It is undeniable that words, thoughts and someone’s behaviors are influenced by the local cultures, among others: some of them emphasize logic and knowledge, some are strict grounded in obedience over regulations in that area.

Example: Greeks/unbelievers pay more attention to the logic and knowledge in judging something while the Jews since childhood, they are trained to be obedient in carrying out the law without daring to break them because of the risk of severe punishment awaits.

Saul experienced this, he was one of the Israelites from tribe of Benjamin and also a Pharisee who were blameless in his belief of the law etc. He really hated the followers of Christ whom he regarded as a cult; with all his efforts he pursued and persecuted them (Phillipians 3: 5-6; Acts 9: 1-2).

But what happened to Saul then? His words which were filled with anger and hatred toward the followers of Jesus had totally changed after he met the Lord on the road to Damascus; he seemed like 'someone who lick his own spit', he preached Jesus whom once he hated so (Acts 9: 3-5, 18-22) and what was his decision? “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” NKJV (1 Corinthians 2: 2)

Why did he act as if " he does not care"? The previous verses were addressed to the church (gentiles) in Corinth, and he began by saying “And I brethren,  when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God…..I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” NKJV (1 Corinthians. 2:1, 3-4)
Apostle Paul did not want to use the 'specific ways' to influence the Corinthians so that they believe in Jesus Christ, but he relied on the power of the Holy Spirit. He was worried that the Corinthians would have faith based on the sermons of preachers, because he saw the divisions among the Corinthians: group of Paul, group of Cephas, Apollos, and so on. (1 Corinthians 3: 3-4)


is our faith growing by the sermon of the pastor or the Word of God? This can be answered by introspecting our faith when our pastor is not present at church.

Actually, Apostle Paul was warned by God not to be afraid in preaching the Word, and not silent because the Lord was with him (Acts 18: 8-11). He was consistent in his belief, what he had said and written were in accordance to what he did. He remained consistent in preaching the crucified Jesus without fearing of the suffering even he eventually martyred for Christ.

Honestly, we often just ‘dare at our own turf' - dared to speak in the church but then silent when outside of the church for fearing of persecution when we speak about Jesus who was crucified. Even when we talk about Jesus, what news is delivered? Is it just the copy-pasted verses or is it because of our personal experience with Jesus, the Word?

The Book of New Testament did not exist in the era of Apostle Paul; there were only the books of Old Testament. Apostle Paul exalted the law highly in accordance with his education but why then he suddenly changed? Did he reject the Old Testament then followed Jesus?

What was his foundation? Was there a new theology that he received? Keep in mind, Apostle Paul wrote the Epistle of Corinthians ± 55 M, Galatians (49 M) and the Romans (57 M) and then followed by other letters before he returned to Heavenly Father after completing the service. He saw and understood the five books of Moses containing prophecies about Jesus - the Messiah.)

Why did Apostle Paul insist to proclaim Christ Jesus who was crucified? What was his statement to the three churches whom he shepherded?

To the Galatians, Apostle Paul wrote with a broken heart that Jesus Christ gave Himself for their sins (including ours) and delivered them (including us) from this evil world according to the will of God (Galatians 1: 4-5)

He was so sad like a pregnant woman in suffering of birth pains again for the Galatians (Galatians 4:19) who were so fool because they began with the Spirit but ended in flesh (Galatians 3: 3). They were so easily turned from Christ who called them and then followed another gospel (Galatians 1: 6).

It must be admitted that it is not easy to preach the gospel- pastors, evangelists, teachers, and so on. - and dare to preach the crucified Jesus as the only Savior to those who have not/do not know Jesus Christ as what had been experienced by the Apostle Paul.

However, whatever happens, let us not 'selling/replacing' the crucified Jesus because of fearing the threat. Remember, man’s sin (heritage of the sin of Adam-Eve) will be forever attached in man’s life if someone’s not willing to be cleansed by Jesus Christ and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

Jesus warned His disciples not to focus only on mercy to the poor because the poor will always be among them and be helped at any time but Mary has done the right thing for Him to anoint Him in preparation for his burial (Mark 14: 7-8).

On the contrary, the Lord is not anti to the rich but warned them, that they might not love money with the spirit of greed that they, too, may enter into the kingdom of heaven (1 Timothy 6: 9-10).


what motivates us, while giving offerings/sacrifices to the Lord's work, is it really pure because of the Word of God and His love or because we want to be flattered by man?

