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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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A SCANDALOUS PARDON!

“And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution?Then the offense of the cross has ceased.  ”The Greek word Paul used for offense isskandalon(pronounced skan'dalon) and is defined by Strong’s Concordance as “scandal.  ”Most versions translate this word as either “offense” orstumblingblock.  The word skandalon also appears in 1 Corinthians 1:23 where Paul said he preached Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumblingblock- a skandalon.  Preaching the cross as the means by which God acted to forgive and pardon sinners was scandalous and offensive to many in the first century, and many stumbled at the idea.  But those who preached it didn’t worry about how people responded.  They didn’t do surveys to see what people wanted to hear.  They didn’t make any efforts to smooth the rough spots off the old rugged cross so it would be more comfortable to carry.  They simply preached that on the cross Jesus died as a ransom for all, that He bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that by His stripes we are healed, that His suffering paved the way for us to be brought to God, and that the message of the cross, far from being a scandal, was the very power of God to save people from sin (1 Timothy 2:6;1 Peter 2:24;3:18;1 Corinthians 1;18, 24)!Phillip P.   Bliss wrote beautiful words in 1876 to express thanks for the pardon Jesus purchased for us by means of the cross- “Sing, O Sing of my Redeemer, With His blood He purchased me.  On the cross He sealed my pardon, paid the debt and made me free.  ”The cross is not a source of scandal, it is a message of salvation!