by Clarence E. Macartney

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Christ Reconciling the World (9 of 18)

The Greatest Texts of the Bible

Clarence Edward Macartney

2 Corinthians 5:19-21

God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.
. . . For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew
no sin.

If it is not so, then let us close the Bible, mute the
organ, empty the pews, silence the hymns, lock the
doors of the church, and throw the key into the river;
for we have nothing to talk about, nothing to sing
about and nothing upon which to build our hopes. But
since it is true-that "God was in Christ, reconciling
the world unto himself"-we have something to talk
about, something to sing about, and a solid foundation
upon which to build the structure of our everlasting

The Atonement is God's own mystery. The best that we
can do is to stretch forth humble hands of faith and
touch the outermost fringe of its crimson garment. The
cherubim and the seraphim cover the rest with their

The world's storms which are abroad drive the church
back to the cardinal truths and mountainous facts, the
grand particularities of the Christian faith. And here
is the grandest of them all, the one that takes in all
the others, that "God was in Christ, reconciling the
world unto himself."

We are glad that the Atonement is greater than man's
mind, for could I measure it with the measure of my
finite mind, then it would not be great enough and
deep enough for the needs of my infinite heart. The
cross is a truth that we can not know and yet know. If
that seems a paradox, it is an inspired paradox, for
that is what Paul says of the cross, of the gospel of
reconciliation. He prays that his friends may know the
length and the breadth and the depth and the height of
it and, he adds, "know the love of Christ, which
passeth knowledge" (Eph. 3:19). There you are-you both
know it and cannot know it. You cannot know it with
the mind, but you can know it and receiv ...

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