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Sermon #2409[i]Miscellaneous Sermon

 

Title:                                                               The Cross

of Our Lord Jesus Christ

 

Text:                Galatians 6:14

Subject:         The Glory of the Cross

Date:              Tuesday Evening — April31, 2018

Millsite Baptist Church, Cottageville, WV

Introduction:

 

“In evil long I took delight,

Unawed by shame or fear,

‘Til a new object struck my sight,

And stopped my wild career.

 

I saw One hanging on a tree

In agonies and blood

Who fixed His languid eyes on me,

As near His cross I stood.

 

Sure, never till my latest breath

Can I forget that look.

It seemed to charge me with His death,

Though not a word He spoke.

 

My conscience felt and owned the guilt,

And plunged me in despair;

I saw my sins His blood had spilt,

And helped to nail Him there!

 

Alas! I knew not what I did;

But now my tears are vain!

Where shall my trembling soul be hid? —

For I the Lord have slain!

 

A second look He gave, which said,

‘I freely all forgive.

This blood is for thy ransom paid.

I die that thou mayest live.’

 

Thus, while His death my sin displays

In all its blackest hue,

(Such is the mystery of His grace),

It seals my pardon too.

 

With pleasing grief and mournful joy

My spirit now is filled,

That I should such a life destroy,

Yet live by Him I killed.”

John Newton

 

(Galatians 6:14) “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.”

 

Turn with me to the Book of Galatians. I want to talk to you about the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. —— The Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s my subject.

Š      The Cross — The Doctrine of the Cross

Š      Of our Lord

Š      Jesus

Š      Christ

 

Proposition: In this great Epistle, the Apostle Paul, as he was infallibly inspired by God the Holy Ghost, declares that salvation is entirely the work of God’s free grace in Christ. — Gospel salvation is salvation effectually accomplished, obtained by, and flowing from “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Galatians 1

 

The gospel is defined many times in the Scriptures (Romans 1; 1 Corinthians 15; Ephesians 1; Colossians 1; 2 Timothy 1); and it is always defined as Paul defines it here in Galatians 1. It is always defined as the good news of grace through the accomplished redemption of Christ, giving all praise, honor, and glory to the triune God.

 

In Galatians chapter 1 Paul tells us that there is one true gospel and that any other gospel is no gospel at all, but a false gospel.

 

The gospel is the good news of grace and peace from God (v. 3).

 

(Galatians 1:3) “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

The gospel is the announcement and proclamation of redemption accomplished for sinners by the sacrifice of God’s darling Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, according to the will of God (v. 4).

 

(Galatians 1:4) “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.”

 

The gospel gives all glory, honor, and praise to God alone (v. 5).

 

(Galatians 1:5) “To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

 

Every other gospel is a false gospel, a sham, a pretense, a damning gospel. Every religious message that men preach mixing grace and works, Christ’s work and man’s work, God’s will and man’s will, God’s praise and man’s praise, is the damning delusion of Satan (vv. 6-9).

 

(Galatians 1:6-9) “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (7) Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (9) As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

 

Galatians 2

 

In chapter 2 the Apostle begins to explain his meaning, telling us how to distinguish the true from the false. Here, in the 2nd chapter he asserts that we are justified by Christ alone, without any work performed by us (2:16-21).

 

(Galatians 2:16) “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

 

(Galatians 2:19-21) “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. (20) 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. (21) I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

 

Galatians 3

 

In the 3rd chapter the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to assert something else. Here he tells us that sanctification (holiness) is also the work of God’s free grace alone. We are redeemed by Christ, justified by Christ, and sanctified by Christ, without our own obedience to the law. The law was our schoolmaster unto Christ. Once Christ has come to us and we have come to him, we are no longer under the law (3:1-3, 10, 19, 23-25). Those who live by faith in Christ do not live under the yoke of the law; and those who pretend to live by the law know nothing about grace and faith in Christ.

 

(Galatians 3:1-3) “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? (2) This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (3) Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”

 

(Galatians 3:10) “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”

 

Galatians 4

 

Then, in chapter 4 Paul was inspired to tell us that the whole history of Sarah and her son Isaac and Sarah’s handmaid, Hagar, and her son Ishmael were intended by God to be an allegory, a spiritual picture of the believer’s complete freedom from the law, a picture of the fact that the salvation of God’s elect is altogether the work of God’s grace, according to God’s purpose, promise, and covenant, through the promised Seed (Christ) of Abraham.

 

Galatians 5

 

In the 5th chapter the Apostle tells us that we must never allow ourselves to be entangled with the yoke of the law (vv. 1-5).

 

(Galatians 5:1-5) “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (2) Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. (3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. (4) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (5) For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”

 

In the rest of chapter 5 he explains that to live by the law, to live in religious legalism, is to live after the flesh and fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Believers “live in the Spirit” and “walk in the Spirit.

 

(Galatians 5:11-13) “And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offence of the cross ceased. (12) I would they were even cut off which trouble you. (13) For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

 

Galatians 6

 

Now, let’s look at the 6th chapter. Here, Paul shows us that grace teaches us to be gracious. The love of God teaches people to love one another. Mercy experienced teaches people to be merciful. The kindness of God our Savior teaches saved sinners to be kind one to another.

 

(v. 1) “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

 

(v. 2) “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

 

(v. 3) “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”

 

(v. 4) “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”

 

(v. 5) “For every man shall bear his own burden.”

 

(vv. 6-9) “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

 

(v. 10) “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

 

(vv. 11-13) “Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.”

 

(v. 14-18) “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. (15) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (16) And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. (17) From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. (18) Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”

 

Go back to verse 14. If God the Holy Spirit will enable me, I want to try to tell you something about what Paul meant when he said, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

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 (Romans 5:6-11),

 

(Romans 5:6-11) “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

 

  • Legal Propitiation (Romans 3:24-26),

 

(Romans 3:24-26) “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

 

  • Substitutionary Redemption (2 Corinthians 5:18-21),

 

(2 Corinthians 5:17-21) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

 

  • Free Justification (Romans 5:19).

 

(Romans 5:19) “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

 

As it is used here, in Galatians 6:14, and as it is commonly used in the Epistles of the New Testament, the word “cross” refers to the Gospel of Christ. — The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is the revelation of the very glory of God in the accomplishment of redemption by his dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.That is the message of the Gospel.

 

Pagans glory in religious relics. Idolaters glory in religious images, signs, and symbols. Ignorant people glory in religious feelings, emotions, and experiences. — God’s people glory in the Gospel of Christ, not in the “old rugged cross” the sentimentalists sing about, but the old, old story of redeeming blood. We glory in that which is the revelation of the glory of God.

 

How?

 

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 (1 Corinthians 2:2; 9:16). He understood that “Christ crucified” is 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.

 

(1 Corinthians 2:2) “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

 

(1 Corinthians 9:16) “For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!”

 

This man rejoiced in the cross, the Gospel of Christ, as the only ground of his confident hope before God. He trusted Christ alone as his Savior (Philippians 3:3; 1 Corinthians 1:30). 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 guilty sinners (Galatians 2:21). 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.

 

It is “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” that makes it possible for the holy Lord God to be both “a just God and a Savior.It is the cross of Christ that makes it possible for God to be both “just and Justifier.” Sinners have hope before God only because of “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Therefore, saved sinners rejoice to say with the Apostle, “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.”

 

The Glory of the Cross

 

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? What is the glory of the cross? Let me give you five answers to that question.

 

1.    Here is the glory of the cross. — 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).

 

(John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 

(Romans 5:8) “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

(1 John 3:16) “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

 

(1 John 4:9-10) “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

 

“The enormous load of all my guilt

Was on my Savior laid;

The sinless One, God’s spotless Lamb,

For sinners, sin was made!

 

And in the darkest pangs of death

He wept and prayed for me: —

Loved and embraced my wretched soul,

When nailed to the tree.

 

O love! Amazing love! — Beyond

The reach of mortal tongue!

Savior, Your love shall be the theme

Of everlasting song!”

William Williams

 

2.    Here is the glory of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. — 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).

 

(2 Samuel 23:5) “Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.”

 

(Jeremiah 31:31-34) “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: (32) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: (33) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (34) And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

 

(Jeremiah 32:37-40) “Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: (38) And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: (39) And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: (40) And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.”

 

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).

 

(John 10:15-18) “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (16) And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (17) Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. (18) No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”

 

(Hebrews 9:16-22) “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. (17) For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. (18) Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. (19) For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, (20) Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. (21) Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. (22) And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

 

(Hebrews 13:20) “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.”

 

3.    Here is the glory of the cross. — It is a conquest realized (John 12:31-33).

 

(John 12:31-33) “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. (32) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (33) This he said, signifying what death he should die.”

 

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 upon the cursed tree.

 

(Revelation 20:1-6)And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (4) And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (5) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (6) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

 

4.    Here is the glory of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. — 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.”

 

(Galatians 3:13-14) “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

 

(Romans 8:1-4) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (4) That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

 

(Romans 8:32-39) “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (33) Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

“From whence this fear and unbelief?

Hast Thou, O Father, put to grief

Thy spotless Son for me?

And will the righteous Judge of men

Condemn me for that debt of sin

Which, Lord, was charged on Thee?

