October 11, 2010

Is the Doctrine of a Crucified Jesus Preached Today?

“Let us never doubt for a moment, that the preaching of Christ crucified – the old story of His blood, righteousness, and substitution – is enough for all the spiritual necessities of all mankind. It is not worn out. It is not obsolete. It has not lost its power. We need nothing new – nothing more broad and kind – nothing more intellectual – nothing more effectual. We need nothing but the true bread of life, distributed faithfully among starving souls. Let men sneer or ridicule as they will. Nothing else can do good in this sinful world. No other teaching can fill hungry consciences, and give them peace. We are all in a wilderness. We must feed on Christ crucified, and the atonement made by His death, or we shall die in our sins.” John C. Ryle

This quote from John C. Ryle regarding the power that is in preaching the cross that Jesus died upon, as John the Baptist said, takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

The preaching of the cross has become foolishness, not only to those that are perishing (1 Corinthians 1:18), but has also become foolish to some pastors too, for the sake of not offending people, or to minimize Christ's suffering and death by completely escaping it, just to get people to pray some sort of prayer, to accept Christ into their lives without fully comprehending their violation of God's commandments and the eternal peril that it places them in.

No friends, the cross upon which Jesus Christ died is the single act of God that makes the difference for every person and their life here on earth as well as their eternal life after death.

The cross exonerates a person from God's judgment upon them, where it relieves them from any obligation, duty, or task of self-redemption, which fails to satisfy God.

The cross also makes a person free from guilt or blame when a person trusts in Christ's successful atonement of their sin, which cleanses the conscience from dead works (Hebrews 9:14).

The pulpit should neither ignore, nor hesitate from declaring the most powerful event of God that atones for the sin of every person that remains under His judgment and is headed for an eternal torment in hell, apart from the redemptive power of Jesus Christ's death.

Let us never fear in proclaiming the power of the cross, from the pulpit or in our personal witnessing to others, the effectual work that Christ has done to redeem man to God.

Let us boldly declare the power of God unto salvation, through the cross of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul addressed two reasons that make the cross of no effect, using words of wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:17) and by not boasting about the cross (Galatians 6:14)?
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  Colossians 2:13-14, NKJV
Matthew Henry says regarding these words of wisdom are, "the flourish of oratory, or the accuracies of philosophical language, upon which the Greeks so much prided themselves, and which seem to have been the peculiar recommendations of some of the heads of the faction in this church that most opposed this apostle. He did not preach the gospel in this manner, lest the cross of Christ should be of no effect, lest the success should be ascribed to the force of art, and not of truth; not to the plain doctrine of a crucified Jesus, but to the powerful oratory of those who spread it, and hereby the honour of the cross be diminished or eclipsed."

Question: Is the plain doctrine of a crucified Jesus preached significantly today?  Why, or why not?

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The quote above was posted by a person who commented on a post regarding Rick Warren at The Crosstalk Blog.

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