From God’s holy Word we read,
- “For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (I Corinthians 1:18 – NASB)
The Corinthian church, oh the problems that existed! A church that obviously was starting to apply their own wisdom to the many situations that faced them in the wicked city of Corinth. The apostle Paul had much to write to them in an effort to steer them back on course to living in such a way, thinking in such a way, as was in keeping with the doctrine of Christ.
In the beginning of his epistle Paul makes what I think is a most profound statement that we disciples of Christ need to remember often,
- “For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”
As the believers embraced “the word of the cross” they faced strong ridicule from the masses. They were being challenged by their neighbors regarding what they were professing to believe: that Jesus Christ had died on “the cross” to pay the penalty for sin and that by believing in who Jesus was and the work He had done, man could be reconciled to God, born again, saved from the wrath to come. To the one “who (is) perishing” this is “foolishness.” It was considered “foolishness” then and it is considered “foolishness” in this day in which you and I live.
I had a longtime acquaintance that I ran with in days past, days before I was saved. Intellectually, he was considered a very smart young man. I didn’t realize it at the time but he had a great deal to say about the “foolishness” of “the word of the cross.” He would frequently make mention of how unnecessary it was that anyone should die for him. He was adamant about this, and he would espouse just what Paul wrote, that “the word of the cross” was “foolishness.” God’s Word says of him that he was “perishing.” He was, as I like to put it, dead-headed for judgment, for eternal separation from God in hell. I haven’t seen this person for many years and I can only hope that just maybe, through the witness God left behind of my conversion, that God used it to convict him of his need for the One who paid the penalty for his sin on “the cross.”
It is bad news for those who reject “the word of the cross!” But, it is good news indeed for we “who are being saved, ” for “the word of the cross . . . is the power of God.” We who have been born again of God’s Spirit, we know that don’t we? God has caused us to understand through His Word that without “the cross,” without the God-Man dying on that “cross,” there would be no way to have victory over sin and its penalty. For . . .
- “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22 – NASB)
Sin is oh so very powerful, able to dominate a life and eventually destroy it. How is one able to conquer such a formidable foe? How is one able to overcome its power to bring death? Praise be to God, for His “power” to beat into submission this ugly foe is made known through “the word of the cross.”
Oh yes . . . to “us who are being saved . . . the word of the cross” is a beautiful message from God,
- “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (I Corinthians 1:21 – NASB)
Have you believed? . . . . then as you walk do so as one who has embraced the word of the cross, the very power of God!
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