Although the word "scandal" or "scandalize" does not appear in our Authorized Versions, the Greek word 5kandalon could well be transliterated. It is sometimes translated "offence" and sometimes "stumblingblock." The Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) uses skandalon for the Hebrew word which means to trap, to hinder, to be the cause of ruin.
In the New Testament, Jesus is the great offence and stumblingblock; He is always a scandal to natural men. The Jews were offended by this carpenter, this son of Mary, who had wisdom and did mighty works (Mark 6:2, 3). Peter was an offence to Jesus because he denied the necessity of the cross and evidenced a satanic spirit (Matt. 16:23). A sign of the end of the world and the second coming of Christ is that more than ever before, men are offended by Him (Matt. 24:10). Those that seek righteousness by the works of the law stumble at the stone that God has laid in Zion (Rom. 9:32, 33).
Now Jesus as a mere man is not an offence to any one. Jesus, the good man of Nazareth, as a reformer, teacher, and example, does not cause anyone anywhere to stumble. But Jesus according to the Scriptures, Christ crucified, and the preaching of Christ crucified, that is the scandal! The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, and the preaching of Christ crucified is a stumblingblock to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks (1 Cor. 1:18, 23). When Christ is set forth crucified, as the only hope of salvation, then people are scandalized and the preachers are persecuted. But if He be preached in some other way, as a partial Savior perhaps, as one who saves those who are willing to be saved perhaps, as one who saves those who are circumcised or do other works of the law perhaps; then is the offence of the cross ceased (Gal. 5:11).
Why is the preaching of Christ crucified such a scandal? There are three reasons: 1) The preaching of the cross speaks of sin, of the transgression of God's holy law, of accountability for these sins, of guilt and liability to everlasting punishment. 2) The preaching of the cross speaks of man's inability to do the smallest thing to save himself. God sent Christ to do what no man could do or even will to do. 3) The preaching of the cross speaks of the grace of God -- amazing, unmerited, and powerful! When Christ crucified is preached, there may be no thought of merit, wages, or works. The only possible conclusion anyone may draw, having heard the blessed gospel, is that God saves in sovereign grace. He saves through His gift of faith; it is by faith that it might be of grace!
Some are appointed to stumble over this Rock (I Pet. 2:8) and to be crushed by Him. Others fall down before Zion's Stone, and find in Him their soul's satisfaction now and forever. To chosen, covenant generations He is precious! He that believeth in Him shall never be confounded.
Rev. Dale H. Kuiper (Wife: Velerie nee Miersma)
Ordained: September 1967
Pastorates: Randolph, WI - 1967; Pella, IA - 1970; Home Missionary - 1974; Lynden, WA - 1976; Hope, Isabel, SD - 1985; Immanuel, Lacombe, AB - 1987; Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI - 1992
Taken to glory: Sept.21, 2014 at age 78Website: www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Rev._Dale_Kuiper
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