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Glorying in the Clloss of Christ.

Glorying in the Clloss of Christ.

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" But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto mc, and I unto the world." — Galatians vi. 14.

" But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto mc, and I unto the world." — Galatians vi. 14.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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GLORYIG I THE CllOSS OF CHRIST.BY THE REV. JOH PHILIP, FORDOU." But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, bywhom the world is crucified unto mc, and I unto the world." — Galatians vi. 14.These, my brethren, may appear to many of you to be high-soundingwords, suitable enough as coming from the great Apostle of the Gentiles,but by no means expressive of the feelings entertained by the majorityof Christians now-a-days. True, brethren, if under the appellation of Christians, you embrace all those who assume to themselves that name,or who make a profession of Christianity, these words will indeed finda response but in few hearts. Taking that term, however, in its originaland proper acceptation, viz., as applicable to those who are indeedChrist's — his, not in name but in reality — we affirm that every Christianmust of necessity be ready, in substance at least, to adopt the languageof the Apostle as his own, and that the refusal or felt incompetency onthe part of any to do so just proves that this name does not properlybelong to them, that they are as yet Christless, and therefore withoutGod and without hope in the world.Brethren, how stands the matter with you? Does the language of the Apostle find a response in your breasts ? Is it in any degree ex-pressive of your feelings ? Is there one chord of your hearts that vibratesin unison with it ? Perhaps you will be better able to answer the abovequestions when once I have explained to you the meaning of the Apostle'slanguage. In order to do this I shall first direct your attention to thecross of Christ as the subject of the Apostle's glorying ; secondly, to thenature and description of his feelings towards that cross, as implied inthe words, " God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our LordJesus Christ;" and, thirdly and lastly, to some of the grounds of hisglorying in the cross, and especially to the one which seems to be pointedat in the words, " by whom the world is crucified unto me and I untothe world ;" or, as it might rather be rendered, by which, viz. by the cross,the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.120 FREE CHURCH PULPIT.I. Let us .look for a very little to the expression, " the cross of Christ.'' This, my brethren, has different meanings in Scripture ; some-times it signifies simply the wooden cross to which our Saviour was nail-ed — the accursed tree on which he hung. This is its most simple andliteral meaning. Sometimes, again, it is used in a figurative sense, tosignify those sufferings which our Saviour endured on the cross — the
death which he died on it. In a wider sense still, it is employed todesignate the whole of his sufferings both of his life and death, of whichsufferings his death was the consummation. Lastly, the expression isnot unfrequently used to denote the doctrine of Christ's cross ; in otherwords, the way of salvation through a crucified Saviour ; and it is in thissense chiefly that we are to understand it in the verse before us. Itwas not, you will perceive, the sufferings of Christ considered in them-selves that the Apostle gloried in ; the consideration of these we believecost him many a tear ; but it was the end which these sufferings hadanswered — the opening up of a way for fallen man whereby he mightreturn and find favour with God — the throwing down of the barrierwhich sin had erected between the holy God and the sinner — and thepaving a channel for the free egress of God's mercy and love ; in short,it was the grand doctrine of the Atonement — the great plan of salvationthrough a crucified Saviour, in all its exceeding length and breadth, inall its fulness, in all its parts ; it was this that formed the subject of theApostle's glorying.II. Let us consider the nature and description of Paul's feelings towards the cross of Christ. "God forbid," he says, " that I should glory,save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." You all know, my brethren,what it is to glory in any object. It is just to have a very high esteem forit. For example, if we speak of a man glorying in his good name, hisriches or his friends, we just mean that he esteems these things veryhighly, that he sets a great value upon them. The consequence is, thathe thinks and talks continually about them, and nothing sooner exciteshis indignation than to hear them undervalued or dispraised. WhenPaul says, then, that he gloried in the cross of Christ, you are simply tounderstand him as meaning that he placed a high value upon it, that heprized it greatly. The consequence was, that that cross was the all-engrossing theme of his meditation, his conversation, and his preaching.Hence it was, that he determined to know nothing among the Corinthians,save Jesus Christ and him crucified. Hence it was that his epistles, whichnaturally took their colouring from his thoughts, were so much occupiedwith setting forth a crucified Saviour. Hence it was, that in all that hedid and spoke, he was ever on his guard, lest the cross of Christ should beREV. JOH PHILIP. 121made of none effect. Hence also it was that he felt so keenly when hesaw that cross despised or lightly esteemed by others. " Many,'' he says,when writing to the Philippians, " many walk of whom I have told youoften, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of thecross of Christ.''
Observe, however, more closely the nature of the Apostle's glorying,as described in the text : " God forbid that I should glory, save in thethe cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." This shews his glorying in thecross to have bsen an exclusive glorying. The cross not only appearedto him as an object worthy of esteem, but it appeared to him as the onlysuch object. We often see men taken up with several objects at once.o doubt there cannot well be more than one object on which the mindis supremely set, but there may be others on which a considerable shareof attention is at the same time bestowed, and for which a strong attach-ment is also conceived. But with Paul the cross was his all in all.It was so estimable an object in his eyes that he could not afford to wasteone affection or one thought upon anything else. It filled his whole6oul; it displaced and shut out every lesser object. Some of the Judaiz-ing teachers among the Galatians, while professing Christianity, wereyet glorying more in some of the institutions of the law, and in theproselytes they made, than in the grand doctrines of the cross ; and Paul,with special reference to these, says in the text, " God forbid that /should glory, save in the cross.'' Do not suppose by this that Paul meantto undervalue the Mosaic institutions, or that he saw no excellency or gloryin them. He appreciated them highly, and speaks of the ministration towhich they belonged as a glorious ministration. But seeing that theseinstitutions were appointed but as shadows of good things to come, andthat the substance itself was now before his eyes, he determined to gloryin that and in that only. Even that which was made glorious, he says inone passage, had no glory in this respect by reason of the glory that ex-celleth ; for if that which is done away is glorious, much more that whichremaineth is glorious. The glory of the cross appeared to him so greatas to eclipse every other object. Although, as the Scriptures say, thereis one glory in the sun, and another glory in the moon, and another gloryin the stars, for one star differeth from another star in glory ; J et such isthe superlative glory of the sun, that when once it has risen and attainedits meridian splendour, all those lesser lights disappear. And so it wasin the case of Paul ; he saw a glory in all the former institutions of thelaw — in all those luminaries which shed such lustre upon the Old Testamentchurch ; but when the Sun of righteousness arose, and when on Calvary'scross that Sun attained its noon-tide splendour never more to set, thenthose luminaries disappeared, or became but as specks in the heavens.o. 115 — Lect. 10. vol. in.122 FREE CHURCH PULPIT.But did Paul, you will perhaps say, glory in nothing but the cross of Christ? In nothing, my brethren, except so far as it was illustrated orirradiated by its glory. He gloried in his infirmities. " If I must

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