Once again we want to thank you for tuning into Crossings, a Ministry of Calvary Baptist Church. I am Pastor Dwight LaPine, and I’ll be your host this morning as we get started in teaching you what the Bible says- not only about eternal life, but how to get to know God daily, moment by moment, in a personal way. We trust that this connection would really help you have a peace and a joy as you come to know Him and believe in Him. Our Savior Jesus Christ went to a cross. Died on that cross so that we might have the means of eternal life if we put our faith and trust in him. Just an important message this morning as we think on these things. So I want you to turn in your Bibles this morning- first Corinthians chapter 1. And we will begin reading in our text this morning. First Corinthians 1 beginning in verse 18. It says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness but unto us which are saved it is power of God.” We just heard that phrase- the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and I will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made the foolish, the wisdom of this world? For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God. It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Before I go I want to just stop for a second and think on these words. The foolishness of preaching does not mean that foolish preaching is with what we are talking about when we talk about the cross here. It's just too to bring to mind that at the time there were those thinkers- those it did looked at the cross and said- Foolish. How foolish is something like a cross. God's not calling it foolishness. His is just pointing out that theirs was an understanding the just didn’t make sense. But God knew that it pleased him by the foolishness of preaching, that unbelievers would come to know Jesus Christ. So let's continue on. It says- and here are some things that we see in Scripture- for the Jews require a sign. And the Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified. Unto the Jews a stumbling block, unto the Greeks foolishness, but unto them which are called both Jew and Greek, Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Father, we thank you for your word. Use your word as we think on the cross. The cross where you sent your son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Allowed your son to die on the cross. His blood shed so that we might obtain eternal life. Father even today we know that the preaching of the cross- the cross seems foolish to many who hear. To them that are without Christ. But we know that the preaching of the cross is Christ crucified. And by that we have means of obtaining eternal life. So Lord use your word. Challenge us this morning. We thank you in Jesus name. Amen. The Jews, as we read in here- and this is no different than us today- the Jews required or seek a sign. The Jewish standard of what was wise was to be able to see signs. The Jews were always asking God for signs. Show us something. Show us those things that we might be able to believe. In Matthew 12:38 and 39 we read, “Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered Jesus saying- Master, we would see a sign from thee but he answered and said unto them an evil and adulterous generation seeks after sign.” I think of and if Jesus were talking to us today he would look out and he would say the same thing. It's only an evil and adulterous generation that seeks after some kind of sign. And wouldn’t that describe today? Again in John 2:18- “the Jews and asked him a said unto Him, What sign showest thou unto us seeing that thou doest these things? And again in John 6:30, “what signs show us thou then that we may see and believe thee? What dost thou work? Why is it that we need to see something to believe? They were looking for some visible sign but could not understand even at that time when Jesus was walking amongst them. They needed to see a visible sign. Even when he performed signs- Scripture says He never performed them at their requests. But he did give them things so that they could understand. When he did perform them it seemed that it never satisfied. It was never enough for them. The Jews way or the Jewish way of thinking was - if he really is Messiah he would never deny the Jewish people a sign. Again they had their thinking all messed up. It was right there in their midst and they still couldn't see it. They couldn't get it. Today the Jews are still seeking after some visible kind of sign. It's amazing when we go over to Israel and you see them and the vanity of what they do. And they can't see that the Messiah has already come. They are still seeking. Still looking for something that they see to be in the future. And yet we know and we try to preach and share Jesus Christ has already come. He's died on the cross so that they might have eternal life. They rejected him because they couldn't see. He wouldn't give them a visible sign at the time because of their own wisdom he became a stumbling block to them. The Greeks were no different. The Greeks seek after wisdom. What was the wisdom that they sought for at the end of verse 23? Theirs was a foundation of human understanding. It was pagan philosophers that they put their trust in. They thought it was ridiculous to think of a suffering Savior. You know, we look at it today- we might say the same thing. To think of Jesus Christ having to suffer. It seems foolish to us. God could have come about this by other means. Why did Christ have to suffer on the cross so that you and I might be able to have eternal life? Why was it necessary for that blood to be shed? And we know the answer to that look. And we will look at that again in just a few moments. But how can God suffer? - was what they looked at. They theorized it was just not rational. They wanted gospel based upon human understanding. Isn’t that what we want today? Something based upon our own understanding? Something that we can make sense out of? But a suffering Christ? Theirs was the wisdom of the world. The gospel- as we go on- is the word of God .but the preaching- the gospel that Paul was preaching about is the gospel that is in the word of God. Not meant to be according to man's understanding, but God put it there. It's not to be designed as to be put into a test tube to be analyzed. God gave us a clear understanding of what he thought was important. What was necessary for us? And it was a message of faith that we have to understand. It would not be by faith and they couldn't completely understand that. Put your complete faith and trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. You see, all they can see was that this man, this Jesus, would hang on the cross. Was going to die. Was going to be put into the grave. How could that make sense? They couldn’t see into the resurrection at that point in time when they were talking about this. But I'm glad our great God is far above our puny