For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18Gods Word

The foolishness of the Cross.

1 Corinthians 1:18 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.

The cross Foolishness to those perishing. Have you ever wondered why the preaching of the Cross is foolishness to them that are perishing.  Foolishness translated here:  meaning nothing, nothing to say, nothing valuable.  So, if the preaching of cross means nothing to you, then most likely you are perishing!

To them that are perishing the Gospel is meaningless and has nothing to say, the lost say it’s not worth giving our attention to it.   Oh, but to those who God has visited, to those who have had God show them, opened their deaf ears, opened their blind eyes touched the dullness of their hearts bringing understanding.  The Gospel message of the Cross has everything to say, its valuable, its life, It’s the wisdom of God. It’s the Power of God.

What do you think when you hear the preaching of the cross?

Do you say to yourself, it’s just too simple?  The message of the cross is simply this. That God is a Holy God and is perfectly Just, and a Just God must be punish all sin without exception.   He came as a substitute for sin to die on the cross in our place, to take my punishment that was due to us.  To die for us who were undeserving.  To die for me a sinner.   There is grace and pardon for every sinner who comes to Him.

There are so many who won’t admit they are deprived sinners, no they rather say they are not so bad, but they don’t like to be called sinners, they don’t think they are so lost, they don’t think they need a saviour.  So, the message of salvation is nothing to them, they are just not interested.  Little do they realise that they have been ensnared by their sin, blinded and deafened by sin, that all understanding of their heart dulled.  And they surely don’t realise or choose not to think, that they will stand before the throne of God and have to give an account of every wrong action through their whole life.   Then hear as the dreadful sentence is passed.   Oh, on that day how we will wish someone could be there to take away our punishment that was due to us!  How terrible it will be to have no sin bearer.  How terrible that we would have to take the full punishment.   Yet sadly the message of the cross is foolishness to them, means nothing, of no value at all.  You see the message of the cross can be made of no effect.  But it also has a very powerful effect that is to cancel our debt of sin and take our sins away.   We who were so sost made near by Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

You would think that people would think about that day coming for all of us when we stand before God to give Him an account. I mean they know that they won’t live forever.  They know that death comes to all. That no none lives forever.

What causes people to refuse the message of the cross so freely available to everyone who comes.  Its pride in the human heart.  I am not so bad.  I’ve lived a good life not too bad not too good, I have tried my best, so don’t tell me I’m so bad that I deserve death, that I deserve to perish eternally.   No, I will not hear it that I’m that bad.  Its Gods unchangeable word that says we are all unrighteous.

Romans 3:11-12 (KJV) 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Let me tell you a story to illustrate what Jesus has done for us on the Cross.

There was once a just and righteous king who made Laws and they were written down.  In this Kings kingdom there was so much stealing going on he made a new law that any thief would be punished with 30 lashes on their back.

The very next day The King noticed all his aids looked so worried and perplexed.  What is wrong he asked.  Oh, King they replied. The one you love so much; your own mother has been caught stealing.  The evidence is overwhelming she is guilty without a doubt.   What shall we do king?   We know you are righteous and will not just ignore it.

The next day mother was ordered before the judgement seat.  She was found guilty without a doubt.   The judgement was announced, 30 lashes!   The people were amazed, this king said he loved his mother now he will punish her!  How can He say He loves His mother if He will punish her?  The strong soldiers took the mother roughly.  And were about to tie her to the whipping post.  When the king said mother, “Mother, I love you and  I will take your punishment.”   I have done no wrong but I will take all of it on my own back.

Suppose the pride of that mother said no.  I will take my own punishment.  move out of the way.  Suppose the mother said The King said he loved me, now he talks of punishing me.  How can He possibly love me?   Yes, pride could stop her from receiving such a generous and kind gift of our sin being taken away, when she was and knew she was so very guilty.

1 Peter 2:24 (KJV 1900) 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

John 1:29 (KJV 1900) — 29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Don’t let pride stop you from Placing your faith in Jesus Christ take your punishment.  You can’t bear that punishment.  There is too much to lose, Eternal separation.  Eternal suffering.   He loved you enough to come from heaven to earth to die on the cross for you.  He died in your place so you don’t have to die.  Pride in the human heart is so stubborn, so destructive.

