A Cross-Centered Witness–message #7 in the series Witness: Speaking the Gospel, Making Disciples, and Planting Churches- All for the Glory of God!
April 2, 2023
A Chapter a Day
- Sunday, April 2, Matthew 21
- Monday, April 3, Matthew 22
- Tuesday, April 4, Matthew 23
- Wednesday, April 5, Matthew 24
- Thursday, April 6, Matthew 25
- Friday, April 7, Matthew 26
- Saturday, April 8, Matthew 27
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
– Jesus (Acts 1:8, ESV)
From beginning to end, the and the of Jesus were central to the witness in the book of Acts.
22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (ESV)
13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. (ESV)
“Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (ESV)
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
The cross and the resurrection are of “ importance” in our witness today.
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received,
in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I
preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for
our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on
the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,
then to the twelve. (1 Corinthians 15:1-5, ESV)
Why is the cross so important?
- It’s where Jesus paid the to secure our release from the captivity of sin.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45, ESV)
- It’s where Jesus took the that our sins deserve as our and our .
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. (1 Peter 2:24, ESV)
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, (1 Peter 3:18a, ESV)
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21, ESV)
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, ESV)
- It’s where God’s and God’s are revealed.
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26, ESV)
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, ESV)
Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for sinners.
I confess before you that I am sinful, and I need your forgiveness. I’m sorry for my sins,
and I ask you to have mercy on me.
I believe that Jesus died and rose again. I receive him by faith today as my Savior. From this moment on, I will unashamedly confess him and follow him as my Lord.
I pray today in Jesus’ name. Amen.