Galatians 6:14 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: emoi de me genoito (3SAMO) kauchasthai (PMN) ei me en to stauro tou kuriou hemon Iesou Christou, di' ou emoi kosmos estaurotai (3SRPI) kago kosmo.

Amplified: But far be it from me to glory [in anything or anyone] except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) through Whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world! (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

ASV: But far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Barclay: God forbid that I should boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ through whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. (Westminster Press)

ICB: I hope I will never brag about things like that. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for bragging. Through the cross of Jesus my world was crucified and I died to the world.

KJV: But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

NLT: As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: Yet God forbid that I should boast about anything or anybody except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, which means that the world is a dead thing to me and I am a dead man to the world. (Phillips: Touchstone)

TLB: As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in all the attractive things of the world was killed long ago, and the world’s interest in me is also long dead.

Wuest: For, as for me, far be it from me to be glorying except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom to me the world stands crucified and I to the world.

Young's Literal: And for me, let it not be--to glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which to me the world hath been crucified, and I to the world.

BUT MAY IT NEVER BE THAT I WOULD BOAST: emoi de me genoito (3SAMO) kauchasthai (PMN):


The context...

Gal 6:12-13 Those (Judaizers = Jews who insisted that circumcision was necessary for salvation) who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ (Maxim - The Cross of Christ brings persecution from the unsaved! Gromacki - "If the Judaizers had disavowed the necessity of circumcision, they would have been ostracized by the Jewish communities. They would have been excommunicated from the synagogues, exploited financially, and probably harmed physically. The Judaizers knew that, thus they were afraid to take a stand for justification by faith alone. They were more closely identified with the Pharisees and the priests than they were with the apostles."). For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves (Good definition of a hypocrite!), but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh (Idea = and claim you as their disciples; Barclay "about the way in which you are observing the outward and the human rituals").

And in the verse following Galatians 6:14, Paul goes on to explain...

For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation (new = kainos = new in kind or quality, unprecedented, unheard of, new in sense that it brings into the world a new quality of thing which did not exist before). (Galatians 6:15)

Comment: What really matters is not external works such as physical circumcision but whether one has truly been changed into new and different person. Beloved, is your life different now that you are in Christ? If not, then you might want to ponder whether you are truly "in Christ" (Cp 2Co 5:17, see also 2Cor 13:5).

NLT Study Bible...

In contrast with the false teachers (Gal 6:12, 13), Paul’s motivation was to increase, not his own reputation, but God’s glory. Boasting about law-keeping would detract from recognition of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.In the Greco-Roman world, the cross was a senseless scandal to those who did not believe (Gal 5:11; 1Cor 1:23; cp. John 6:53-61), but it is the basis for a Christian’s faith and hope (1Cor 1:17, 18; 15:3; Phil 2:8, 9, 10, 11; Col 1:20, 21, 22; 2:14, 15). (NLT Study Bible)

But (de) introduces a sharp contrast (see importance of identifying contrasts) between those who boast in the things which the flesh can accomplish, in context specifically circumcision as a human work necessary to effect one's salvation and the "trophies" who fall prey to this false teaching and undergo circumcision.

John Eadie commenting on the phrase "But far be it from me" (see Amplified above) explains that "but as far as regards me (means) in contrast with them and their boasting in the circumcision of their misguided converts. The sarx (flesh) in which the Judaists wished to make a fair show is the representative element of a system directly and wholly opposed to that, of which stauros (Cross) is the central principle and in which the apostle gloried. (Galatians 6 Commentary)

May it never be ("God forbid" Gal 6:14KJV, “May it not happen to me”) (me genoito) is the strongest way to express a negative in Greek and is a predominantly Pauline phrase (14/15 uses by Paul - Luke 20:16; Rom 3:4, 6, 31; 6:2, 15; 7:7, 13; 9:14; 11:1, 11; 1 Cor 6:15; Gal 2:17; 3:21; 6:14)

John Eadie - The phrase “God forbid” really expresses the strong emotion or revulsion of feeling which interjects these decided words. (Galatians 6 Commentary)

As Spurgeon says "With that “God forbid,” ("May it never be") Paul makes a clean sweep of every other ground of boasting, and casts himself upon the one only chosen object of his soul’s glorying. And yet, if you will think of it, Paul had, after the fashion of other men, many things in which he might have gloried.

