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Sermon #5584

The Offence of the Cross

A Sermon on Galatians 6:14


Galatians 6:14 ESV KJV
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (ESV)

Sermon Description

What is the central message of the gospel? In this sermon on Galatians 6:14 titled “The Offence of the Cross,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the cross and its centrality to the good news of Jesus Christ. How one responds to the cross, he says, determines how they will spend eternity. Paul says that the cross is either an offense or something to glory in, and if either of these reactions are not caused, then the cross has not been preached accurately. Why is it offensive? Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides three reasons. First, it cuts across human pride and preconceived notions of one’s ability to be in control of their destiny. Second, the natural person wants to be saved by ideas and philosophies, and the cross is not that. Third, the cross appears to some to be immoral— the idea of an innocent man dying for those who have done wrong is scandalous to many. Yet, it is the crux of the cross. The cross levels the playing fields between all people—the wealthy, the poor, the academic, and the layperson. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that Christians are those who do not merely accept the fact of the cross, but rather glory in it because of what they see—the obedience, sacrifice, and love of Jesus. It is everything to the person who has seen it and this is why the cross is central to the gospel.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul makes a statement in Galatians 6:14 that he glories in nothing but the cross of Jesus Christ.
  2. The context of this statement is Paul contrasting himself with false teachers who were glorying in circumcising Gentiles. Paul says he will only glory in the cross.
  3. The word "glory" means to boast or brag. Paul is saying the cross of Christ is the only thing he will boast about.
  4. The cross is either an offense to people or the only thing in which they will glory. There are only two categories.
  5. To the non-Christian, the cross is an offense. The preaching of the cross has always been offensive. If preaching of the cross does not offend, it is not being preached properly.
  6. The cross offends the mind because it cuts across human ideas and philosophies. It says we are not saved by human wisdom or understanding.
  7. The cross offends human pride because it says all people are sinners, all people are equally sinful, and all people are helpless to save themselves. This contradicts human belief in self.
  8. The cross offends the human will because it says human will and effort cannot save. Salvation is by grace alone.
  9. Christians glory in the cross. They do not just believe in it or accept it intellectually. They exult in it. It is everything to them.
  10. Christians glory in the cross alone. Nothing else compares to the importance of the cross.
  11. Christians glory in the cross because of what they see in it. They have gazed at and surveyed the cross.
  12. In the cross, Christians see the glory of God displayed. They see the paradox of the immortal God dying, the sinless one being punished, the all-powerful one dying in weakness.
  13. Most of all, in the cross Christians see the love of God in giving His Son to die for sinners, rebels, and enemies. The cross shows God's love for humanity.
  14. If we have seen even a glimpse of what the cross means, we must glory in it. It demands our all.

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Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.