Galatians 6:14, “I  Will Glory in the Cross”

May 15, 2018

 “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

 

Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Verse 14a: “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

When you cut through all of the issues of the Christian faith, and go straight to the core of what it means to be a Christian, you will find yourself standing at the cross of Jesus Christ. It’s not a pretty sight! When you see pictures of a beautiful pastoral scene, with flowers blooming on a hillside, that’s not true picture of the cross. It was a bloody, gory, disgusting spectacle of horror. A man hangs on  that cross in the throes of death. He gasps for breath, sweat covers His body. Blood trickles down from His hands and feet and drips to the ground. A soldier thrusts a spear just under the ribcage, near the man’s heart, blood and water flow mingled down. Then its over! The horrible, gruesome execution is done. “It is finished! And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30).

When the Portuguese traders, following the trail of the great explorer, Vasco De Gama, settled on the south coast of China, they built a massive cathedral on a hill-crest overlooking the harbor. When this great cathedral fell, the front wall was all that was left standing. That huge façade has stood as an enduring monument, while high on its triangular top, clear cut against the sky, defying rain, thunder, lightening and typhoon is a great bronze cross. When Sir John Bowring, Governor of Hong Kong visited Macao in 1825 he was so impressed by the scene that he wrote a hymn that has lasted for centuries:

In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time,

All the light of sacred glory, gathers ‘round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o’ertake me, hopes deceive, and fears annoy,

Never shall the cross forsake me, lo! it glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming light and love upon my way,

From the cross the radiance streaming adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, by the cross are sanctified;

Peace is there that knows no measure,

Joys that through all time abide.

The Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon said, “I get into the pulpit and make a beeline for the cross.” Paul said, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

 

1 Corinthians 15:3, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.”

1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

 

The cross:

 

•Will not make you rich! It will not help you to carve out a career.

•Will not help you to become a power in the government.

•Will not make you popular, in fact it will make you unpopular.

•Will not be accepted by the intelligentsia, they think we are unlearned and nonsensical: “So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense” 1 Corinthians 1:23 NLT). The Bible talks about these people: “Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge” (1 Timothy 6:20 NLT). “Suddenly, Festus shouted, “Paul, you are insane. Too much study has made you crazy!” (Acts 26:24).

•Will not be accepted by those who believe they can purge their consciences, and renew their lives by yoga, meditation, self-realization  or some discipline of life.

•Will not be accepted by the world, the social reformers, who are totally involved with endangered species and the environment. They do not understand that God has a final solution for man, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

The world says, “it’s not rational to believe that a virgin could give birth to child.” “It’s not rational to believe that an all-powerful God would leave His home in heaven to become a human.” It’s not rational to believe that God would allow His only Son to be executed at the hands of His creation.” “It’s not rational to believe that there’s a hell where everyone who does not kneel at the cross will go for eternity.” “It’s not rational to believe that a man who was dead and buried for 3 days would come back to life.”

The world can never understand the enlightenment of the Word of God, the awesomeness of answered prayer, the excitement of a testimony, the thrill of a gospel song, the feeling of God’s love and acceptance, or the security of knowing we’re going to heaven. All of that comes in the cross of Christ!

A well-known Evangelist was traveling in Australia, he gave the following advise about their evangelistic efforts: “Don’t tell people about the cross, it doesn’t work. That’s why so many evangelistic efforts fail, they focus too much on the cross. Just ell them “God loves them and has a wonderful plan for them. The message of a crucified Jew is ridiculous to the modern mind…so move on to something better. A crucified Messiah is stupid. Promise them prosperity, give them emotional experiences, provide them with self-esteem and you’ll fill the pews.”

Without the cross, the Bible is just another book, and Christianity is nothing more than a self-help seminar.

“I wish to say something about "the cross…Believe me, the subject is one of deepest importance. This is no mere question of controversy. It is not one of those points on which people may agree to differ, and feel that differences will not shut them out of heaven. A man must be right on this subject, or he is lost forever. Heaven or hell, happiness or misery, life or death, blessing or cursing in the last day—all hinges on the answer to this question, ‘What do you think about the cross of Christ?’” –J.C. Ryle

Verse 14b: “…by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20 MSG, “I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.”

Romans 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”

1 Corinthians 15:31 “I die daily.”

Colossians 3:3 NLT, “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”

The Greek word used here is sustauroo, a verb found five times in the New Testament and which literally means "to crucify alone with."

 

The following is from  the notes on Galatians 2:20 previously published.

When they crucified Christ on the cross, God also crucified Paul. This does not mean that Paul actually died physically on the cross.

