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Thursday, May 24, 2018

2018.05.24 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1Corinthians 1:18-25

Questions for Littles: What is foolishness to those who are perishing (v18)? To whom is the message of the cross the power of the cross? What has God done to the wisdom of this world (v20)? Through what did the world not know God (v21)? Through what did God save those who believe? What do Jews request (v22)? What do Greeks seek? But what do we preach (v23)? To whom is Christ crucified a stumbling block? To whom is Christ crucified foolishness? Who is the power of God and the wisdom of God, to those who are called (v24)?  
In this week’s Epistle reading, we learn about how God is the One who has decided how to save. And He has made it all about His Son.

There are some who would make it all about their experience. They are looking for the dramatic—for a sign, like the Jews.

These people generally stumble at the cross. It isn’t a great experience to them, even though Jesus told them that it would be the “sign of Jonah,” for Himself to be in the earth for three days, this is just too unexpected, and too pathetic.

There are others who would make salvation all about their cleverness. They are looking for a theory or philosophy—for “wisdom,” like the Greeks.

These people generally scoff at the cross. God became a man? So that He could die? And then He un-died? To people looking for a life-theory or philosophy, dwelling on the cross just sounds utterly ridiculous and irrelevant!

But those who are being saved—whose eyes and heart the Lord has opened—know that the cross is actually the greatest example of both. It is the greatest experience in the world to come to know the One who died for you on the cross. It is the greatest display of wisdom in history that the living God has come up with a way to save sinners.

There are many practical matters to deal with in Corinth. And the apostle will deal with them. But all the way through, He will keep tying everything back to the message of the cross. Whether his readers are pleased with that tells us all about them: whether they are perishing or being saved.
How about you? Do you love to hear the message of the cross? Does it sound to you like the greatest experience that you could ever have of the power of God? Does it sound to you like the greatest display that there could ever be of the wisdom of God? If you cannot honestly answer that it is so, then do not sit their trying to quibble with this devotional in your heart. Instead, ask God that for the sake of Christ, He would make you spiritually alive! 
Suggested songs: ARP130 “Lord, From the Depths” or HB199 “Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed”

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