Monday, 24 April 2023
“…but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”-1 Corinthians 1:24
The message of the gospel- a crucified Christ who saves— if seen in the light of the world’s wisdom cannot be understood by people. But God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise!
In our text today Paul states: "but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (V.23-24). The Message of salvation or the preaching of Christ and the cross is the only way to save the souls of men- God has ordained salvation for humankind through believing in the Lord Christ Jesus who He sent into the world as our Saviour. From the key verse, we can see three groups' response while preaching CHRIST CRUCIFIED—they are Jews, Greeks and God's called people.
Stumbling block to Jews- From Isaiah 8:14-15, as the fulfilment of prophecy, he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offence and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken. The Jews stumbled in Christ, in the way of their non-acceptance of His birth and parentage, His knowledge and teachings, His miracles and work, His way of approach and lifestyle, His companions and followers, His suffering and death; they couldn't acknowledge the redemption through the Lamb of God.
Apostle Peter testifies: "let it be known to all of you that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead- This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone." (Acts 4:10-11). They stumbled because they thought the Messiah would deliver them from the Romans as a worldly prince or a mighty conqueror. Even today, many are unable to accept Him as Lord; instead, their expectation of Him is different—for some He is a healer, for several He is a provider for their materialistic needs, for a number of people He is a reason to celebrate festivals….so on and so forth.
Foolishness to Greeks—Greeks, the knowledge-bearers of that age, were unable to acknowledge the way of salvation through the CRUCIFIED CHRIST. In their worldly knowledge, they couldn't comprehend that heavenly riches can be received by Him; that Eternal life can be received through faith in Him. They were unable to accept the salvation of humankind freely through His death and resurrection and unable to even think that salvation can be had without any works. In our world too, those with scientific knowledge question the existence of God; they would like to push aside Christ and His coming to something in the ancient past! The answer to them— is us who believe in Him, bearing the witness of Christ Crucified.
God's called people (including Jews and Greeks)—For the one who is called by God and has acknowledged Him— Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. Isaiah prophesied the master plan of God through the Messiah: "Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand" (Isaiah 53:10). God caused His Son to be crushed on the cross for your sin and mine that we be made right with Him! The Gospel has tremendous power to change human lives and still continues to do so.
As seen above, after hearing the gospel many stumble and many seek the knowledge of the world to understand the same. As written, "…for since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe." (1Cor. 1:21). To which group will you belong?
Think on: The simplicity of the gospel gives what the complexity of human wisdom promises but never delivers.~ John MacArthur
Listen: 'Living Hope'