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Knowing Everything AND Christ Crucified June 11, 2010

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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1 Corinthians 2:1-5
People are funny about their beliefs and their long held traditions. For instance, it is tradition to have an old family Bible sitting on a stand on a shelf or in the living room. It seldom gets used. Once it was used regularly. It was most likely the only Bible the household owned. It was likely read nightly by the light of the fire or oil lamp by the only person in the family that could read. Or, some benevolent soul read to her children each night before they went to sleep. We don’t do that much anymore. Our lives are so hectic and helter shelter that we seldom slow down long enough to do anything like that. We could get the entire Bible, in numerous languages, on any hand held devices we tote around, but we don’t. Traditions have changed.
Another old tradition is to have wall art in the home. It is usually some quote from the Bible, like Joshua’s ‘choose this day whom you will serve’ plaque. Sometimes it is a portrayal of the “Ten Commandments” or the ‘Footprints’ picture. There are many people who still have a Crucifix hanging on their wall or around their neck. Sometimes a small statue of Christ’s agony stands on a bed side table or living room book shelf. Some people are quick to point out that Jesus isn’t on the Cross anymore, His is risen.
Well, hallelujah. He has risen. The problem is, that the same people who make this point like to point their fingers and say things like: “Jesus isn’t on the Cross anymore so that’s not a good symbol.” Some say it’s iconic and we should avoid these statues and symbols lest we begin to worship them. Others, the very religious among us, are quick to tell another person that having a Crucifix is keeping Christ on the Cross in their lives. They should let Him come down rather than to be confined to the Cross. They should let Jesus have the whole house. They should let Jesus have completely control of their lives. Their criticisms are correct, but I wonder if the complainant is living up to their own standards. There are so many who are quick to point out everyone else’s faults, I wonder if they realize that when they are pointing out someone else they have more fingers pointing back at themselves. Jesus said of the Pharisees, that they made rules for others that they themselves would not lift a finger to accomplish. The real problem is when beliefs and traditions become truth and doctrine. I say, if it helps you remember to pray, or remember the blessings of God without becoming an idol, use it. Our focus should always be on Him.
Look at verse two. Paul was resolved to “know nothing except Christ crucified.” What better representation is there than a Crucifix? What are we preaching? Are we preaching ourselves, our own agendas, or the old traditions that don’t seem to line up with scripture? Whose message are we proclaiming? If we approach someone with all the things they are doing wrong demanding they change; how will we be received. Because I said so has never worked for me, not even with my mother. How is some random person going to correct another with a list of “thou shalt not’s” when they have no authority or influence over me.
When we proclaim truth, we should take into account the other person. Paul did not come into town claiming superiority in knowledge or wisdom. He came in and told the people of a Savior who died for them, and this is how. He was hung upon a Roman Cross. Not for anything He had done, rather for what we have done, what I have done. “The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us that are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor 1:18) In evangelism, we can’t begin at the point of a person’s doctrinal faults and the jewelry or décor of their home. No, we must begin at the point their need, the need of forgiveness, the need of a Savior. Approach them as Paul did, with humility. Not looking down our noses at them finding ourselves better than them, but with love. After all, it is not our message. It is God’s message. We are only the messengers. I think it’s great that He even lets us participate and try to help.
Know the Truth. Speak the Truth. Live the Truth.

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