For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. Luke 17:24
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. Malachi 4:2

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Galatians 6:14
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
Let the motto upon your whole ministry be - "Christ is All!" - Mather

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Centrality Of Christ Crucified

John Stott writes:
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.

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