On Sunday we looked at 1 Corinthians 1.18-31. In this passage Paul defends his ministry of simply preaching the message of the cross even though the nature of this ministry is foolish and offensive to the world. The Jews of Paul’s day thought the preaching of the cross needed more signs attached to it, and the sign of Jesus on the cross was offensive to them. The Greek’s, on the other hand, wanted wisdom and to know how to succeed at life. The cross was foolish to them because Jesus hardly looked like a wise and successful person as he hung on the cross.
If the cross is so offensive to the world, why did God accomplish his saving purpose this way? Why not choose a way that looks better to the world? Paul gives us 3 reasons why God uses the message of the cross even though it is foolish to the world:
- It reveals the nature of wisdom. The cross shows us how foolish the wisdom of the world is, and how wise God is.
- It rules out an elitist church. We are saved by this humble message. We, who are not nobility or geniuses were saved by grace. If it weren’t for the message of the cross, we would be lost.
- It reserves glory for God alone. Ultimately, the cross does not allow us to boast in ourselves because we could do nothing to save ourselves.
If you need the discussion questions from Sunday’s bulletin, they are posted here: 1 Cor. 1.18-31 Notes.
-Pastor Nathan Hogan