Christ Crucified: Glory in the Cross

Teaching by John Verstegen
transcribed by Nancy Paulson

I'd like you to go to two passages this morning. Galatians 6 and 1 Corinthians 1. We are going to deal with a very important subject today, the preaching of the cross. It may not be new to you or it may be new to some of you but even the Apostle Paul, late in his ministry, when he was fixing to go home and be with the Lord, being executed and so forth, he realized right to the end that the only place to glory was in the cross. That is something he never forgot, it is something he always remembered. And so it is something that we want to take and review and have our minds renewed about again this morning.

You can see in Galatians 6:14 he says this:

(Galatians 6:14 KJV) But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
(1Co 1:17) For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Let's have a word of prayer, "Our gracious God and Father we thank you for the time to look into your precious and Holy Scriptures and God we pray that you by the Holy Spirit indwelling us this morning will take your word and empower your words and we understand and know that the way that you do that is when we believe what it says. And so God we pray that we might see with eyes anew, and minds renewed, the wonderful preaching of the cross. And we thank you for that in Christ's name."

If you look in 1 Corinthians 1, he says, for Christ sent me not to do what? And to do what? And then he says not with wisdom of words. In the context of 1 Corinthians here, what was it that was the wisdom of words? What doctrine? The wisdom of words in that verse. Look at it what he says there again:

For Christ sent me not to do what? But to preach the gospel: Not with wisdom of words.

What was the wisdom of words about? It was about baptism. Everyone understand that? It was about baptism. I want to ask the question this morning, obviously we are talking about the preaching of the cross, but I want to ask it in the context of probably one of the most popular, of one of the most sternly held traditions in Christianity and that is the doctrine of baptism. Now as we said before, we do not have a baptistery here , we don't baptize, because we say baptism has nothing whatsoever at all with what is going on in the dispensation of grace.

(1Co 1:17) For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Not with wisdom of words: in the context of 1 Corinthians, what doctrine is the “wisdom of words”? The wisdom of words is about water baptism. We have a better baptism. Look at the cross; do we have everything we need? In 1 Corinthians water baptism was causing problems.

If what Paul describes as “wisdom of words” in verse 17 is in reference to water baptism then at Corinth and in Paul's mind water baptism was rendering the cross of Christ of none effect. If water baptism makes the cross of Christ of none effect then why do it?

(1Co 1:18) For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The power of God to them that are saved is the preaching of the cross not water baptism. In Christianity today the big issue is to get water baptised.

Why Water Baptize And How Water Baptism Renders The Cross Of None Effect?

Why The Cross Of Christ Needs Nothing Else And Why It Is The Power Of God?

How Does Water Baptism Render The Cross Of Christ Of None Effect?

  1. Many fail to teach what water baptism is.

    Water baptism was something in the prophetic program, it was a picture of cleansing. Israel was cleansed in order to be inducted into the office of the priest. Gentiles need to be water baptized because they are unclean.

    If you see the cross, you will have no trouble letting go of water baptism, you will see no need to justify water baptism.

  2. We are usually told water baptism is a picture of you being placed into the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

    We are told that we go down in the grave and are raised up in the newness of life. Christ never died in water, never buried in water and never resurrected from the water. So, how can water baptism be a picture of something that never happened?

    When John the Baptist saw Christ coming to be baptized, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God.” A lamb is something that had the sins of the people placed on it. The lamb is a picture of something that really happened.

  3. Water baptism fails to identify the true solution for sin.

    Some say water baptism does something for you. The answer for sin is death. The only solution for death is life. If God kills you then what? The only solution for sin is death and the only solution for death is life.

    If you tell one to be water baptized is a sign of obedience then you become the issue, it is you pleasing God. However, what Christ did on the cross was and is enough.

(1Co 1:23) But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; (1Co 1:24) But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Christ [crucified] is the power of God, and the wisdom of God: if you want the power of God and the wisdom of God in your life you need to look to Christ crucified, not water baptism.