Truly, God showed His love for humans and sent rain down on all people (Psalm 147: 8) so that they can cultivate and harvest abundantly. Unfortunately, there are still many people express their gratitude not to Him but to idols (gods-goddess).

Also, it is not easy to proclaim that Jesus is the Light of the world because John revealed the Light had come into the world, but the world did not know Him and His own rejected Him (John 1: 9-11). What about us? Have we, gentiles, accepted Him as the Light of the world? Prove it by being the light on all aspects of our lives: in work / business, family, services, and so on.

To the Ephesians (unbelievers), Apostle Paul cried for three years for them because they had a culture, beliefs, their own gods. Be vigilant, do not be a Christian without realizing that we idolize someone or something beyond God's word. That’s why we must read and meditate on the Bible earnestly so that we are not easily deceived by the teaching outside the Word of God.

Why is it called Jesus Christ? Because of Jesus' position as a man who could be crucified, after being resurrected from the dead, was appointed as Christ. So, Christ without the cross is a false Christ, while Jesus without the cross is another Jesus. 'The crucified Christ Jesus' refers to Jesus, who was appointed to be the Lord above all because of God’s love to man in redemption.

To the Romans, Apostle Paul strictly said that he had a firm belief in the gospel which is the power of God in saving every believer (Romans 1: 16-17).)

To save mankind, the Lord showed His great strength! Does not God have incredible power to create the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1)? Is the power God used in creating the earth and what in it comparable to the moment when He saved people through the sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son? It turned out that Jesus experienced death because of His own will while at the same time, did the will of His Father.

God demonstrated His amazing love to humankind who fell into sin (Genesis 3). Physically, the man of sin must wait ± 4,000 years when Jesus, His only Son, sent into the world as the Redeemer of men.
God does not count the faults of man who wants to believe in His Son. Do we still count the faults of others? If God uses his great strength in saving one person, then how extraordinary the strength needed to save so many people in this world!

It is not a mistake if John stated that Jesus, the Heavenly Bridegroom, must increase but he must decrease (John3:30). In other words, if we are more ‘decrease’  (humble), the Word of God more ‘increase' in our lives.

From whom Saul (ApostlePaul) knew about Jesus who was crucified? As soon as he repented and cured from blindness, he was baptized and immediately proclaimed the crucified Jesus (Acts 9: 18, 20). And there was furore because people knew him as the hater of Christ teaching (v. 21) and there arose a lot of debate since the recognition of the 'Son of God' was considered a blasphemy against God. Saul knew Jesus by the Old Testament which he understood well, among others:

He had read about Abraham who offered Isaac, his only son, and understood that it refered to Jesus Christ, who is also a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Once repented, Saul proclaimed Jesus was the Messiah and caused him threatened to be killed (Acts 9:23).)


love the Bible - the Word of God - that gives us understanding as had been accepted by Apostle Paul. What will we preach to others if we do not have the knowledge and understanding of God's Word properly?

The Love of God was burning up Paul’s heart and encouraged him to talk about Jesus Christ. Also because of the experience of God's love in his life, he dared to conclude the law in one sentence: the love for God and love for man.

The apostle Paul continued giving further comprehension to the Corinthians that Jesus was the Passover Lamb and asked them to throw away the old ‘leaven’ (1 Corinthians 5: 7; compare with Exodus 12).

He also wrote that Jesus is the High Priest, taking reference from the book of Leviticus 16 about the priest who annually entered into the most holy place carrying blood as the remission of sins for all Israelites.

Jesus is presented as the High Priest according to the law of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:11) who shed His blood on the cross to redeem human sins, because without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22).


testify about Jesus and His blood that have cleansed our hearts. Remember, without sanctification it is impossible for man’s character to be changed. Only by the sacrifice of Christ that can take away sins and the power of the devil (Hebrews. 2:14); the power of death has also been defeated by His death (1 Corinthians. 15: 54-57).

Receive the power of the blood of Jesus that enables us to proclaim the crucified Jesus (not just to proclaim the message of Jesus as the Healer of diseases, the blessings Giver, Helper etc.) to everyone so that they also receive salvation which continue to the eternal life with Him in His Kingdom. Amen.

Translator : Samuel Sirait
Proofreader: Vivi Tenggara


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