R.C. Sproul Sermon: Christ Crucified (Transcript)

Full text of R.C. Sproul’s sermon titled ‘Christ Crucified’ which was preached at Ligonier Ministries’ 2000 National Conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


R.C. Sproul – Founder of Ligonier Ministries

Our Scripture for this evening is from Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. I will be reading from the first chapter, beginning at verse 17 through verse 25.

Hear then the word of God.

1 Corinthians 1:17-25: “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, 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.

And then in chapter two, Paul says:

1 Corinthians 2:1-2: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech, or of wisdom, declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

And he who has ears to hear the word of God, let them hear it. Let us pray.

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Almighty, and everlasting God, You who have adopted us in the Beloved, we ask as we consider this, that the world deems foolish, that You will grasp us with its wisdom and with its power, for we ask it in the name of Jesus. Amen.


In the year 212 BC, a very strange book was published. And its author was even more strange than the book that he published, because in this book, which the author dedicated to the king of the city of Syracuse, in the southern coast of Sicily, in this book, the author sought to calculate how many grains of sand it would take to fill the entire universe.

Can you imagine a work more bizarre than that? This was one of the very last things that this man did before he died, as he contemplated the number of grains of sand it would take to fill the universe.

Recently, I’ve been preaching through the Book of Acts, and I mentioned to our congregation that when Paul came to Athens and saw a city completely given to idolatry, and he began to proclaim Christ to the philosophers gathered at the Areopagus, the Bible says that they looked at the apostle and they said, ‘What will this babbler say?’

And it’s a strange translation, because the word that is translated, babbler, literally means ‘seed picker’. Seed picker was somebody who went around the streets scooping up seeds from the ground, eking out a subsistence from them, much like a modern street person does by sifting through garbage cans.

Well, if there ever was a seed picker in the ancient world, it was this man who tried to count the number of seeds that would fill this universe. The name of the book you may remember if you lived back then, or recall your history, was called ‘The Sand Reckoner.’

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