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
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…
3. TRUE MINISTERS BOAST IN THE CROSS OF
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?