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Perishing or Being Saved

Our text today is 1Corinthians 1:18, For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to
us who are being saved it is the power of God.

The reason for this cross, the one Christ bled and died on, was to show man's utter depravity and the
manifestation of God's infinite love to fallen mankind. It is the story of God's infinite love to guilty man. That
God's righteousness demanded that sin be punished, and there it was punished. 1Peter 2:24, He Himself
(Jesus) bore our sins in His body on the cross.” Jesus appeased the wrath of God for our sins by showing His
love for us and sending His own Son to be a propitiation for our sins. 1John 4:10. He was indeed the Lamb of
God who takes away the sins of the world, (John 1:29), indeed a wrath satisfying sacrifice.

In verse 17 of 1 Corinthians Paul says he was sent to preach the gospel but not in cleverness of speech, the
same Greek word as the “word” in our text, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. In other
words, that it would not be made to look of less value than if he came with great words of oratory beauty,
words of great eloquence, words of great wisdom that so many desired to hear in that day. Paul shows that
human wisdom and worldly reason have absolutely no place in the salvation of the human soul. Paul
determines to know nothing among us except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1Cor.2:2) If you talked with Paul
about anything, these words were ready on his lips to respond to you about the Gospel. Worldly wisdom has
no place in Christian salvation because the message of the cross is a Divine revelation. John MacArthur states,
Paul is contrasting man's word, which reflects man's wisdom, with God's word which reflects God's wisdom.”

We notice two groups of people in our text, ones who are perishing, and ones who are being saved. There is a
dividing line of humanity. Jesus mentions two groups of people similar to here in Matt.7:13, of ones being on
the broad way and ones being on the narrow way. To those who are perishing, this cross is foolishness. The
New Testament uses this word for foolishness 5 times, all of them in this epistle to the Corinthians. It is the
Greek word moria, in which the English word moron comes from. Simply meaning, foolish, stupid, irrational,
absurd, good for nothing. Paul explains why this is so, in 1Cor.2:14, The natural man does not accept the
things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to Him, and he cannot understand them, because they are
spiritually appraised, (or discerned.)”

The spiritual truth this reveals in our text can only be revealed to a man's mind by the Spirit of God. The
natural man, in our prior state of unbelieving, has our minds blinded so that we might not see the light of the
gospel of the glory of Christ (2Cor.4:4), but in 2 Cor.4:6, but God, who said, Light shall shine out of darkness,
is the One who has shown in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of
Christ.” That is how we got saved.

Our verse talks of two actions, one of who are perishing, and one of who are being saved. These both are in
the present perfect tense, showing that they are both on going processes that have begun in the past. The
groups of people being talked about are continuing to perish or, are continuing on being saved. We are either
continually being delivered from the disease of self and sin, or we are continually becoming more selfish and
sinful despite our self-effort.

Where are you on this journey of life? We must be on the course of being saved! We can have a joy that will
not be eclipsed when the Light continually shines in our hearts, that God is our everlasting, all sufficient, all
satisfying, ever present treasure for our hearts to bask in. Next week, Lord willing, we will look at what it looks
like and means to be perishing and what it looks like and means to be being saved.

Elder Randy Slak