The Offense of the Cross
Paul called his message “the offense of the cross” (Galatians 5:11).
Again and again he warned that the true Gospel of God’s grace and glory would meet with great opposition from the religious world and the natural world.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;” (I Corinthians 1:18).
Our Lord said, “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (I John 3:14).
He also said, “They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (John 16:2).
If what we preach is NOT offensive to the religionist and to the worldling, then it is NOT the Gospel of Christ.
I repeat, it is NOT the Gospel!
1. GOD’S ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY in creation, providence and redemption offends man’s claim to free will! “We will not have this man to REIGN over us” (Luke 19:14).
2. The preaching of TOTAL DEPRAVITY AND INABILITY offends man’s dignity and claim to personal righteousness. “We be not born of fornication,” that is, “We be not (they say) born in sin. We may not be perfect but we are not totally corrupt in God’s sight.”
3. The Gospel of Christ comes by REVELATION, and this offends man’s natural wisdom. The college professor knows as much about the mysteries of grace as the farmhand, which is nothing apart from the Spirit of God.
4. EFFECTUAL REDEMPTION through the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Substitute and Sin-offering, offends man’s pride. Men would have God do all that He wants to do and all that He can do, but there must be a work left for the sinner to perform, that we might share somewhat in the glory.
5. THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST offends man’s desire for recognition here and hereafter. “They said unto Him grant unto us that we may sit, one on the right hand, and the other on Thy left hand, in glory” (Mark 10:37).
“Let us have a system of rewards to distinguish us in some way from the beggar.” Sadly, men have established their social levels here and presume to continue them in heaven.
By Henry Mahan