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.

Glimpsing the Blinding Glory of the Holiness of God

All inadequate doctrines of the atonement are due to inadequate doctrines of God and humanity. If we bring got down to our level and raise ourselves to his, then of course we see no need for a radical salvation, let alone for a radical atonement to secure it. When, on the other hand, we have glimpsed the blinding glory of the holiness of God and have been so convicted of our sin by the Holy Spirit that we trouble before God and acknowledge what we are, namely “hell-deserving sinners,” then and only then does the necessity of the Cross appear so obvious that we are astonished we never saw it before.

John R. W. Stott, The Cross of Christ (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 111.