11 "And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, l why do I still suffer persecution? Then is the offense of the cross has ceased."
NKJV - 11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.
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I would say that the "offense of the cross" to which Paul is referring pertains to the manner in which requiring total reliance on faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ for eternal life offends people in two ways: first, because it "wounds their pride" by showing them the reality of their utterly lost spiritual condition, in which they can do nothing to save themselves, or to "earn" God's favor (and thus are in need of help that only God can provide); and second, because (particularly at the time that Paul was writing) crucifixion was an especially shameful and degrading manner of death, to an extent that people would be offended to be told that they had to completely depend for their salvation on someone who had been executed in that manner. If, by contrast, salvation were still dependent on a human work through the receipt of circumcision (as God had commanded Abraham in the Old Testament, and as the so-called "Judaizers" were telling early Gentile Christians), people would not be offended, because they would then feel as if they were playing a part through their own effort in saving themselves. However, as Paul indicated, being circumcised would put them under a "yoke of slavery" by requiring them to perfectly obey the Mosaic Law in its entirety (which no one was capable of doing) in order to be saved, rather than being saved by God's grace through faith.
The cross is offensive because back in that day it was a humiliation--anyone who was crucified was branded as a criminal. This would agree with what Mr. Maas mentioned when he said, it "wounds their pride" showing them their entirely depraved status. That's just it. The cross does offend all of us because it reminds us that we are sinful, unacceptable to God. It's an assault on human pride with an implied statement that we cannot solve this condition by ourselves. My pride was really assaulted when I first trusted Jesus Christ alone for my salvation! And I cried like a baby.
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