'Christ Crucified' Is Still the Only Gospel - Ryle

'For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures' 1Cor. 15:3-4

There is no doctrine in Christianity so important as the doctrine of Christ crucified [1Cor. 2:2]. There is none which the devil tries so hard to destroy. There is none which it is so needful for our own peace to understand. By “Christ crucified,” I mean the doctrine that Christ suffered death on the cross to make atonement for our sins [Phil. 2:8],-that by His death He made a full, perfect, and complete satisfaction to God for the ungodly [Rom. 5:19],-and that through the merits of that death all who believe in Him are forgiven all their sins, however many and great, entirely, and for ever [Rom. 10:13].

The doctrine of Christ crucified is the grand peculiarity of the Christian religion [Luke 24:6-7]. Other religions have laws and moral precepts, forms and ceremonies, rewards and punishments; but other religions cannot tell us of a dying Saviour: they cannot show us the cross [Acts 10:40]. This is the crown and glory of the Gospel; this is that special comfort which belongs to it alone. Miserable indeed is that religious teaching which calls itself Christian, and yet contains nothing of the cross.

Are you living in any kind of sin [Acts 13:38]? Are you following the course of this world, and neglecting your soul? Hear! I beseech you, what I say to you this day: “Behold the cross of Christ [Mark 15:34,39].” See there how Jesus loved you! See there what Jesus suffered to prepare for you a way of salvation! Yes: careless men and women, for you that blood was shed! for you those hands and feet were pierced with nails! for you that body hung in agony on the cross [1Peter 1:18-19]! You are they whom Jesus loved, and for whom He died! Surely that love ought to melt you: surely the thought of the cross should draw you to repentance. Oh, that it might be so this very day! Oh, that you would come at once to that Saviour who died for you and is willing to save! Come and cry to Him with the prayer of faith, and I know that He will listen. Come and lay hold upon the cross, and I know that He will not cast you out [John 6:37]. Come and believe on Him who died on the cross, and this very day you shall have eternal life [John 3:15].

Excerpted from Christ Crucified by J.C. Ryle 1816-1900

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