Galatians 6:14, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
I’d like to talk about the two crucifixions today: Christ’s and ours. Notice our text verse. This was spoken by the Apostle Paul. One would think that Paul had a lot to glory in. He had quite a resume of what God had done through him. But he said he would only glory in what Christ had done. I want to talk to you today about the cross, and how we should glory in it.
1. You must go to the cross.
This is something we must do by faith. The cross is not still standing in Jerusalem today. This is referring to what the cross means and what it stands for. The cross is absolutely essential to the saving of our souls.
Paul once said, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;” (1 Corinthians 15:1-3)
There were two things required in every sacrifice God demanded. First was the violent death of the sacrifice, and the second was the shedding of the blood of that sacrifice. Every time an Israelite brought a sacrifice, it was killed in a horrible, bloody death.
God was trying to drive home the point that sin is a terrible thing with terrible consequences. Hebrews 9:22 says, “...without shedding of blood is no remission.” Jesus Christ’s death was a horrific thing.
Jesus didn’t die so we could go to confirmation or be baptized or take communion or do sacraments and be justified. That is what Paul was saying in Galatians 6:14 – he would not glory in anything but Jesus on the cross.
Notice what Paul also said in Ephesians 2:13: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” And in Colossians 1:20, “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
Trust in Christ - not as a humanitarian or good person - but as your sacrifice.
2. Get On the Cross
Once you go to the cross and are saved, you need to crucify yourself. This is not a literal crucifixion, but a death to yourself. Galatians 2:20 explains it this way: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
There are two points I’d like to make here:
A. We should take up our cross and follow Christ
Matthew 16:24 says, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Everyone of us has goals, ambitions, dreams, and plans. But that might not conform with God’s plan. Christ is asking us to say no to ourselves.
Once there was a great All-American football player at Texas A&M named Joe Boyd. God called him to preach, and he turned his back on a great football career. As a result of him denying himself, Joe Boyd became a great evangelist and thousands and thousands of people will be in heaven someday because of him.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:31, “...I die daily.” Every day we must say, Lord what do you want me to do for you today. Jesus didn’t save us just so we could go to heaven, but so He could purify to himself a people zealous of good works. We must give our lives to Him.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) Why did Jesus die for us? So we could have life. Why should we die? So that others can have life.
A person who has not died to self will never witness to others. They will never tell someone else about Christ. They are too fearful of what others think of them. But a dead person doesn’t care what others think.
Think of the person who led you to Christ. Aren’t you glad that person didn’t care of what you thought of him?
B. We should be crucified for Christ
Romans 6:6&11 says, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin... Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Are you serving sin? It does not mean that you are unsaved, it only means that you have not crucified yourself. We should be dead to sin. We should get up every day and ask God to help us live for others.
Galatians 6:24, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” We must ask God to help us stop living for ourselves, our lusts, and our desires.
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)
by Art Kohl