That I should boast - That I should glory in. That I should rely on anything else. His opponents gloried in their conformity to the Law of Moses. And ironically while they boasted in the the "wound" of circumcision, Paul boasted in a wounding far more severe than circumcision: crucifixion! Many boast in their zeal, their talents, their learning, their orthodoxy, their wealth, their accomplishments, their famous friends or family, their birth. The list goes on, but the point seems to be that men will boast in something and Paul has identified the best thing in the world to boast in, the Cross of Christ. May all believers be imitators of Paul and exercise "righteous boasting" (in contrast to all sinful and improper boasting).

Boast (exult, glory) (2744) (kauchaomai [word study] akin to aucheo = boast + euchomai = pray to God <> auchen = neck which vain persons are apt to carry in proud manner) means to boast over a privilege or possession. The idea is to take pride in something (in a bad sense - Ro 2:23-note, in a good or legitimate sense - Ro 5:2-note, Ro 5:3-note; Ro 5:11-note)

Kauchaomai - 37x in 32v -

Ro 2:17, 23; 5:2f, 11; 1 Cor 1:29, 31; 3:21; 4:7; 13:3; 2 Cor 5:12; 7:14; 9:2; 10:8, 13, 15, 16, 17; 11:12, 16, 18, 30; 12:1, 5, 6, 9; Gal 6:13, 14; Eph 2:9; Php 3:3; Jas 1:9; 4:16

Richison - Paul’s “boast” appears to justify pride but the word “boast” in this context carries the idea of praise. The cross was an object of shame to the Judaizers but it was the object of praise to Paul. They gloried in the flesh; Paul gloried in God...Legalists put little focus on the cross and more on themselves. To those who are graced-oriented, the cross means everything. We glory in the cross. We totally reject self-righteousness. We hold a clear view of the cross. When Jesus becomes the centre and circumference of our life, we enter into spirituality as it should be lived. (Galatians 6:14 - Bible Exposition Commentary)

John Murray wrote that "The glory of the cross of Christ is bound up with the effectiveness of its accomplishment.

Fallen men have no grounds for boasting in the presence of God (1Co 1:29, James 4:16) but instead should boast in God (1Co 1:31, from Jer 9:23, 24, cp 2Co 10:17). And so Paul writes...

that no man should boast before God, but by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST (present imperative = command to continually boast) IN THE LORD." (1Cor 1:29, 30, 31)

Far from boasting in personal accomplishment, spiritual or otherwise, Paul chose to "jettison" earthly accolades accomplishments for the sake of knowing Christ...

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, (Php 3:8-note, Php 3:9-note)

Thomas Watson - Make Christ all in your joy. Galatians 6:14, "God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." Oh, Christian, have you seen the Lord Jesus? Has this morning-star shone into your heart with its enlightening, quickening beams? Then rejoice and be exceeding glad! Shall others rejoice in the world—and will not you rejoice in Christ! How much better is He than all other things! It reflects disparagement upon Christ—when His saints are sad and drooping. Is not Christ yours? What more would you have! (Christ All in All)


Paul might have gloried in the life of Christ. Was there ever such another, so benevolent and blameless? He might have gloried in the resurrection of Christ. It is the world’s great hope concerning those who are asleep. He might have gloried in our Lord’s ascension, for he “led captivity captive” (Ep 4:8), and all his followers glory in his victory. He might have gloried in his second advent, and I doubt not that he did. Yet the apostle selected beyond all these that center of the Christian system, that point which is most assailed by its foes, that focus of the world’s derision—the cross. Learn, then, that the highest glory of our holy religion is the cross. The history of grace begins earlier and goes on later, but in the middle point stands the cross.


