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The Power and Message of the Cross (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
August 26, 2022 4:00 am

The Power and Message of the Cross (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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August 26, 2022 4:00 am

The message of the cross is uncomfortable, confronting us with our sin. Many prefer to think that God will reward our kindness and best efforts. Listen to Truth For Life as Alistair Begg urges us to proclaim what’s true rather than what’s popular.


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Reasons why the message of the cross of Jesus is uncomfortable is because it confronts us with the reality of our sin. Most people prefer to think that they were kind of do our best. God will somehow reward us today on Truth for Life will find out why it's pivotal for us to preach. What's true not just what's popular Alister Magnus teaching from first Corinthians chapter 1 verses 18 through 31 why this message for the unbeliever to suggest a couple of things. First of all, because the message of the cross establishes the gravity of the human condition. The message of the cross establishes the gravity of sin says that the story of humanity is the story of man's rebellion and man's alienation and man's brokenness and the death of Jesus and the picture that is then given to us in the Bible causes us to ponder and then to proclaim that it the death of God's perfect son to deal with my sinful life with my alienation and with my brokenness and with my rebellion. I am pretty sure, but I haven't checked because I'm not here, but I think if you let me loose tomorrow morning anywhere in your city.

I can get agreement from just about anyone that I meet about one subject and it is this that our world is broken, that it is broken, you can you can broach the subject in Starbucks you can broach it on the airplane anywhere you want to go. You will get general agreement that something has gone amazingly wrong. You get agreement on that when it comes to the issue of not simply dealing with the symptoms but actually a diagnosis of the cause and the opportunity for evangelism explosion is just getting in at that point, but the point I'm making the straightforward people are prepared to acknowledge something is badly and the average millennial. I would in Texas tonight has no answer for that question either DB and they have been raised believing that they exist as a result of time plus Metroplex chance they are a collection of molecules held in suspension. There is no ultimate destiny towards which they are moving.

Therefore there is no heart that they're able to navigate through their life's and they are at sea and if the message that is then offered to them is a kind of watery substitute for the message of the cross that will not be surprised that they just walk away from because what we have to face up to is the fact of our rebellion against God, that no part of our life's is left intact. Our emotions are affections are minds, our wills, the anti-God bias which is part and parcel of our human existence comes in at the level of our understanding and our intellect and there is no intellectual road to God, David Wells, who has been a friend to me over the years as a purple passage in one of his books. I can remember where it is, but he talks about how that how God is beyond the realm of our intuitive radar as he puts it was a wonderful, wonderful line, so he says there is an invisible boundary between ourselves and God regarding this holiness and we in our rebellion and in our alienation. There is no intellectual road for us to get there and so it is the only way that it is possible is for him to come in down is it where underneath the radar cannot access them on our own terms. We cannot access them in our own time know we need him to come and cross the boundary so that we might know him saving me and what is the message of the cross is that God in Christ has done exactly that that he has cross that boundary and that he has made himself known and so when we think about it in terms of its gravity in in their predicament that we face. It also is possible for us to explain to our friends the absolute necessity of God's grace, which means that we either in our proclamation and in our conversation preach what the Bible says that human beings are rebels against God by nature under his judgment and loss and that Jesus crucified, who bore their sin and curse is the only available Savior. We either proclaim that or we emphasize human potential and human ability with Christ brought in to boost them, but with no necessity for the cross except to exhibit God's love and inspire us to greater endeavor. The latter is popular. The former is true if you go with the latter know what to say you're a fool. This is not as fine God. Whoever is when I preach every week to a congregation of people, many of them because of their there there. There's stages in life they are operating on this basis a good God if he exists, will reward nice people. If they do their best.

That's the story if there is a good garden exist to reward nice people and I was if his gradient on the curve.

I member the chance because I there's a lot of really bad people in the roasting and just along the road for me.

So there.

There are definitely in the F category of the my D- category.

And even if I'm only getting a good solid C+. As long as it is going that way. I'm in with a very good chance. No known I was not in work that way if that was the case why would we have Jesus dying on the cross now to make any sense at all. So what it does is it establishes the gravity of sin. It reveals the absolute wondering necessity of grace and it allows us to say to people.

There is a wonderful opportunity for you now to close with this is a win when the waft of the supernatural is James Stewart.

On one occasion.

When the waft of the supernatural through the apostles out onto the streets of Jerusalem and they began to preach Lillian Shelley Shelley about did they know know know this Jesus whom you crucified your games of stone. I got this Jesus whom you crucified, he has made him both Lord and Christ and what they say we want us to do what should we do the average response to the preaching of the word of God is not what should we do, but when can we leave this like where you going for lunch.

That's what's it's it's trivial or it's a plus apply who started in Florence Sandra) who started a plot you should all now you know you shouldn't say that because without a lot of applause. I don't care if you fat a lot of applause. This is not a performance. This is not something that you get you get computers for this is reportedly here again, this is what Keeley he says the movement draws the preacher the way the sea draws the sailor to preach and to really preach is to dying naked and every time you do realize you're going to have to do it again. That's what it is to stand as McShane said as a dying man in the face of dying men and women and the issue of eternity is at stake and in between a lossless and the gray and the opportunity for reality is the cross of Jesus Christ there stands the cross of Christ with two arms outstretched to say and that's what they said we want us to do. And Peter says repent and be baptized every one of you because to put your confidence and trust in the person and work of the Lord Jesus is actually to believe the gospel.

While it matters.

This preaching of the cross for the unbeliever, but I suggest to you that it matters.

Also, for those of us who believe, which I think would be the vice company this evening. Although I never want to assume that everyone who is here is actually closed with God's offer of salvation in Jesus.

Calvin and the institutes he says you know that the idea that we simply know it intellectually does not mean that we have embraced but you believe tonight and I believe for thinness. This message of the cross will I suggest to you that it is that is first of all a compelling force. A compelling force for the love of Christ compels us the love of Christ compels us when Billy Graham was in transition. Many, many years ago, probably in the 50s again. I think this is in the book by Pollock, the biographer, and he and he didn't know whether he should stay up in Minneapolis or wherever he was with the school. There I don't remember the details, or whether this target's heart was too good to to to go out into the world with this great story of Jesus Christ and him crucified and he tells of how he walked out through the forest and as he walked out through the forest to him that just kept coming to him again and again rescue the perishing, care for the dying snatch them and pity from sin in the grave week for the erring ones lift up a fallen tell them of Jesus. He's mighty to say and he says I could not get that out of my heart and my mind and the love of Christ compels me, drove me out with this story of the death of Christ for sinners. A compelling force and also for the believer correcting force a correcting force in what way you say well in this way without the preaching of the cross without preaching the cross to ourselves all day and every day we will very very quickly revert to faith plus works as the ground of our salvation so that to go to the old Fort Lauderdale question if you were to die tonight and and and you were getting entry into heaven but would you say if you answer that and if I answered it in the first person we've immediately gone wrong because I because I believed because I have faith because I am this because I am continuing loved ones. The only proper answers in the third person because he because he think about the thief on the cross.

What other methods I can.

I can't wait to find out fellow one day to ask him how did that shakeout for you because you are you are you are you are cussing the guy out with your friend you've never been in a Bible study and never will baptize you and that you didn't know a thing about church membership, and yet and yet you may how did you make for the angel was the said you know I will you do know what you mean, you know what I because I don't know well you know we did with me. Let me get my supervisor to go get a supervisor in this soon. Just a few questions for you. Forcible are you are you are you are you clear on the doctrine of justification by faith guys are never heard of my life. And what about let's just go to the doctrine of Scripture immediately scheduled standard and eventually in frustration schism on what basis are you and he said the man on the middle cross said I can come now know that the only answer is the only answer I did final to myself all day and every day, then I will find myself beginning to trust myself to trust my experience, which is part of my fallenness is a man if I take my eyes off the cross. I can then give only lipservice to its efficacy. While at the same time living as if my salvation depends upon me and as soon as you go there, it will lead you either to abject despair or horrible kind of arrogance and it is only the cross of Christ that deals both with the dreadful depths of despair and the pretentious arrogance of the pride of man that says you know I can figure this out and I'm doing wonderfully well know, because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free for God. The justice satisfied to look on him and pardon me.

