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.’”
I wanted to understand what was behind this quote, which I found was from Isaiah 29:14, so I began reading in Isaiah 29 and then I got to verse 13:
“And the Lord said:
‘Because this people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men..’”
And there was my answer, which fit perfectly with what is on my heart today. For, it grieves me and it grieves the Lord to see so many professing Christians posting memes and tweets on the internet about Easter, about Easter bunnies, and quoting Bible verses which speak of Jesus’ resurrection, but which do not share the message of the cross, and by people who barely even mention him the rest of the year, except maybe at Christmastime.
Christians, we are supposed to be giving out the message of the cross of Christ every day, not just once or twice a year, and the whole message, not just that Jesus died and that he rose from the grave and that he ascended back to heaven and that he sent his Holy Spirit to indwell his followers, but that Jesus died on that cross so that we would die with him to sin DAILY and so we would live to him and to his righteousness every day of the week (See Luke 9:23-26; 1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24).
Yet, too many people professing faith in Jesus Christ are following more after the wisdom of man and of human traditions than they are following after the teachings of Scripture and the ways of the Lord. And so their religion is more about traditions of man than it is about Jesus Christ. And their worship of God then becomes lip service, but their hearts are far from God, for their fear of the Lord is based in human traditions and not in heart surrender to our Lord in obedience to his commands.
For, if all we do is post “He is Risen” but we don’t say what that means, how is that going to lead anyone to Jesus Christ? Or if we say something more but we end up selling the gospel short in order to not offend people with the truth of the gospel, that will not lead anyone to true faith in Jesus Christ. For Jesus Christ shed his blood for us on that cross for a very good reason and that reason is that our old self would be crucified with Christ in death to sin so we would no longer be enslaved to sin but so we would now be slaves to God and to his righteousness, which then ends in eternal life (Rom 6:1-23).
So, the word of the cross goes beyond just telling the story of Jesus death and resurrection, and it definitely exceeds just saying that he died to forgive us of our sins so that one day when we die we get to go to heaven. We need to be sharing Jesus every day, and we need to be telling people the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ so that they will turn from their sins and walk in obedience to our Lord every day until Jesus takes them home.
For the truth in Christ Jesus tells us that we are to no longer live like the ungodly in sinful passions and desires but we are to put off our old self, which belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and that we are to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and that we are to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (See Ephesians 4:17-24).
The truth in Christ Jesus also tells us that if we continue to walk in sin, in deliberate and habitual sin, making sin our practice, and if righteousness and obedience to the Lord are not what we practice, that we will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what we profess with our lips. For we are all going to be judged by what we do in this life, and if we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. So please live the truth.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
Near the Cross
Hymn lyrics by Fanny J. Crosby, 1869
Music by William H. Doane, 1869
Jesus, keep me near the cross;
There a precious fountain,
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.
Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.
Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadow o’er me.
Near the cross I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand
Just beyond the river.
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever,
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
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