North Anderson Baptist Church
The Cross is an Offense
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
1 - The Cross Brings Freedom Vv. 1-4

Freedom from what?
a. The cross brings freedom from sin and slavery that sin brings. Each of us who have gone to the cross have found the forgiveness of our sin and the freedom from slavery that forgiveness brings. I was bound in the sin, my chains were heavy and burdensome but by the Grace of God, the Holy Spirit who came into my heart at salvation, broke those chains of sin by the power of the God who raised Jesus from the dead and now I am free. Does that mean I never have any problem with those sins again? No, it does not, but now I have a Father and a Savior and the Holy Spirit resides in my life. The Scripture tells me that I must “stand up and stand firm” against the power of evil that wants to continue to return into my life. We all fight the devil and his evil ways and because we have the true Overcomer in us, the Lord Jesus, He allows me and you to be an overcomers as well.
Amazing Grace - My Chains Are Gone

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
Will be forever mine.
You are forever mine.
b. The cross brings freedom from fear. Fear of what or whom? I no longer need to be fearful or anxious of satan and his minions. Yet, I should be aware of them and their trickery, but I have no need to fear or be afraid because Jesus defeated them all at the cross. He is my victory! I also do not have to fear the sin I once was bound to. He has given to me the power of the Overcomer.
c. Freedom from death and damnation . I am saved and those who know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord never need to concern ourselves again with dying or eternal damnation. Jesus paid the price for my sin and rescued me from death. You say Christians die, what do you mean rescued from death? Yes, I will die but it is only physically but never spiritually! Jesus’ death on the cross rescued me from the pit of hell and gave me eternal life with the Lord forever!
Some time ago the Portland Oregonian carried the story of the posthumous award of the Medal of Honor to an Afro-American soldier from the South. This soldier with several buddies was in a trench during a Vietcong attack when a grenade was thrown into the trench. Without hesitation, the soldier encircled the grenade with his body and took the full force of the explosion. His commanding officer, in making the citation, said that his sacrificial and heroic act had saved the lives of the other soldiers in the trench.
Ministers' Research Service
Because Jesus Christ died for me on the cross, there is no hell or damnation for the believer, only life, and I can rejoice that my name is written in the Lamb’s book of life.
d. Freedom from worthlessness. I have worth in the sight of God Almighty because of the Cross. When Jesus died my worthless life was transformed into a life worthwhile and full of purpose and value in the sight of God. Jesus said in John 10:10,
Because of the love of God at Calvary, I have a life that God can use for His glory, with gifts from His hand that will serve others in His kingdom.
e. Freedom from guilt. Because the precious blood of Christ was shed on Calvary, my Savior and Lord became my way to obtain an personal relationship with God through Jesus. This is the new way that God has provided for all who believe. The scripture says in Hebrews 10:19-23,
Sin brings guilt but the cross takes it away by His blood. Reading these verses we can see that Jesus is my new way to live and as I draw closer to Him, He will continue to touch my life with His glory. I can come freely and the writer of Hebrews says that I will come with a heart and mind cleansed of guilt from the sin that once dominated my life. I am free because He is faithful.
2. The Cross Demands Faith Vv. 5-9

Faith expressing itself through love! This is a remarkable phrase that demands action on our part. Because we have faith in Christ who has bought us with His blood on the cross, we then are obligated to do, or express, our gratitude through acts of love. What does that mean? “The design of Christianity is to abolish these rites and ceremonies, and to introduce a way of salvation that shall be applicable to all mankind alike.” (Clarke) That way is not a mere intellectual belief but actually it is something that reaches into the depths of our hearts placed there by God when we are saved. It is seen in the true Christian as “kindness and affection” which is seen in the “love of God” in the regenerated man or woman of God. In essence, those who have been changed by the cross of Christ, the love of God is shown through their lives to others in the name of Christ. Once when I taught R.A.’s, I remember our theme was “Loving others in the name of Jesus.” Remember love is an action word.Paul says in v. 22 in our chapter 5, that the Spirit of God produces faith, hope and love. But in 1 Corinthians 13:13 he says, “the greatest of these is love.” “The most wonderful thing he can say of God is that the initiative of God's grace creates the faith by which man responds to this love.” (The Interpreter’s Bible) Paul says that those in the church who have come to confuse them are like a little yeast in bread. It doesn’t take much, just a little, and it will go throughout the whole of the bread. The Judaizers, like leaven, with just a little effort, were convincing the believers in the Galatian churches to walk in the law rather than by faith in the Christ of the cross. The expression of the love of God will never be seen in the life of those who walk by the law.In the eyes of the world it (the cross) was a failure. But the cross on which Christ died has become the symbol of a faith which has sustained millions. (1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching)
3. The Cross is an Offense Vv. 10-12

