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Boasting in the Cross

Boasting in the Cross

Words of Faith 7-19-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Galatians 6

 [14] May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

 

      The legalizers were known for boasting, and it was a strange sort of boast.  They boasted in how many Gentile believers they had convinced to be circumcised, a strange kind of tally, to say the least.  They boasted in these "religious achievements" that actually contradicted the Gospel.  It was a glaring reminder of how far astray we can get when caught up in religious pride and control.

      In response, Paul made this declaration: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.   There is no place for boasting in the life of a believer, except in the cross.  This is the heart of the Gospel. The cross speaks of the atonement necessitated by man's sin.  Our hope is in the Name of our Savior alone.  He is the "God who saves, the Messiah.”  This is our only boast. 

       Paul knew all about religious pride.  Before he met Jesus, Paul was full of it. He reminded the Philippians-- If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless (3:4-6).

     These religious accomplishments meant nothing to Paul after he came to know Christ, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith” (3:7-9).

       Once Paul met Jesus, all this was crucified.  The world, with its selfish and fleshly attitudes was crucified to him, and he to the world. In its place came Christ alone, Christ, who is everything.

       A good question to ask? What am I heard "boasting" in?  If I listened in on my own conversations, would I hear boasting of my religious achievements?  Boasting about achievements or conversions won by my ministry or church?  Do I boast in the splendor of a church building or the magnificence of a program or large numbers participating?

       There are a lot of things we find to boast in other than the cross of Christ.  The interesting thing is that if we listen carefully, we might hear ourselves boasting in all sorts of religious things without ever really intending to do so. 

        We might even find ourselves boasting in how unorthodox we have become in sharing the Gospel.  We might boast of just how extreme our understanding of grace is and how unreligious we have become.  We might boast in how cutting edge presentation is or how much we have rejected those things considered "traditional.”  Whatever the case, it is all a loss.  Paul would call it vain or empty. 

        For Paul, this had become so very clear. May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

 

      Father God, keep my eye upon the cross of Jesus.  Keep my heart near the cross of Jesus.  Keep my mind and mouth clear of boasting, except that which is in the cross of Jesus.  For the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  In Jesus' Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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