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The Amish Voice 3

through the cross of Christ alone was thought to be destroying

both the law and established religion. Therefore, the ministers

of established religion persecuted the ministers of the cross. As

a result, it took real courage to stand up and proclaim the truth.

Most chose the easy way out, going along with the established

ministry in order to avoid the persecution.


How many go along with the

established and popular

religions of the world

instead of proclaiming the truth of

Jesus Christ and His Word? How many fear the ridicule,

rejection, and abuse of the cross? How often is a minister

tempted to tone down the message of the cross to keep

from offending some in the congregation? How many

ministers have to fear reaction if they proclaim the simple

message of salvation by faith in the cross of Christ



How many have to fear reaction from their peers and

denominational leaders?

2. The false teachers sought to make a good showing by

adding to their statistical numbers (v.13). Note exactly what

Scripture says: they wanted to have people circumcised so that

they could boast in their numbers. Their interest was not so

much in teaching people to obey the Lord and the law as it was

in building up their own security. They wanted recognition

through the appearance of a growing ministry. They sought the

approval and acceptance of people more than the welfare of

the people. Of course, keeping the law and leading the people

to obey God was important, just as every man’s teaching is

important to him. But their primary concern was the

appearance of a growing ministry so that they could secure

their own livelihood and position with the people.


People are impressed with increased numbers on statistical

growth. Everyone knows this—both religious and lay

leaders. As a result, ministers are often drawn into the

temptation to stress growth in baptism, church attendance,

Bible study, programs, or activities. Increased numbers…


CHRIST (vv.14-17).

The cross of Christ is the only boast of a true minister of God,

for there is no other approach to God. God accepts a person

only if he comes to Him by way of the cross. There is no other

way to become acceptable to God. Therefore, the true minister

has no other message, no other truth of which to boast. Paul

gave four reasons why the cross is the minister’s only boast.

1. The cross crucifies the world to men and men to the world.

What does this mean?

a. First, the cross crucifies the world to men. The world has

all kinds of attractions that appeal to men, and men lust

after the attractions. There are such attractions as...

The list could go on and on to include every appealing

attraction on earth, but what is the end of it all? Deterioration,

decay, death, and a sense of judgment. Even man himself ages,

dies, and decays. There is nothing on earth that lasts and lives

eternally. If man wishes to live forever, someone with

unlimited power has to restructure this world. Someone has to

destroy the world and remake it, everything in it, including the

flesh of man. The glorious news is that God has done this very

thing. God has shown that He loves this world, and He has

demonstrated His love in the most perfect way possible. How?

God sent His Son into the world to die for men and to free

them from the world. When Jesus Christ died upon the cross,

He bore the penalty of our transgressions. He took the law’s

condemnation of death against us and bore the condemnation

for us. Therefore, any person who believes that Jesus Christ

died for him shall be saved from this world of death. God

declares that he will count that person as having been crucified

with Christ. The person never has to die. When the moment

comes for the person to pass from this world into the next, God

will transfer the person right into His presence to live

eternally. It will all happen within the blinking of an eye. The

• build image

• boost egos

• convey success

• enlarge reputation

• secure position

• increase opportunity

• point to gifts and abilities

• stress charisma

• open doors

• help to increase income

• attract attention


1. Can you give an example of a false ministry that was just

for show? Why does God allow these kinds of things? How

are you to respond to this type of ministry?

2. In what ways are you tempted to become popular with the

world? How can you shift your focus to Christ?

3. Why do some people put a lot of emphasis on numbers?

Is it always bad? Why or why not? What conclusion can you

reach about a ministry whose focus is always on numbers,

appearance, etc., instead of on Christ?

• position

• power

• acceptance

• recognition

• money

• sex

• pleasure

• honor

• food

• possessions