Galatians 6:14 “But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world.” (HCSB)
Paul begins this verse in a strange way, he says, “But as for me.” You see Paul was not interested in being a teacher of things that he knew nothing of for himself. Part of sin and self-righteousness is that we are stuck in the “you, you, you” kind of conversation while we ourselves are forgotten.We are not free from the world’s entanglements because we attend many bible studies and read many bible related books and don’t watch certain kinds of TV and do not drink alcohol and dress a certain way, we are free because of what Jesus did 2000 years ago! No! The gospel of Jesus Christ brings us to be most concerned about our sin and our issues and not to be obsessed about the sins and failures of others. Paul is saying this, “I will only boast about the cross because I am so needy, so sinful, so lacking that I myself have nothing else to boast about but Christ.” He is saying, “You guys can brag about your good deeds and efforts but as for me I have nothing to brag about other than the fact that Jesus died for all my good deeds and efforts.” May we see our need for the cross everyday brothers and sisters, otherwise we will be unable to brag about it and enjoy our cross-rooted bragging rights.
But notice what else we encounter here. Paul says that the only thing that he and we should boast in is the cross of Jesus and that through it the world has been crucified to us. You see the false teachers in Galatia were seeking to be holy and clean and separate from the world through laws, regulations and ceremonies. They were seeking to be freed from the world’s evil through their religious efforts. Sounds harmless doesn’t it? But Paul says the world and its influences and evil effects have been crucified to me through the cross! We are not moral because we know what is right or know the Ten Commandments, we are made new and clean because of what Jesus did 2000 years ago for us! We are not free from the world’s entanglements because we attend many bible studies and read many bible related books and don’t watch certain kinds of TV and do not drink alcohol and dress a certain way, we are free because of what Jesus did 2000 years ago! We are not free from the world’s entanglements through fasting and prayers and rededications and recommitments and speaking in tongues, we are free because of what Jesus has already done! We do not need to be better people through some moralistic coaching! We need to die! We need to be finished! We need to end, no more us is what we need! We are not free from the world’s entanglements through fasting and prayers and rededications and recommitments and speaking in tongues, we are free because of what Jesus has already done!And that finishing and dying of us does not happen through us dying to ourselves daily through religious effort, we see here that it happens through the cross of Christ and its ongoing effects as we lay hold of it by faith.
God wants us to brag, brothers and sisters! He does not want us to brag about our clever ways of overcoming the world, that does not make us brag about the glory of our precious Jesus it makes us brag about our clever ways. God does not want us to brag about all the things we are avoiding to be holy. That does not make us exult in the cross of Jesus it makes us exult in our avoiding of things. God does not want us to brag about our repentance and our guilt-motivated changing and our six-step books to holiness. That does not make us exult in the cross it makes us brag about our repentance, our guilt and our steps! Paul does not just say I think boasting in what the cross has done for me is better than other things, he says, “MAY IT NEVER BE!” The idea is, oh, may I never ever in my life at any time find myself boasting about anything that gives me deliverance from this evil world if it is not about what Jesus has done on the cross for me. Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling! That truth is true even in our daily pursuit of purity and holiness. May it never be!