Power of the Cross of Christ

1 Corinthians 1:2 ESV

“To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.”

I admit I used to skim through these introductions to the epistles, thinking they are just telling us who they are written to. But then the Lord stopped me from that practice, and he had me start paying attention to the wording in these introductions to the letters, and I found at least most of them rich in doctrinal truth. So, it is good to pay attention to the wording of these and to not quickly brush over what they are saying. And it is good to look up the words and their meanings, for that adds a lot to our understanding of what is being said and to whom the words are being addressed.

So, let’s begin with the word “church.” In our society today, at least here in America, if anyone says the word “church,” most everyone has an image in their mind of a building called “church,” usually, but not always, of a particular church denomination, which is usually what comes to mind, too. But is that the church? No! God does not dwell in buildings built by human hands. He dwells in the hearts and lives of those who have surrendered to him as Lord, and who by faith in him are no longer living in sin, but they are making righteousness and holiness and obedience to the Lord their practice.

So we are the church – we who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and raised to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, and who are walking in obedience to his commands and no longer in sin. We are his body, the church, and God dwells within us, so we are his temple. So, the church is not some building or some physical location you go to. The church is us, the people of God. And the church of God that was in Corinth was all believers in Christ who lived in that city, and they most likely did not all meet together.

We are the sanctified in Christ Jesus. And to be sanctified is to be made holy, and to be holy is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made to be like Jesus in character. And we are called to be saints, which has the same meaning as the word holy. So, the words which are written in this letter are written to believers in Jesus Christ, who are the church (ONE CHURCH, different locations), who have been made holy and who are continuing to be made holy (Hebrews 10:14).

1 Corinthians 1:17-19 ESV

“For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’”

I know this may seem like a big jump from the introduction to this section of the Scriptures, but all of us who are the church, and who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ, are where we are because of what Jesus Christ did for us on that cross. And so we are now going to talk about what happened on that cross which made it possible for us to be sanctified in Christ Jesus and to be made holy and to be his church.

When Jesus Christ died on that cross, he who knew no sin became sin for us so that when he died our sins died with him, so that by faith in him we might be crucified with him in death to sin and raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, not like our old lives, but living holy lives pleasing to God in surrender to his will and in walks of obedience and righteousness. For Jesus died on that cross that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And he died to free us from our slavery to sin so we would now become slaves of God and of his righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 6:1-23; 1 Peter 2:24).

So, the power of the cross is not just in forgiving our sins or in giving us the hope of eternity with our Lord, but the power of the cross was in putting sin to death so that we could, by faith in Jesus Christ, die to sin. And then by Jesus being raised from the dead we can be raised to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. We no longer have to live as slaves to sin. We can now live free from slavery to sin and live as slaves of righteousness because of the power of the cross, and in the power of God, by his Spirit (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24).

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Praise Be Told!

An Original Work / December 28, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

He was pierced for our transgressions.
He was crushed for all our sin.
Our chastisement was upon Him.
By His stripes, we now are healed.

He has witnessed all our trials,
And the sins we choose to wear.
Yet, while we were dead in our sin,
Jesus died, our sins to bear.

He himself bore all of our sins
In His body on a cross,
So that we might die to our sin,
And live for His righteousness.

By faith in the pow’r of Jesus
And His blood shed for our sins,
We can be forgiven our sin,
And have life with God in heav’n.

He will lead us and He’ll guide us
In the way that we should go.
He will comfort and protect us,
Because Jesus, we do know.

Though He disciplines for our good,
He will heal us – Praise be told!
Do not fear, your Lord is with you.
Just have faith in Christ your Lord.

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