1 Corinthians 1:18-31: The Cross

Devotionals > New Testament > 1 Corinthians > 1 Corinthians 1:18-31: The Cross

1 Corinthians 1:18-31: The Cross

April 2, 2019


Joshua 3-5, Psalm 73, Mark 1:9-20, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

1 Corinthians 1:18-31:

An extraordinary passage with an extraordinary message: all is centered on the cross so that God would get all the glory!

First, consider why people do not center on the cross? Paul tells us it is because it seems like foolishness. We do not understand its wisdom. It seems weak. It seems pointless. Someone dying? Where is the power in that? We have heard it before. We want something new. Something novel. Something that comes with bells and whistles and a paraphernalia of impressive programs. The cross seems so… yesterday. It seems so puny and almost, well, embarrassing. We worship the God who sent his Son to die! What’s the good in that? It is the strangest, oddest, most counter-intuitive salvation message. We think of savior figures as strong rescuers – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Super Heroes – but here comes the message of the gospel: and it is all on the cross. It seems so foolish. That is why people do not center on the cross.

Second, why though should we center on the cross?

It is God’s design. It is his purpose. It is the way he works. That alone would be sufficient reason. But there is more. It is his announced design. It is how he has described that he works in Scripture. That should be more than enough for us. This is how God has chosen to work, and this is how he has told us that he has chosen to work. What more should we need?

But there is more: it is the wisdom of God. God in his wisdom has so designed the salvation plan in order to maximally exalt what is apparently weak in order that there would be no boasting in anything other than in God. So that means that behind our resistance to the cross, because it seems foolishness, is a further depth which resists because the cross, by its very nature, displays our weakness, our need of saving, and in so doing ensures that God gets all the glory. So we should center on the cross not only because this is God’s intention, and not only because this is God’s announced intention in Scripture, but also because by this means God ensures that he is maximally glorified and all boasting is only in him. This is God’s wisdom. This is God’s glory. This is God’s power. It seems foolish to human sinful eyes, but it is God’s revealed wisdom and by which God is maximally glorified, so that whoever boasts let him then boast in the Lord. If we want God to be maximally glorified, center on the cross.


Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.


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