We preach Christ crucified…

April 14, 2008 by: KJVOnly

Reading the first several chapters of 1 Corinthians rightly divided is such an awe-inspiring experience! Just before it, in the book of Romans, Paul has laid out in great detail God’s entire plan.

He focused on convincing his own people, the Jews, that what they held dear was not possible to save them. He also showed how the Gentiles had no reason to boast either, how it was completely and solely because of Christ’s work on the cross that ANYONE had any hope of salvation!

Paul does us a large favor by summarizing his arguments and making them crystal clear what the times we’re in now call for. He ESPECIALLY lays to rest the arguments of the Great Commission crowd and anyone who believes we’re to “take up our cross”.

Ready? Let’s dig in…

  1. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
  2. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
  3. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
  4. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1 Corinthians 1:17-20 KJV

Verse 17 alone should lay to rest the belief that baptism is necessary or desirable. (1 Corinthians 13:10 DEFINITELY lays that notion to rest.)

  1. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

1 Corinthians 13:10 KJV

Continuing in verse 17, Paul says “not with the wisdom of words”. Huh? What is he doing if not preaching with words by WRITING A LETTER?!?

What he means is that if words alone could save people, Christ would not have needed to die on the cross. As I stated earlier, this is a summation/restating of his argument in Romans, where he stated that if the law could save people, Christ wouldn’t have needed to die.

  1. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
  2. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:19-20 KJV

  1. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Galatians 2:21 KJV

Paul is also stating the most important point: What the world considers wisdom is foolishness to God, and the world considers foolish what God considers wisdom.

Look at 1 Corinthians 1:18 up above. Preaching the cross is foolishness to them that perish, but is the power of God to us which are saved! Verses 19 and 20 show how God is far greater than what the world considers wisdom. Anything that could even vaguely be considered foolishness on God’s part is STILL far greater than the wisdom of this world!

  1. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 1:25 KJV

Please, please, PLEASE don’t be taken in by people making the “appeal to authority” logical fallacy. They want you to believe in them because of the seminary degrees on their wall, the books on their shelves, their experience in life. What they DON’T want you to do is to read the Word for yourself and see how it exposes these charlatans for what they are!

The entire reason this website was started is stated in 2 Timothy 2:15-16.

  1. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
  2. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

2 Timothy 2:15-16 KJV

  1. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
  2. Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:20-21 KJV

Notice how Paul says “Which some professing” in 1 Timothy 6:21? That means that there are people today calling themselves Christian which aren’t! It also means that you have to beware, that even people who are Christians may not be preaching the right things.

Let’s also look at one of my favorite passages, 2 Corinthians 11:3-4.

  1. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
  2. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 KJV

The good news about Christ is that it really is SIMPLE!!! If someone is trying to sound “wise”, appealing to the original Greek, using multiple Bibles, etc., they’re in violation of 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 and your alarm bells should go off. Trying to bring all these other factors in is designed to do nothing but introduce confusion and keep you dependent on that particular “scholar” (I use the term loosely).

Guess what? God is NOT the author of confusion! He in no way blesses or approves of what those people are doing!

  1. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV

That passage tells how the different spiritual gifts in use at the time were not designed to cause strife but to complement each other and play the parts the King James Bible does for us today. (I refer you back to 1 Corinthians 13:10.)

So, God is not desirous of confusion, strife and dependence on any earthly authority. We have God’s Word in the King James Bible to tell us what God wants us to hear. When we are saved we have the Holy Spirit to comfort us and teach us, revealing many nuggets of wisdom to us. We also have Christ living in us, giving us his faith to live on and allowing us to not beat ourselves up when we make mistakes.

  1. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
  2. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
  3. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Galatians 2:19-21 KJV

  1. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Let’s continue on with 1 Corinthians 1, seeing why God’s plan is working as it is.

  1. For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
  2. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
  3. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness.
  4. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:21-24 KJV

When I go to the laundromat I sometimes meet a guy I’ll call “Joe”. The last time Joe and I talked he asked about Mark 8:34. (It is also stated in Matthew 10:38, Matthew 16:24, Luke 9:23 and Luke 14:27.)

  1. And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Mark 8:34 KJV

Joe believed that this was how people should live their lives today, that life is joyless and a burden all the time. I had to smile because people love to cherry pick Jesus’ teachings to suit their aims. (It’s another reason to beware anyone who presents themselves as a scholar.) I guess Joe missed Matthew 11:28-30.

  1. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
  2. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls.
  3. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30 KJV

How do we reconcile the two statements? Well, there is wonderful news! We don’t have to! The verses aren’t directed to us Gentiles! In several different places Jesus says he is only sent to Israel, he only sends the disciples to towns in Israel, etc. PAUL is the apostle to the Gentiles and it’s his writings we should follow!

Look again at 2 Corinthians 5:17.

  1. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.
  2. And that he died for all, that they which live should not live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
  3. Wherefore henceforth knew we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
  4. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
  5. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
  6. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
  7. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
  8. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

2 Corinthians 5:14-21 KJV

Notice the several times Paul says “henceforth”. That means “from now on”. So, how can we even THINK of taking up our cross daily when henceforth we know Christ in spirit and in truth?!? Verse 17 reiterates that old things are passed away. Verse 18 takes it further and says God “hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” How could we be good ministers if we’re still whipping ourselves and thinking we have to do something to earn our salvation?

Anyone who thinks they have to earn their salvation or wants to live life “before the cross” is missing out on the glorious truth! Life is SO MUCH better now in the “fulness of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:25) than people realize!

  1. For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Romans 11:25 KJV

It’s only through rightly dividing God’s Word in the King James Bible that we learn what God would really have us do!

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