OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew




A.   The word “cross” is found 22 times in the NT with reference to the cross of Christ.  Five times the cross is referenced by the word “tree.”


B.   There are several passages that use the word “cross” with which most are familiar.

1.     John 19:17


And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha.


2.    I Corinthians 1:18


For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.


3.     Galatians 6:14


But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.


4.    Philippians 2:8


And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.


5.    Hebrews 12:2


Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God.


C.   The title of our lesson this morning is:  “The Cross:  The Heartbeat of Evangelism.”

1.     Definition:

a.    The heart is a vital organ of the body.

b.    The heart beats and pumps life-giving blood throughout the body.

c.    As long as there is a heartbeat, there is life.

d.    The heartbeat is what enables man to accomplish all the tasks of life.

2.    The term “heartbeat” has been transferred to other things that are vital.

a.    At one time Chevy styled itself as “The Heartbeat of America.”

b.    Our lesson points to the fact that the cross is the heartbeat of evangelism.  It is the vital organ, that which pumps life, into evangelism.  Let’s see if this is the case.





A.   I Corinthians 2:1-2


And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know anything among you, saved Jesus Christ, and him crucified.


B.   The message has a multitude of appeals:

1.     Divine love

a.    John 3:16


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


b.    John 15:13


Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


c.    God’s love was not extended to friends, but enemies (Rom. 5:8-10).


But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.


2.    Forgiveness (Eph. 1:7; 2:4-5)

3.     Peace (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:12-17)


Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God though our Lord Jesus Christ.


4.    Hope (Gal. 5:15; Eph. 1:18; Col. 1:23, 27; I Pet. 1:3-5)


For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.


C.   All of these things, and many more, are things man deeply desires.  They fulfill needs that nothing else in the world can fulfill.  Every one of them is driven by the cross of Calvary.  Take away the cross and there would be no message.




A.   I Corinthians 1:18


For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.


B.   Why is the cross the power of God unto the saved?  Because they have experienced its power in their lives.

1.     Paul is a prime example (I Tim. 1:12-15)


And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.


a.    Two things Paul realized:  1) burden of his sins, and 2) release from his sins.

b.    That grace moved Paul to labor diligently in the kingdom of God (I Cor. 15:10).


But by the grace of God I am what I am:  and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all:  yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.


c.    NOTE:  One of the things that Paul was willing and eager to do was to preach the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:15).


So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.


C.   Every Christian should be propelled to proclaim the story of the cross because of the benefits of the cross in our lives.




A.   John 12:32


And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.


1.     “Lifted up” refers to the crucifixion on the cross.

2.    This lifting up draws men to the Christ.


B.   When one looks at the cross, he sees two things:

1.     Self:

a.    We are the ones who have committed crimes worthy of death.

b.    We are the ones who are guilty before God.

2.    Substitute:  the Son of God

a.    II Corinthians 5:21


For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.





b.    I Peter 2:24


Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:  by whose stripes ye were healed.


C.   Those with honest and good hearts are convicted.  A love for God is stirred in their hearts that propels them to obey the gospel of Christ.

1.     The strangers of the dispersion

a.    Whom having not seen, ye love… (I Pet. 1:8).

b.    Their love brought obedience (I Pet. 1:22).


Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeign love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.


2.    The Ethiopian eunuch

a.    Read from the prophet Isaiah (Acts 8:32-33; Isa. 53:7-8)

b.    Philip preached Christ unto him (Acts 8:35).

c.    The eunuch longs to obey the command to be baptized (Acts 8:36).


And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water:  and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?




A.   I Corinthians 1:23


But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.


B.   If the cross does not melt the heart, it hardens it (I Pet. 2:7-8).


Unto you therefore which believe he is precious:  but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbing and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient:  whereunto also they were appointed.


C.   Those whose hearts become hardened often become angry.

1.     The message angers them.

2.    Their anger is often directed at the messenger (Acts 5:30-33, esp. v. 33).


When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.




A.   The cross makes up the message of Christianity.




B.   The cross will impact us:

1.     Stirs the sinner

2.    Propels the proclaimer

3.     Anger the adversary


C.   Truly, the cross is the heartbeat of evangelism.