“17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
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.” 1 Corinthians 1:17-18
The Word of God is effectual. It WILL produce It’s intended effect when It is not diluted into a translation of man’s thought. God’s Word will either harden or soften the heart, depending on how it is received. To those who are perishing, the message of the Cross is foolishness. It is rudimentary to those who believe there is more to Biblical Christianity than the preaching of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
However, to those who are saved, the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the power of God…the keeping power. The power that takes us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), here a little and there a little. Precept upon precept, line upon line the Word of God begins to affect our every day life and living for Christ. Old things really do pass away and all things becomes new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
As we begin to work out our Salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) we SEE the dominion of sin in our own lives broken by the power of God (Romans 6:14) as bondages begin to fall away. The promises we hear about in the Word of God start to take effect. We are set at liberty. We are healed. The power of sin in our own lives is broken by what Jesus Christ did on Calvary’s Cross 2000 years ago. We are free indeed!
Not only do we no longer want to sin but we realize we don’t have to sin. We don’t have to believe every lie of the devil. We don’t have to lie, steal, cheat or manipulate a “blessing” because our Lord is alive and He is sitting at the Right Hand of God the Father searching to and fro for a heart that is perfect toward Him to show Himself strong (2 Chronicles 16:9). As Children, we begin looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and His Word (in context and rightly divided) is effective in our hearts and lives. We become a new creature in Jesus Christ.
“For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Sometimes the Word of God is an offense to our thoughts and intents of our heart. Recognize the way we receive His Word. Don’t reject it because it offends. Discern the offense and choose accordingly. If you believe the message of the Cross is foolishness for a “mature” Christian, make no mistake – you are perishing.
-Donna Clark Warren