“For I determined not to know any thing among you, except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).
God decrees the very fabric of time and He actually enters into it as part of His decree. Christ and Him crucified, is the sum and substance of the entire gospel, which is why Christians are to contend for the gospel with a force that will carry conviction to the heart and mind of every serious and candid inquirer for truth.
“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13, emphasis added).
To exhort means to urge and warn earnestly; to admonish with a force that compels; to make urgent appeals. According to Scripture, Christians must strive daily to exhort and get across airtight expositions of Scripture that cannot be biblically refuted or resisted, and this can only be done by adhering relentlessly to… the record that God has given us of His Son (1 Jn. 5:10-11).
Proclaiming nothing but Christ and Him crucified entails laboring to hold forth Jesus in all of His glory. Because humanist philosophies, such as Arminianism, severely distorts the image of Christ, for it limits the power of Jesus’ atonement, by attempting to expand the scope of it to include those who end up in Hell; blasphemously implying Jesus’ blood was not sufficient to save. Thereby making man and his almighty “freewill” the ultimate reference point, which places the would-be autonomous man on the throne, instead of Christ.
Even if one claims not to adhere to Arminianism, they are deceiving themselves if they are still retaining the two foundational pillars of Rome (autonomous freewill and universal atonement). In fact, every cult in the world will expose itself at this touchstone. This is why there must be a casting down of every such imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. And it is only by spiritually comprehending Christ and Him crucified, that true Christianity is revealed.
The solid rock of Christ, and what He actually accomplished at the cross, is the pinnacle upon which all other biblical truths culminate, converge and harmonize. If this biblical foundation is not laid, the entire superstructure will collapse and faith will be shipwrecked. So by the grace of God, Christians are called to discern, expose and dismantle all of the false supports that the world leans so heavily upon. And this will involve suffering for Jesus’ name sake, because God has appointed Christians for this.
“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Phil. 1:29).
Jesus gives an intimate and deep knowledge of the heart that eminently qualifies His followers to adequately address anxious sinners, destroy their delusive hopes, detect their legality, pursue them through every refuge of lies, and to point them to a crucified Savior as their only spiritual safety. For they themselves have been humbled into the dust as a result of being given a clearer view of the divine perfections of God’s holy standard of righteousness, which is found only in Christ.
It may seem paradoxical that Jesus’ followers are so self-abased and yet so full of joy, but the closer one gets to God, the more they realize their need to come to Christ for righteousness, not by their own righteousness. This is true repentance; judging one’s self to be completely sinful, helpless and hopeless apart from Christ and Him crucified. Once they’ve abandoned their own futile efforts and placed their total trust in Him alone, they find that He is faithful and true to all of His promises, which brings them the most inexpressible joy imaginable!
Apart from Christ and Him crucified one can do NOTHING of spiritual worth. Until God says to the heart, “Be still,” and to the will “Give up,” nothing of true, eternal worth can be accomplished (Jn. 15:5). One can only act as they have been acted upon, by the Holy Spirit bringing one’s will into harmony with God’s will.
“If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself” (Jn. 7:17).
Until this happens the doctrine of Christ and Him crucified will be like foolishness and a stumbling block to those who refuse to submit to being completely at God’s mercy and sovereign disposal. Because the message and offense of the cross is that there is NOTHING that anyone can do to save themselves. Proclaiming Jesus Christ and Him crucified sums up the entire gospel of the kingdom of God’s sovereign, saving grace, and absolutely annihilates every man-centered religion in the world!
Only by spiritually discerning the deep and rich implications of Christ and Him crucified, can one truly comprehend the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached, which is the gospel of God’s sovereign rule and reign over sin, death and all things…including salvation. It is a serious offense against God for anyone to ignore and neglect to observe this all-encompassing truth, for God is constantly confirming it.
“Lord when Thy hand is lifted up they will not see” (Isa. 26:11).
Blatant disregard of God’s clear confirmations of the gospel of the kingdom, is a sin that He threatens with devastatingly severe judgments (Psa. 28:4-5; 66:5, Isa. 5:12-13). God makes it clear that He brings spiritual judgments upon those who refuse to acknowledge and heed His majestic ways and warnings.
“He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others; Because they turned back from Him, and would not consider any of His ways” (Job 34:26-27).
Their attempts to ignore, conceal and minimize their wickedness is futile, for there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed (Mt. 10:26). No matter how much the world tries to sugar-coat its atrocities, and no matter how hard it labors to justify the wicked and condemn those whose righteousness is of the Lord, it will never escape accountability to God.
No matter how many “hate speech” laws are passed to persecute God’s people, we are in good company, because Jesus was crucified precisely for His scathing rebukes against sin and self-righteousness, and for exposing and speaking against the blind guides of the established religious system and their so-called “cleanliness code” that strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel (e.g. Mt. 23:23, Mk. 12:12, Lk. 20:19-20).
Ironically, those white-cloaked Pharisees were also the self-appointed “public health experts” of that day. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?!
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness” (Mt. 23:27).
Copyright © 2021 by Lee Anne Ferguson