The Message We Preach

Cru Weekly Ministry Tip, Spring 2012, #11

1 Corinthians 1:17-25
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. 18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, 
AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (NASB)
There are several key points that we can draw from 1 Corinthians 1:17-25.
1. First, in verse 17 the gospel is the good news of the coming kingdom of God and the salvation we receive through Christ’s death on the cross.
2. The Gospel is something that appeals to man’s guilt because of sin and not to his intellect. The word “clever in verses17, 19 stands for the wisdom that belongs to man’s experience, intelligence, and skill in managing life.
3. In verse 17 Paul says, “so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.” Paul did not want human words and human wisdom to get in the way of the divine message of the gospel. The message is not a philosophical system that we can convince people of.
4. Verse 18 speaks about the “word of the cross”. The proclamation of the cross, which is the source of the power of the message. It is what happened on the cross through Christ’s sacrifice that brings the power of a changed life and from death to life. The cross is where Christ died and we were justified, reconciled by His blood, saved from the wrath of God.

Next week we can take a look at verses 18-25 on the foolish message we preach to others, stay tuned.

The Cross

Every time we take the opportunity to share the gospel, through personal testimony, the “Knowing God Personally” (KGP) booklet, or other tools such as Soularium, Perspective cards or Quest surveys, it is the cross of Christ that should be central in our message.

Once a Week for the Rest of the Spring School Term

We want to encourage to renew your training of the “Big Six” with your students and consider going out on campus once a week to talk with one person using the KGP (if you don’t have any KGP’s, ask your nearest staff member or staff coach). It is definitely a step of faith and requires a measure of boldness and courage, but we do serve a big God who will be by your side and help you every step of the way.

Talk to you next week,

Ben Rivera/GodSquad and CruPressGreen Team