December 30, 2013
READ: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense (v.23).
A few years ago, a prominent Christian group removed the word Christ from its organisation’s name. The organisation defended its name change, citing research which revealed that 20 percent of non-Christians were alienated and offended by the name of Christ. So they stated that they were merely looking for a name that would make the organisation more effective in sharing the gospel.
It surprised me that only 20 percent of non-Christians are offended by the name of Christ. The apostle Paul warned that to preach “salvation through the cross of Christ” would offend people (Galatians 5:11). The Jews who were expecting a mighty conquering Deliverer stumbled over the suffering Servant. The world laughed at the ludicrous idea that a dead man could save. “So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense” (1 Corinthians 1:23). Even today, the name of Jesus is persistently and progressively being rejected and removed from schools, courts and all of society.
Like the believers in the early church, Christians will be intimidated, pressured and warned not to “speak or teach in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18). But we must persist in proclaiming Him for two reasons:
Firstly, “there is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (v.12). “To those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24).
Secondly, “if anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father” (Mark 8:38). —K.T. Sim
What did Jesus say about the way we should live in a world that’s hostile to Him and His message? (Matthew 5:10-16).
Why is the name of Christ so offensive to those who don’t believe in Him? How are you lifting up His name to those around you?