice be greater?
Could any loss be more painful?
Could any suffering be worse?
The only man who ever lived a life that was perfect in every way possible, who gave his life for the sake of many, and who willingly suffered from birth to death in loyalty to his calling was cruelly and publicly murdered in the most vicious of ways.
How could it happen that the Son of Man could die?
How could it be that men could capture and torture the Messiah?
Was this not the end of everything good, true, and beautiful?
If this could happen, is there any hope for the world?
Well, the answer is yes.
There is hope!
The cross was not the end of the story!
In God’s righteous and wise plan, this dark and disastrous moment was ordained to be the moment that would fix all the dark and disastrous things that sin had done to the world.
This moment of death was at the same time a moment of life.
This hopeless moment was the moment when eternal hope was given.
This terrible moment of injustice was at the very same time a moment of amazing grace.
This moment of extreme suffering guaranteed that suffering would end one day, once and for all.
This moment of sadness welcomed us to eternal joy of heart and life.
The capture and death of Christ purchased for us life and freedom.
The very worst thing that could happen was at the very same time the very best thing that could happen.
Only God is able to do such a thing.
The same God who planned that the worst thing would be the best thing is your Father.
He rules over every moment in your life, and in powerful grace he is able to do for you just what he did in redemptive history.
He takes the disasters in your life and makes them tools of redemption.
He takes your failure and employs it as a tool of grace.
He uses the “death” of the fallen world to motivate you to reach out for life.
The hardest things in your life become the sweetest tools of grace in his wise and loving hands.
So be careful how you make sense of your life.
What looks like a disaster may in fact be grace.
What looks like the end may be the beginning.
What looks hopeless may be God’s instrument to give you real and lasting hope.
Your Father is committed to taking what seems so bad and turning it into something that is very, very good.
Today, we have came together to celebrate Good Friday. We also need to stop and recognize that during this time of uncertainty, this day, this event, we have certainty.
We have Fellowship in the Cross:
Crucifixion of the World
Crucifixion of Self
TheNew Life of Service
Not our sins only, but our sinful selves have been, in the great redeeming purpose of God, nailed to His Cross.
For some of you, this is an opportunity to stand firm in the certainty of the Cross. To know and experiecene the depth of His love today. To know that today’s pain and uncertainty is covered by His sacrifice and His love.
For others, this is all new to you.The thought of calling a day which focuses on the execution of an innocent man…Good…makes no sense; however, you yourself are seeking certainty in an upside-down world right now. as I quoted, “So be careful how you make sense of your life. What looks like a disaster may in fact be grace. What looks like the end may be the beginning. What looks hopeless may be God’s instrument to give you real and lasting hope. Your Father is committed to taking what seems so bad and turning it into something that is very, very good.” Surrender your life to Christ today. Turn from your self-focused ways and begin to focus on the One who is certain throughout all eternity.
What looks like a disaster may in fact be grace.
What looks like the end may be the beginning.
What looks hopeless may be God’s instrument to give you real and lasting hope.
Your Father is committed to taking what seems so bad and turning it into something that is very, very good.
Let’s Pray…
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