This is the wonderful summary and conclusion of Chapter 2, “The Cross and the Holy Spirit” in D. A. Carson’s The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians. Truly the message of the cross would be foolishness to everyone if not for the work of the Holy Spirit.

Truly to grasp that the eternal God, our Maker and Judge, has out of inexpressible grace sent his Son to die the odious death of an abominated criminal in order that we might be forgiven and reconciled to him; that this wise plan was effected by sinful leaders who thought they were controlling events and who were operating out of selfish expediency, while in fact God was bringing about his own good, redemptive purposes; that our only hope of life in the presence of this holy and loving God lies in casting ourselves without reserve on his mercy, receiving in faith the gift of forgiveness purchased at inestimable cost – none of this is possible apart from the work of the Spirit. And Christians say, with increasing awe and gratitude, ‘God has revealed it to us by his Spirit’ (1 Cor. 2:10a).”

(Baker Books: Grand Rapids, MI; 1993. Page 66)