A Nullified Cross

I am not endorsing or promoting Jonathan Edwards as a true Christian when I quote from him, but I think he writes some things that true Christians may benefit from.

“So there have long been disputes in the Christian world about opinions and principles in religion. There is a vast variety of sects and opinions; and disputes have been carried on, age after age, with great warmth, and thousands of volumes have been written one against another. And all these disputes have not terminated the differences, but they still subsist as much as ever; yea, they increase and multiply more and more. Instead of ending controversies by disputing, one dispute only lays a foundation for another. And thus the world goes on jangling and contending, daily writing and printing; being as it were deluged with controversial books; and all to no purpose.

The increase of human learning does not bring these controversies to an issue, but does really increase and multiply them. There probably never was a time in our nation wherein there was such a vast variety of opinions in matters of religion, as at this day. Every now and then, a new scheme of things is broached, and various and contrary opinions are mixed and jumbled, divided and subdivided; and every new writer is willing to have the credit of some new notion.

And after this manner does this miserable world go on in endless confusion; like a great multitude of fool-hardy persons, who go on in the dark, stumbling and justling [sic; jostling–CD] one against another, without perceiving any remedy for their own, or affording any for their neighbour’s, calamity. Thus I have shown how the extreme blindness that possesses the hearts of men is manifest in what appears in their profession” (Jonathan Edwards, Collection of Works of Jonathan Edwards. OSNOVA. Kindle Edition).

Many identifying as Calvinist or Reformed blindly jostle and dispute against their brothers in Satan about doctrines they do NOT consider essential to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  For instance, the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ constitutes the core of the gospel message — it is the VERY HEART of the gospel!  But in spite of this truth, the aforementioned Calvinists or Reformed persons consider those who believe in a nullified cross to be their spiritual brethren.

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to announce the gospel, not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ be nullified.  For the Word of the cross is foolishness to the [ones] perishing, but to us being saved, it is [the] power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:17-18).

Those who cling to a nullified cross believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception.  The Word of the cross is foolishness to the ones perishing, but to those being saved it is the “power” [Greek: “dunamis”] of God.  Those who deny that Christ’s cross is the power of God necessarily count Christ’s cross as foolishness.  If you believe that Jesus died for everyone without exception, then you necessarily believe the power of salvation ultimately proceeds from your own person, rather than the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul presents the Word of the cross as either the POWER of God, or as FOOLISHNESS.  The effort that makes the ultimate difference between salvation and damnation is the effort wherein the power of salvation is found.  You who believe Christ died for those who will ultimately perish place the power of salvation in your self-righteous selves.  Those who believe Christ’s death makes the difference between salvation and damnation place the power, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption in Jesus Christ ALONE (1 Corinthians 1:17-31).