That's why Luther said most of your Christian life is outside of you in the sense that we know that we are not saved by good works were not saved as a result of our professions, but were saved as a result of what Christ is achieved so it gives to the believer, a reminder and a very important reminder of the story of God's love that we had to take out into a broken world. It corrects my tendencies to self-aggrandizement and it gives me a confidence that I couldn't otherwise have a confidence in the gospel in the gospel as a student of church history, which you will be if you've been around the tall then you know that whenever the church big C or we see, for that matter. Whenever the church loses confidence in the truth. The power and the relevance of the gospel, it loses any compelling sense of mission because what is it going to talk about is nothing to say 1952 James S. Stewart, whom I've mentioned is preaching to the faculty and students at Yale Divinity school and he warned them 1952, the year I was born about theologically vague and harmlessly accommodating Christianity which he said was was last, then useless as I as I am likely go back to where I started on year to try and say something that we don't know I'm just here the ministry reminder is a pastor's responsibility and send always remind you of these things we says Peter and so do we suggest reminding us of what we know to be true.

We are not charged with the political agenda of the left or the right, but we are charged with the biblical message of Jesus Christ and him crucified to offer to a man or woman of God who does everything in general and nothing in particular that kind of gospel is just absolutely hopeless and it is hopeless because it is not the gospel that is proclaimed by the apostles who went before us.

Think about it either. Either in Christ God the Creator and Redeemer came right into human life and more in his own body. Our sins I he did or the gospel is a fabrication I deleted this is not this in in our postmodern milieu.

This is the sort of what I stress your perspective know it ain't. I really did reason there's no middle ground. All either certain parts in the sky like a bit of this inhibitor that led did you ever generated less than when he said listen, if we believe what we like in the gospel and reject what we don't is not the gospel.

We believe it's ourselves so Paul by the time he gets to the end of his long letter.

The first letter before we get back to the second letter was a delivery really comes full circle by timing us of chapter 15 the great chapter on the resurrection. How does he begin now I would remind you, brothers and sisters of the gospel that I preached to you, which you received in which you stand and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. All that Christ has done for us is of no value to us, so long as we remain outside of Christ, and if ever there was a time in the crazy broken beautiful, wonderful, fantastic US survey for those who have come to the cross of Christ and of nail down and have in been transformed by the power of the spirit if if if there ever was a moment in the time surely is. This moment is this time to go out and lovingly kindly imaginatively and creatively, crazily see the people I've got a really good friend.

I love to introduce you to him.

If you be interested in anything, just tell by Jesus mighty to save the end of the day, a watered-down gospel is no gospel at all. Salvation is through Christ alone listing the Truth for Life. That's Alister Bragg urging us to introduce others to Jesus. Alister returned shortly to close the program. If you'd like to introduce others to Jesus.

But you're not sure where to begin this at the learn more page on our website you will find a couple brief videos there perfect download and pass along to friends. You can watch or share one or both of the videos as often as you'd like. They're completely free. Just visit Truth for more and if you'd like to dig deeper into an understanding of the gospel. You'll find several short series listed on the same webpage to help get you started. You can learn more about Jesus, about the Bible but the church or even the basics of authentic Christian faith. Each series is between three and eight messages perfect for listing with a friend or a small group as the summer ends and new routines begin once again, you can watch or demo the messages for free Truth for more now, regardless of how long you been studying the Bible, we believe you will benefit greatly by reading a book called God is to devotional guide to the attributes of God.

The book examines specific qualities that paint a more comprehensive picture of who God is, how his attributes are clearly displayed in the person and work of Jesus were only offering the book God is for a few more days, so be sure to request your copy when you give a now here is Alister with a prayer Lord God in heaven look upon us, in your mercy.

We pray for granted what is of yourself may find a restingplace in our minds and hearts. Anything that is unclear that you clear it up and running, it is untrue that you banish it from our recollection. Anything that is unhelpful that we may forget all about Lord. Unless we hear your voice is a the dulcet tones of speaker number one and the squeaky voice of speaker number two will avail nothing either. Now her for eternity say so removed from ourselves and ask you we planted water to take care of the growth to the glory of your name we ask about the pain. We hope you enjoy your weekend and are able to worship with your local church this weekend. Join us again Monday as we begin a study in the very practical book of James will investigate the dangers of favoritism within the church. The Bible teaching of Alister Bragg is punished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living

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