Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Boasting in the Cross

"But 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 worlda' (Gal. 6:14).

Paul had plenty of reason to boast (Phil. 3:4-6) in the eyes of man, but he says here that his only boast is in the cross. The cross has transformed every aspect of his life. Once lost now found. Once blind but now seeing. Once hard-hearted but given a new heart of flesh. Once a slave to sin now a slave of righteousness. Once dead now alive. Once living for self glory now living for God’s glory. We have no reason to boast but in the cross.

On this text John Calvin writes, “Paul says that if all our glorifying is in Jesus Christ, knowing that by means of his cross he has committed us to God the Father, and has secured the kingdom of heaven for us, then it will be easy for us to withdraw from the world and cut ourselves off from it, as it were. Why? Whoever has been cut to the quick and overwhelmed with a sense of their own sin will surely seek the grace offered to him in Jesus Christ, and the world will be worth nothing to him.”

In song form it’s simple: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus and the things of this world will grow strangely dim.”

Calvin leaves us with this thought: “Now let us fall down before the majesty of our great God, acknowledging our sins, and praying that they would so grieve us that we would be made to tremble and seek his pardon. Then we will be transformed through true repentance and enabled to battle against all our vices and all the corruptions of our flesh, until he has freed us from them altogether; then he will clothe us in his righteousness.”

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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