The only answer for death is life, but not any life. What if God killed you to solve sin and then gave you back your life? You'd go and sin again; we would do the same thing we do now even though we have the life of Christ in us. Christianity is not about reforming the old life. The only solution for sin is death and the only solution for death is life, but not any life. Christ is your life. We are taken out of Adam and placed into Christ with the “one” baptism.

(1Co 1:24) But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Christ crucified is the power of God. Christ crucified is the wisdom of God.

(Rom 6:1) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Sin is singular; it is the root, the nature not the conduct.

(Rom 6:2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

The believer is dead to sin. Sin is resident in your flesh but you are not your flesh. You just live in your flesh. The flesh will return to dust. The soul, the real you, is eternal.

God has made us to be dead to sin. How did that occur?

(Rom 6:3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Baptized into his death, on the cross. Jesus Christ was baptized twice; he was water baptized and the baptism of death on the cross.

Does God say you were baptized into Christ's death? How do you feel about it? How you feel about it does not matter; what matters is that God says we were baptized into Christ's death.

How do you know you are saved? God's word says so – that is how we know. Can you ever be cut out of Christ? No, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. If you are able to lose what God gave you freely then it was never given freely in the first place. For you to lose Christ's life, he would have to die.

(Rom 6:4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (Rom 6:6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Look at the logic in these verses. What was God's solution so as to how to deal with the old man? Kill him, that the body of sin might be destroyed. The only solution for sin is death.

(Rom 6:7) For he that is dead is freed from sin. (Rom 6:8) Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: (Rom 6:9) Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. (Rom 6:10) For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

How can death never get Jesus Christ again? That one death satisfied the justice of God and God gave Him life. Sin is in your body and your body will die.

(Rom 6:11) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We no longer have to serve the old man. The old man is crucified with Christ. The taskmaster is still there but we do not need to serve him any more.

Preaching The Cross

Why do we make such a big deal out of that one baptism? Because God does. Christ crucified: it is the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

(1Co 1:23) But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

To the Jews, Jesus Christ was an embarrassment. While He hung on the cross, Pilate wrote the inscription “King of the Jews” and the leaders said that He said He was the king of the Jews. How can He be our king; He is dead on the cross?

To the Greeks, Christ crucified is foolishness. Why? The is no show of power on the cross. Jesus of Nazareth, on the cross, abandoned by everyone even God. The Greeks look at that and say what value is that. Christ was crucified through weakness.

Man's view, man saying something about Christ:

  • Israel – no king but Caesar
  • Greek – no value. He is weak and has no strength. God rejected Him.

With Christ on the cross, man was saying something to God. Man made a statement.

The cross also said something about the nature of man: the heart is desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9). Man's response to the only human who did not sin was to say, “Crucify Him!” This shows the nature of man is evil, sinful. The only solution for sin is death.

God's view of the cross: Sin, Christ's death, the solution, is representative of you and me. God's wrath for sin is poured out on Christ. He was the propitiation for sin. Christ is the sinbearer and God poured out His wrath on Him. On the cross, Christ said, “It is finished.” Three days later, God raised Him from the dead. The cross reveals God righteousness, integrity and mercy.

(Gal 2:20) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I am crucified with Christ, and the life which I now live is not the life of Adam, that life is gone. The only way to live the Christian life is to stay at the cross.

(Gal 2:21) I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Righteousness comes by the cross, seeking righteousness by the law frustrates the grace of God; it renders the cross of none effect.

(Gal 6:12) As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

If all the churches that preach water baptism stop doing so their numbers will dwindle and they would suffer persecution for water baptism. The Flesh loves religion.

(Gal 6:13) For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. (Gal 6:14) But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Paul's view: glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. God put Him on the cross to be the propitiation for our sin.

(Gal 6:15) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (Gal 6:16) And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

This rule: glory in the cross, see who God made you to be in Christ. Do not get wet! Glory in the cross!

   

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