“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
(1 Corinthians 1:17–25 NKJV)
There is nothing more powerful and persuasive than the preaching of the Gospel (good news). There are literally thousands, or possibly millions of sermons that are preached each week around the world. The question that must be asked; "Are these sermons presenting a clear and concise representation of the Word of God and the simple gospel message?" The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that he was not going to be distracted from preaching the gospel, and that it was not going to be the result of his wisdom or cleverness, because he did not want to in any way diminish the purpose of the Cross.
There are a plethora of "so called" experts on the Bible and it's divine text, that want to make their assertion as to it's authenticity. Yet for some reason there is a void of good solid bible exposition in the church today. Notice that Paul reminds us of what a secularized culture is clamoring for from the pulpit today. Give us a sign, validate the Bible based on my emotional response! Challenge us intellectually, make it make sense to me! But for Paul, an educated scholarly man, the response is opposite of what the world wants from preaching today, "....but we preach Christ crucified." Yes, for the unbeliever who is unwilling to succumb to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and accept Christ as their Savior, it is a stumbling block. To a worldly society that has had it's understanding darkened by the fall and sin, it seems to be nothing more than foolishness. For those who are willing to accept by faith the promise made by Christ himself, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 NKJV). Their life will be for ever changed from sinful misery, to joy inexpressible through forgiveness.