As he exhorted the Christians at Corinth to live in harmony, to leave behind their divisions, their allegiance to various apostles rather than only to Christ Who died for them, Paul declares the power of the cross of Christ.
His own mission from Christ, said Paul, was to preach the Good News, not to baptize converts. And even in his preaching, Paul refused to use cleverly crafted speeches to win people to himself. He wanted only the power of the Cross of Christ to reach his hearers.
For those who refuse it, the message of the cross is indeed foolishness. The whole story of salvation, as Jesus told Pilate when He stood trial before him, “is not of this world.” Jesus’ complete submission to His Father in everything, even unto death; His teachings about loving our enemies; His washing of His disciples’ feet (the job of only the lowliest servants)– His whole life ran completely counter to natural man’s selfishness and pursuit of power.
And yet, through what the world sees as foolishness and weakness, God achieved a powerful victory. He completely defeated sin and death and the devil on our behalf. Those who believe in Him are saved from a lifetime of bondage to sin. His cross gives us power to live the life of God while yet on earth. Through His cross we are dead indeed unto sin; but we are alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord!