1 Cor 1:18-2:5
“You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.”
“We shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…”
“I have nothing to offer but blood, sweat and tears”
Winston Churchill’s speeches inspired the nation to fight on alone in World War Two and eventually prevail and win. Paul, with wonderfully flowing rhetoric, makes the point that the cross has power of a very different kind than human speeches. Paul is writing to a city that prizes the intellectual and cultural, to speak about Jesus, “God dying on a rubbish heap at the wrong end of the Empire”. (Tom Wright) He didn’t just die, He burst forth from the grave with resurrection power!
The message of the cross is folly to the perishing and power to the saved. It’s a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles. To the believing it is the power of God and the wisdom of God, far greater than man’s power and wisdom.
We may not be wise, we may not be powerful in our town, we may not have had noble birth and a silver spoon in our mouths as babes. But when we make our lives – and talking and giving and ministering – all about Jesus, and Him crucified and risen, there is power. There will be demonstrations of the Spirit – healings, changed lives, freedom from addiction, situations changing, new communities of believers started and society changed and transformed.
I have nothing to offer, but… Christ and Him crucified. Do you believe it? Do you live it?
I am indebted to Phil Moore’s Straight to the heart of Acts for today’s notes. They are a fantastic series of books covering Bible books in 60 bite sized chunks. Well worth the average price of £7.99 and time to read!