Friday after the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 (NKJV)
2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.
For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For
“who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
Obviously St. Paul does not mean that he or the Church would just say the words “Jesus Christ crucified” over and over like a parrot. Nor does it mean that all other topics would be minimized or ignored and all matters of preaching and teaching would be only about the moment when Christ was crucified. St. Paul makes the point that all the Church’s doctrine and practice should be faithfully connected to and focused on the Gospel of our forgiveness in Jesus Christ’s atoning death.
All that Christ taught and commanded to the Apostles is for the purpose of making all people disciples who are focused on the cross. Simply put, all of our Lord’s Words from Genesis to His death on the cross were pointing forward to that event, and all His teaching since the crucifixion points back to it. Jesus Christ crucified is the true focus of God’s righteousness for us.
False teachers are characterized by their efforts to shift the focus away from Christ crucified. Permissive “love” is not more important than repentance and faith in the Gospel. Man’s works or false unity are not an equal or greater focus than the work of God’s Word and Spirit to make us one in His kingdom, which is defined according to Jesus Christ crucified.
We pray: Lord of all Power and Might, who art the Author and Giver of all good things, graft in our hearts the love of Thy name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of Thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.