ONALASKA FIRST CHURCH OF GOD

"Where Your Experience In Christ, Makes You A Member"

133 3rd Avenue,  P.O. Box 245,  Onalaska,  Washington  98570     (360) 978-4161      FAX (360) 978-6941  
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APRIL 6, 2008 

THE POWER OF THE CROSS

 

SCRIPTURE READING: 1 CORINTHIANS 1:17-31 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: 1 Corinthians 1:18 (ASV) 

    For the Word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  

INTRO: The contest between the Wind and the Sun. 

   There is a battle going on in the Church today, between the wisdom of the words and the Word of the Cross. 

1 Corinthians 1:17 (NIV) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel--not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.  

   The wisdom of words may be able to deal with the exterior of man but only the Word of the Cross can deal with the heart of man. 

   The wisdom of words draws attention to the messenger, the Word of the Cross draws attention to the message. 

   What is the difference between the wisdom of words and the Word of the Cross? 

   Those who are listening to the wisdom of words are slowly perishing, those who are hearing the Word of the Cross are slowly being saved. 

   In the KJV the word, Word, is translated preaching, in other versions it is translated message.  

   But the word itself is the Greek word; Logos, the same word used in  

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  

   There are many words of wisdom but there is only one singular Word of the cross. 

   This means that we are to preach JESUS, the Word of the cross. 

1 Corinthians 1:23-24 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  

   The message of the Church must be the JESUS of the Cross and it is the JESUS of the Cross that gives power to the cross. 

I.  IT IS THE POWER OF THE CROSS THAT CONVICTS THE  SINNER. 

NOTE: When a person looks at the JESUS of the cross one of three things happens: 

·         They are filled with remorse and awe at God’s great love.

·         They are filled with anger and hatred because of conviction.

·         They are filled with indifference. (This is the most dangerous)

   The power of the cross reveals God’s hatred for sin. 

   A person who is indifferent to the cross does not have an understanding of what the cross represents. 

   Man will not turn from sin until he is convicted of sin. 

   Conviction comes when a person recognizes their sin and their inability to eradicate the sin in their life. 

   Conviction of sin must be of the heart and not the mind. 

   The conviction of the mind allows a person to think they can take care to their sin problem without the cross. 

   There are many religions that hide in the cloak of Christianity that deny the power of the cross. 

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.  

   When a person see and hears the Word of the Cross they will be convicted of their sin. 

   Being convicted of our sin is not enough. 

II.  IT IS THE POWER OF THE CROSS THAT FORGIVES THE SINNER. 

NOTE: Two of Christ’s seven saying on the cross involved forgiveness. 

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.  

Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”  

   Man can forgive a wrong that is done against him, but he cannot forgive sin because sin is done against God. 

Hebrews 9:11-14, 28 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?...So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.  

   The power of the cross offers forgives to all who would come and accept the JESUS of the Cross.

   The Bible tells us that all have sinned and need forgiveness. 

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  

   Those who refuse God’s forgiveness will stand before Him at the time of judgment. 

Psalm 130:3-4 If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.  

   It is in the power of the JESUS of the Cross to forgive our sin, but we must allow the JESUS of the Cross to work within us. 

III.  IT IS THE POWER OF THE CROSS THAT TRANSFORMS THE SINNER INTO A SAINT.

 

NOTE: Not only does the cross have the power to convict men of sin and to forgive them for their sin, the power of the cross is able to transforms them into someone new. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  

NOTE: When we allow the power of the cross to work in our lives it will change us from the inside out. 

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  

   Satan and the world seek to conform us into their image while God transforms us into His image. 

   We are conformed by outward pressure. 

   We are transformed by the inward work of grace. 

ILL: Caterpillar into a butterfly, tadpole into a frog. 

CONCLUSION: Have you allowed the JESUS of the cross to work in your life? 

 

APRIL 13, 2008 

REJECTING CHRIST” 

SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 53:1-3 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Isaiah 53:3 (NLT)   

    He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.  

INTRO: Have you ever had an opportunity given to you but you rejected it, only to regret it later? 

   The loss of rejected opportunities can haunt us the rest of our lives. 

