Church: The New Community in Christ

The very purpose of [Christ’s] self-giving on the cross was not just to save isolated individuals, and so perpetuate their loneliness, but to create a new community whose members would belong to him, love one another and eagerly serve the world.  This community of Christ would be nothing less than a renewed and reunited humanity, of which he as the second Adam would be head.  It would incorporate Jews and Gentiles on equal terms.  In fact, it would include representatives from every nation.  Christ died in abject aloneness, rejected by his own nation and deserted by his own disciples, but lifted up on the cross he would draw all people to himself.  And from the Day of Pentecost onward it has been clear that conversion to Christ means also conversion to the community of Christ, as people turn from themselves to him, and from “this corrupt generation” to the alternate society which he is gathering around himself.  These two transfers — of personal allegiance and social membership — cannot be separated.

John R. W. Stott, The Cross of Christ (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 249.