>Insightful Quotation on State of the American Church

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“The American church is so much seduced by being successful, by being powerful, that we look for power in programs, in experiences, in entertainment, in psychological applications – everywhere but where God has placed the power, which is in the gospel.”
R. C. Sproul

>Cross Focused

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Here are a couple weighty thoughts concerning the Cross of Jesus:

“The cross which is the object of faith, is also, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the cause of it. Sit down and watch the dying Saviour till faith springs up spontaneously in your heart. There is no place like Calvary for creating confidence. The air of that sacred hill brings health to trembling faith.”

– C. H. Spurgeon

“Once you look at the cross, you can’t look at anything else, no matter
how horrid it appears, and infer that God’s intention is to do us harm.
The truth is that God is good.”

– William Backcus

>Cross-Eyed?

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“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 here, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.”

– John Stott

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C.S. Lewis writes:

God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them. He creates the universe, already foreseeing – or should we say “seeing”? there are no tenses in God – the buzzing cloud of flies about the cross, the flayed back pressed against the uneven stake, the nails driven through the mesial nerves, the repeated incipient suffocation as the body droops, the repeated torture of back and arms as it is time after time, for breath’s sake, hitched up. If I may dare the biological image, God is a “host” who deliberately creates His own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and “take advantage of” Him. Herein is love. This is the diagram of Love Himself, the inventor of all loves.

>THINKABOUTIT – The Uniqueness of CHRISTianity

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“Christianity alone among the world religions claims that God became uniquely and fully human in Jesus Christ and therefore knows firsthand despair, rejection, loneliness, poverty, bereavement, torture, and imprisonment. On the cross he went beyond even the worst human suffering and experienced cosmic rejection and pain that exceeds ours as infinitely as his knowledge and power exceeds ours. In his death, God suffers in love, identifying with the abandoned and godforsaken. Why did he do it? The Bible says that Jesus came on a rescue mission for creation. He had to pay for our sins so that someday he can end evil and suffering without ending us.”
– Timothy Keller

>Criticism in Context of the Cross

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“In light of God’s judgment and justification of the sinner in the cross of Christ, we can begin to

discover how to deal with any and all criticism. By agreeing with God’s criticism of me in Christ’s cross, I can face any criticism man may lay against me. In other words, no one can criticize me more than the cross has. If you thus know yourself as having been crucified with Christ, then you can respond to any criticism, even mistaken or hostile criticism, without bitterness, defensiveness, or blame shifting. Such responses typically exacerbate and intensify conflict, and lead to the rupture of relationships. You can learn to hear criticism as constructive and not condemnatory because God has justified you.”

– Alfred J. Poirier, “The Cross and Criticism” from The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 17, No. 3, Spring 1999, p. 17.