For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (
In the very center of
you will find a place called Charing Cross. The locals simply call it “the Cross.” The story
is told of a
police officer who came upon a lost child.
The child was crying and unable to tell him where he lived. The boy
said, “If you will take me to the Cross, I think I can find my way home from
there”. That is still true today! In an age where many churches are taking down
the cross from their buildings so as not to be offensive, we will still cling
to the old rugged cross! When has it not
been offensive? At the center of our
faith stands the cross. London
The cross is central in its PROCLAMATION (
1 Cor.2:1) It was the core of New Testament
preaching. Paul underscores this in his
ministry. He did not seek to enthrall
them with soaring oratory—with human eloquence—or to enchant them with sublime
philosophy—with human intelligence.
Rather it was a simple sermon—a testimony. Notice that the Apostle connects his preaching
with the glory of God ( 1 Cor.1:26-31),
so he will not seek to exalt himself but exalt Christ! No preacher can seek his own glory and seek
God’s at the same time. Paul wrote in Gal.6:14, “God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus
The cross is central in its PREEMINENCE (
1 Cor.2:2) There had been many crosses erected on that
skull-shaped hill outside . Perhaps hundreds of Jews had been crucified
there. On that day there were three
crosses—but it is the central cross that is pre-eminent—the cross where Jesus
was crucified. That is our focus. It draws our gaze. We stand transfixed at it—its horror and its
attraction, at the same time. There are
those who want to take the cross and make it an object of beauty—gilding it
with gold and setting it with precious gems.
That is not the cross of Christ.
Rather it was a cruel instrument of death. It is in the Son of God crucified that we can
be forgiven—paying the debt of sin we couldn’t pay. Jerusalem
The cross is central in its POWER (
1 Cor.2:3-5). Apparently, there was nothing imposing about
Paul’s physical presence. He may have
sounded more like Don Knotts than James Earl Jones. But it wasn’t the charisma of his person, but
the content of his preaching that provided the power to transform lives. He contrasts the faith that is rooted in
man’s wisdom and that which is in God’s power.
The former is a sham-faith and the latter a saving faith. In the first, some Christian salesman uses
emotional manipulation and psychological techniques to talk someone into a
decision. I bought a time-share like
that once—and came to regret it and sold it.
It wasn’t what it was cracked up to be.
That only cost a few thousand dollars.
This kind of preaching can cost an eternal soul! When the Gospel is proclaimed in
faithfulness, the Holy Spirit’s power convicts of sin, and generates faith in
the heart of man. It is a miracle—a dead man coming to life, a blind man coming
to see, a deaf man to hear, and a crippled man to walk! Only God can do that! Is that where your faith rests? Is it in the cross alone?