Key Text: 1st Corinthians 2:1-16.
When our message originates with God, there is no place for disunity on the basis of who or how we preach the gospel. Paul clearly said he spoke “THE TESTIMONY OF GOD”. With precision we need to remember that God’s power is our prime objective, and no other problem should slow us down in delivering God’s message of Christ crucified. Philippians 1:15-18.
2nd Timothy 1:8 is a good example of what our TESTIMONY OF GOD is. In what ways has the Lordship of Jesus been genuine in the life of Timothy or us?
Ephesians 4:17-25, is Paul’s charge to Christians for sharing God’s TESTIMONY, which is speaking the truth in love.
Paul was determined that neither he nor his fellow preachers would become a source of division, but that every Christian would find a way by the gracious power of God to share their faith in Christ crucified. Our understanding of, and proclamation of the truth comes only from the word of God, John 17:17 & 2nd Timothy 2:15.
The crucifixion is not an easy subject to talk impressively, or scholarly, or philosophically about. However, the crucifixion is very easy to talk about with common words because it was a graphic way to die. In Jesus, we have a pure motive of love behind the gory details of his sacrifice for the goriest of sinners. Truly the gospels do not emphasize the gruesome details, but rather the heartfelt impulse of his undying love through pain, death and the resurrection he offers to share with ANYONE. Paul was very aware of academic intellectuals (Acts 17:28), but he knew the power of God was invested and enacted through a message of enduring love, rather than deep knowledge, Romans 1:16.
The message of the cross can easily be directly related to either of two subjects:
1. Our experience of it. John 17:20-24, Jesus prayed for us to use this!
2. The Lord’s word on it. A good example from Philip: Acts 8:35 & Isaiah 53.
There is no separation of the two subjects: “Christ Crucified” & “Christ’s Teaching”. They are inseparable in the mind of God and in our daily life, but do we share it?
Paul suffered from ‘fear & trembling’ but his experience didn’t stop the sharing of the cross, because he relied on the power of God, not his own power. He wasn’t afraid of his enemies, but rather he was afraid of God’s wrath toward them, if he didn’t share the good news to the lost souls around him. He had no fear of God’s wrath against himself, but rather the thought of how people would be lost and punished without his sharing!
See 1st Corinthians 9:16 & 2nd Corinthians 5:11. Do we FEEL for our lost friends? If yes, what exactly do we feel for them? Paul’s words proved to be weighty & powerful, 2nd Corinthians 10:10. The only way, we will make our words effective, is to use them for directing the purpose of Christ’s Cross towards sin in every day life for other people to die upon with us.