“We Preach Christ Crucified”
1 Corinthians 1:23
There are none who hold the offices of prophet or apostle today, none who have the gifts accompanying the writers of Inspiration. There are none today who have the gifts of speaking in tongues, miracles, healing, or prophecy. There is no need for any of these things. We have the full, final, complete revelation of God in the Scriptures. Since that which is perfect is come, that which was in part is no longer needed.
Though those supernatural gifts of the apostolic era died when the apostles died, the message of the apostles and of the prophets is unchanged. Their message is our message. “We preach Christ crucified.” I know that these words are used as a religious cliche by almost all who claim to be preachers. With God’s servants, this is not a cliché, but the absolute truth – “We preach Christ crucified.”
True, biblical preaching is not giving a methodical, historic, grammatical exposition of Scripture. Any man who is not too lazy to study can do that without any special gift. Bible colleges and seminaries produce such preachers by the hundreds every year. There is something more to preaching than reciting facts.
True, biblical preaching is always true to the historic, grammatical facts in the Book of God; but it is much more. Gospel preaching is the preaching of the gospel. It is the preaching of Christ crucified, as he is revealed in the whole Book of God.
Christ crucified is not simply the most important message of Scripture, the central message of Scripture, the primary message of Scripture, or even the dominant message of Scripture. Christ crucified is the message of Scripture.
When the apostle Paul said to the Ephesians, “I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” in Acts , he was saying exactly the same thing as he did in 1 Corinthians 2:2. – “I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
It is the office, work, delight, and glory of God the Holy Spirit to speak of, reveal, and convince chosen, redeemed sinners of the person and work of Christ (John 16:7-14). He takes the things of Christ and shows them to us. He convinces men of sin, because they do not trust Christ. He convinces men of righteousness established by Christ’s obedience to the Father as the God-man Mediator, our Substitute. And he convinces men of judgment finished, forever finished for God’s elect, by the sin atoning death Christ, our sin-bearer, who put away the sins of his people by the sacrifice of himself.
The convicting work of the Spirit, that work by which he savingly convinces sinners of these things, is done through the instrumentality of the Word of God (Rom. 10:13-17), that Word of God by which all who believe are born again, that Word of God “which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Pet. 1:23-25).