CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED

[SW202] 09/18/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Christ and Him Crucified”

Texts: 1Corinthians 2:2-5, Acts 20:20ff

Paul determined that he would know nothing (not a thing) but Christ and Him crucified and preach Christ crucified.

Why? So the power of God would be demonstrated through him, by the Holy Spirit. He preached in his own weakness and fear and trembling, and the power of the Spirit was made evident. He did not preach using human reasoning and persuasion, or natural charisma.

Why? So the Corinthian’s and your faith would not be in the wisdom or persuasiveness of men, but in the power of God, which is demonstrated when Christ and Him crucified is preached.

My words must be spoken in the power of the Holy Spirit, as I preach Christ and Him crucified.  If I am not preaching Christ and Him crucified, God’s power will not be demonstrated.

As Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke says, “Preach the Gospel, and the Gospel happens.”

I will answer two questions:

1. What does it mean to preach Christ and Him crucified?

2. Why did Paul write these things to the church at Corinth?

Question 1: What does it mean to preach Christ and Him crucified?

— Everyone knows John 3:16. But WHY was it necessary for God to give His only Son? The alternative was that all of mankind would perish.

— Every human being on the earth has a fatal condition that no human can cure. But God sent His Son, Jesus Christ as the remedy. This was His plan from before time began (Revelation 13:8).

Until you believe into Jesus Christ:

— You are separated from God by your sinful state. All have sinned and lack the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Sinners face God’s judgment, when He draws all things to a close (Matthew 25:31ff, Revelation 20:11-15).

— On His cross, Jesus Christ bore the punishment that you deserved for your sin, so that you may be reconciled to God, and He rose on the third day so that you may have eternal life (1Corinthians 15:3-8).

— If you repent (turn from your sin) and believe that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, on your behalf, your past sins will be forgiven and you will be reconciled to God (Romans 10:9-10).

But you will find that you are still disobedient in your heart (Romans 7:14ff). The root cause of your fatal condition has not yet been eliminated. You were born that way, a child of Adam (Romans 5:12). But God — hallelujah — has the ultimate cure!

— When Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day, ascended, sat with the Father on His throne, and poured out His Holy Spirit, the purpose was to CLEANSE your heart of its inbred sin nature (Romans 7:14, 20).

— Therefore, when you ask your Father in heaven to fill you with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), Jesus Christ will free you from slavery to sin. You will die to sin  — that is, the sin nature in you will die (1Peter 2:24, Galatians 2:20).

— This is the will of God, that you be filled with the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:2, 11, 16-18, 22; Ephesians 5:17-18). It is the only way you can be freed from slavery to sin, so you are able to become a witness that Jesus is the Christ (Acts 1:8).

That is what it is to preach Christ and Him crucified. And when that is preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Gospel happens — God manifests His power.

I have this ministry of reconciliation, to proclaim to you that you will be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ. If you have been filled with the Holy Spirit, this will be your ministry, too.

How serious is this ministry of reconciliation? It is a matter of life or death.

Acts 20:20 ff

Because Paul was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, he did not shrink from (cower, withhold, conceal, shun) preaching Christ and Him crucified, even though it was foolishness to the world, and despite the persecution he suffered because of his message.

Because he fully preaches Christ and Him crucified — including deliverance from slavery to sin —  considering his previous great knowledge as a Pharisee to be dung (Philippians 3:8), Paul says he is innocent of the blood of those to whom he has delivered the message.

Innocent of the blood?

Ezekiel 33:8 “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand.”

Question 2: Why was he writing this to the church at Corinth?

They were listening to false teachers who spoke of “secret wisdom,” and taught that you could continue to sin with your body, without losing your salvation as the consequence.

Then there were the Judaizers, who taught legalism — that is, that even if you were not born a Jew, the Law given to Moses must be followed in order for you to be saved.

Why did the Lord put it on my heart to speak this today? Many preachers:

— Preach only faith or

— Preach only grace, and even hyper-grace or

— Preach only healing or

— Preach only prosperity,

— But not Christ and Him crucified.

There is no mention of mankind’s fatal condition. And the faith of those who follow such preachers is in the wisdom of men, and not in the power of God. The power of God and wisdom of God is not demonstrated, but simply the human wisdom and persuasiveness and natural charisma of the preacher.

Why are these things taught? Paul says it is for personal gain — money (1Timothy 6:3-5).

And Jesus says, “My people love it so.” (See 2Timothy 4:3, Jeremiah 5:31.)

The blood of those to whom they preach is on their hands, because they leave people in their fatal and incurable condition.
But turn now, O preachers, and preach Christ and Him crucified, for your listeners are not exhorted to repent, to believe that Christ carried their sins on a cross, and that it is the will of God that you be filled with the Holy Spirit so you are no longer a slave to sin!

