Heartland Church Mississauga Celebrates Good Friday
Heartland Church in Mississauga celebrated Good Friday today. Dr. Jim Richards preached about 'The Importance Of The Cross'.Below are the sermon notes.
The Importance Of The Cross by Dr. Jim Richards
For many people in our world, Easter is no more than chocolate bunnies.
In 1 Cor 1:23 Paul says that the preaching of Christ crucified is "foolishnes to Gentiles."
For many other people in our world, the preaching of the cross is terribly disturbing. In 1 Cor 1:23 Pauls says the preaching of Christ crucified is "a stmubling block to Jews." We could add, to Muslims as well.
For Christians, the corss of Christ is the absolute centre/heart of Christianity. The importance of the Cross is seen when we realize that we not only hear a sermon or a lesson on the cross but like the disciples in the Upper Room, we become actual participants not just spectators in the drama of the cross.
The Cross Emphasizes 3 Significant Truths
I. Our Sin Must Be Horrible Beyond Our Imagination
a. Nothing reveals the seriousness of sin like the Cross. In the final analysis, it wasn't Judas or the high priests who sent Christ to the cross. It was all of our sins.
b. Our world really struggles with this idea of sin
c. Scripture teaches that we are born with a fallen or sinful nature.
d. If we are honest, we have all seen the sinful nature in our lives.
e. How can we define sin? Timothy Keller says, "the primary way to define sin is not the doing of bad things...sin is seeking to get an identity apart from God...Our need for worth is so powerful that whatever we base ur identity and value on we essentially deify (turn into a god)."
II. God's Love Must Be Wonderful Beyond Understanding
a. We return to Romans 5:8 which says "God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ dies for us." Christ's death on the cross was the absolute, ultimate way that God proved His love for you and me.
b. Stott: "God substituted Himself for US and bore our sins dying in our place the death we deserve to die."
c. Timothy Keller - summary statement of the Gospel: "The Bible says that Jesus came on a rescue mission for creatiion. He had to pay for our sins so that someday he can end evil and suffering without ending us."
d. John Stott: "We have to learn to climb the hill called Cavalry, and from that vantage ground survey all life's tragedies. The cross does not solve the problem of suffering but it supplies the essential perspective (viewpoint) from which to look at it...Sometimes we picture God lounging, perhaps dozing, in some celestial deck chair while the hungry millions starve to death...It is this terrible caricature of God which the cross smashes to smithereens."
III. Christ's Salvation Must Be A Free Gift
a. As humans we like to pay our own way. It feels good. We get a sense of worth out of paing our own way. Most people like to earn a pay cheque even if the pay is not large. Why? We receive self-worth knowing that we are contributing citizens of Canada.
b. If the first two points are true that our sin is horrible beyond imagination and God's love is beyond understanding, then we can see that Christ's salvation must be a free gift.
c. The highest price, Christ's blood on the cross, left nothing for us to pay. Christ recognized this when He cried on the cross, "It is finished!" No good works by us despite our desire to contribute are either needed or valuable enough.
d. John Stott: The ultimate free gift is not a license to sin...The same cross of Christ which is the ground of free salvation is also the most powerful incentive to a holy life."
e. With this free gift of salvation, there comes to every believer the potential of amazing power. In fact, there comes to us the same phenomenal power that raised Christ from the dead.
f. Keller comments, "The minute you decide to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, the power of the Holy Spirit comes into your life. It's the power of the resurrection-the same thing that raised Jesus from the dead...Think of the things you see as immovable slabs in your life-your bitterness, your insecurity, your fears, your self-doubts. Those things can be split and rolled off. The more you know Him, the more you grow into the power of the resurrection."
Keller says the "mores' of the Gospel summarize the Good News: "you're more sinful than you ever dared believe and you're more loved than you ever dared to hope."
You can contact Heartland Church Mississauga by phone at (905) 568-4696.
Our vision at Heartland Church Mississauga is to be people passionately connected to God, one another, our community and the world.
Heartland Church Mississauga offers a wide range of Support Groups. Contact the church for details.
Come to Heartland Church Mississauga Fridays starting April 20th at 7PM for a ew six week elective facilitated by Dr. Jim Richards titled 'Sacred Rhythms'.