“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)
The apostle Paul was recollecting his first visit to Corinth. It was a city known for licentiousness and all types of immorality. Despite all of his learning, Paul “determined not to know anything… except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
Philosophers and scholars throughout the Roman Empire babbled on about how to think and act differently in Paul’s day. They were more interested in feeding their egos than finding truth. Politicians bickered about how to manage the policies and interests of their countrymen. But all of their discussion produced no permanent answers. No school of thought and no public policy could correct the destructive and sinful behavior of the people.
Paul was one of the most educated people of his day (and of the entire Bible). He was no stranger to the thought of the times. With his background, he could have arrived in Corinth as a skilled consultant or a personal life-coach to city leaders, but he didn’t. From all of his experience and learning, he thoughtfully determined that the gospel of Jesus Christ was the only message necessary.
Paul’s primary concern for the people was that they understood the gospel; the message of Jesus and the cross. Other issues may have been brought to his attention. People likely asked for his professional and educated opinion, but he had determined that the cross of Jesus contained a sufficient answer for them all.
People need to be forgiven of their sin and reconciled to God. Absolute forgiveness is the necessary ingredient for peace and fulfillment in the human heart. This is only possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (1Corinthians 15:3-4) Through His death, our sin is judged on our behalf. Through His resurrection, we are accepted by God through Christ. Because Jesus lives, we can live also; together with Him. (John 6:57; 14:19)
Without Jesus, sin would consume and define our lives. The gospel is simple; believe and live! (John 7:38; 11:25-26; Romans 6:8) Its truth rings loud and clear as a bell throughout human history. Hope is only found at the cross of Christ!
I am determined that no other message or truth can compete with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the only power that sets humanity free from sin. I have known Jesus’ power of forgiveness in my life and have seen that same forgiveness affect the lives of countless others.
Jesus Christ and Him crucified. God’s only provision for removing the sin of humanity. It is a singular and simple message that will change the world.
“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)
Jason is founder and evangelist for The Nations Hope and lead pastor of Life Tree Church in San Jose, California. He talks a lot.
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