Glorying In The Cross
WHAT DOES PAUL MEAN BY
"THE CROSS"? He is not talking about the historic fact that Christ
died upon the cross. The knowledge of that fact, though it is necessary to
salvation, is not salvation. Neither is Paul referring to the literal, wooden
cross upon which Christ died. He was not an idolater, a worshipper of religious
relics. He knew that there was no superstitious, spiritual value in that piece
of wood. And he certainly is not suggesting that we glory in some sign, symbol,
representation, or form of the cross. When Paul speaks of the cross, he is
talking about the glorious, soul saving doctrine of the cross, the gospel of
our Lord Jesus Christ! He is talking about blood atonement (
HOW DID PAUL GLORY IN THE CROSS? The word "glory" means to exalt, to boast of, and to rejoice in. Paul exalted, boasted of, and rejoiced in the sin atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cursed tree.
He exalted the doctrine of the cross as the only theme of Holy Scripture and the singular subject of his preaching (I Cor. 2:2; ). He saw "Christ crucified" as the whole counsel of God, the message of all the types, promises, and prophecies of the Old Testament, the basis of hope for sinners, the motive of all godliness, and the message he was sent to proclaim.
This man rejoiced in the cross, the gospel of Christ, as the only grounds of his confident hope before God. He trusted Christ alone as his Savior (Phil. 3:3; I Cor. ). He counted all his religious works, knowledge, and experiences to be nothing but dung, that he might be found in Christ, robed in his righteousness and washed in his blood.
And he preached the cross, boasting of Christ's death as the only means of reconciliation to and acceptance with God, the only means of salvation for quilty sinners (Gal. ). If righteousness cannot be gained by man's obedience to the law of God (And it cannot!), then no man can be saved by anything else he might do. Nothing can save a man's soul, nothing can bring a sinner to God, nothing can make a sinner acceptable in the sight of God but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.