by John L. Dagg (1794-1884)
When Paul preached the gospel of salvation, he knew nothing but Jesus Christ and him
crucified (I Corinthians 2:2). He gloried in nothing, save the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14).
In the cross of Christ all the divine perfections are gloriously and harmoniously displayed.
Infinite love, inviolable truth, and inflexible justice are all seen, in their brightest and most
beautifully mingled colors. The heavens declare the glory of God, but the glory of the cross outshines the wonders of the skies. God's moral perfections are here displayed, which are the highest glory of his character.
The cross of Christ is our only hope of life everlasting. On him who hangs there, our iniquities were laid, and from his wounds flows the blood that cleanses from all sin (Isaiah 53:5-6). Our faith views the bleeding victim, and peacefully relies on the great atoning sacrifice. It views mercy streaming from the cross; and to the cross it comes to obtain every needed blessing.
In the cross the believer finds the strongest motive to holiness. As we stand before it, and view the exhibition of the Saviour's love, we resolve to live to him who died for us. The world ceases to charm. We become crucified to the world, and the world crucified to us. Sin appears infinitely hateful. The cross is the place for penitential tears. We look to him, whom we have pierced, and mourn (Zechariah 12:10). The cross is a holy place, where we learn to be like Christ, to hate sin as he hated it, and to delight in the law of God which was in his heart (Psalm 40:8).
In the presence of the cross we feel that omnipotent grace has hold of our heart; and we
surrender to dying love. To the Christian heart, Christ crucified is the power of God, and the wisdom of God (I Corinthians 1:24). The doctrine of the cross needs no other demonstration of its divine origin, than its power to sanctify the heart, and bring it into willing and joyful subjection to Christ.
Here's the message the Southern Baptists and all Baptists need to get back to: THE CROSS ALONE IS OUR GLORY. We rejoice in this message from one of the early presidents of Mercer University. wf
Manual of Theology, 1857, pp. 232-233, adapted by W. F. Bell 10/23/06
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