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New Creation
Jan 17th 2009, 03:39 AM
The Offense of the Cross
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“And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offense of the cross ceased” (Galatians 5:11). Paul’s Gospel had teeth. It bit hard into the kingdom of darkness and ripped chunks from it wherever it came. He didn’t make his message smooth and soft in order to suit the fancies of the religious majority. His Gospel was a sharp word that exalted Christ, lifted the cross up high, proclaimed total commitment to Christ the King, and utterly stripped man of all self-reliance, shattering self-righteousness, tearing down false religion, and leaving men stripped bare before God in utter dependence on His free grace alone to save them.

And of course, with a Gospel like this, Paul suffered persecution wherever he went. Yet he didn’t dare water-down the potency of the truth of God. He didn’t compromise his message in order to make it more acceptable to the people. He didn’t pervert it to make it look pretty. He proclaimed, “This is the way, the only way! Walk ye in it!” and pronounced a thundering “Anathema!” on anybody that dared to tamper with the message and preach another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9).

Yet this is exactly what was happening in the church at Galatia. False teachers had come in and deceived the brethren by perverting the Gospel. They were preaching that in addition to believing in Christ, it’s necessary to be circumcised according to the Law of Moses. They were adding to the Gospel, changing the message to make it more acceptable. Paul said of them: “As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ” (Galatians 6:12). False teachers and false brethren today are rarely found preaching circumcision as necessary for salvation. However, they are still doing the same thing to the Gospel, adding to it and taking away from it in order to make it less offensive and more acceptable to the religious folk who fill the churches, in order that they don’t have to suffer persecution for the sake of the message. They take away the “offense of the cross” and in doing so, take away the heart and substance of the Gospel.

Paul’s Gospel exalted the cross of Jesus Christ. Paul preached salvation solely through the finished work of the cross, and preached abroad that those who are to be saved by grace must identify themselves with this bloody cross. He preached that men need to believe in Christ, and that the result of believing is an identification with the cross. He gloried in the fact that he was “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20). He preached that the sinful flesh needs to be crucified; that the carnal man has to be put to death. Any who refuse to thus nail themselves to the cross are unworthy of the great, glorious Gospel of Christ. Any who water down the Gospel and dilute the message to make it more acceptable to carnal men or to tailor to the religious status quo, refusing to suffer for the sake of the Gospel are enemies of the cross, serving their own bellies, minding earthly things, and will face destruction (Phi. 3:18-19). There is no compromise here. Those that don’t like the message are the enemies of the cross.

Paul’s Gospel was offensive, highly offensive. He boasted that his message contained “the offense of the cross” and would not dare to cause such offense to cease. To him, the fact that there was such an offense was proof that he was preaching the true Gospel. He knew that the true Gospel would stir up devils and provoke the wrath of wicked men, and thus at times cause offense. And he continued to preach this true Gospel to the very end, even though it was “foolishness to those who are perishing”, because he knew that it was the power of God to those who believed and embraced it, resulting in salvation (1 Cor. 1:21). In addition to demolishing Satanic strongholds and turning multitudes from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God, the result of preaching this was angry mobs, getting stoned, being whipped and scourged, getting thrown into prison, being hated everywhere he went, and ultimately being beheaded in Rome.

Why doesn’t our “gospel” today get us persecuted? Why does it sit so well with the religious masses? Why doesn’t it bite and cut and wound and hack and kill false religiosity? Because it’s not God’s Gospel! It’s not the sharp, two-edged sword that pierces hearts and slashes through false religious ideologies. It doesn’t wound the consciences of hardened sinners and cause them to cry out in godly sorrow, “What must I do to be saved?” It doesn’t tear away the false foundations and strip away their false hopes, and so it leaves us building on a faulty foundation that’s not going to stand when the floods of God’s just judgment come against it. There’s no digging deep in plowing up the hardened ground by preaching the offense of the cross and calling for deep repentance, so there’s not a solid foundation laid that will endure to life everlasting. The result is that multitudes are trusting in a false “gospel” that pampers the flesh and are blindly walking down the wide road that leads to destruction.

In taking away the offensiveness of preaching heart-repentance from sin and biblical justification by faith and the necessity of bowing to the Lordship of Christ, and in taking away the offensiveness of the message of the cross, we have destroyed the foundation of the Gospel. We need to...

