But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
— 1 Corinthians 1:23–24 —
Joshua Richert: Czech Bible Institute | Czech Republic
Christ as crucified should be the emphasis in every pastor’s preaching and every Christian’s gospel proclamation. In Paul’s day, the gospel was a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. Jesus Christ is fully God; everything was created through Him and for Him. That He would take on a human nature and body, and die on the cross to pay for sin is a scandalous message. The gospel is where God’s power and wisdom are chiefly put on display. It would be foolish to resort to human wisdom and philosophies. This was not popular in the first century, and it’s not popular today. So why all the commotion about changing the message to make it more palatable? Paul says that the gospel is the “power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24). God has chosen to show His wisdom and power in an unlikely place—the crucifixion of His beloved Son. To stray from this message is to lose God’s power that brings the spiritually dead to life. Our goal is not to proclaim what is popular, but to proclaim the cross. In the Czech Republic, a main focus of churches and pastors is the love of God—to the neglect of God’s holiness which demands payment for sin. Thus, preaching Christ as crucified doesn’t have the prominent place it should. The gospel is where God’s power and wisdom are chiefly put on display. It would be foolish to resort to human wisdom and philosophies. Are you tempted to preach a more popular message? Don’t be! The gospel is “foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).