Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Folly of the Cross

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

18 Ὁ λόγος γὰρ ὁ τοῦ σταυροῦ τοῖς μὲν ἀπολλυμένοις μωρία ἐστίν, τοῖς δὲ σῳζομένοις ἡμῖν δύναμις θεοῦ ἐστιν.

At the risk of committing an exegetical fallacy, I want to point something out in this verse. The word  μωρία is translated as "folly" here. It could also be translated "foolishness." This word seems to be related to the word μωρός, which is where we get our word "moron" from. I normally chafe at this kind of a word association game, but I think it applies here for illustration purposes.

The point is that the cross seems foolish or even moronic to those who don't believe the Gospel. But for those of us who are being saved it is everything. It is the power of God.

This helps to explain the problems we have with evangelism and witnessing. As we talk to people about the cross we get a lot of funny looks and arguments. They don't understand how this works. What does a man dying on a cross have to do with my standing before God? If we believe the gospel we understand that it has everything to do with that. If not, then it is ridiculous. It takes God to open the spiritual eyes so that it makes sense.

This does not remove our obligation for evangelism, but it does provide comfort when a clear presentation of the gospel falls on deaf ears. The cross was folly to me before I was saved and it is folly to anyone else that cannot see with spiritual eyes. Remember that as you evangelize. You are evangelizing, right?

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