 

Complete atonement Thou hast made

And to the utmost farthing paid

Whate’er Thy people owed;

How then can wrath on me take place

If sheltered in Thy righteousness,

And sprinkled with Thy blood?

 

If Thou hast my discharge procured,

And freely in my room endured

The whole of wrath divine,

Payment God cannot twice demand,

First at my bleeding Surety’s hand,

And then again at mine.

 

Turn, then, my soul, unto thy rest;

The merits of thy great High Priest

Speak peace and liberty;

Trust in His efficacious blood,

Nor fear thy banishment from God,

Since Jesus died for thee!”

—Augustus Toplady

 

5.    Here is the glory of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. — 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).

 

(Matthew 11:25-30) At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (26) Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. (27) All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (28) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

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 6:19-20).
  • We are constrained by the love of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14).
  • And we seek in all things to be conformed to the example of our crucified Savior (Philippians 3:10).

 

(Philippians 3:3-10) “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. (4) Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: (5) Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; (6) Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. (7) But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (8) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (9) And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (10) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”

 

Three Crucifixions

 

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.” — Paul speaks here of three crucifixions in our text.

 

1.    The Crucifixion of Christ for His People

 

Paul’s constant theme in preaching was the doctrine of the cross, effectual, blood atonement by Jesus Christ, the God-man Mediator. He never tired of hearing it, meditating upon it, or preaching it. He saw and interpreted everything in the light of substitutionary redemption.

 

But he saw more in the Gospel than the death of Christ for him. He also saw…

 

2.    The Crucifixion of the World to the Believer

 

What does Paul mean when he says, by Christ “the world is crucified unto me”?

 

Š      “As the result of seeing all things in the light of the cross, he saw the world to be like a felon executed upon a cross” (C. H. Spurgeon).

 

Š      He had no more fear of the world than he would of a dead corpse. Paul’s “faith in a crucified Christ overcame the world, so that he looked upon it as the Israelites saw the Egyptians, dead on the sea shore” (John Gill).

 

Š      He had no more regard for the judgment of the world than he would for the opinions of an executed murderer (1 Corinthians 4:3).

 

Š      Certainly, the context suggests that Paul looked upon the religion of this world with utter contempt (Galatians 6:15; 5:12; 1:6-9).

 

Š      The ceremonial law he called the “elements of the world and of bondage” (Galatians 4:3, 9).

 

Š      The ordinances of legal worship he called, “the rudiments of the world” (Colossians 2:20).

 

Š      All legal, free-will, works religion he called, “the satisfying of the flesh” (Colossians 2:16-23).

 

Š      And Paul looked upon all that is in the world, which is pleasing and alluring to the flesh, as no more pleasing or alluring to him than a dead corpse (1 Timothy 6:5-11).

 

To faith the world is crucified! And our text also speaks of…

 

3.    The Crucifixion of the Believer to the World

 

The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” — Two things are intended here…

Š      By faith in Christ crucified we are as dead to the law as the law is to us (Galatians 2:19; Romans 7:4).

Š      Faith in Christ makes God’s people the objects of the world’s wrath, contempt, and ridicule (Galatians 5:11; 2 Timothy 3:12).

 

(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.”

 

“Yonder — Amazing sight! — I see

The incarnate Son of God,

Expiring on the accursed tree,

And weltering in His blood.

 

Behold a purple torrent run

Down from His hands and head:

The crimson tide puts out the sun;

His groans awake the dead!

 

The trembling earth, the darkened sky,

Proclaim the truth aloud!

And with the amazed Centurion cry,

‘This is the Son of God!’

 

So great, so vast a sacrifice,

May well my hope revive:

If God’s own Son thus bleeds and dies,

The sinner sure may live.

 

O that these cords of love divine,

Might draw me, Lord, to Thee!

Thou hast my heart, it shall be Thine —

Thine it shall ever be!”

—Samuel Stennett

 

(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.”

 

 

Amen.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[i]        Danville, Sunday Evening — November 4, 2007

         Danville — Tuesday Evening — December 3, 2013

Danville — Sunday Evening — August 30, 2015

         Wasilla, Alaska — (TUE 10/30/07)

     Kingsport Sovereign Grace Ministry, Kingsport, TN — (SAT–09/20/08)

     Knebworth Grace Church —     Knebworth, ENG — (SUN 04/22/12)

                                     New Focus Conference

     Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, Princeton, NJ — (SAT – 07/21/12)

         Ballymoney, N Ireland — (MON – 04/23/12)

     Covenant of Grace Baptist Church, North Wilkesboro, NC — (08/12/15)

     Millsite Baptist Church, Cottageville, WV — (04/03/18)