If I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased
- Galatians 5:11
This is an astounding insight from Paul, regarding the truth of the cross.
The church at Galatia was being hounded by Judaizers, who insisted that traditional, Jewish circumcision was still necessary in order to be saved. Paul, of course, opposed this notion and preached unabashedly salvation by the free grace of God upon all them that believe.
And this is the astounding observation that Paul makes: the offense of the cross is found in the very fact that it offers salvation entirely by grace! The fact that grace is free is what makes the cross so repulsive to so many.
Why are so many people so offended at the claims of Christianity? It is not because Christ requires good works, because almost any religion does that. The reason the cross of Christ is so offensive is that it shows that salvation cannot be earned. It means we must turn to God for help and healing and rescue.
Every other major world religion teaches that, if you are good enough and follow their set of rules, then you will be alright. But the cross of Christ unmistakably shouts to the world, “You cannot save yourself! You cannot be good enough for God!” That is why Jesus had to die for us to be saved.
Does the cross offend your sense of self-worth and self-actualization? Or have you come to realize that it is only by free, unearned and unearnable grace that you can be saved?