Preaching Christ Crucified

May 11, 2010 — 19 Comments

       I want to apologize.

       I want to apologize for anything I have taught that did not point to Christ crucified.

       If I have written about giving without emphasizing that giving does not make you righteous, I have missed the point. If I have ever implied that your generosity will please God, I have been wrong. If I have suggested that you can find contentment through your own power, I was in error.

       All too often in “Christian” personal finance (and Christianity in general), we fail to emphasize the fact that Christ accomplished all on the Cross. We can put heavy burdens on readers and listeners because we may teach that your choices and your determination will glorify God.

       There is a choice you must make. But that choice is not to change your heart of greed to a heart of generosity, your heart of laziness to a heart of diligence, or your heart of covetousness to a heart of contentment.

       The only choice you must make is to accept the forgiveness, grace, and mercy that Christ offers us through His death on the Cross for our sins. Until you accept that Gift, nothing will make you right before God – in your finances or any other area of your life.

       Tithing will not make you holy. Generous, sacrificial giving will not make you righteous. Contentment will not bring you salvation. Diligence cannot save your soul. Only Christ can.

       The evidence of a Christ-filled life is not in your choosing to be generous. Generosity flows out of your choosing to follow Christ. Contentment does not come by your choosing to live simply and reject consumerism. Contentment comes from your choosing to focus solely on Christ and the rich Gift He gives.

       If I ever teach that you will glorify God through your finances by doing certain things, living a certain way, or giving a certain amount, I am wrong. You will glorify God through your finances as Christ lives in you and pours out His love through your life. Contentment, diligence, stewardship, and generosity will result as you look to Jesus’ example and follow Him – not as you make specific choices and fulfill certain objectives.

       Do not be misled by what I am saying. Faith without works is certainly dead. How can our response to Jesus be anything other than contentment, diligence, stewardship, and generosity? But neither are we saved by our works. And it is not our power that produces these good things within us. It is Jesus who saves us and the power of God’s Spirit that produces whatever good we see in our lives. This does not relieve us from responsibility for our actions. We are called to seek holy lives in light of our new life in Christ. If we are not following and obeying Jesus, how can we call ourselves His disciples?

       I ask you to keep me honest to this truth. If you see me teach anything other than Christ crucified, call me out on it! If I teach that you will please God by doing specific things, remind me that God is pleased when we listen to His Son and follow Him. Yes, this requires action on our part. But it is action that flows out of faith (faith that works) – not action that precedes faith or salvation. Show me my error and refute it. Do not allow me to continue in a lie or lead others in it either. I pray that we may all remember how powerless and fallen we are and that we will learn to rely only on the salvation Jesus gives and the example He taught and lived.

       22 For Jews ask for signs, Greeks seek after wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 1:22-25 (WEB)



Corey is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in religion. While he enjoys learning and writing about Christianity, another one of his new passions is writing about personal finances in order to help others make wise decisions with their money.

19 responses to Preaching Christ Crucified

  1. :-)
    .-= Kevin´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

  2. Paul,
    Great post. I’m preaching at our church on May 23 and decided to preach on “contentment”. I have plenty to say on the dangers and struggles of not being content, but I knew I needed more on what the “solution” is. I know saying “BE MORE CONTENT!” isn’t right, you’ve definitely helped me to clarify what I need to preach. That contentment comes from seeking Christ and realizing he gives us all we need.

  3. I’m glad it helped, Trent! The more I study personal finance in the Bible the more I see that it’s about focusing on Christ and eternity rather than a set of steps that will lead to financial success in God’s eyes. We have to get into the habit of weighing everything against the riches we have in Christ and look at this life in the context of eternity. Thanks for commenting!

    Glad you liked it too, Kevin!

  4. Great article! It is very easy for those of us who write about a particular aspect of Christian living, to neglect to point people to the cross.

    Thank you for this reminder of our ultimate duty and privilege!
    .-= Khaleef @ KNS Financial´s last blog ..What Does the Old Testament Teach About Tithing? =-.

  5. You’re welcome, Khaleef. It’s something I try to remind myself when I’m writing about personal finance in the Bible. It’s too easy to get into a legalistic do this/don’t do that mindset that begins to ignore the complete sacrifice that Christ made. I’ve also found that we can miss the point – Christ crucified – and begin to preach/teach something that is not in line with God’s Word. We can easily see this in the “prosperity gospel” and sometimes in sound teaching. We have to make sure we’re not just teaching man’s ideas and trying to back it up with Bible verses.

  6. Easter Sunday our pastor preached a powerful message, that the only thing that really matters is the empty tomb. It’s not about doctrine, denomination, secondary issues or even evolution vs. creation, it’s all about the empty tomb.

    Christianity, he said, is the only faith that’s based on an historical event, not on a belief or philosophy.
    .-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..Some Jobs Are NOT Worth Having =-.

  7. Thanks for your comment, Kevin. That’s exactly what I’m trying to get at. It’s very easy to get caught up in arguing doctrines, standards, etc. but what matters is pointing to Christ – who He is, what He has done, and how He saves us and helps us. Everything else is secondary, as you say.

  8. Well said, brother! We might add that financial security or “peace” is not salvation.

  9. Thanks for your comment, Michael. You touched on something that bothers me about Crown & Dave Ramsey. “True Financial Freedom” and “Financial Peace” don’t come from following a set of steps and guidelines that help you reach retirement and achieve all your dreams. True financial freedom and peace come from accepting the free gift of salvation and focusing on the richness of eternal life with God. The more we understand this life in light of eternity, the more we see that financial success by the world’s standards is meaningless. We find that we already have financial freedom and peace in Christ.

  10. Paul, I have never read a more powerful and touching post in all my life. You have touched my soul and really uplifted me today (how did you know I have been sick and somewhat discouraged?) You have such a gift. Please keep posting. May I share this with friends? :-)

  11. Wow, Donna. Thank you for the encouraging words! I’m so glad to hear that this post helped you. The response tells me that I must have been listening to God’s Spirit and letting Him do the typing when I was writing this. And yes, you’re absolutely free to share it with your friends. That applies to anything I post here.

  12. Paul,
    Very well said, with passion and conviction. My walk with Christ is 100% His doing and 0% my doing. I am absolutely nothing without Him, but a victor because of Him. Thanks for reminder.

    And, as a brother, I promise to do my best to honor your request to keep you accountable to “Preach Christ Crucified”. I would appreciate the same from you.
    .-= Joe Plemon´s last blog ..How Minimum Credit Card Payments Will Keep You in Debt Forever =-.

  13. Thanks for commenting, Joe. And thank you for promising to help me stay accountable on this. Part of loving our brothers and sisters in Christ is to encourage and admonish each other to keep our eyes focused on Christ – especially for those who are in the position of teaching others. I’ll be glad to do the same for you. I think you do an excellent job of focusing on what really matters in your writing, so keep up the great work!

  14. Paul, way to bring it back to the Gospel my friend!! Keep it up! Why is it so easy to forget the greatest act of love and mercy ever displayed!? Thanks for turning our focus and attention to Him!
    .-= Jason @ Redeeming Riches´s last blog ..The #1 Thing You Should Do With Your Money (And Probably Don’t) =-.

  15. Thanks, Jason. That’s my goal. I appreciate your writing as well. You often do a great job of bringing up the right perspective when you discuss how Christians should approach personal finance. I almost always seem to get some clarification or better insight after reading one of your posts on the topic. Keep focusing on Him!

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