little thinking. We can't foresee what God was trying to get across at that point in time. What kind of God would we have if we knew everything that he had or that he knew? God was trying to share something very, very important. Isaiah 55 versus 8-9. It says, for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. This brings us back to our passage. And in verse 24 It says, “but unto them, which are called both Jew and Greek, Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” In his first Paul is trying to tell the Corinthians that the gospel message is far superior than anything that you can come about of your own thinking. Anything that humans can come up with to realize through rational thinking or through the reasoning and philosophers they were trying to share. It’s far superior than all of these things. It was trying to encourage- Paul was trying to encourage them to receive the message that had to do with the cross and not put your focus upon wisdom that is given to us by man. Countless preachers of the gospel all over the world, all of them different, because people are different. Pastor lapine and I could show the same message and we would share it in different ways. But nonetheless, it's same gospel message. The same word of God. And you might hear it in different ways, but the message is what doesn't change. The message today is the same message that was given to the Jews- when Jesus walked amongst them. It was the same message that was shared with the Greeks. And yet we still today struggle with the message. The messengers change but the message, which is the most important part, never changes. You look at Jude. And in Jude chapter or verse three, it say- “beloved when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation it was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” You look again in Galatians chapter 1. Galatians chapter 1 beginning in verse six. It says, “I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into grace of Christ unto another gospel, which is not another, but there be some that trouble you, that would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. And we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men of God, or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify unto you brethren that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” So what exactly is the gospel? What exactly is the gospel? You can find it will simply in first Corinthians chapter 15. And you've heard this. This is not unfamiliar. These are not unfamiliar verses. Moreover brethren, I declare you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also you have received and wherein you stand, by which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you, first of all, that which I which I also received- how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. And that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” The cross is the answer. The cross may not make sense to us. The cross may not make sense to the world. But the cross, the preaching of the cross is the answer. Still the same answer today that is necessary. According to the Scriptures that we just read in first Corinthians 15, means that somewhere in the Old Testament it's been pinned down how he would die. We have that. As we think today on this day that we will be tonight celebrating around the Lord's table, I want you to look at Isaiah chapter 5. Isaiah 53. Here's how it was described. Beginning in verse three of Isaiah 53. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Look over at Psalm 22. Just a few words. When I think about this. This is Jesus at the beginning of the cross. “My God my God why hast thou forsaken me and why are thou so far from helping me?” And yet look down in verse 14. Again the description of what 1 Corinthians 15 is talking about. Verse 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. Last part of verse 16. “They pierced my hands and my feet.” They pierced my hands and my feet. Again, a description of what our Lord with through on the cross of Calvary. How that Christ died for our sins according to the Scripture. That he was buried but that he rose again the third day. Without the death of Jesus Christ on the cross there would be no gospel. There would be no scriptural basis for which we would have eternal life. Jesus said in John 3:14. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so…” again a picture- “must the Son of Man be lifted up?” John 12:32 and 33, “and if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto me. This he signified- said signifying what death he should die.” So death by any other means was impossible. God gave us exactly how this would occur in the Old Testament, and was played out on the screen in the New Testament as we know today. It seems that man has become- and going back thinking about that- even Satan tried to take Jesus life in many other ways. But it wouldn't happen by any other means but the cross. It seems that man has become educated to the things of the world. Foolish to the thinking on the things of God. I heard an old saying that some people have become- and this describes to the educated fools. So educated that we can't understand something so simple as the cross of Calvary. Someone is designed divine philosophy. I thought this was kind of funny. We put our trust in the philosophy of the world. Someone defined philosophy as a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there. Now think about that for a little bit and maybe it'll sink in. Today man is still searching for some theory, some formula to make sense of all of this- to answer life's questions when it comes to eternity. And yet it's right before us in the gospel of the word of God- the preaching of the gospel. Psalm 14:1 tells us and this gives us the answer. Why we can't get it. Why does the world not see this? Why is it that is so hard to share the cross with those who do not know Christ? It says the fool in Psalm 14:1 has said in his heart there is no God. Aren’t we glad that in the foolish in the foreknowledge of God he knew that man would fall into sin? He know that at the creation of Adam that at the very beginning Adam would fall into sin. He knew that from that point on mankind would fall into sin, and would know that that we be my no means by which we can come to Christ on our own. But we needed a Savior- a sacrifice to take place- to pay sins debt in order for you and I, fallen men, to have a way back into good standing and fellowship with God. Once we have committed sin we can no longer have fellowship with God. It is only a perfect person that gets into heaven. You have heard pastor preach it so many times. It's necessary for us to be absolutely perfect. And how can we do that in and of ourselves? We can't. The perfect sacrifice had to die so that you and I may obtain eternal life. Hebrews 10. Look at Hebrews 10: 1-4. What was the picture that was given in Hebrews 