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The Offense of the Cross

Posted on Sun, Mar 15, 2009

Today, as in Paul’s day, the preaching of the cross is still an offense to many. The cross is a place of crucifixion- dying. At the cross the world and all its alluring and sinful delicacies were crucified. “Everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does”4 – which are opposed to God, should remain crucified at the cross, and forbidden in your life. Such preaching will not attract large following because it is an offense to the sinful man, who is innately proud, selfish and arrogant and seeks to remain so.

“Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.”1

 

Paul’s life was never the same after God had revealed himself to him. The whole course of his life was altered and he became completely wrapped within the will of God. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”2  He can do the same for you. There were changes in Paul’s vocation, and his association - such changes that stirred his alienation within the early Christian community. They feared that he was a traitor and doubted that he could be genuinely preaching the same faith he earlier was persecuting. God is able to do anything. He can alter the course of your life and bring you within his plan.  The fear of Paul among the Christians was so intense that they could not be assuaged until he was introduced to them by Barnabas who was one of the elders in the Jerusalem church. Regardless of how your problems are designed, God can cut a path for your life and clear all obstacles for you to succeed to his glory.

 

Paul sought to know God and found him. And in his life, we see unbroken records of commitment, service and devotion to God. God became the focus and theme of his life. My friend, how much do you love and how far can you go in your commitment to serve God? Following is what Paul did: “To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” 3

 

It was for this reason that he took and circumcised Timothy- a Gentile believer – that through him, he might reach out to the Gentiles and win them to Christ. Essentially, Paul was passionate in his message of salvation by God’s grace through faith “for everyone who believes,” 4 which did not go down well with the religious leaders of his day. Paul emphasized that faith in God is all that counts because faith expresses itself through love. And our love of God restrains us from sinning against him.

 

Today, as in Paul’s day, the preaching of the cross is still an offense to many. The cross is a place of crucifixion- dying. At the cross the world and all its alluring and sinful delicacies were crucified. Everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does”4 – which are opposed to God, should remain crucified at the cross, and forbidden in your life. Such preaching will not attract large following because it is an offense to the sinful man, who is innately proud, selfish and arrogant and seeks to remain so.

 

Is the cross an offense to you? The preaching of the cross against all acts of unfaithfulness, hypocrisy, ostentation, exploitation, and other sins, needs not be an offense to you, my dear friend. It should mirror your standing with God and convict you now and always to humbly seek forgiveness from God while you may. All your unconfessed sins are recorded by God against you. Soon you will stand before him in judgment. By your deeds, you will be justified or condemned by God. Be encouraged.

 

Bible references: 1. Galatians 5:11; 2. Hebrews 13:8; 3. 1 Corinthians 9:22; 4. Romans 10:4 ; 5. 1 John 2:16  

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