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).
This world is a deadly place. The mortality rate is 100 percent. But the only thing more deadly than the world is the cross of Christ. There’s never been a more lethal tool. And yet in the wisdom of God the world’s own weapon has been turned against it, not vindictively, but in love. For through the cross God has dealt a fatal blow to this fallen world, and in due course it will breathe its last and be no more.
The cross kills the world not by inciting religious jihad but by crucifying the sinful nature in our souls. The Puritans had a phrase for this death-to-the-world process: the mortification of indwelling sin. Paul referred to it elsewhere as putting to death “the deeds of the body” (Romans 8:13).
This is what it means to have the world crucified to you, and you to the world. And yet Paul says something definitive has already happened in the lives of those who are Christ’s: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (5:24). For believers, a crucifixion has already happened, even though we continue to put to death that which remains.
Adapted from Galatians: Gospel-Rooted Living by Todd Wilson