“And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offence of the cross ceased.” Galatians 5:11
The preaching of the cross of Jesus Christ is offensive to the natural man. We that believe look at the cross and we see grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, and hope; but this world sees a “stumbling stone and a rock of offense.” I want to look at this by asking one question:
I. What is the offense of the cross of Christ?
First, it offends the wisdom of men. This world and its religion believe that man can by wisdom know God — that by sincere and heart-felt study, man can know His creator in such a way as to bring him to heaven. They think the preaching of the cross is foolishness and that they by wisdom understand that there are better ways to save sinners. But the preaching of the cross tells us that this message, and means, was ordained of God for the salvation of His people apart from the wisdom of this world (1Cor 1: 17-31).
Second, it is offensive to man’s ability. This world believes that all men have “free will” in this matter of salvation. That man is the sovereign of his destiny, and he will come to Christ if all the right circumstances exist. But the preaching of the cross of Christ, tells us that no man can come to Christ unless the Father draws him (John 6:44). This is because all men are born dead in trespasses and sins, which make men both unable and unwilling to come to God by Jesus Christ. The only hope for sinners is that God the Holy Spirit quickens their dead souls to life and faith in Christ. This too is offensive to the natural man.
Third, it offends the merit of men. All men by nature believe that they can by their will, works, and self-righteousness merit the favor of God. But the Psalmist asks, “Who shall ascend to the hill of the LORD . . ? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart . . . (Ps. 24: 2-3).” But the gospel of the cross teaches us that “there is none righteous, no not one (Rom. 3:11-20)” The gospel teaches that the only way for man to approach unto God is to have the “righteousness of God which is by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ to all them that believe (Rom 3:21-22).” This is offensive to the natural man.
Therefore, how foolish is it for men to oppose the only hope for their salvation. Though all men oppose this gospel, it shall prevail to save all of God’s elect. It will save all those who believe on Jesus Christ and see His cross as their only glory (Gal 6:14).