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reformedct
Jan 17th 2009, 04:00 AM
the only reason the gospel is offensive is because the mind of the flesh is hostile to God. The gospel is offensive to those who reject it. To us who recieve it, it is glorious!

but you are right, the church of America is mostly about easy-believism, causing many to think they are saved just because they recited a prayer.

The cross is bloody, it says you are wicked and deserve hell, but God is so good He died for you. You must repent, return to your maker in faith for the forgiveness of sin and recieve eternal life and freedom from the power of sin and death.

Most Americans do not think they are bad thanks to media. Everyone thinks they are really good people deep down and that they deserve a pat on the back lol. Everyone thinks they deserve salvation. The way we present it as some type of icing on the cake for your life is sickining and an offense to the glory of Gods grace and love displayed

crossnote
Jan 17th 2009, 08:27 AM
The Offense of the Cross


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TO READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE, CLICK HERE: http://www.puregospeltruth.com/offense_of_the_cross.html


A good article indeed. I would have added another aspect of the offense of the cross which goes to the heart of man's pride.

We are offered a crucified Savior, a crucified God who was ridiculed, spat upon, cursed, jeered etc. This goes against every macho fiber of our being to lay hope on such weakness.

theBelovedDisciple
Jan 17th 2009, 07:38 PM
A good article indeed. I would have added another aspect of the offense of the cross which goes to the heart of man's pride.

We are offered a crucified Savior, a crucified God who was ridiculed, spat upon, cursed, jeered etc. This goes against every macho fiber of our being to lay hope on such weakness.

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Very well put..

it goes against what this world teaches.. pride, strength thru the flesh, notoriety, lust, etc....

the 'cross' and the preaching of it.. its foolishness to most of the world.. and its a stumblingblock to Jews..

Humility and Sacrifice defeated Spiritual pride : where? the Cross..

He made an 'open show' of it.. Triumphing over 'them' in it...

When He said .... "It is Finished"... He meant it...

The Cross and the preaching of it...

Its where the Power of God is rooted....... to those who are Saved..
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For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
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My heart's Desire
Jan 18th 2009, 02:24 AM
Yes, the Cross is offensive to those who have to add or subtract from it. To simply believe in the finished work on the Cross and to not try to earn favor by Law-keeping was an offense to the Pharasees who thought they kept the Law perfectly and self-righteously and had earned the favor of God. It was an offence to not have to DO something to earn God's favor. Just to believe was too hard and a stumbling block.

New Creation
Jan 19th 2009, 06:35 PM
The cross is bloody, it says you are wicked and deserve hell, but God is so good He died for you. You must repent, return to your maker in faith for the forgiveness of sin and recieve eternal life and freedom from the power of sin and death.

Amen! Good word.

theBelovedDisciple
Jan 19th 2009, 06:44 PM
Yes, the Cross is offensive to those who have to add or subtract from it. To simply believe in the finished work on the Cross and to not try to earn favor by Law-keeping was an offense to the Pharasees who thought they kept the Law perfectly and self-righteously and had earned the favor of God. It was an offence to not have to DO something to earn God's favor. Just to believe was too hard and a stumbling block.
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I agree... its an 'offense' because... man has always believed he/she can work their way to Heaven.. or be good enought to attain it.. and then you have those who are so bold as to 'add' to the Work of the Cross.. so you must believe and then add works to it... nonsense...

He said it Perfectly.... 'It is Finished'

the Cross is 'God Centered'.. and the One who COMPLETED the Perfect Work on it was God Himself...

Its God Centered and not 'centered on man's work or theology'.. which flies in the face of mans wisdom and the wisdom of this world..

for the Cross was Ordained before the foundation of the World.. it was His Plan.. from the very beginning..

yaza
Jan 20th 2009, 05:14 AM
Yes, the Cross is offensive to those who have to add or subtract from it. To simply believe in the finished work on the Cross and to not try to earn favor by Law-keeping was an offense to the Pharasees who thought they kept the Law perfectly and self-righteously and had earned the favor of God. It was an offence to not have to DO something to earn God's favor. Just to believe was too hard and a stumbling block.
great post! please check out the what is the gospel thread and see just how offensive the cross is today. god bless