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March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in religion and theology


Bearing the Cross : Reflections on the Words of Paul

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Bearing the Cross

Reflections on the Words of Paul

The power of religious symbolism is often as central to a person as the very faith under which he operates . Images such as the Cross , Jesus and the Virgin Many carry with them not only their faith-based and biblical implications , but also the personal experiences the viewer has surrounding them . Few symbols are as powerful in the Christian religion as the Cross [banner_entry_middle]

on which Jesus was crucified , yet there are elements about this symbol that seem to run contrary to true Christianity , and there remains confusion over part of its meaning reviewing the symbolism of the Cross and of Christ ‘s crucifixion has been both eye-opening and faith-renewing

For Christ did not send me to baptize , but to preach the gospel – not with wisdom and eloquence , lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power . For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing , but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Cor . 17-18 , New International Version , International Bible Society Online . Paul ‘s words may seem harsh , but the times during which he shared his knowledge with the Corinthians were harsh times , and people then , like now , had to make difficult choices

Paul ‘s words in 1 Corinthians 17 indicate that his job was preaching not baptizing , and this simply means that Jesus had commanded that Paul spread the word of God because that Word was far more important in the remission of one ‘s sin than was the act of baptism itself . If one were to seek only baptism , and not embrace the Word of God , the cross of Christ [would] be emptied of its power (1 Cor . 17

This is a sobering thought . I can recall recent occasions that my actions have been more parallel to baptism – a presumed remission of my sins – than they were to the Word of God – an actual act to save myself from my sins . It can be easy to go through the motions of faith while forgetting the true meaning behind prayer , attending church , acts of kindness , and daily behavior . Reviewing this passage made me focus on the fact that I need to work consistently to abide by , listen to , and spread God ‘s message , or run the risk of becoming one who is complacent and therefore , false in my beliefs

Paul points out that the single , symbolic act of Jesus ‘ crucifixion lacked both wisdom and eloquence ‘ because it was an act carried out by a humanity so based on evil and sin that God had no choice but to allow the sacrifice of his only Son to enable the souls on Earth a chance at redemption (1 Cor . 17 . If Paul were to preach with wisdom and eloquence ‘ it would seem to supersede the clear message given to man by God of how… [banner_entry_footer]

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