Power Only In The Cross

One moment’s believing, close contact with the cross will do more to break the heart for sin, deepen the conviction of its exceeding sinfulness, and disenthrall the soul from all its bondage and its fears, bringing it into a sense of pardon and acceptance and assured hope, than a lifetime of the most rigid legal duties that ever riveted their iron chain upon the soul.

—Octavius Winslow
The Foot of the Cross

Via: Of First Importance

What We See At The Cross

What we see at the cross is the white-hot revelation of the character of God, of his love providing the price that holiness requires. The cross was his means of redeeming lost sinners and reconciling them to himself, but it was also a profound disclosure of his mercy. It is, in Paul’s words, an ‘inexpressible gift’ that leads us to wonder and worship, to praise and adore the God who has given himself to us in this way.

—David F. Wells
The Courage to be Protestant

Via: Of First Importance

The Ring and the Cross

The most fundamental Christian symbol is the Cross. This also is perfectly opposite to the Ring. The Cross gives life; the Ring takes it. The Cross gives you death, not power; the Ring gives you power even over death. The Ring squeezes everything into its inner emptiness; the Cross expands in all four directions, gives itself to the emptiness, filling it with its blood, its life. The Ring is Dracula’s tooth. The Cross is God’s sword, held at the hilt by the hand of Heaven and plunged into the world not to take our blood but to give us His. The Cross is Christ’s hypodermic; the Ring is Dracula’s bite. The Cross saves other wills; the Ring dominates other wills. The Cross liberates; the Ring enslaves.

—Peter Kreeft
The Philosophy of Tolkien: The Worldview Behind The Lord of the Rings

Via: Tony Reinke

The Victim Was The Victor

What looks like (and indeed was) the defeat of Goodness by evil is also, and more certainly, the defeat of evil by Goodness. Overcome there, he was himself overcoming. Crushed by the ruthless power of Rome, he was himself crushing the serpent’s head (Gn 3:15). The victim was the victor, and the cross is still the throne from which he rules the world.

—John Stott
The Cross of Christ

Via: Of First Importance

The Plan of the Cross

People seem to forget that all Christ’s sufferings on the cross were fore-ordained. They did not come on Him by chance or accident—they were all planned, counseled, and determined from all eternity. The cross was foreseen in all the provisions of the everlasting Trinity for the salvation of sinners. In the purposes of God the cross was set up from everlasting. Not one throb of pain did Jesus feel, not one precious drop of blood did Jesus shed, which had not been appointed long ago. Infinite wisdom planned that redemption should be by the cross. Infinite wisdom brought Jesus to the cross in due time. He was crucified “by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.” (Acts 2:23)

—J.C. Ryle
Old Paths: The Cross of Christ

Via: J.C. Ryle Quotes

Every Time We Look at The Cross

Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to say to us, ‘I am here because of you.  It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.’  Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross.  All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary.  It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.

—John R.W. Stott
The Message of Galatians

Via: Of First Importance

Our Hiding Place

But what a hiding place is the cross of Christ! This presents it in another and most precious light. Ah, you can tell who have fled to its shelter in the storm. It was sin’s deep conviction in the soul that brought you there. It was guilt upon the conscience that drove you there. It was the swift footstep of the avenger of blood that hastened you there. It was the fear of death, the dread of judgment, the terror of hell, that impelled you there. All other refuge failed you, until at last you found the one place of safety, the appointed city of refuge, the only shelter beneath which the curse could not touch you, the avenger of blood could not arrest you – it was the cross of the Son of God. Oh, what a refuge have you found it to be! When affliction has overtaken you, and sorrow has overwhelmed you, and temptation has assailed you, testify what a delightsome shelter you have found the cross of Christ to be. It has been to you like an oasis in the wilderness, the shadow of a great rock in a weary land – just the spot where, worn and faint, your spirit has found perfect safety and repose.

—Octavius Winslow
The Foot of the Cross

Via: Octavius Winslow

The Nails and the Spear-thrust and the Cross

The things that crucify Christ and wreck the whole world are the common sins of every day — self-centeredness, pride, apathy, cynicism, slackness, unkindness, every temptation put in another’s path, every wasted opportunity, every pitiful compromise of which we are ashamed — these are the nails and the spear-thrust and the cross. And will anyone deny, with Jesus hanging there, that sin is the critical enemy, the most dangerous insatiable thing in the world, and that he personally needs to be forgiven?

—James S. Stewart
A Faith to Proclaim

Via: Of First Importance

Attitudes Toward the Cross

There is no greater cleavage between faith and unbelief than in their respective attitudes to the cross. Where faith sees glory, unbelief sees only disgrace. What was foolishness to Greeks, and continues to be to modern intellectuals who trust in their own wisdom, is nevertheless the wisdom of God. And what remains a stumbling-block to those who trust in their own righteousness, like the Jews of the first century, proves to be the saving power of God (1 Cor. 1:18-25).

—John Stott
The Cross of Christ

Via: Of First Importance