Galatians 4:11



Rev. John Greer

The offence of the cross lies in the fact that the message of the perfect work and atoning death of Christ humbles the pride of man and causes him to fall prostrate in the dust. The Gospel strips him of all in which he trusts, leaving him naked in his sin before God, removing from him every fleshly confidence and rendering him helpless. Therefore, the message of the cross is an offence to sinful man.
It is a repudiation of human wisdom. Man desires that a place should be given to the human mind in the salvation of the soul, but Scripture shows that no such place is afforded (1 Corinthians 1:17-31). Rather, those who are brought to Christ find that He is their wisdom, enlightening their minds and bringing them out of their darkness.
The Cross is an offence because it sets aside all supposed human ability. Throughout time, many have preached that human ability or power contributes to salvation and such pleases the flesh. But the message of the cross offends, for it tells men that they are spiritually dead, spiritually paralysed, spiritually blind, spiritually bound. The Gospel tells man that he is a corpse, a cripple, and a leper, and that he is responsible for this inability and that only Christ can rescue him – all very offensive to the human heart.
Again, the message of the Cross is an offence because it gives no place to human merit. Sinful man concludes that he has sufficient righteousness to stand before God, arriving at this conclusion by a false standard of measuring himself alongside others, or that his “good deeds” will outweigh the “bad”. But the problem is that all that man does is corrupted by his sin, making it impossible to do anything meritorious. This is also the message of the cross – that Christ’s perfect righteousness alone gives merit with God. How offensive to the human heart!
Daily devotions are from the book “Footprints of Faith” edited by Dr. Alan Cairns.
Copyright 2003 – All Rights Reserved.
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