The Cross Emptied of its Power?

1 Corinthians 1:17 ESV

“For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

There are many people today preaching a gospel, which they claim is the gospel of Jesus Christ, but the majority, it would appear, are not teaching the gospel as Jesus taught it, and as his NT apostles taught it. They are teaching a gospel which is a half-truth gospel, which then makes it a lie.

For, what they are teaching is in direct contrast to the divine nature of God and of his will and purpose for our lives, which has not changed. And it is in direct contradiction to what Jesus and his NT apostles taught. For, these liars are saying we don’t have to turn from our sins or obey the Lord or submit to him as Lord.

But, even if they say we should repent of our sins, most mean that we should just have a change of mind to receive Christ as Savior, or they reduce it to merely making confession of our sins. But we can confess our sins without ever repenting (turning away from our sins).

Therefore, actions speak louder than words. But we need to make certain we are measuring our actions or our definition of what it means to be a Christian (a believer in Jesus Christ) by the word of God (his whole counsel), and not by just a few Scriptures taken out of context, and not according to our culture and the opinions of human beings, no matter who they are.

Yes, we are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, and this not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast (Eph 2:8-9). And yes, we are saved by the blood of Jesus which was shed on that cross for our sins. But what are we saved from? And what are we saved to?

We are saved, not just from the punishment of sin, but from our slavery to sin so that we can now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. For, Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we would now honor him with our lives.

His grace, thus, trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Titus 2:11-14).

1 Corinthians 1:18-19 ESV

“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. For it is written,

“’I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’”

What is the “word of the cross”? Certainly, it is that Jesus Christ, God the Son, gave his life up for us on a cross so that we would be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God. By his grace, through God-persuaded faith (Jn 6:44) in Jesus Christ, we are saved from our sins (Eph 2:8-9).

But what is “faith”? It is persuasion, and we are persuaded to believe in Jesus when God the Father draws us to faith in Jesus Christ. But believing in Jesus is not just some words we said or some profession of faith or a mere confession of him as Lord.

By faith in Jesus Christ, we die with him to sin, and we are resurrected with him to new lives in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, in order that we might walk (in conduct, in practice) in newness of life in him, and so we will be no longer slaves to sin but slaves to God.

For, our salvation from sin is not a one-time event which takes place in our lives and then afterwards we go on living our lives mostly as we did before, with perhaps a few changes. And then one day, when we die, we get to go to heaven.

We who are believing in Jesus Christ with genuine God-persuaded faith have been saved (past), we are being saved (presently and ongoing) and we will be saved (future) when Jesus Christ returns for us and our marriage to him is consummated and our salvation is complete.

But there are conditions to this becoming a reality in our lives. We must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. And we must not make sin our practice via continued deliberate sinning against God, but righteousness must be what we practice.

And this is foolishness to those who are dying in their sins because they don’t want to die with Christ to their sins. They don’t want to relinquish control of their lives to God, nor do they want to walk (in conduct) no longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

So, how do we know that we are saved from our sins and that heaven is our eternal destiny? We know it by what the word of God teaches. For, if we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to our flesh, in deliberate and habitual sin, we will die in our sins.

But if we walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit, living to please God, and by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of our sinful flesh, and if we are walking in obedience to our Lord’s commands, then we have salvation from sin and the hope of eternal life with God.

[Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 John 1:5-9; 1 John 2:3-6; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8]

Therefore, no lip service will ever get us saved from our sins or bound for heaven. Our Lord requires more than words. He requires hearts surrendered to him in obedience to his will for our lives, not in absolute perfection, but also not in willful defiance and in deliberate and habitual sin (Rom 8:1-17).

More Than Words

BETTENCOURT, NUNO / CHERONE, GARY F.

Saying I love you
Is not the words I want to hear from you
It’s not that I want you
Not to say, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel…

Hold me close don’t ever let me go
More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me
Cos I’d already know

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