“The devil doesn’t persecute those who aren’t making a godly difference in the world.” – Paul Chappell
Scripture reading: Galatians 5:1-11
There is a significant difference between believers and non-believers with regards to the Cross of Jesus Christ. The wonderful news of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to the believer is described as an offense or stumbling block to the non-believer. In his epistle to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul spoke of the great resistance in the world to the true gospel of Jesus Christ when he said, “And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.” – Galatians 5:11. The Greek word for offense used in this scripture is ‘skandalon’ from which the English word ‘scandal’ came from. In ancient Greek, the word meant a trap and so came to mean a trap that one might set for his enemies and particularly a trap that might cause someone to stumble. It’s well known that there is an element of victimization to the person at the center of any scandal. In our scriptural text for today, the believer is admonished that with regards to the message of reconciliation, the Great Commission, the offense of the Cross to the non-believer will never cease.
It must be known to every true believer that the Cross of Jesus Christ, which is priceless to the redeemed of the Lord, is a stumbling block or an offense to many people in the world, including religious people, agnostics and atheists. The Apostle Peter said, “Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” The ApostlePaul in his epistle to the church in Rome said, “As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” – Romans 9:33. The Christian must therefore be aware of the resistance and public outcry to the precious message of the Cross to the dying souls in the world in order not to be discouraged in their persistence of sharing the good news. The good news is that, it took one word of reconciliation from God through another person to open our eyes to the preciousness of the Cross. Despite the resistance in the world, the formula for unraveling the mystery and indescribable beauty of the Cross to all men remains the same. The person behind the resistance or offense of the world to the Cross was revealed in 2Cor. 4:3-4 which states, “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
Satan is not only a liar, but the father of all lies. His stranglehold of lies on precious souls on earth which causes them to resist the gospel is broken by the persistent commitment of the born-again believer to sharing the good news with all people. The truth is that, Jesus Christ is the power and wisdom of God as stated in 1Cor. 1:24. As the so-called wise of the world attempt to philosophize the gospel, and the religious ones request for definite signs to be given them, the duty of the believer is to preach the simple message of Christ’s love without shame for therein is the power of God. The knowledge of the existence of the “offense of the Cross” must embolden all believers into sharing the gospel with all men regardless of their resistance and outcry. The power of God that brings salvation to mankind lies in the gospel of reconciliation committed to the believer. (Romans1:16). The knowledge and acceptance of this fact must motivate all children of God to be prolific soul winners for the Kingdom of God.
Stay richly blessed and as you set out today and henceforth to share the gospel with precious souls, remember that the offense of the gospel will never cease; however, “There is no name given under heaven by which men can saved except the Name of Jesus Christ.” – Acts 4:11-12
Memory verse: “And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.” – Galatians 5:11
Dr. Isaac Paintsil ©