Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Cross-Centered Life Boasts in the Cross Not Self

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 world (Galatians 6:14).

Paul says, I will not boast in myself; I will boast in someone and something else. He says, "But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." When Paul says, "I will never," he uses that Greek expression me genoito, the strongest Greek negative he could use (cf. Rom 6:1-2). He is trying to find absolute language to emphasize this point: Do not ever boast in anything except the cross. To put it positively, only boast in the cross. Boast means to "glory in," "make much of," "be consumed with," or "be mastered by" something. It is deep. It comes from your center, from your soul. The psalmist says, "We boast in God all day long; we will praise Your name forever" (Ps 44:8). May it never be that we would ever make much of anything, or ever glory in anything, or be mastered by anything, except the cross!

Boasting in the cross implies that you place your confidence in Christ and His work for your salvation. You are not trusting in your religious acts. Cross-exalters rest everything in what Christ has done. Cross-exalters believe that Jesus lived the life we could not live and died the death we should have died. Those who boast in the cross simply say, "This is for my peace: Jesus died in my place." Boasting in the cross implies that God accepts you because of the work of Christ. You can say, "Because of the cross, the wrath of God will not be poured out on me. Because of the cross, I am united to Christ. Because of the cross, I am dead to this world and all its claims on my life. Because of the cross, I have become a new creation." So boast in the cross. Revel in it. Rejoice in it.

Boast only in the cross because every spiritual blessing you enjoy or will enjoy is due to the cross. Everything we enjoy as new creations is owing to the cross. Do you enjoy justification? Boast in the cross. Do you enjoy redemption? Boast in the cross. Do you enjoy adoption? Boast in the cross. Do you enjoy the Spirit? Boast in the cross.

Adapted from Exalting Jesus in Galatians by David Platt and Tony Merida

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