ILL: Riding in a steam train engine. 

   The greatest rejected opportunity will haunt us throughout eternity. 

   Hell will be filled with those who had the opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior but rejected Him. 

I.  REJECTING THE GOSPEL MESSAGE. 

Isaiah 53:1a (NLT) Who has believed our message?  

NOTE: Throughout time, men have rejected the Word of God. 

Jeremiah 6:10 (NLT) To whom can I give warning? Who will listen when I speak? Their ears are closed, and they cannot hear. They scorn the word of the Lord. They don't want to listen at all.  

Jeremiah 8:9 (NLT) These wise teachers will be shamed by exile for their sin, for they have rejected the word of the Lord. Are they so wise after all?  

Zechariah 7:12 (NLT) They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could not hear the law or the messages that the Lord Almighty had sent them by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. That is why the Lord Almighty was so angry with them.  

NOTE: We face grave danger when we chose to reject God’s Word.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-11 (NLT) He will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on their way to destruction because they refuse to believe the truth that would save them.  So God will send great deception upon them, and they will believe all these lies.  

II. REJECTING THE POWER OF GOD. 

Isaiah 53:1b (NLT) To whom will the Lord reveal his saving power?  

Romans 16:25 (KJV) Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,  

   The Word of God has the power to bring us into a proper relationship with Christ. 

·         Revealing our need for Salvation

·         Christ power to grant us Salvation through His Blood.

NOTE: There are those who reject the salvation that God has offered through Christ, for one they can do themselves. 

2 Timothy 3:5 (NLT) They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that.  

III. REJECTING THE LIFE OF CHRIST. 

Isaiah 53:2 (NLT) My servant grew up in the Lord's presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.  

NOTE: Many reject the simplicity life of Jesus and the Gospel He preached. 

   The Life of Jesus is rejected: 

·         He was born in a stable

·         He was born to poor parents

·         He was raised in the wrong community.

·         He was rejected by the religious community

·         He was rejected by the political community

   The Jews of Jesus days were looking for the wrong kind of Savior even as much of the World today. 

   The Jews were looking for a Savior to rid them of the power of Rome not realizing their need to be delivered from the power of Satan. 

   Many today are looking, like the Jews of old, for a different kind of deliverer.  

   One who will deliver them from: 

·         Poverty

·         Illness

·         Turmoil

·         Trial and difficult circumstances

   They fail to realize their need to be delivered from sin. 

   What Jesus came to do was to deliver us from sin and Satan’s power. 

   Many of these other things He will do but He first wants to deal with our sin nature. 

IV. REJECTING THE PERSON OF CHRIST. 

Isaiah 53:3 (NLT) He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.  

NOTE: There are those who reject the way Christ has provided our Salvation. 

   They do not want to come through the Blood of Christ. 

   They want a cleaner more civilize way of Salvation. 

John 3:18-19 (NLT) "There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God.  Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.

CONCLUSION: Those who have rejected Christ will regret it throughout eternity. 

   Those who have accepted Christ will enjoy His presence forever. 

ohn 1:10-12 (NLT) But although the world was made through him, the world didn't recognize him when he came.  Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted.  But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.  

 

APRIL 27,2008 

JEHOVAH ROPHE

I am the Lord that Healeth thee 

SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 53:4-6 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.  

NOTE: Jehovah Rophe was revealed at the bitter waters of Marah. 

Exodus 15:22-27 (ASV) And Moses led Israel onward from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.  And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.  And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?  And he cried unto Jehovah; And Jehovah showed him a tree, and he cast it into the waters, and the waters were made sweet. There he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them; and he said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of Jehovah thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his eyes, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon thee, which I have put upon the Egyptians: for I am Jehovah that healeth thee.  And they came to Elim, where were twelve springs of water, and threescore and ten palm-trees: and they encamped there by the waters.

   There are several things we can learn for this event in Israel’s history: 

1.      The people were thirsty.

2.      The people complained and blamed God.

3.      The waters of Marah were bitter (unsatisfactory).

4.      A tree was placed in the water and it became sweet.

5.      God led them to twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees.

   Look at this in the light of Jesus Christ being Jehovah Rophe. 

