God is Not Dead!


God Is Not Dead!

It never gets old for me: “Christ is risen indeed!” It is a life motto, a philosophy, a religion; it is a compass and a guide. The fact that Christ is risen gives meaning to life and meaning in death. We are not a people that need to be bounced to and fro by finances, politics, sickness or death. In Christ we have a firm foundation, a strong cornerstone, a place of refuge and power that is greater than our biggest adversary. Alleluia!

In all things we are more than conquerors and yet our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak. Christ is risen and yet we face trials all day long, like sheep going to slaughter. Is it any wonder that we do fall into sin, that we do lose hope, that we stumble and struggle? Satan is actively working against our faith, against truth, against our security and hope in the Lord. He is trying to erode our foundations and destroy our power. As Christ was lifted up on that cross and cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Satan thought he had won, that he had manipulated humanity and destroyed God’s plan, but Christ did not stay dead… and neither do we!

Daily we die and daily we rise again in the promises of our baptism and the power of the resurrection. Daily we trust in God’s provision and assurance that despite the devil’s best efforts, in spite of the appearance that another battle has been lost or victory is being clutched from our hands, God is still the One who overcomes. God is still the One who grants you and me the ultimate victory to be celebrated NOW, even as we wait for the trials and challenges of this world to be eradicated once and for all.

If Christ is risen, then those who know and believe are granted assurance in our present and our future. Having this assurance, being set free from the expectations and norms of this earth, we no longer worry for ourselves but worry for those who are lost. Paul is able to rejoice in his sufferings because he knows they are temporary in Christ. Paul dedicates his life to pursuing salvation for the world, not how comfortable he can be.

This weekend we celebrate the resurrection of Christ by challenging ourselves to take strength in the power of God and reach out to our neighbors who are far from God. This weekend we are celebrating our nine mission partners who represent the sacrifices each believer makes each day so the world can know Christ as Savior. I believe we have reached our commitment to our mission partners through the special offering on Easter weekend and in this we greatly rejoice! The work is far from done and requires all of God’s people to be about our Father’s work every day. Each day we make choices, choices to glorify God or build security for ourselves. If Christ is risen, then we have all the security we need to glorify Him with all that we are.

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

In His service and yours,

Pastor Erik Gauss

To hear the Easter Sunday Message please follow this link



Completly. Committed. Follower

This tag line from the “Not a Fan” series is a great expression of the Biblical calling: to be fully committed to an impossible task. Romans 3:11 says, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.” In our normal human condition, we cannot, do not and will not pursue God and His purposes. No one can be a Completely. Committed. Follower.

Martin Luther expresses our condition this way: “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctified the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith…” I love this teaching and explanation of the Biblical truth that we are saved in spite of our greatest efforts to replace His will with our own.

It is in this faith that God is the acting agent; God calls us, God chooses us, God saves us, God forgives us, God empowers us, which frees us from obligation and guilt about our own condition and allows us to sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel. As people who follow Christ we do it imperfectly, and when it comes to commitment we waffle back and forth, but God is completely committed to us. He died for us because He knew we would fail to die to Him.

It is with this powerful perspective of salvation in Christ that we desire to follow Christ in an effort to be blessed to be a blessing to others. This week in worship we will each be challenged to make a commitment to follow Christ more fully. God desires to make His kingdom reign here on earth, and He desires for it to reign through you and me. Please prayerfully consider in what area or areas of your life you are not surrendered to God’s will or need to step out in faith to rely on Christ rather than our own ways.

There are many places and ministries that could be blessed by your gifts and talents. I would like you to consider the local congregation here at Cross as a place to be a blessing for Christ into the world. Every day hundreds of people, young and old, receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the ministries of Cross. I pray that you are one of them and that you might commit, any way you know how, to be a part of the kingdom work Christ is doing in and through the people of Cross.



Jesus is NOT looking for fans; He’s looking for followers, followers who understand there is no forgiveness without repentance.  There is no salvation without surrender.  There is no life without death.  There is no believing without following.

Twenty times in the New Testament, Jesus Christ issued a compelling and challenging invitation:  “Follow Me.”  Jesus is not interested in mere fans.  He doesn’t want enthusiastic admirers.  He wants completely committed followers.  Built around the engaging approach of Kyle Idleman, Teaching Pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, this one of a kind small group study examines what it means to deny one’s self and truly follow Jesus.  This is not a conventional small group experience.  It is a cinematic journey, a series of six mini-movies with the perspective and depth to help shape today’s believer into a first century Christ follower.  Participants follow the journey of Eric Nelson, a man leading a compartmentalized triple life as a pleasure-seeking rebel, a cutthroat corporate executive and a nominal Christian.  But when confronted with a near death experience, Eric embarks on a spiritual journey that transforms his commitment to Jesus Christ and tests the faith of his friends and family.

If you’re not currently in a community group, visit our website at http://www.hiscross.org; sign up on the bulletin board in the food court or contact the office at 630-553-7335 to get connected!

In his service and yours,

Pastor Erik Gauss

Bible Heros

At a pastors’ conference in Chicago this summer, the speaker asked us who would win a battle between Spiderman and Batman. According to our culture, Batman always wins because the man with the most toys ALWAYS wins. In addition to recapturing my attention, this comment provoked two things for me.

First, it caused me to remember the difference between how God views the world and man views the world. As a person I often judge things in the way they appear or according to worldly success. Fun, strong, attractive, smart, popular, successful and rich are all important qualities to have in our friendships. God sees none of it. Read the Bible, pray, go to church, give 10%, Bible study and volunteer are all important things for a Christian to do. God sees none of it. Nice, loyal, respectful, honest, fair, kind, peaceful, loving, happy and hard-working are all things society values in humanity. God sees none of it. God sees the world in a very different way than we do; He sees it as broken with nothing to offer. The world is rebellious and prefers to be left alone to seek its own success rather than receive full restoration from God. But God’s love is too great. He can’t stand to see us suffer and so He saves us, like any superhero would, even at the cost of His own life.

Second, I was reminded of a sermon series I have wanted to do for quite some time: to revisit some childhood heroes of the Bible and see them in a new light, the way God sees them. Too often we overvalue the greatness of the Bible heroes and undervalue the grace of God. As a result, we find ourselves unworthy of being a faith hero because of our own sin and forget about the power of forgiveness.

In Him we have full value, not because of our great talent but because of His great mercy. We are given a great gift and charged to share it with others. I hope that these next few weeks highlight the power of God at work in all of us, and that is always super!

To listen to these sermons Weekly Sermon Audios

His servant and yours, Pastor Erik Gauss