He [Paul] found no anomaly in deﬁning his gospel as "the message of the cross," his ministry as "we preach Christ cruciﬁed," baptism as initiation "into his death" and the Lord's Supper as a proclamation of the Lord's death. He boldly declared that, though the cross seemed either foolishness or a "stumbling block" to the self-conﬁdent, it was in fact the very essence of God’s wisdom and power (1 Cor. 1:18-25; Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 11:26). So convinced was he of this that he had deliberately resolved, he told the Corinthians, to renounce worldly wisdom and instead to know nothing among them "except Jesus Christ and him cruciﬁed" (1 Cor. 2:1-2). When later in the same letter he wished to remind them of his gospel, which he had himself received and had handed on to them, which had become the foundation on which they were standing and the good news by which they were being saved, what was "of ﬁrst importance" (he said) was "that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared . . ." (1 Cor. 15:1-5). And when a few years later he developed this outline into the full gospel manifesto that is his letter to the Romans, his emphasis is even more strongly on the cross. For having proved all humankind sinful and guilty before God, he explains that God's righteous way of putting the unrighteous right with himself operates "through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus," whom "God presented as a sacriﬁce of atonement [propitiation], through faith in his blood" (Rom. 3:21-25). Consequently, we are "justiﬁed by his blood" and "reconciled to God through the death of his Son" (Rom. 5:9-10). Without Christ's sacriﬁcial death for us salvation would have been impossible. No wonder Paul boasted in nothing except the cross (Gal. 6:14).
John Stott, The Cross Of Christ (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1986), 35-36.