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The Glory of the Cross
“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.” (Galatians 6:14)
Everything about the doctrine of the cross is glorious. It was a glorious Savior who died. He died for a glorious purpose, to redeem God’s elect from the fall. His death reveals the glory of God. And by his death the Lord Jesus Christ raises ruined sinners up to a glorious inheritance. No wonder Paul exclaimed, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!” Why did Paul glory in the cross? Here are five answers to that question.
1. It is a compassion revealed. Would you know the love of God? Then look into the death of Christ upon the cursed tree. Only there can it be truly realized that “God is love” (Romans 5:8; John 3:16; 1 John 3:16; 4:9-10).
2. It is a covenant respected. Long before the world began God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost entered into a covenant of grace by which the salvation of God’s elect was infallibly secured (2 Samuel 23:5; Jeremiah 31:31-34; 32:37-40). Our Lord Jesus, by his obedience unto death, even the death of the cross, as our Substitute, fulfilled and ratified that everlasting covenant (John 10:16-18; Hebrews 9:16-22; 13:20).
3. It is a conquest realized (John 12:31-33; Revelation 20:1-3). Upon the cross Christ justified his elect, conquered Satan, and procured the Spirit’s effectual call of his elect, guaranteeing the salvation of every sinner for whom he died.
4. It is a curse removed. The blood of Christ cannot fail to save every soul for whom that blood was shed, because the blood of Christ poured out unto death upon the cross has fully removed the curse of the law from God’s elect (Romans 8:1; Galatians 3:13). The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ shall never be discovered a miscarriage! — “He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied.”
5. It is a comfortable rule. In Galatians 6:16 Paul is still talking about the glory of the cross. He says, “As many as walk according to this rule” (What rule? The rule of the cross.), “peace (shall) be on them!” All who live under the rule and dominion of the cross find peace (Matthew 11:28-30). Believers are not under the rule of the Mosaic law (Romans 6:14; 7:4; 10:4). And we are not under the rule of religious traditions (Colossians 2:16-22). But we do gladly live under the blessed, comfortable rule of the cross. We are motivated by Christ’s death upon the cross (1 Corinthians 6:20; 2 Corinthians 5:14) and seek in all things to be conformed to the example of our crucified Savior (Philippians 3:10).