1 Corinthians 1:18 - The Verses Project

Bible 1 Corinthians 1:18

Posted February 04, 2013

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.

What does the cross of Christ mean to you? The unfortunate death of a good moral teacher? A removed historical fact that bears no effect on your life? Or the only hope of reconciliation for sinners to a holy God? This is precisely the question that Paul is dealing with in this letter to the church in Corinth.

To some the word of the cross is “folly”. It is unnecessary, unimportant, and irrelevant to their daily life. Jesus’ death holds the same weight as any other random human’s death that has gone on in the past. This same word that is folly to some is to others “the power of God”. Those in this camp are always aware that apart from the cross we cannot approach the holy throne of God! The Bible teaches us that “the wages of sin is death...” (Romans 6:23) We were born under and held by the power of sin, but a stronger power, namely the power of the cross, overcame the power of sin & death! Those who repent and put their trust in Christ’s work on the cross are saved from sin’s power by God’s power.

At the end of the day this passage indicates there are only two stances you can take toward the cross: one believes that the cross is folly and the other sees it as the power of God for salvation of all who believe! What’s your stance? This verse also indicates that our answers put people in two spiritual camps: those who are perishing and those who are being saved. Our answer to the question, “What does the cross of Christ mean to you?” reveals those who are perishing and those who are being saved. May God give us eyes that see the beauty of the cross, hearts that the word of the cross be the power of God to us! For a deeper study in this, check out a book that DA Carson wrote precisely on this text called “The Cross and Christian Ministry” (http://amzn.com/0801091683) and the centrality of the cross.

This week’s song was written by Ben Limpic out of San Diego, sung by Brianna Gaither (http://www.briannagaither.com/) and Joel Limpic, and produced by Chris Clark. The artwork was created by Grant Hill, a graphic designer out of Oklahoma City and founder of Finch Creative Group (http://finchok.com/). Grant shared the heart behind his design: “As I was thinking through the verse it really struck me that both ‘sides’ are presented with the exact same word. The only difference is how/if we receive or deny it, and many people live in a place where both sides are constantly pulling at them.”