JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED
- Key Verse
- And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. . . . so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:1-2, 5)
- READ THE CHAPTER
The power of the gospel revealed through God's Word, not man's power of persuasion, brings us to Jesus Christ.
In the legal profession and the political arena, I have often been confronted with the challenge of how to exercise the power of persuasion effectively – persuading another lawyer to see my case from my client's perspective, persuading a judge to rule in my favor, persuading a jury to believe my client's story, persuading voters to choose me over another candidate, or persuading other legislators to support my position on a bill. But convincing others that Jesus Christ died on a cross to save us from eternal punishment and provide us with the opportunity to restore our relationship with a perfect God and enjoy eternal life with Him does not rest on the persuasive skills of man; it simply calls for our faithful presentation and God's revelation.
Jesus instructs us to tell others the good news of His sacrifice for our sins (Matthew 28:19). That message is clearly summarized by going to verses like John 3:16, John 14:6, and Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:13, and 8:1 (also known as the "Romans Road"). But presenting the gospel to others is not really an argument for us to win or lose; rather, it's an invitation to a profound, life-changing relationship that we are asked only to make known to others through our words and actions. How others choose to respond to that invitation is between them and God.
Often, our natural tendency is to approach witnessing to others either as something to be avoided because it feels awkward, or as some sort of contest in which the "number of people converted" takes on the appearance of McDonald's and the number of hamburgers sold. We should always be ready to tell others the reason for the hope we have in Christ, but with "gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15-16, ESV) That sounds more like witnessing to others through preparation and presentation, not arm-twisting, argument, dismissal, or debate.
So, in a world in which God's free gift of salvation through Christ is routinely rejected, we should respond with humility not hostility, with faithfulness not force. Freedom is found in Christ, and Him crucified. Enough said.
Discussion Questions1. Where is your hope found?
2. If your hope is found in Christ, how do you present a defense for that hope to others?
3. Are you reluctant to share your hope with others? Would you be reluctant to rescue someone standing on a railroad track from an oncoming train? What's the difference?
4. Do you put your faith in your own powers of persuasion or in the power of the gospel?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
1 Corinthians 2-6 (June 18-22)
Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
* If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior, who lives in you?
* What do these verses say your body is?
* How would you expect someone to take care of a temple?
* What does it mean that you were bought with a high price?
* How do you treat something that is very expensive?
* How can you honor God with your body? (Make a list of at least 10 things.)
Activity: Go outside and use sidewalk chalk to draw a body for each family member. Be sure to include the eyes, ears, mouth, brain, heart, hands, feet, and stomach. Now for each of these parts, discuss ways that you can honor God with them.