Sinclair Ferguson on why highlighting the cross is essential [QUOTE]

As I was prepping my series of teaching for this upcoming series for our college ministry (THE EXCHANGE), I came across this quote as to the necessity for such a series of messages:

More than thirty years ago in his landmark book Knowing God, J. I. Packer noted, “If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thoughts of being God’s child, and having God as his Father.” I would add today: “If you want to judge how well a person understands the gospel, ask him what he makes of the death of Christ, and what the message of the cross is.” The real Christian answers that while the message of the cross is foolishness to some and a stumbling blog to others, to Christians it is the saving wisdom and power of God (1 Cor. 1:18-24). The confession of the real Christian is, “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Gal. 6:14).. We need to understand that the cross stands at the center and heart of the gospel. Without it there is no gospel. 

-Sinclair Ferguson

Jerry Bridges and Robert C. Bevington, The Great Exchange: My Sin for His Righteousness, Wheaton: Ill.: Crossway Books, 2007, 12.