Lesson 1: The Reason for our Study

Questions 1, 2, and 3

Maybe you are wondering, why all the fuss about the cross? What can we possibly discover at the cross that would warrant a whole book? In this lesson, we are going to introduce our study, and consider just how significant the death of Jesus Christ is.
Can you imagine a subject so important that somebody would determine to know only it and nothing else? Is there any specific subject in your life that is so important that you have decided that it would be the main subject of your entire life, that you would seek to have your life revolve around it and direct all your conversations toward it?
Paul had one such subject. Let’s see what it was:
“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Question 1. According to 1 Corinthians 2:1-2, what was Paul’s message to the Corinthians?

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Next, please review Romans 1:16 to give additional perspective:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16 (HCSB)

Question 2. According to Romans 1:16 and 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, what is the gospel (the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ) called?

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We note that the death of Jesus Christ was Paul’s one subject, which was of such importance that he decided to know nothing but the cross. Wow! That is some kind of focus, isn’t it? That is certainly being single-minded. And we also notice that in Romans 1:16 Paul called the gospel of Jesus Christ (His death and resurrection) "the power of God", and in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 he set this "power of God" in opposition to "the wisdom of man."
When we examine the cross in all its splendor, and we experience the power of God in it, we, too, find that it is all-consuming in its attraction to us. The cross first convicts us of sin, as we see God’s hatred for it. We may minimize sin, excuse it away, and shift blame to others, but all this must stop as we view the cross. Then the cross draws sinners who know they are guilty, whose consciences now trouble them greatly, who fear the wrath of God, to come and receive forgiveness of their sins, find freedom from their sins, and enjoy a whole new life in Jesus Christ.
“Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.” John 12:31-33

Question 3. According to John 12:31, what would happen when Jesus died on the cross?

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Setting Captives Free
The Cross Applied