We are starting a new series today as we move into the Easter season next weekend. I've entitled this series “The Power of the Cross.”
Everywhere you go in our world today you see crosses hanging around people's necks or perhaps attached to a building; but do we realize the power that is contained in the Cross of Christ? Paul talks much about the cross, and his message of salvation centered around the work that Jesus did on the cross. Paul says this about the cross:
1 Corinthians 1:18 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.
As Jesus entered Jerusalem on that Palm Sunday, He knew the cross was coming. That was a reality for Him…. a person could not face that kind of thing except through the help of the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 50:7 “For the Lord God will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.
How do we now live “in the power of the cross”? What does the cross enable us to do? I want to refer to Colossians 2 in the next weeks and talk about what we are called to do through the power of the cross.
Colossians 2: 11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ…
Paul puts this “cutting away” of the sinful nature in terms that a Jew could understand, “circumcision”. God told the Jewish people through Abraham that they would be a distinct people, a holy nation 2,000 years before Christ.
Abraham was told that every male child would undergo circumcision. Paul says when you experience the power of the cross and are “in Him,” He gives you the desire and the ability to cut off the sins of the flesh. It is done through a “circumcision made without hands.” It's not a natural thing, it's a spiritual thing done by the Holy Spirit.
In our Christian lives we know what we should do, we need to walk the way of the cross. It's not easy; it's a difficult thing to die to our flesh and the desires of our heart and to follow Christ. But the Spirit gives us the desire and the ability to do it through the power of the cross. He enables us to walk the way of the cross. The power of the Cross enables us to set our face like Jesus did, as flint, with resolute determination and deal with the flesh. The result of you and I living by the power of the cross is death to our sinful way of living and obtaining hearts that are sanctified to follow Him... and the result is glorious.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
And when we live by the power of the cross, apply the cross to our lives, die to our sinful way of life and circumcise our hearts to follow Him… the result is a victorious life “In Christ.”
Join us in person on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. or via livestream by going to https://www.firstbaptistsudbury.com and clicking on livestream for “ Set Like Flint.”