And turn now, O sinner, and O sinning Christian, for you have heard the truth of the Gospel, the whole gospel — salvation form past sins and freedom from slavery to sin. Turn and be healed, reconciled to God and made a witness that Jesus is the Christ!

And you will be a citizen of the kingdom of God, full of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17), and joy inexpressible and full of glory (1Peter 1:8)!

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GO TO THE LOST

When Jesus says, “Go to the lost sheep,” it is a command, and we are compelled by the power of His words to do it!

[SW144] 07/05/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Going to the Lost”

Text: Matthew 10:1-8, 14-15, 40-42

We are compelled to go after a single lost sheep until we find it, and then bring it back, rejoicing. We are compelled to light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully for a single lost coin until we find it (see Luke 15). Then we and all heaven rejoice!

Going to the lost. Many in today’s church think He is saying, “Go to those who do not believe in Me,” but Jesus says, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel!”
God’s people? Lost? It is the same now as it was then. Many of God’s people were and are lost sheep.

Today, Jesus not only commands us to go to the lost sheep of Israel who do not see that He is their Messiah, but also to go to the lost sheep of the church.

Notice that the disciples did not question Jesus (What do You mean? We do not see any lost ones!). Nope. They knew there were lost sheep in Israel.

What signs do I see that there are lost sheep within today’s church? Many sheep in the church are:
— distressed     — oppressed     — depressed
— confused        — compromised     — afraid
Or worse:
— lulled to sleep OR
— slaves to sin, when Jesus came to set us free, indeed!

Why are the sheep lost? Do they not have apostles and prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11)?

Israel had priests and experts in the law of Moses, but Jesus found fault with them. He declared to them that they did many things to misguide His people.

He finds fault with the leaders of today’s church, too, who do many things to misguide His people.

Lamentations 2:14  Your prophets have seen for you
                False and foolish visions;
                And they have not exposed your iniquity
                So as to restore you from captivity,
                But they have seen for you false and misleading  oracles.

We should not be surprised. Jesus spoke of false shepherds, wolves among the flock (Verse 16). There were wolves in sheep’s clothing within the fledgling church (Acts 20:29-31).

But we in today’s church have not been on guard as Paul commanded by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Acts 20:29.

And the people are biblically illiterate and therefore cannot discern — few know the Word of God. They are sheep that do not know the Good Shepherd’s voice.

As a result, they follow the voice of strangers, and even love it, as in Jeremiah’s day:

Jeremiah 5:31 The  prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it so!

What can be done? We obey the command of Jesus Christ, and go to them!

What does He give us as we go to the lost sheep of the church?

(Not as we sit, but as we go!)

In Matthew 10:1, He gives us authority over evil spirits to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness (also see Luke 10:19).

Why does He give us such authority? So people will know the kingdom of heaven draws near!

He commands us that as we go, we are to preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He commands us to preach repentance (Mark 6:12).

Then the authority comes into play, as the evidence that the kingdom of heaven is near: we heal, raise, cleanse and cast out.

These are the accompanying signs (Mark 16:17), the attesting miracles that show the lost sheep that God and Christ are the true reality and not just philosophical ideas to which they give mental assent.

But we cannot preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand unless the kingdom of heaven is in our midst — within us. And when the kingdom of heaven is within us, we will have His authority, and we will heal, raise, cleanse and cast out.

FREELY we have received, and FREELY we give (Verse 8).

What do we FREELY give? FREEdom to the captives (Isaiah 61), to the lost sheep of the church!

We do it not give in our own power or by man’s wisdom, but in God’s power and wisdom and might! The Spirit of the Lord God is upon us!

What will be the result of our going to seek the lost sheep of the church? One of two things will happen, Jesus says:

#1 — We will not be received, and so we must do as He commands in Verse 14. Beloved, this will happen much in today’s backslidden church. It happened to Christ Himself, as He walked the earth! The consequence:
15 “Truly I say to you,  it will be more tolerable for the land of  Sodom and Gomorrah in  the day of judgment than for that city.”

#2 — We will be received, welcomed, accepted, and those who do it will receive a reward:
Matthew 10:40   “ He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
41 “ He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet [that is, as a prophet sent by the Lord] shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man [that is, a righteous man made righteous by the Lord] shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
42 “And  whoever in the name of a disciple [as a disciple of Christ] gives to one of these little ones [prophets and righteous men] even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” [my interpretation in brackets]

Beloved, I am praying for today’s church to receive those whom Jesus is sending out even now.

I am praying that the lost sheep of the church will be found and carried back with rejoicing.

I am praying that the lost coin will be found and cause great rejoicing, in heaven and on the earth!

I am praying that many in the church will ask for the kingdom of heaven to be within them — that is, asking for God the Father to fill them with His Holy Spirit.

THEN they will receive authority. THEN they will proclaim that the kingdom of heaven has drawn near and their hearers must repent.

And I am expecting to see the attesting signs.

Amen, Lord. Let it be so!