Pride comes in many forms.   Some say I can understand the Gospel message being for drunkards, prostitutes and robbers, but I’m a respectable person.  They say, you preacher go preach to those needy people, you don’t need to preach to me!   I’m not so bad! Don’t preach to me!  But oh, you are bad, and you don’t realise it.  Don’t you know that you have broken every one of Gods commandments.  Pride blinds us, self-righteousness blinds us,  we try to justify ourselves and say I’ve never murdered anyone, I’ve never broken that commandment thou shall not murder.   But have you ever taken away someone’s dignity, have you ever taken away someone’s happiness, have you ever defrauded someone out of money?   Have you ever done something like that?  Yes, all of us have, we have all hated at one time.

According to want Jesus says that is in the category of murder.  That’s too much you say, but that is the word of God.

Matthew 5:22 (KJV 1900) — 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Even just transgressing just one of the commands makes me guilty of them all!  James 2:10 (KJV 1900) 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, don’t excuse even one little sin.  Remember that even a small snake is just as dangerous as a big snake, being bitten by even a small snake is just as fatal.   Rather receive what Jesus Christ has done for you.   Receive His cleansing and forgiveness.

Don’t let pride in your heart stop you receiving God’s free gift of eternal life. 

Another form of pride is wanting to earn or deserve what you receive.   Pride doesn’t want to take it by faith.   Pride doesn’t want to admit that you are in need of a mediator, a substitute a Saviour.   These kinds of people say, God looks at me and doesn’t see me as so unholy, he loves me just the way I am.  I’m good enough it is very foolish thinking to say I don’t need a saviour to come from heaven to earth to suffer and die for me.   How dangerous to think like that!  How blinded to think you are good enough?   With such thinking the message of the cross will be foolishness to you.   It will be just nothing!

Well, the cleaver highly intellectual man says, anyone can believe that simple message, I’m educated I need something that I need to work out and figure out in my mind.  Complicated philosophy only dazzles the minds of the hearers, while the Gospel remains hidden. God confounds the wisdom of men, the understanding of the prudent God brings it to nothing and reveals it to babes.   You may be a professor or a scientist or a teacher, no amount of human learning can answer the one question, HOW CAN I BE SAVED?   The answer for that is beyond human cleverness.  It is only revealed by the Spirit of God.  No amount of Education can get you to God.  Only the Blood of Jesus Christ can reconcile you.  Only believing in what Jesus did on the cross can save you.

Mark 10:15 (KJV) 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

These are some of the reasons the preaching of the Gospel is foolishness to some.

Pride wrongly thinks If I do many good things, God will overlook my faults.   I will deserve to be saved.   I’ll go to church and never miss one Sunday service. Thinking I’ve earned a right to be called a Christian.   I’ve worked hard.   I give to the poor; I give my time and skills to the church.   This is all good but it will never earn salvation, we don’t serve to deserve!   It is by Grace we are saved lest any man should boast.   Proud people boast and God resists the proud but gives grace more and more to the Humble.   This kind of Pride in the heart of man, Is the very thing that disqualifies us from truly knowing God.   Do you really think that if we could have so easily worked our way to salvation it would have been necessary for Jesus to come from heaven to earth to suffer and die for us on the cross for us?

When I was a young man doing my military service, we were all in a dining hall about to have lunch, when the Sergeant Major came in and asked one man to stand up and pray before we ate.   There was a silence, then he said, Sargent Major, “I don’t pray for my food!  I work for my food.”   Then he sat down.   Even the ungodly were surprised!   Even the ungodly said what a proud man, others said what a fool.

Have you thanked God for your health, for a functioning healthy body?   For freely giving you air to breath.   Have you thanked Him for your very life, for giving you a soul?  Pride insults God snubs God, refuses to love God.  Refuses to acknowledge we need a saviour; refuses to acknowledge they have wronged God by not receiving what He did for them.

Do you recognise some to these categories of pride in your heart and mind?

What does the preaching of the cross mean to you?   Do you see just as a story, is it just nothing to you, of no value?  Is it just foolishness to you? Do you see your need for your sin to be forgiven?

 If the thought comes maybe this is true, maybe there is something in this, I’m in need! 

Then friend, God is giving you light.  He is drawing you; be glad He is unstopping your ears; if you are hearing.   If you see today, see to it that you do not refuse Him who is drawing you.  Come humbly to Him and bow all pride in your heart.  Acknowledge you need a saviour.  And he will in no way refuse you.

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