Each Monday, we share quotes we found encouraging, convicting, thought-provoking, or all of the above.
On the relationship between the kingdom of God and the cross from The Kingdom of God and the Glory of the Cross by Patrick Schreiner:
At times an emphasis on the kingdom [of God] displaces or at least shifts attention away from a theology of the cross. It seems that we are prone to speak either of the kingdom or of the cross, unintentionally driving a wedge between the two. However, it is precisely in Jesus’s announcement, “The kingdom of God is at hand,” that he presupposes the kingdom will be accomplished by his death. The kingdom is not a higher or more important theme than the cross. These two realities are forever joined; separating them is an act of violence.
If the kingdom is the goal, then the cross is the means. But this does not mean that the cross simply falls between the ages. Rather, it is the wheel that shifts one age into another; it is the great transition piece, the turn of the ages for the people of God seeking their place. Martin Luther said that the cross must be the test of everything, and that includes a biblical theology of the kingdom. Jesus becomes King through the cross.
Here's another quote from None Greater by Matthew Barrett which is fitting since my pastor preached yesterday from Romans 3.
[T]he just God has not compromised his holy character by passing over sins but has put forward his own Son as a propitiation. He has not given grace at the expense of his righteousness, but his righteousness itself has produced grace. Christ is the perfect sacrifice, the holy substitute, whose spilled blood satisfies divine justice itself. The cross is the way - the only way - God can remain righteous and just yet legitimately justify guilty sinners, like you and me. At the cross, justice and mercy kiss. For God is both “just and the justified of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Grant Osborne, in his commentary on Matthew, talks about chapter 5 verse 20:
The problem is inherent in all legalistic movements: certain patterns are identified with holiness, but they are too easily external (acted out) rather than internal (truly believed and lived). The result is hypocrisy (see Matt 23). Therefore, a mere righteousness by fiat is insufficient. The lifestyle God demands of the heart, lived out in daily actions.