The offense of the cross as been abolished! Not so! Not just in the day that Paul lived is the cross offensive to people, the Judaizers particularly, but in this day so many are offended by the Cross of Christ! Paul was still being persecuted and he was telling the church, “If I am not being persecuted then the cross must be okay,” but that was not the case. In our day and time the world does not like the cross. During the Obama presidency, the military was instructed to do away with the cross which was placed on the chapel tents in the battle field, so as not to offend someone! Wherever there is a cross the enemies of God, under the disguise of fair religion and others who are atheist, try their very best to rid the country of any cross on government property. Case in point just this week this was in the news. When the American Legion built the memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland in 1925, they called it the Peace Cross. Almost a hundred years later, the country's tribute to the heroes of World War I has seemed like anything but. The American Humanist Association, who never met a religious symbol it liked, is determined to reduce the landmark to dust. Now, after more than a half-decade clash, both sides will have one last chance to make their case. And there's a lot more riding on it than the 40-foot tribute at the edge of the Anacostia River. Most Americans are tired of anti-Christian groups picking fights over historic monuments like the Mojave Desert Cross, the Bayview Cross in Pensacola, or Mount Soledad in San Diego.I have read multiple stories of how people who don’t like the cross and are offended by it, want the get rid of them even if they are not even living in the towns where the crosses are found. On the whole, the cross offends the lost man and woman.There had to be a cross—some meaningful dramatization of God's will and way for persons in this world. Without the cross there would be no gospel. It is understandable why the cross was a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks; neither had a gospel—no recent word from God, no good news following their dark Fridays! Jesus said in John 15:18-19,
4. The Cross is a Symbol of Ultimate Love Vv. 13-15

Yes, the cross represents freedom, faith and an offense but ultimately it represents the love of God for all mankind. John 3:16, 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God’s word tells us that God is love, 1 John 4:7-12,
You and I have been given the chance to find the love of God through the Cross of Christ. Before time was established God planned the cross. He loved us that much that His only Son became man so God could express His great gift of love for all who would believe. Do you wear a Cross? Why? Why would you wear a symbol of death around your neck? That is a little morbid isn’t it? No! If Jesus died for you, the cross ought to represent your love for God because He first loved you at the cross. But… there are people we see on TV and videos who wear crosses but their lives and words do not speak honorably about God.The cross has become a pretty charm to wear around the neck. We preach a new Christianity that stresses similarities, not contrasts; that parallels the world instead of intersecting it; that makes no unpleasant demands of its converts. (Vance Havner) But the cross does make demands of those who want to respond to the invitation of God. We will have to come seeking forgiveness at the cross and only God Almighty can extend that forgiveness to each who come.
Bunyan's Picture of Forgiveness
In the beautiful memorial window of the Abbey Church at Elstow, the visitor can see, in the mystic colors of ecclesiastical glass, Christian kneeling at the foot of the Cross, while his dark and heavy burden rolls from his shoulders.Bunyan's immortal picture is as true and brief an answer as can be given to the question, "What is the result of forgiveness?"Christian said that he "saw it no more"—the burden was gone. This will always be true. It does not mean that the memory of transgression will pass, or that its shadow will never fall across our path; but that the sting and shame and pain which constitute its burden are gone. (C. E. Mcartney)
Clearly we can say that Jesus loves you now and if you are not saved and have not, by faith, given your life to God through the cross, then you are invited this morning to do just that. Come to the cross for forgiveness and a relationship with God through Jesus. Friends, there is room at the cross for you.
"Room at the Cross"

Ira Stanphill was preaching in a revival meeting in Kansas City, Missouri. As was his custom, he asked the people to submit suggested song titles while the congregation sang. As the choir presented their favorite selections, he would proceed to write a gospel song, using as the title one of those submitted by the audience.On this particular Sunday morning, the people submitted about fifty ideas. Stanphill quickly thumbed through the titles and saw the words, "Room at the Cross for You." They struck a responsive chord and before the service was complete, he had given to the world a memorable song to fit that title.There's room at the cross for you,There's room at the cross for you;Though millions have come,There's still room for one,Yes, there's room at the cross for you.Some time later, a despairing young man, bent on taking his own life, found himself walking one day near a church where service was being conducted by evangelist Willard Cantelon. Al Garr was directing the music for the service. The troubled young man had a gun in his pocket and was making his way toward a high bridge, not too far from the church. His intention was to shoot himself near the edge of the bridge, letting his body fall into the water.As he passed the church, he heard Al Garr singing "There's Room at the Cross for You." He was so gripped by its message that he made his way into the church, postponing his mission of horror.There he found Christ as his Savior and was rescued from personal and spiritual disaster. He later studied for the ministry and became an evangelist. A motion picture has been made of his life since that notable day when 'Room at the Cross' pointed him to Christ.

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com