1 Corinthians chapter 1

You’d Have To Be A Fool To Believe This.

“I know very well how foolish the message of the cross sounds to those who are on the road to destruction. But we who are being saved recognize this message as the very power of God.” – Vs 18 NLT

Have you ever stopped to think just how foolish this thing called the gospel sounds to someone who’s lost? Paul says the message of the cross is foolishness to them. It’s silly, absurd, ridiculous. It just doesn’t make any sense. In spite of the fact that they are facing eternal destruction and the gospel message offers them salvation, they can’t accept it because it just sounds too far fetched to even be believable. Christ, the Messiah, was crucified on a cross in their place in order to pay for the penalty God demanded for their sins. Christ  paid a debt they owed and that they could never pay in order that they might be reconciled or made right with God. To the world this whole thing sounds like some kind of ancient myth created by men and perpetrated by the weak-minded and the ignorant. Nobody with an ounce of intelligence would believe a story like this. Or would they?

Paul says that same message about the cross and Christ crucified makes perfect sense to those of us who are being saved because of it. The cross represents the power of God. It is a symbol of His defeat of death and our ultimate victory over sin. This message of salvation made possible by the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross sounds completely idiotic to the lost. They’re too smart, too clever to buy into something so silly. But Paul says, “where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense?” (Vs 20 MSG). Their wisdom is no match for God’s wisdom. They can’t explain or explain away the message. So they simply try to ignore it.

But to those of us who have placed our faith in the reality of the cross and it’s representation of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, we not only embrace the message, we live by it and hope in it. And we acknowledge that even we are examples of God’s power. Because we couldn’t save ourselves, He did it for us.

God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom. – 1 Corinthians 1:30 NLT

Paul says, “God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful” (Vs 27). God’s ways are inexplicable and incomprehensible. We can’t explain or understand them. But we accept them. God’s ways are not our ways. He doesn’t do things the way we would do things. He chose to use a Roman instrument of torture and death to bring about salvation and eternal life. God chose to send His Son as a sinless, sacrificial substitute to satisfy His own demands for justice and to pay the debt incurred by men for their sins.

The foolishness of the cross. I don’t know about you, but this fool loves it. I would be lost without it. I don’t fully understand it, but I most certainly accept and appreciate it. It is the wisdom of God and the power of God. It is hope of man and the key to eternal life. And this fool is eternally grateful.

Father, thank You that Your ways are not my ways. Thank You for coming up with a plan that on the surface looks completely ridiculous and sounds completely far-fetched, but it is a demonstration of Your incredible wisdom and power. Your plan leaves us completely dependent on You and allows no one to boast in their own self-effort. We are weak, ignorant, foolish, and shameful. Yet You chose to save us. Thank You! Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org