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Saturday, October 05 2019

“God sacrificed Himself to Himself to save us from Himself.” Critics say this in mocking, but it’s quite right. The perfectly just God, Creator of the universe, and Source of all goodness came in the flesh, died, and resurrected to save humanity from the death and eternal condemnation that everyone earned by rebelling against the perfectly just God (Rom 3:19–26). As the apostle Paul observed, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8 ESV).
            Everyone’s perception of the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross is shaped by that person’s view of God’s justice and love in addition to one’s perception of Jesus as the Christ and the exact imprint of God. As in the first century, it is true today that Christ being crucified is a stumbling block for Jews and foolishness to Gentiles (1 Cor 1:22–23). Paul noted, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor 1:18).

            The world does not know God through its own wisdom (1 Cor 1:21). God has made foolish the wisdom of the world by sending Jesus Christ. The wisdom of Christ being crucified bypasses all axioms of philosophy that humankind has discovered and realized. That is why the preaching of the gospel is so powerful and often frustrating for its enemies. Jesus bypasses the wisdom of the world and He points directly to God. What is the wisdom of the world as compared to God’s wisdom? It is nothing. No scholar or debater can stand before God (1 Cor 1:20). The Scriptures teach that all wisdom and knowledge are in Jesus Christ (Col 2:3). Christians need to know this so as not to be deluded by persuasive arguments (Col 2:4, 8).

          Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God for those who are called by God (1 Cor 1:24). The gospel of Christ is wisdom from the Holy Spirit and the power of God for salvation (1 Cor 2:4; cf. Rom 1:16). Those rejecting Christ are hard-hearted and their perception of reality is blind. They refuse to consider reality by the wisdom of God. If they would look through the lens of the gospel and see the power of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection, then they could perceive the love and justness of God. The world lacks the wisdom of God, but Christians have God's wisdom in Christ to proclaim and enlighten those who would hear.

            Faith rests on hearing the gospel (1 Cor 1:21; cf. Rom 10:14–17). Study Romans 3 and 5 to tell people about the effective purpose of Jesus’s sacrificial death and resurrection. Study to tell others how to unite with Christ in death by repentance, burial by baptism, and resurrection by a new life and hope of eternal life (Rom 6:1–7). No argument can stand against the wisdom of God.
          Do you know the power and wisdom of God? We should teach the wisdom of God to our family and friends so they see why they do not understand Christ's sacrifice and the Creator of the universe (1 Cor 2:14). They don’t know the wisdom of God. People deceive themselves when they deny the wisdom of God (1 Cor 3:18). They are agnostic of God and of Christ. Those rejecting God are suppressing the truth about God by unrighteousness (Rom 1:18). However, this is no excuse because God has plainly revealed Himself to everyone (Rom 1:19–20). Furthermore, God is not far from anyone (Acts 17:26–27; cf. Matt 7:7). Everyone will be judged by the gospel (Rom 2:16; cf. 6:23). For this reason, we persuade others (2 Cor 5:11).

          Thank God for He has given us His wisdom in the powerful message of Christ crucified.

Posted by: Scott J Shifferd AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email