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Reasons for Glorying in the Cross.

Reasons for Glorying in the Cross.

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Published by glennpease
BY THE REV. JOHN RHODES


" God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ." GAL. vi. 14.
BY THE REV. JOHN RHODES


" God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ." GAL. vi. 14.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 20, 2013
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REASOS FOR GLORYIG I THE CROSS.BY THE REV. JOH RHODES" God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord JesusChrist." GAL. vi. 14.WHE the apostle speaks of " the cross of Christ," hespeaks of the death of Christ ; and when he speaks of the death of Christ, he speaks of it as an atoning sacrifice forthe sins of the world. That doctrine which lies at thefoundation of all his teaching is, that sinners are reconciledto God through the death of His Son. In other words, if God forgives the sins of men, it is not for the sake of anything they have done, or can. do ; but solely in considerationof what His Son Jesus has done and suffered for them uponthe cross. This is the apostle s doctrine the doctrine inwhich he glories, and to which the text refers.But this doctrine has always excited much enmity. The Jewswere exceedingly mad against it, and they violently persecuted those who ventured to proclaim it. It was to them" a stumblingblock," " and to the Greeks foolishness ; "but that which was a " stumblingblock " to some and" foolishness " to others, was that in which the apostle126 REASOS FOR GLORYIGgloried most. It must also be noted that this doctrineabjuring, as it does, all trust in good works, in religiousobservances, or in anything else except the atoning efficacyof Christ s blood for the forgiveness of sins was highlyoffensive to some who were professedly in, as well as to thosewho were outside the Church. You cannot read the Actsor the Epistles without seeing that there were in the days
 
of the Apostle Paul certain men who went about teaching, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses,ye cannot be saved." (Acts xv. i.) These men occasionedthe apostle a great deal of trouble. They followed him fromplace to place, and not un frequently undid to a great extentwhat he had done. They went into Galatia, for example,where the apostle had been very successful in winning soulsto Christ, and there they wrought great mischief. Theyinsinuated that Paul was not an apostle. He had not beenordained by the imposition of hands he was not, therefore,in the apostolic succession ; he was an enthusiastic laymanwho had run before he was sent. ow, they had come fromPeter, and James, and John, the chosen apostles of Christ,who could speak with greater authority than anyone else ;and the tenor of their teaching was that there was no salvationout of the Jewish Church. It was as necessary for them toobserve the ceremonial law, as it was for them to repent of their sins, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.It was in consequence of these misrepresentations and falsedoctrines that St. Paul was inspired to write the epistle whichis now before us. You will observe that in the openingchapter he begins by boldly asserting his apostolic authority :" Paul, an apostle, not of man, neither by man, but by JesusChrist, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead."In the eleventh and twelfth verses he says, " I certify you,brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me is notafter man, for I neither received it of man, neither was Itaught it, but by revelation of Jesus Christ." In the secondI THE CROSS. 127chapter he refers to the council or, as it is there called, the"conference" which was held in Jerusalem on this veryquestion ; and to the decision of that conference, which wasto the effect that the Gentiles were under no obligation to becircumcised, and that he (Paul) ought to be recognised as theApostle of the Gentiles, quite as fully as Peter was recognised
 
as the Apostle of the Jews. He next proceeds to establishthe doctrine that " man is not justified by the works of thelaw, but by the hearing of faith." It was never intended thatthe Gentile followers of Christ should be burdened with theyoke of ceremonies, and therefore he exhorts them to " Standfast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, andbe not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." " Behold,I Paul say unto you, if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profityou nothing." " Christ is become of no effect unto you,whosoever of you are justified by the law ; ye are fallen fromgrace." " For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availethanything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh bylove." In the verses immediately preceding the text hedeclares that the zeal of those ritualistic teachers wasto be accounted for on two grounds viz., pride and fear.They desired " to make a fair show in the flesh," and theyfeared "lest they should suffer persecution." For thesereasons they gloried in the law. "But God forbid," hesays, " that /should glory save in the cross of our Lord JesusChrist." It is as though he had said, " There is nothing in thisworld that I count worth living for, but to preach Christ andHim crucified. It shall be the one purpose of my life topoint sinners to the Lamb of God, which taketh away thesin of the world. I know what Ritualism is. I understandit thoroughly. If any man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more : circumcised the eighthday, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, aHebrew of the Hebrews ; as touching the law a Pharisee.evertheless, I declare unto you that by the works of the law128 REASOS FOR GLORYIGshall no flesh living be justified. It is by grace that we aresaved, through faith in Jesus Christ. This is what I believe.This is what I am authorised to teach. This is what I willteach, so long as God shall lend me breath. I know that thisis not counted a respectable thing to do, but I will preachthe truth and leave respectability to take care of itself. I

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