†††† In the book of Romans Paul shows the necessity of the cross.He establishes the following truths:(1) the gospel is God's power unto salvation (Romans 1:16), (2) the need for salvation is universal (Romans 3:10), (3) salvation is by the blood of Jesus (Romans 3:25), (4) both Jew and Gentile need the cross (Romans 3:29), and (5) Christ died that He might be "Lord.""...For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living." (Romans 14:8-9)


†††† "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation."Romans 5:8-11 is a profound section of scripture dealing with the cross.It shows that the cross is the:


†††† Manifestation of Godís Love: That God demonstrated His love for man is best seen as Jesus dies as a sacrifice for sin. (Hebrews 2:9)Jesus' substituting death for our sins is the greatest fact of history. Nothing shows God's love, good will or benevolence for mankind more than the cross.


†††† Means of Justification: Paul powerfully states that we are justified by Christ's blood. (Romans 5:9)The only ground for man's justification is Jesus' death."Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins." (Acts 13:38)Jesus knew no sin but He was made sin on our behalf that we might have God's righteousness. (2 Corinthians 5:21)Because of the cross God can be just and the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:26)


†††† Motivation for reconciliation: Reconciliation to God is through the death of Jesus. (Romans 5:10)Sin separates man from God. (Isaiah 59:1-2)Man is returned to God's favor through the cross of Christ.Because of the cross Christians can cry out to a lost world, "be reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:20)


†††† Repentance and baptism are man's response to God's offer of salvation by the blood of Christ. (Acts 2:36-38)Do you see God's love at the cross?Do you recognize the cross as the only means of justification? Have you been motivated by the cross to be reconciled to God?If the cross will not move you, nothing will!


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA