NEW TESTAMENT RELIGION
CENTERS ON THE CROSS


  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE: I Corinthians  1:17-18 = "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. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
      Galatians 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."

    2. CROSS OF CRUCIFIXION IS THE FOCAL POINT AROUND WHICH NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY STANDS TODAY.
      1. We all are familiar with the hymn: "The Old Rugged Cross".
      2. Study with me for the next few minutes about the cross and it’s place in New Testament Christianity.
      3. We will use as the outline of study the word: CROSS.

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. THE CHURCH CENTERS ON THE CROSS.
      1. The blood shed on the cross purchased the church. Acts 20:28 = "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."
        1. If man can be saved out of the church, he can be saved without being blood bought.
          I Peter 1:18-19
          = "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"
        2. Thus, "… The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." = Acts 2:47.
      2. The head of the church is Christ who died on the cross. Ephesians 1:22-23 = And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all." ….. (Ephesians 5:23) = "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body."
      3. That which is preached by the church is the gospel based on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
        I Corinthians 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." … Romans 1:16 = "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." … I Timothy. 3:15 = "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

    2. REDEMPTION CENTERS AROUND THE CROSS:
      1. Redemption [forgiveness and reconciliation] is secured by blood shed on the cross.
        Ephesians 1:7
          = "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." … Ephesians 2:16 = "And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby." ….. 
        I John 1:7
        = "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sins."
      2. We are brought in contact with the cleansing blood of Christ in baptism. Romans 6:3-4 = "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 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."
        1. It is in baptism that we reach the blood and our sins are forgiven. Acts 22:16 = "And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
        2. It is through baptism that we become a part of the blood bought church. Acts 2:41 = "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."

    3. OBSERVANCE CENTERS AROUND THE CROSS:
      1. Our observance of the Lord’s Supper shows the death of Him who died on the cross.
        I Corinthians. 11:26
        = "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come."
      2. Jesus could have had us to:
        1. Erect a cross on every street corner and in every city. But He did not.
        2. Wear a cross and let it become like an idol. But He did not.
        3. But He did give us the Lord’s Supper as a memorial to observe every first day of the week.
          I Corinthians 11:24-25
          = "And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, take, eat: this is by body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me." … Acts 20:7 = "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul reached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight."
      3. There are divine words of caution in the observance of this memorial:
        1. Before the partaking of this memorial each is to examine himself. I Corinthians 11:28 = "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup."
        2. It should not be partaken of unworthily. I Corinthians. 11:29 = "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body."

    4. SEPARATION OF GOD’S COVENANTS CENTERS ON THE CROSS:
      1. The Old Covenant (Law of Moses) ended with the death of Christ on the cross.
        Colossians 2:14
        = "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross."
      2. Note: The law was to serve for only a limited time – the coming promised seed (Christ).
        Galatians 3:19
        = "Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator."

      3. The New Covenant (New Testament dispensation) could not begin until the death of Christ.
        Hebrews 9:16-17
        = "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth."
        1. The New Testament is a better covenant. Hebrews 8:6-10 = "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by now much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established up better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should not place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarding them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people."
        2. Today we must hear Jesus and the New Testament:
          1. The mount of transfiguration. Matthew 17:1-5 = "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice of of the cloud, which said, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him."
          2. The words of our Lord are be heeded in these last days. Hebrews 1:1-2 = "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.
            (See also Hebrews 2:1-4.)

    5. SALVATION CENTERS AROUND THE CROSS:
      1. Jesus died for our sins. I Corinthians 15:3 = "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures." Note: Jesus was the Lamb of God that took away sins: John 1:29 = "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
      2. The preaching of the cross is God’s power to save. I Corinthians 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."
        1. Man becomes free from sin when he obeys that form of doctrine delivered by Christ.
          Rom. 6:17-18
          = "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you, being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." Note: Paul said he received it "by the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:12).
        2. The doctrine is that of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. (I Corinthians 15:1-4).
        3. We obey it’s form: (Romans 6:3-4)
          1. We die to sin.
          2. We are buried in baptism.
          3. We rise for the baptismal burial to walk in newness of life.

  3. CONCLUSION:

    1. IS THE CROSS OF CHRIST THE CENTER OF CHRISTIANITY TO YOU?

    2. HAVE YOU LET THE BLOOD OF CHRIST CLEANS YOU OF YOUR SINS?

    3. THE CLEANSING CAN BE NOW:
      1. It begins with Faith and ends with faith.
      2. It is faith in the Lord that brings forth repentance.
      3. It is faith in the Lord that brings forth the confession: Christ is the son of God.
      4. It is faith in the Lord that brings forth the change to newness of life after baptism.
      5. It is faithful living in accordance to the Word of God that opens unto us the crown of life.

    4. YES THE CROSS IS THE CENTER OF IT ALL. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" = John 14:6.

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