10:1-4? It says, “For the law having a shadow of things to come and not the very image of the things can never, with those sacrifices, which they offered year-by-year, continually make the comers therefore perfect. For then would they have not ceased to be offered? Because at the worshipers once purged should have no more conscious of sins, but in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again of sins every year, for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. God had made a way in the Old Testament. A foreshadowing of things to come that a blood sacrifice was necessary. It sacrifices for sins here- it was just a foreshadowing of those the better things. That better thing. That one better thing that was to come in the future. The law and its sacrifice didn't possess the perfection of power and power necessary to forgive sins. The blood of bulls and goats could never forgive, completely forgive. It was just covering at that point. Sins. The Old Testament offering of sacrifices had to be repeated. Time and time again. Aren’t we glad that Jesus Christ was a once for all sacrifice? You and I, we no longer live in the Old Testament- the repeating of that blood sacrifice. We don't have to because the perfect sacrifice came. The offering of sacrifices as we mentioned were never removed and the awareness in the consciousness of sin. Man always had a guilty conscience- a sense of being sinful. But when Jesus Christ died on the cross that blood that was shed- that perfect sacrifice that was given- was able to take sin away- to make mankind free of the sin that he committed. If he had sensed that a perfect sacrifice had been made in the Old Testament- that is sins had been removed once for all- that perfect sacrifice had been made acceptable to God- than he would never need another sacrificing. And that is why Jesus came. The offering of animals could never give us that. Bulls and goats could never give us that. The animal sacrifice cannot possibly pay the penalty of the judgment of sin for man. Therefore, no way, for these to completely pay- something else was necessary. A perfect and eternal person willing to sacrifice himself for the sins of mankind. That's exactly what Jesus Christ is- a perfect- perfect eternal person. If he, Jesus, sacrificed himself, died for the sins of mankind, then his death would pay once and for all for your sins and for mine. And not only for our sins but for the sins of the entire world. And yet the world still misses it. His death would be accepted as the perfect sacrifice for man’s sin. He had to be eternal in order to cover sins eternally for sins past. When Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary His since covered not only the sins of those that lived while he was there, but for the sins of those that had been before. And not only for theirs that were at the time that Jesus lived, but for those in the future. That's for your sins and mine. And for the sins of anyone who comes still today. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross of Calvary was sufficient for all sins past, present, and future. Isn’t that awesome. We think about that. We think upon Jesus Christ. Only God is perfect and eternal therefore, only God's son, that perfect sacrifice, could commune- allow us to commune- with God forever and forever. Romans 1:1-4 says, “Paul a servant of Jesus Christ called to be an apostle separated under the gospel of Christ which he had promised afore by the prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh, and declared to be the son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection.” This was necessary. The resurrection from the dead. Romans 8:3, “for what the law could not do.” That’s the law the sacrifice that was necessary. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” Philippians 2 we read, “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” 1 Timothy 3:16. Scripture is so important. The gospel message. “And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached onto Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory.” We read also in Hebrews in verse nine. Hebrews 2:9, “but we see Jesus. Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for suffering of death crowned with glory and honor that he, by the grace of God, should taste death.” I like this. “For every man.” Every man past, present, and future. For every man. Hebrews 2 on in verses 14 to 15, “for as much in his children are partakers of flesh and blood he also himself, likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” In 1 John 3:5, “and you know that he was manifest to take away our sins, and in him was no sin.” These Scriptures and many others share of the perfect, perfect sacrifice that Jesus Christ was and what he was doing on the cross. He was doing the will of God for you and for me. Absolutely essential to have an eternal sacrifice, that perfect sacrifice. He had to live a sinless life. And we know Christ did. The perfect man gave his life willingly on the cross. Remember in the in the garden of Gethsemane- father is any other way let this cup pass from me? Nevertheless not my will but your will be done. Jesus knew they had to die. He knew that it was the fathers plan. He knew that it was necessary that he go to the cross. That he took upon himself my sin and your sin and the sins of the entire world. He knew that it was necessary for his blood to be shed. He did it for you and for me. Therefore his righteousness could stand and cover man's sin. When a person looks to Jesus Christ today, believing in him with his whole heart, God counts a person righteous. Not because of anything that we've done, but because he sees us through Christ. You see, if you are here this morning you don't know Christ this is the only way. This is the only means by which we can have eternal life. The preaching of the cross may seem foolish, but to you and I, if we know Jesus Christ as Savior it makes total sense. It makes total sense that Jesus had to die. Romans 5:19, “For as by one man, one man's disobedience…” We are talking about Adam. “Many were made sinners so by the obedience of all shall one be made righteous.” 2 Corinthians 5:21, “for he made him to be sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Once again we want to thank you for tuning in our program. It’s been a delight to have you. I trust that you understand a little bit more about what Jesus Christ did for you when He died on the cross. Salvation is not something that you receive because you’re born into a family, or because you go to church, or because you’re good. Salvation is a free gift. But that gift has to be received. If you have not received it we would like to have you take some time to talk to God, and ask him that He might be your Savior. You understand that you are sinner- that Jesus Christ died for you, and that you can know that you have eternal life by putting your trust in Christ today.