Great Gospel Texts: 1 Corinthians 1:18

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1Co 1:18 KJV).

Long ago, the cross of Christ divided two thieves. One repented, confessed Jesus as Lord and entered into paradise with Christ. The other man spoke against Christ and likely died in his sins. The cross of Christ continues to divide humanity into two groups: saved and lost. Our attitude toward God is determined by which side of the cross we find ourselves. Let’s examine this great gospel text in three parts.

The Preaching of the Cross

Each of us should cherish every opportunity that God gives to share the gospel with others. In a world filled with sin, uncertainty and death, it stands alone as a message of life, hope and assurance from God to mankind. The word “preaching” in this verse emphasizes the message rather than the method of preaching. Whether it’s God’s holiness and justice or His love and mercy, the gospel message manifests the attributes of His deity. It is in the cross of Christ that “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psa 85:10 KJV).

Crucifixion under Roman authority was carried out for many centuries. Despite the fact that tens of thousands may have been crucified, there is only one Person who comes to our minds. Interestingly, His name is not even mentioned in this verse. The name of Jesus has become forever linked with the cross.

The Perception of the Cross

To those who are perishing, the message of the cross is perceived as foolishness. The idea of God becoming a man, born into poverty, homeless, despised by His own people and nailed to a cross to save us seems absurd. This wasn’t the Messiah anticipated by the Jews nor the type of salvation they desired. In their minds, if He couldn’t save Himself, how could He possibly save them? They taunted Him by saying, “If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him” (Mat 27:42 KJV).

Mankind is spiritually blind as to the true meaning of the sacrificial death of Christ. Many seek their own way to obtain God’s favor to no avail. Most trust in their good works or religious practices and reject God’s way of salvation through faith in Christ. At Calvary, we witness the fullness of both man’s hatred for God and God’s love for man.

The Power of the Cross

In contrast, we who are saved have personally experienced God’s power through the message of the cross. Our hearts and lives have been transformed and our destinies changed. We have seen the true beauty of the person of Christ and rest on His finished work. How grateful we are that we ever heard the message of the cross. We wonder at God’s wisdom and power in His plan to eliminate sin and exalt His Son.

Like the dying thief so long ago, may you also repent of your sin, accept Christ as your Savior and receive God’s forgiveness.

“I love to tell the story!
‘Twill be my theme in glory.
To tell the old, old story
of Jesus and His love.”