Summary: At first glance it would appear that Paul is restricting himself as to what he would preach to the church in Corinth, but a closer look shows otherwise.
“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2 NKJV
At first glance it would appear that Paul is restricting himself as to what he would preach to the church in Corinth, but a closer look shows otherwise. Every great Christian doctrine has its roots in the cross of our Lord Jesus, the atoning death which is associated with it and our Lord’s bodily resurrection which followed it three day later.
There are some in the religious community that would remove the message of the crucifixion from the pulpits of our churches. A bloodless religion is a lifeless religion. The LORD commanded Moses to tell the people of Israel: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” (Leviticus 17:11) We would do well to pay particular attention to the phrase “I have given it” and note that it is in the past tense. This immediately calls to mind Revelation 13:8. “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast--all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.” (NIV)
The Scriptures make it very clear that when we take the blood out of the Gospel, we take the life out of the Gospel. The writer of Hebrews reinforces this truth. “In fact, we can say that according to the Law of Moses, nearly everything was purified by sprinkling with blood. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22 NLT) As the time drew near when Jesus would be crucified, He told His disciples "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.” (John 12:27 NKJV)
Let us take note of seven of the great fundamentals of our faith that are validated by the atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ. These seven do not compose a complete or comprehensive list of all the wonderful blessings made possible by our crucified and risen Lord. A great blessing awaits those who will expand this number to the praise of His glory.
I. LOVE IS THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS!
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NASB) We would be remiss if we did not include John 3:16 in any message or lesson on God’s wondrous love.
II. FORGIVENESS IS THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS!
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14 NKJV)
Is it possible for the child of God to think of forgiveness without recounting the words of our Savior which were spoken on the cross? We read from Luke 23:39-43 (NKJV) “Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, ‘If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.’ But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’"
III. PROPITIATION IS THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS!
“God presented Him as propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. Romans 3:25 HCSB
“Propitiation” has several slightly varying inferences in the New Testament. It can infer, or imply, “a covering for sin or sins” (Gr. hilaskomai Hebrews 2:17); “an expiation or atonement for sin or sins” or “mercy-seat” (Gr. hilasterion, Hebrews 9:5); or in a judicial sense “satisfaction for sin” (Gr. hilasmos, I John 2:2). Our Lord Jesus is our eternal fulfillment and the embodiment of all these inferences. In every sense, and in every way, He is our all in all.
IV. REDEMPTION IS THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS!
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:7-8 HCSB
Seven year old Tommy had been asking his parents for a dog but they were not convinced that the family needed one. After Tommy’s repeated pleas, his dad told him if he would help his mother with chores around the house he could earn enough money to buy a dog. Tommy was more than eager to accept this challenge. He didn’t mind working if it meant that he could get a dog.