Almost all men have something wherein to glory. Every bird has its own note of song. It is a poor heart that never rejoices: it is a dull packhorse that is altogether without bells. Men usually rejoice in something or other, and many men so rejoice in that which they choose that they become boastful and full of vain glory. It is very sad that men should be ruined by their glory; and yet many are so. Many glory in their shame, and more glory in that which is mere emptiness. Some glory in their physical strength, in which an ox excels them; or in their gold, which is but thick clay; or in their gifts, which are but talents with which they are entrusted. The pounds entrusted to their stewardship are thought by men to belong to themselves, and therefore they rob God of the glory of them. O my hearers, hear ye the voice of wisdom, which cries, “He that glories, let him glory only in the Lord.” To live for personal glory is to be dead while we live. Be not so foolish as to perish for a bubble. Many a man has thrown his soul away for a little honor, or for the transient satisfaction of success in trifles. O men, your tendency is to glory in somewhat; your wisdom will be to find a glory worthy of an immortal mind.

Brethren, notice that Paul does not here say that he gloried in Christ, though he did so with all his heart; but he declares that he gloried most in “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,” which in the eyes of men was the very lowest and most inglorious part of the history of the Lord Jesus. He could have gloried in the incarnation: angels sang of it, wise men came from the far East to behold it. Did not the new-born King awake the song from heaven of “Glory to God in the highest”? He might have gloried in the life of Christ: was there ever such another, so benevolent and blameless? He might have gloried in the resurrection of Christ: it is the world’s great hope concerning those that are asleep. He might have gloried in our Lord’s ascension; for he “led captivity captive,” and all his followers glory in his victory. He might have gloried in his Second Advent, and I doubt not that he did; for the Lord shall soon descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, to be admired in all them that believe. Yet the apostle selected beyond all these that center of the Christian system, that point which is most assailed by its foes, that focus of the world’s derision — the cross, and, putting all else somewhat into the shade, he exclaims, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Learn, then, that the highest glory of our holy religion is the cross.

The history of grace begins earlier and goes on later, but in its middle point stands the cross. Of two eternities this is the hinge: of past decrees and future glories this is the pivot. Let us come to the cross this morning, and think of it, till each one of us, in the power of the Spirit of God, shall say, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Warren Wiersbe writes that "Too many preachers of the Word so magnify themselves and their gifts that they fail to reveal the glory of Jesus Christ. Paul gloried in the cross of Christ (Gal. 6:14) and made it the center of his message. It is the Cross that is central in the life of the believer. He does not glory in men, in religion, or in his own achievements; he glories in the Cross (Gal. 6:14).For Paul, the Cross meant liberty: from self (Gal. 2:20), the flesh (Gal. 5:24), and the world (Gal. 6:14). In the death and resurrection of Christ the power of God is released to give believers deliverance and victory. It is no longer we who live; it is Christ who lives in us and through us. As we yield to Him, we have victory over the world and the flesh. There is certainly no power in the Law to give a man victory over self, the flesh, and the Law. Quite the contrary, the Law appeals to the human ego (“I can do something to please God”), and encourages the flesh to work. And the world does not care if we are “religious” just so long as the Cross is left out. In fact, the world approves of religion—apart from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So, the legalist inflates the ego, flatters the flesh, and pleases the world; the true Christian crucifies all three. (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

Paul Apple - In what practical ways do we truly make our boast in the cross, despite any hostility or opposition or persecution. Do we stay focused on the simplicity of the gospel or does our Christian testimony get diluted into too many side issues? (Galatians)

Thomas Watson offers an interesting thought on Paul's declaration of his crucifixion to the world "Cyprus was anciently called Macaria, the blessed island—but it is more true that heaven is the blessed island. Heaven is a place where sorrow cannot live—and joy cannot die! It may be compared to the fields of Sicily where there is continual spring and flowers all the year long. Could our meditations mount up to the empyrean delights, how would the world disappear and shrink into nothing! To those who stand upon the top of the Alps, the great cities below seem as little villages. After Paul was wrapped up into the third heaven, the world was crucified to him (Galatians 6:14). When worldly things are in their highest meridian of glory—they hasten to a sunset. Let us live more in the altitudes, and take a prospect of our eternal felicities. What can be more delicious or sacred—than to have Christ in our heart, and the crown in our eye! (The Fight of Faith Crowned)

EXCEPT IN THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: ei me en to stauro tou kuriou hemon Iesou Christou:


In a parallel passage Paul explaining that when he came to Corinth he did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom proclaiming the testimony of God...

