"But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Galatians 6:14
What do we think and feel about the cross of Christ? We live in a Christian land. We probably attend the worship of a Christian church. Most of us have been baptized in the name of Christ. We profess and call ourselves Christians. But what do we think and feel about the cross of Christ?
I want to examine what one of the greatest Christians who ever lived thought of the cross of Christ. He has written down his opinion - he has given his judgment in words that cannot be mistaken. The man I mean is the Apostle Paul. The place where you will find his opinion is in the letter which the Holy Spirit inspired him to write to the Galatians. The words, in which his judgment is set down, are these, "But far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Now what did Paul mean by saying this? He meant to declare strongly, that he trusted in nothing but "Jesus Christ crucified" for the pardon of his sins and the salvation of his soul. Let others, if they would, look elsewhere for salvation; let others, if they were so disposed, trust in other things for pardon and peace - for his part the apostle was determined to rest on nothing, lean on nothing, build his hope on nothing, place confidence in nothing, boast in nothing, "except in the cross of Jesus Christ."
Let me explain, what we are to understand by "the cross of Christ." What did Paul mean when he said, "I boast in the cross of Christ," in the Epistle to the Galatians? This is the point I now wish to examine closely and make clear.
But the cross means, that Christ died for sinners upon the cross - the atonement that He made for sinners, by His suffering for them on the cross - the complete and perfect sacrifice for sin which He offered up, when He gave His own body to be crucified. In short, this one word, "the cross," stands for Christ crucified, the only Savior. This is the meaning in which Paul uses the expression, when he tells the Corinthians, "The preaching of the cross is to those who perish foolishness." (1 Cor. 1:18.) This is the meaning in which he wrote to the Galatians, "God forbid that I should boast, except in the cross." He simply meant, "I boast in nothing but Christ crucified, as the salvation of my soul."
Jesus Christ crucified was the joy and delight, the comfort and the peace, the hope and the confidence, the foundation and the resting-place, the ark and the refuge, the food and the medicine of Paul's soul. He did not think of what he had done himself, and suffered himself. He did not meditate on his own goodness, and his own righteousness. He loved to think of what Christ had done, and Christ had suffered - of the death of Christ, the righteousness of Christ, the atonement of Christ, the blood of Christ, the finished work of Christ. In this he did boast.
So, my friends I ask you, "What will you do about the cross of Christ?"
Allow me to invite all of you to participate with the Weirton Ministerial Association in celebrating Easter with a yard cross that states Jesus is Risen. To order a cross please contact Mike Smith at 304-748-4422. You can find us on Facebook or at www.eastercross.com.
("From the Pulpit" is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)