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The Centrality of the Cross

by Ronald D. Bryant

In His death on the cross Jesus secured salvation. In that cross is the only place where salvation is to be found. It is also the place where sin and evil have been judged and where God's holiness and justice have been revealed. This event is the moment that defines history and to which all future hopes are bound. It is because of God's judgment, justice, and holiness that the redeemed are called to live, love, and serve.

The redeemed exist as a blood-bought body, the church, as a result of this event. Because of the work of God through the cross, because of the triumph of God in His majestic power and holiness, the church is called to be bold in its proclamation of the Gospel, confident in its mission, and joyful in its ministry as it acknowledges the fact that it has been bought with blood, pardoned from sin, and freed to walk and serve in the light.

The church has been called to hold forth the message of the cross, to preach the will of God faithfully in a world that is ruled by darkness (see 1 Timothy 3:15). God's people have been charged with the work of telling the world what God has said about its sin and the destiny of the sinful. It has not been called to speculate about matters not revealed, nor to develop its own message or agenda, nor to become religious entrepreneurs for the religionists with a worldly appetite. It is called to make known God's judgment of humanity in the cross, and to declare the coming of His final judgment (see 2 Corinthians 5:1-11).

The people of God are possessed with the conviction that God's glory requires judgment, and they await in hope the moment when the will of God will be forever placed upon the throne and error will be forever banished to the ash heap of time and timely things.

The church longs for the coming of the day of transition, when "time shall be no more" and to the privilege of entering the home of the soul where "night shall be no more" and the saved will "need no light of lamp nor of the sun, for the Lord God will be their light" (see Revelation 22:5). And in all this, the church clings to the cross, and because of the cross, it clings to the hope of eternal life.

"...upon this rock I will build My church..." Matt.16:18

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