“But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:23-24
To those who are called by God, the crucifixion of Christ—and His resurrection—are the evident power and wisdom of God. The Spirit of God makes this clear to us, enlightening our hearts, and only He could remove the veil that once kept us from recognizing the truth and hope of Christ.
To those who have not been called, the cross doesn’t make sense. It’s a sign of weakness, of rejection, of ultimate defeat. To them, it is foolish to worship this man who died. Because for them, the veil over their hearts remains.
Our knowledge of God, our closeness to Him, is not of our doing. It is His mercy that brings us here to this place of faith. Believing that He is, and that He rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). He has opened our eyes to the wonder and truth of who He is. He has strengthened us to believe, to know Him, and has drawn us to His heart. We respond, we act, we choose to follow Him—but not without His first removing the veil and transforming our heart of stone into a heart of flesh that hears His voice and senses His leading.
Realizing this, our response should be thankfulness. We are unspeakably thankful for the grace and mercy of God on our behalf. In 1 Corinthians 1:30, Paul writes, “because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” Because of God, we are in Christ. And it has become clear to us that Christ is wisdom. He is our righteousness. In Him we are sanctified (purified, cleansed, made perfect and whole). Through His sacrifice, His blood, we are redeemed (purchased from the slavery of sin and set free to dance and run in our God’s paths of righteousness and light).
Our response should also be one of boldness. Confidence fills us, knowing that it is not our task to get someone to realize the truth and life found in Christ. It is God’s alone. He personally draws each of His own to Himself. He reveals Himself to each person’s heart in exactly the perfect way, showing the reality of who He is and the depth of His perfect love.
We are simply called to speak. To live our lives according to the character and model of Christ, in a manner worthy of His calling. For others to know Him, they must hear of Him. So we go forward in His strength, sent into the world by our Savior, showing boldness, compassion, and above all a love for our God and for those around us. We speak in confidence and humility, thankful that God calls and equips us. We trust that He will speak through us, being glorified in our weakness and frailty, drawing others to Himself in His gracious, powerful will.
“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all,
bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching?…
As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’…
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
“Let him who has my word speak my word faithfully.”
“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from their destruction.”
“But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed…For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
2 Corinthians 3:16; 4:6-7