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Triumph Of The Crucified

The message of the crucified Christ was primary in Paul's preaching; this was particularly evident in his preaching at Corinth and in subsequent letters. He preached not only that Christ was once crucified, but that He continues in His character as the crucified One. Christ's cross-work, the basis of the atonement, is completed; the benefits of His sacrifice are forever fresh and available. The crucifixion of Christ is a matter of permanent significance, not simply an historical event. It is Paul's firm conviction of the abiding efficacy of the crucifixion that leads him to say that he will not boast except 'in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ' (Gal.6:14). The continuing validity of the cross-work of Christ destroys the teaching of the Judaizers, who propagated the heresy that the Cross needed to be supplemented by law-keeping for salvation. The death of Christ is the only basis upon which God will forgive the believing sinner. It is not possible to supplement the cross-work of Christ or to detract from it. 'Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies' (Rom.8:33).

The crucifixion of Christ with its resultant benefits was the focal point of Paul's dynamic preaching. Men and women were challenged by a message which cut across their preconceived notions. The gospel takes no account of racial differences and makes no concessions to intellectual achievements. The gospel lays it to the charge of both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles) that they are 'all under sin' (Rom. 3:9). Human depravity and the awful nature of sin are clearly revealed by the Cross. The nature of God is also revealed there. This is the supreme demonstration that 'God is love' (1 John 4:8).