Thursday, November 20, 2014
a foolish power
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18
The gospel is simultaneously the most appreciated truth on the planet and the most misunderstood. It is loved by those to whom it is salvation. It is hated by the enemies of the cross. To those in the process of perishing it is a joke. To those who are seeing their lives redeemed by its amazing message on a daily basis, it is the undeniable, unstoppable power of God.
So how can the saving gospel of Jesus Christ be so paradoxically received? It has to do with two factors I think. The first is that it is offered to sinners. And sinners by definition do one thing: sinners sin. Sinners will sinfully evaluate the gospel, rejecting and/or mocking it in the process. The gospel offends our sinning ways. It calls us to repent. And sinners must first be humbled to do so. When they aren't, the gospel is pure folly.
Another reason it is paradoxically received is that the gospel is offered to all. It is not just preached in the assembly of the saints. If it were, it would never be seen as folly. When the gospel is proclaimed in the world, it will be rejected by the perishing philosophies of the day. It will be considered foolishness by the crowd. But that is the risk we must always take, because God is not willing that any should perish. And some will respond to His call in the good news. If the gospel is not being controversial in its proclamation to the world, then it is not being preached.
I am so glad that I am being saved by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The word of the cross is my most precious belief. It has founded my footsteps for life. It has given me peace in my turmoil. It has strengthened me to help others in their own turmoil. And I will always hold the folly of the message as my dearest hope and most precious treasure.