The Cross — Foolishness or the Power of God?
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto we which are saved it is the power of God.”
— 1 Corinthians 1:18
Since Jesus rose from the dead, different people have responded differently to the preaching of the Cross. Some reject it, while others receive the message by faith and thus experience the power of God. Paul referred to this dichotomy of response when he wrote, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto we which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
The word “foolishness” in this verse is from the word moria, which means foolish, stupid, or unintelligent and describes unacceptable behavior, thought, or speech. From this word moria, we derive the word moron. To the Greek and Roman mind, to believe in Christ and in His Cross alone as the way to salvation was the belief of a moron. This kind of exclusive and “narrow” behavior, thought, or speech was simply unacceptable. When confronted with the message of the Gospel, a pagan of that time would have forthrightly exclaimed, “It is stupid, unintelligent, and unacceptable to believe that Jesus is the only way to God.”
Paul continued in First Corinthians 1:18, saying, “…Unto we which are saved it is the power of God.” The word “power” is the Greek word dunamis, which is most often used in ancient literature to depict military might or the ability to conquer. In fact, it is used 210 times in the New Testament to denote strength and conquering ability. For those who don’t believe in Jesus and have never experienced the delivering and conquering power of the Gospel, this message may seem to be foolishness. But those who have repented and have entered into covenant with Jesus Christ know the delivering, conquering power of these mighty words. It is no foolishness to the redeemed — it is the lifesaving power of God !
In the early days of the Church, the message of the Cross — backed with the power of the Spirit — produced life wherever it found open hearts to receive its eternal truth. It ignited new birth in the hearts of men, broke the yoke of spiritual bondage off of people’s lives, brought healing to bodies and minds ravaged by sickness and disease, and delivered people of defiling demonic influences from their previous pagan environment.
There was, there is, and there always will be wonder-working power in the message of the Cross. It may seem primitive or foolish to those who do not believe — but to those of us who are saved, this is the power of God unto salvation. For us, it is clear: There is salvation in no other.
Jesus is the only name given to man by which we can be saved (see Acts 4:12). The Cross is still the power of salvation to those who believe!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, I am thankful for the life-saving, transforming power of the Cross of Christ. Thank You for sending Jesus to die on that Cross to pay the price for my freedom. Thank You that the Holy Spirit opened my spiritual ears to hear and that my heart believed the message. I gratefully rejoice that the Cross is still the power of God to us who believe.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that my life has been changed by the power of Jesus Christ and His death on the Cross. That Cross has become the wisdom and power of God to me. Because of the Cross, I am freed from sin, bondage, sickness, and disease. It has been, is now, and will always be the power of God to me and to all those who believe. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that proclaims the power of the Cross. I am attentive and available to the Spirit of God so He can use me as He desires — both to proclaim and to demonstrate the power of the Cross so that men may receive the saving knowledge of its truth!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Do you remember the first time you heard the message of the Cross preached? Where were you, who preached it, and what effect did it have upon you?
- In what ways has your life been changed since you first heard the message of the Cross, and the power of Christ was released in you? Do you continue to meditate upon what Christ accomplished for you through His death, burial, and resurrection?
- Do you know anyone who thinks the message of the Cross is foolishness? Do you pray for that person’s eyes to be opened to the truth?