“We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)
Do you know with certainty that you will hear about the power and wisdom of God in Christ at church today? In other words, will you hear the gospel taught and proclaimed in the Word, hymns, confession and assurance, and in communion? I will, and it comforts me to know that I will not hear about human wisdom and philosophies or emotional solutions to spiritual problems.
In Paul’s day, most Gentiles wanted to hear about widespread Greek philosophies and Jews stumbled over the gospel. Today Jewish and non-Jewish unbelievers gravitate toward politics, new age philosophies, economic interventions, and Eastern religious beliefs for solutions to our problems. Most non-Christians believe that people are basically good but do some bad things, even horrific destructive evil because of something flawed in their make-up or upbringing. It is not unusual to hear that believing in Jesus Christ is a crutch for the weak or comfort for the kind-hearted. In other words, preaching Christ crucified for sinners is folly to many.
The church should be a place where every believer is assured of hearing Christ preached boldly, without fear, shame, or hesitation. The world thinks it’s foolish to worship a convicted criminal, executed for teaching and healing people of their sins and demon possession. We who are in Christ should revel in the knowledge that he was willing to preach, heal, live, die, and be raised for our undeserved salvation and his own glory. Church should be not only a refuge but a place where we bring our neighbors, Jewish and Gentile, to hear the most excellent news shared clearly and courageously.
Christ came to turn the world upside-down, interrupting mundane lives with his gracious offer of forgiveness. How will you share your church’s ministry tomorrow? Will you encourage your pastor, reverend, and elders to teach and preach boldly and passionately?