1.      Mankind is thirsty and looking for satisfaction.

2.      They often blame God for all the troubles they find themselves in.

3.      They first find Christ as bitter water.

4.      Once they accept Christ as Savior (the cross) they possess a different attitude towards Him.

5.      God provides they with a life filled with joy and satisfaction.

NOTE: Does it surprise you that great spiritual victory is often followed by discouragement, dissension, depression, and sometime by defeat? 

   Satan often intensifies his spiritual attack immediately after we experience spiritual victory.  He always tries to snatch away our victory and attempts to dull our joy.  

   Our physical condition can impact our spiritual joy. 

NOTE: God can turn bitter water to sweet. 

   The word Rophe occurs about sixty times in the Old Testament and it always means “to restore,” “to heal,” or “to cure.”  It is frequently used in relation to physical healing.  It can also be used to relate to moral and spiritual healing.  Jehovah reveals Himself to be the only source of wholeness.  He alone has the power to change the bitter experience of life into sweet. 

   Often we think that our difficult circumstance put God to the test.  The truth is that our circumstances test us.  God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  God is never put to the test.  He has proved Himself from the beginning.  He is Creator and Lord.  He is the sovereign God of the universe.  His nature and character are unchanging.  God is not tested by circumstances.  Yet God, in conformity with His own character, turns the bitter circumstances of our life into sweet.

    Listen to God and obey His commands is the pattern for victory when we face bitter circumstance. 

   Our bitter circumstances actually test us and teach us to trust God to meet every need of our lives.

 HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND DURING THESE TIMES OF BITTER CIRCUMSTANCES? 

1.      Listen earnestly to the voice of God. 

a.       What is God trying to say to you in your present circumstances?

b.      What does God wish to accomplish in you life through these circumstances?

c.       What is God revealing about himself during these circumstances?

2.      Do what is right (behave righteously).

a.       Do not respond by grumbling and complaining.

b.      Focus on the reliability of God.

c.       Trust God to do what is right and best for you through these circumstances.

3.      Obey God’s commands.

a.       Seek to see if there is any area of disobedience in your life.

NOTE: Our desire to obey God emerges from the fact that we know His character.  

   Our need for physical healing is small in comparison to our greater need for healing of emotions, relationships, and our spiritual condition. 

Isaiah 1:5-6 (GW) "Why do you still want to be beaten? Why do you continue to rebel? Your whole head is infected. Your whole heart is failing.  From the bottom of your feet to the top of your head there is no healthy spot left on your {body}— only bruises, sores, and fresh wounds.  They haven't been cleansed, bandaged, or soothed with oil.

   The world needs to know that God is a God who heals.  He can cure the deep wounds which sin has wrought.  He is Jehovah Rophe. 

   The prophet Jeremiah speaks about sin and its consequences in terms of an incurable wound. 

Jeremiah 30:13 (NLT) There is no one to help you or bind up your injury. You are beyond the help of any medicine.  

   The healing for sin and its consequences can only be found in Jehovah Rophe. 

Jeremiah 30:17 (NLT) I will give you back your health and heal your wounds, says the Lord.   

NOTE: Jesus is indeed the fulfillment of Jehovah Rophe.  He turns the bitter waters to sweet in the lives of those to whom He ministers. 

   It is easy for us to get caught up with the thoughts of physical healing but our primary mission is to preach the reality of spiritual healing.  

   While physical healing is filled with compassion, it does not have the ultimate consequence of healing the alienation and spiritual death that comes as the result of sin. 

James 5:14-16 (NIV) Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.  Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.  

NOTE: The healing ministry of the church should not be done for the amusement or amazement of the onlookers, but for the compassionate care of the suffering and for the glory of God.

·         There is healing for our deepest pains and disappointments. 

·         There is healing for our past. 

·         There is healing over addictions. 

·         There is physical, emotional, and spiritual healing available in Christ.

CONCLUSION:   There is salvation for every sin, there is healing for every sickness.  All man has to do is to come to God and ask, yet there are many who refuse to do so. 

2 Chronicles 16:12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians.

 

 

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