I have been going on and on about the fact that we seem to have some in the church that believe that mercy work is either superfluous or even detrimental to missions. There are those in the church that believe that our gifts should be used here and not abroad. Now I heard from a preacher friend that someone told him a few Sundays ago that they have heard all this stuff about Jesus dying to save us and maybe it was time to move on to good works and life in Christ. So what is a preacher to do? I have to remind myself continually that the reset position of human beings is always self righteousness.
1 Corinthians 1:18-24
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
The first place to begin is on the name “Christ.” I am not sure we ever get the full implication of the title. The is the Lord, the anointed One, the one promised when our first parents rebelled. This is God in the flesh. Then note the word “crucified.” That word brings to mind God’s reaction to sin and that is wrath. God’s justice is revealed as well as forgiveness and grace in the Cross. Christ becomes the power of God and the wisdom of God for us only as the Crucified One.
Here are the mysteries of God of which the Lord has made us stewards; here are the treasures with which we are to enrich men’s lives; here is the sole reason for our ministry; here is the guarantee that our preaching will not be in vain. Christ crucified! He is seemingly helpless, yet in that weakness He destroys him who had the power of death. What a proof of His deity and of His redemptive power! He is seemingly a contradiction in Himself, yet He affords a plan of salvation which is applicable to all men, regardless of race, color, nationality (v. 24), with no criticism resting either on the result or on the manner of reaching it Rom. 9-11, (From CTM January 1949)
Through the foolishness of Christ on a Cross God gives us what we cannot get on our own. He reconciles us to Him and to one another and makes it possible to live in Christ in such a way that we love God and seve our neighbors.