And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
~1 Corinthians 2:1-2
The Apostle Paul told the Corinthian church that his preaching to them when he had been with them was not with fanciful words nor persuasive language. Instead, he preached the word of the cross (1:18), the truth of Christ dying on the cross to suffer the punishment of those who would place their faith in Him so that they would be saved. He describes this message as being foolish to unbelievers but the power of God to those who are saved (1:18, 23). Recognizing that the power to transform lives came from the message of the cross, Paul focused on that central message. In fact, he states that he determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
All of Paul’s teaching revolved around Christ and His work on the cross. This doesn’t mean that the cross was all that he talked about. He discusses marriage later on in the letter as well as spiritual gifts. However, everything he preached and taught were done so in light of the cross. Everything that he said connected to Christ’s work of redemption. It was all done in the shadow of the cross. He always referred back to God’s saving work on the cross and how that enabled one to live a life that glorifies God. How that saving work enables us to obey God’s commands and walk righteously.
What about us? Does our teaching and actions all center on the cross and Christ’s work of redemption? Is everything that we do done in the light of the cross? Often we focus a great deal on the cross during the season of Lent and at Easter but does it occupy our mind in our day to day activities when the holiday season is over? After all, the cross represents the power of God that saved us from our sins through our repentance and faith in Christ. Should it not then be front and center in our life and thought? Should it not be the primary message we share with unbelievers?
Let us, like Paul, resolve to look at all things in light of Christ’s work on the cross and in that cross alone find our boast (Galatians 6:14).
The church can only live and breathe at the cross; without it, there is no life and reason to exist. ~Erwin Lutzer
Love in Christ,