The Great Theme
1 Corinthians 2:2
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

The apostolic preacher considered what was most needful and profitable to his audience, not what would meet their curiosity or please their taste. So he, of deliberate purpose, gave prominence to a theme which the Greeks were disposed to scorn, but which they, in common with all sinners, needed to hear - Christ crucified. A modern preacher who would be faithful must keep his soul braced to the same determination: "Not anything... save Jesus Christ." Not Christianity, but Christ; not a system, but the Saviour at the centre of it. "Whom we preach," etc. (Colossians 1:28). "And him crucified." That which appeared to men the indelible disgrace of Jesus of Nazareth has proved to be his great power over human conscience and his great attraction for the human heart. St. Paul had seen many proofs of this in his public ministry, and had felt the force of this in his own soul. And the chief theme of the apostle ought to be the chief theme still. A thousand things have changed in the world, but not the moral and spiritual exigency of man. The preaching of Christ crucified cannot grow obsolete. Take the following as reasons for determining to preach Christ and him crucified: -

I. REDEMPTION IS BY CHRIST CRUCIFIED. Whether it be redemption from "all iniquity," from "the curse of the Law," or from a "vain manner of life," it is distinctly ascribed in Scripture to the blood of Christ or to his death (see Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18; Galatians 3:13; Revelation 5:9). The dignity of his person, the purity of his disposition, and the holiness of his life gave value to his death; but it was by his death that he obtained eternal redemption for us.

II. PEACE OF CONSCIENCE COMES THROUGH CHRIST CRUCIFIED, No study of nature, no study of Scripture apart from the cross of Calvary, can relieve the distress of a conscience alive to the heinousness of sin and the imminence of judgment. Not even the contemplation of Jesus Christ in his spotless example can give any relief. How far are we from full conformity to him! We are more and more conscience stricken till we behold him suffering for our sins, and then we have "peace by the blood of his cross."

III. DEATH TO SIN IS THROUGH CHRIST CRUCIFIED. We are baptized into his death, and, being buried with him, emerge in newness of life. Through faith we have moral identification with our Lord, and, dying to sin, as crucified with him, we live to righteousness, because he lives in us.

IV. THE SUPREME ARGUMENT OF LOVE IS IN CHRIST CRUCIFIED. At the cross God commends his love to us, and Christ proves himself the good Shepherd in giving his life for the sheep. The plea for love among Christians is thus put by St. Paul: "Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up," etc. (Ephesians 5:2).

V. THE SUPREME EXAMPLE OF PATIENCE IS IN CHRIST CRUCIFIED. (See 1 Peter 2:20-24.) Thus it is that many sufferers have learned submission from considering the unmurmuring endurance of the Lamb of God, who, under all the pressure of the last sufferings, made no complaint - "opened not his mouth."

VI. ENMITY TO HIS CROSS IS REPRESENTED AS A FATAL SIN. In Hebrews 10:29 contempt of "the blood of the covenant" is referred to as deserving of the sorest punishment. In Philippians 3:18, 19, St. Paul writes, not without tears, of the destruction which awaits those who are "enemies of the cross of Christ." Men are such enemies when, being self righteous, they will not put their trust for salvation in Christ crucified; or when, being self willed and earthly minded, they refuse the sanctifying power of the cross, and will not have their "old man crucified with Christ." It is no light matter or venial offence to ignore or despise the "one Sacrifice for sins." For all these reasons, the modern preacher should resolve as St. Paul resolved, and let no passing fashion of the time shake his resolution. Great works of God around us have a certain freshness and immortality. The flow of rivers, the surging of the sea, the course of the seasons, the splendour of the sun, and the bright order of the stars are the same now as when man first observed them. So also it is with the great work of God in Christ for our salvation, finished on the cross. Its wisdom and righteousness and love are as worthy of adoring praise today as they were in the days when apostles, prophets, and evangelists went to and fro among wondering cities of the East, determined to know nothing among the people save Jesus Christ and him crucified. - F.

Parallel Verses
KJV: For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

WEB: For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

The Great Subject of Evangelical Preaching
Top of Page
Top of Page