Thursday, June 09, 2005

Being Cross Centered

We are Christians, Christ followers. As such, our way is the way of Christ, the way of the cross. Therefore, we must be, if nothing else, Christ-centered, cross-centered people.

The Bible is certainly cross centered. Everything preceeding the cross in some way leads up to the cross, and all that comes after flows out of the cross. The apostle Paul was certainly cross centered. He said "For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2,ESV), and "But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Galatians 6:14,ESV). Also, Paul writes, "For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles" (1 Corinthians 1:22-23,ESV). For Paul, all knowledge was centered on the cross, his hope and joy were centered on the cross, and his message was centered on the cross.

This must also be true of us. If we move past the cross, we have lost our message. Some have the attitude that this would make us shallow. That we should move past the cross, past the gospel, and into meatier, weighteir issues. Let me say this plainly - there is no deeper, weightier or more important or more mysterious and glorious truth than the cross. It is what makes us distinctly Christian.

Everyone talks about God. Everyone. Oprah, Dr.Phil, Muslims, Jews, even pagans. God is frankly quite popular, though I probably should use god with a small g.

We need to set ourselves apart from all this fuzzy God talk and talk in ways that would get us kicked out of synagogues and mosques, and off the talk show circuit. In a pluralistic society, the cross is more offensive than ever. Yet it is still the power of God for the salvation of souls.

I have been profoundly influence by two great books - The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges and The Cross Centered Life by CJ Mahaney. Both are short, excellent reads.

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