Sunday, March 15, 2015
I Boast of Christ
Gal. 6:14 May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
The cross of Jesus Christ is not something that most people would want to boast about. Think about it — this was an instrument of execution. Something like boasting in an electric chair or a firing squad. Surely this was a crazy thing to do, but Paul knew that it was pivotal to his life and the life of all believers. However, it was not attractive nor appealing to the world around them.
The Galatians were drawn to life in the flesh. It’s why there had been an entire argument over circumcision. This was life in the flesh — or trying to satisfy the material world. Christians were wanting to be accepted and look like the rest of the Jewish world. This was respectable religion and why not be able to compare oneself with the things of the world? Look like the world. Act like the world. Boast about your accomplishments and be accepted by the world.
Paul rejected them all and declared that he would never boast in himself, but only in “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This was the turning point on which everything else in life was measured. The things of the world; the life of the flesh had been crucified. Paul’s life was now entirely focused on living life in the Spirit, or living the Spirit-filled life. This change meant that he too had died another kind of death. Because of the cross, he had died to the world and was given new life in the Spirit. The life of the flesh had already been left behind and boasting in those things was meaningless in light of Christ. Why boast of anything — except Him!
Why do we boast of anything, except Christ? Probably because we are still living with one foot in the flesh and struggle with walking entirely in the Spirit. John Wesley said that when we are crucified with Christ, then “I am dead to all worldly pursuits, cares, desires, and enjoyments.” In other words, the things that the world sees as successful are not the things that are important.
Many of us will take time today to go to church. What will the conversation be in the corridors as we sip on our cup of coffee? Will we boast about Christ or focus on this weeks’ sporting events?
The temptation is to be constantly “in the flesh.” Paul’s comment is strong — “may I never boast of anything...” This happened as he continually lived life in the Spirit. Let’s pay attention to the conversation today. Where is the focus? If it is entirely on the world or flesh, then may we be convicted to turn our attention to Christ and him crucified and may we intentional boast about him!
Lord, thank you for your continuous and on-going leading and guiding in my life. Please help me to focus on and boast in you alone. Amen.