The Foolishness of the Cross - Unity
In the opening to his first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul writes the community of believers to remind them of their calling, their salvation, and the need for unity. He wraps this message up in the foolishness of the cross.
Apparently, believers within the church had begun to attach themselves to various personalities in the body to the extent that Paul had to ask them about the source of their quarrels. (1 Cor. 1:12) Paul reasons with them by asking if any of them were baptized in the name of anyone other than the Christ. Or, if any of these other individuals were crucified for them. Or was it Christ?
Powerful words today in a world obsessed with celebrity personalities and influential individuals who seek to elevate their status by acquiring followers. The body of Christ is no place for this manner of divisive spirit. No individual, no matter how ‘great a man of God’ they may seem to be deserves our adoration and devotion. For we were not baptized in the name of any name other than the Son Christ Jesus. He is the one who was lifted up and crucified and it is by His name we are saved. He is the one we follow. We belong to His church.
Paul goes on to argue that this idea of a crucified Savior may seem to be foolish to man. Indeed, the Jews believed that one hung on a tree is accursed. They sought a miracle or sign, certainly deliverance from the cross, which would identify their messiah. The Romans and Greeks could not believe that a seemingly defeated leader, one whom they put to death, could be the way of salvation. Yet Paul shows that the thing foolish with men is God’s wisdom. God chose that which seemed weak, of low status, and foolish to accomplish his will. The world would choose that which is strong, of noble birth, and wise.
The gospel message and God’s means of salvation on the face appears to be simplistic. That is, if it is approached and evaluated with human wisdom and logic. Just as the ancient Greeks, many today pride themselves on their command of logic and the latest sophisticated beliefs. Many of these are really nothing more than a recycling of the teachings of rebellious spirits.
What God has done for those of who have placed their faith in Christ Jesus, who is our “righteousness, and sanctification and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30) is given us a cause to ‘boast in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:31)
Let not this world with its shifting standards, its cult of personality, nor its fallen wisdom shake your faith in the one appointed for our salvation. Let not its facades fool you into believing it over the Word of God. In Jesus we rest assured that we are rich, not lacking in any gift, and we shall be sustained, being found guiltless in the day of the Lord. (1 Cor. 1:7, 8)