Saturday, April 01, 2017

Thoughts on the Cross

I thought it would be helpful to my own spiritual growth to think through the truth of the cross and resurrection as expressed in the epistles of the New Testament during   this Easter season. Our passage for today is 1 Corinthians 1:17-25.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” “but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,  (1 Corinthians 1:18,21,23, NKJV)

If you read through this passage in its entirety, here’s what you find the Apostle Paul saying.

  1. If the gospel is preached using the wisdom of words, the cross of Christ is made of no effect. In other words, we should rely on the truth of the cross and not the cleverness or creativity of our words to get the message across (vs. 17).
  2. Those who are perishing will find the message of the cross to be foolish and nonsensical. Only when God is saving someone will it make sense at all and that will be because God’s Spirit is at work opening up the truth to them (vs 18).
  3. The world cannot come to know God through its wisdom and way of thinking. God “stooped” (my word) to using a “foolish” (God’s word) message to save people (vs. 21).
  4. To those who don’t believe, the message of the cross is either a stumbling block or foolishness (vs.23).

We are called upon to believe the truth and preach it fearlessly in spite of the inevitable and unavoidable reaction of those who are perishing.  We can’t spice it up or decorate it in any way that will make it palatable to those who are perishing. Only God’s Spirit can break through and give understanding.

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