Summary: Today everything is business – one main marketing strategy – give what the customer wants – fulfill his needs and aspirations
“We preach Christ Crucified” 1Cori 1: 23
Today everything is business – one main marketing strategy – give what the customer wants – fulfill his needs and aspirations. Satisfy the customer. Thus business men change products. But Gospel preaching is unique, same, never changes, no one can change.
Paul says, “We preach Christ crucified”
Ob. V. 22
When Christ was on the cross – they want some spectacular events from heaven to see.
- Greeks seek wisdom – philosophy. New things to debate and argue. Cf. Act 17: 18 – Paul in Athens.
This is the condition of the public. Their demands are different things – still true. Some seek signs, wisdom, entertainment, satisfaction, healings; some others even
prosperity and marriage. – Money, fame, positions etc.
Paul says, ‘I am not here to satisfy you’; ‘I am not here to present what you want’ but – “I preach Christ crucified”.
Jews: - to them stumbling block. Fall irritated & offended. The message of the cross disturbed them. Why? Preaching Christ / ‘the messiah’ – the anointed one’ as being crucified to face a cursed death is beyond their understanding. Jews looked for a Messiah who is strong, mighty, deliverer who will establish the kingdom. They
could not accept crucified, humiliated, Christ. They were offended, irritated. That’s why Jews persecuted Paul and the preachers. Cf. Act 14: 19; 22: 22.
Greeks: - Foolishness. They could not understand one who died a cursed, shameful death could save and bless mankind. Cf. Act 17: 17:18 – ‘this man does not know anything’ they responded. Some laughed, others mocked. Cf. Act 17: 32.
This is the way public responds to gospel preaching even today.
- Some offended – persecuting the preachers.
- Some mock and ridicule – neglecting the preachers.
Yet Paul preached Christ. Paul has no argument, no debate, and no complaint. He does not stop preaching either.
1Cori 2:2 – purposely avoided any other topics from his sermons. Cf. 2Cori 4: 5:- He did not present even himself. (Some say all kinds of stories about themselves to show them as great, often either exaggerated or full lie!) cf. Act 8: 5, 35; 9:20; 10:36; 17:3 – Throughout the book of Acts we see all apostles preached Christ only.
What are the reasons why Paul & the early church preached Christ alone?
- Even at the demand of listeners or aggression he did not change the topic. We need to notice carefully why apostles preached Christ alone. Three things can be noticed:
1. The uniqueness of His person. – No one like Christ. cf.
- Mat 8:27 And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?"
- Mat 21:10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, "Who is this?"
- Mar 4:41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
- Luk 4:22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, "Is not this Joseph's son?"
- Joh 7:46 The officers answered, "No one ever spoke like this man!"
Notice, how people marveled at Him. They ask, ‘who is he’; ‘what kind of person he is’. They wonder at his words, deeds, person – He was different, extra-ordinary.
Even the officials say, ‘never man spoke like him’.
In fact everything about Christ is unique and wonderful.
- His birth. Predicted every detail. Cf. Gen 3:15; Isa 7: 14; (: 6, 7; 42:1).
- His life.
People marveled at His life-style. Matthew 13:54 “coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?”
How many benefited from His life and service – healing…comfort…and encouragement etc.
His moral life was perfect….even His foes testified. Pilate says, “I find no fault”. John 18:38;
Cf. John 8: 8:46 – Christ challenged the public, “which one of you convicts me of sin”.
- 1Peter 2:22 – Did no sin.
- 2Cori 5:21 – knew no sin.
- 1John 3:5 – In Him no sin.
He had no need to apologize. No need to correct His words or deeds. What is the reason behind this unique personality?
He was perfect God and perfect man in one person. Cf. Psalm 40: 6 – 8; Hebrews 10: 5 – 7. He was not just an ordinary man. He was God Himself who took the form of man yet without sin…that is the reason behind His unique person.