“In Galatians 2:19, Paul states that in Christ he had died to the Law, insensible to it in the same way that physical death makes a person insensible to all surrounding objects and influences. Paul says that he became insensible to the Law as a means of justification. It lost its power over him and ceased to influence him. Paul was also dead to the world, to ambition and the love of money, to the pride of life, and to the dominion of evil and hateful passions. They lost their power over him; they ceased to influence him. They, too, were crucified with Christ.” –gotquestions.org

Romans 6:6 MSG,  “Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection.”

I was dead in trespasses and sin, now I am have been  crucified with Christ, I am dead in Him and alive in him! ‘And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins…’” (Ephesians 2:1).

There are four  elements in physical death:

 

1. There is an element of completeness. One of the most powerful aspects of physical death is its finality. Once someone dies, they can’t be brought back to life again All of the hopes, aspirations, goals and dreams for this life go to the grave with them. This person will never again experience the joys and sorrows of life, he is dead! Now those of us who are Christians believe that there is life after death, but that does not take away from the finality of death. My mother is in heaven, but she is not here! I’m happy she’s with the Lord, but I would rather she be with me!

2. There is an element of costliness: “There are no trailer hitches on hearses.” When they told comedian Jack Benny, who was a famous miser, “You can’t take it with you,” he said, “Then I’m not going!” But he went, and he didn’t take it with him! It costs to die. King Solomon tells us, “What’s the point of working your fingers to the bone if you hand over what you worked for to someone who never lifted a finger for it?” (Ecclesiastes 2:21 MSG). Death costs you your fame, fortune, friends and family. Jesus said “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

3. There is an element of change: look at this person in the casket, he/she’s different. All of the temptations of life are gone. All of the difficulties of life are gone. All of the anxieties of life are gone. He’s different! I remember when my mom died, I looked in her casket and said, “that’s not my mom, she would have been talking to me. She would have been checking my ears for dirt .” (When I was young, mu mom had an uncanny ability to detect soiled ears). When a person dies, everything changes!

4. There is an element of calm: Look at him/her, they’re worried about the house payment or car payment. They’re not stressed over things at work, or problems with the family. They are calm as can be! All the difficulties of life are behind them. They’re not worried about a thing.

 

There are four elements in when we are crucified with Christ:

 

1. There is an element of completeness.  “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT). God’s forgiveness is not a disguise to hide our sins, it is complete. He takes away our sin, condemnation and guilt.

Psalm 103:12 MSG, “And as far as sunrise is from sunset, He has separated us from our sins.”

Isaiah 38:17, “You have cast all my sins behind Your back.”

Isaiah  43:25 NLT, “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake  and will never think of them again.”

Micah 7:19, “You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” In Revelation 21:1, the Bible says, Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.” God is going to throw my sins into the sea, then He’s going to do away with the sea!

Hebrews 10:17, God says, “I will never again remember their our) sins and lawless deeds.”

2. There is an element of costliness: What does it cost to be a Christian?

It will cost those who are closest to you: Jesus said, “Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s own self!—can’t be my disciple” (Luke 14:26 MSG).

 

It will cost fame and fortune and the world’s adulation. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18,19).

It will cost you your will. “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” (James 4:14,15).

It will cost you comfort. Jesus said, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (Matthew 16:33). “Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12 NLT).

 

3. There is an element of change: As Christians, we become new creatures created for good works. (Ephesians 2:10). In the past we served ourselves, but now we are serving God and others. “So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:14-16 NLT).

“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests,[a] a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9 NLT).

I know that Christians and non-Christians are not different physically. We general dress the same, live in similar houses and drive similar cars, but are we different? If the life you live is indistinguishable from what any non-Christian lives, then it may be time to ask yourself the question, “Am I really a Christian?”

4. There is an element of calm: Jesus frees His people from anxieties and fears. He exalts His power and authority by working to take away what troubles us. Does this mean that Christians should never worry, never be anxious? It is impossible, as long as we live in these fragile human bodies to avoid struggles with anxiety and worry, but as believers we do not allow these disorders to control our lives.

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (Philippians 4:6,7 MSG).

Jesus says this about worries, doubts and fears: “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?…Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:25-34).

As believers God will always reign sovereign over the chaos of our lives and of the crazy world in which we live. Anxiety comes from a lack of faith in the ability of God to take care of us as unbelief gets the upper hand in our hearts. Much anxiety, Jesus says, comes from little faith.

Have you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation? He’s waiting for you to repent  (turn your back on) your sins, and accept His forgiveness. “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” ( 2 Corinthians 6:2).

Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also The New Living Translation (NLT); The New American Standard Bible (NASB); The Message (MSG); The New Century Version (NCV); The Amplified Bible (AMP); The King James Version (KJV), The New Life Version (NLV); English Standard Version (ESV); J.B. Phillips New Testament; Easy to Read Version (ERV); Common English  bible (CEB); NET Bible (NET) and The Living Bible (TLB). Contemporary English Version (CEV).

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