For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. (1Corinthians 2:2)

Writing to the church at Philippi Paul warned the saints to...

Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision (cp Gal 6:12, 13); 3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh (Gal 6:14), 4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. (Php 3:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Except - Paul is making the point that this rightly directed boasting (in the Cross) is so important that he will boast in nothing else. Paul's passion is the Cross of Christ and it should likewise be every believer's passion. As John Piper says in his book "Don't Waste Your Life"...

Only boast in the cross of Jesus Christ. This is a single idea. A single goal for life. A single passion. Only boast in the cross. The word “boast” can be translated “exult in” or “rejoice in.” Only exult in the cross of Christ. Only rejoice in the cross of Christ....God’s will is that the cross always be magnified—that Christ crucified always be our boast and exultation and joy and praise—that Christ get glory and thanks and honor for every good thing in our lives and every bad thing that God turns for good...Boasting in the cross happens when you are on the cross. Is that not what Paul says? “The world has been crucified to me, and I [have been crucified] to the world.” The world is dead to me, and I am dead to the world. Why? Because I have been crucified. We learn to boast in the cross and exult in the cross when we are on the cross. And until our selves are crucified there, our boast will be in ourselves. But what does this mean? When did this happen? When were we crucified? The Bible gives the answer in Galatians 2:19, 20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” When Christ died, we died. The glorious meaning of the death of Christ is that when he died, all those who are his died in him. The death that he died for us all becomes our death when we are united to Christ by faith (Ro 6:5-note). But you say, “Aren’t I alive? I feel alive.” Well, here is a need for education. We must learn what happened to us. We must be taught these things. That is why Galatians 2:20-note and Galatians 6:14 are in the Bible. God is teaching us what happened to us, so that we can know ourselves, and know his way of working with us, and exult in him and in his Son and in the cross as we ought...when you put your trust in Christ, your bondage to the world and its overpowering lure is broken. You are a corpse to the world, and the world is a corpse to you. Or to put it positively, according to verse Ga 6:15, you are a “new creation.” The old “you” is dead. A new “you” is alive. And the new you is the you of faith. And what faith does is boast not in the world, but in Christ, especially Christ crucified. This is how you become so cross-centered that you say with Paul, “I will not boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The world is no longer our treasure. It’s not the source of our life or our satisfaction or our joy. Christ is. (Don't Waste Your Life - Online) (Bolding added)

The Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ - The cross was looked upon with contempt by the world.

Paul wrote...

we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block (Jews would not accept the idea of a crucified Messiah), and to Gentiles foolishness (They wanted intellectual proof and like to philosophize and figure things out in their own proud minds and did not care for eternal truth about God). but to those who are the called (believers - refers to the "effectual call"), both Jews and Greeks (some of each group were in "the called" and would be saved), Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1Cor 1:23, 24, 25)

The cross - Not "a" cross, not just any cross, upon which convicted (guilty) criminals were crucified, but "the Cross" (definite article "the" is used in Greek), the instrument at the time and the place which marked the consummation of the Messiah's great servile work of redemption (Mk 10:45) on behalf of mankind to effect the release of men from bondage to sin, the devil, death and the world. "The Cross" facilitates the erection of a great barrier between the world and the child of God. Indeed, "the Cross" is the central event in time and eternity!

As Alexander Maclaren rightly declares that "The cross is the centre of the world's history. The incarnation of Christ and the crucifixion of our Lord are the pivot round which all the events of the ages revolve.

J C Ryle asks...

Now what did Paul mean by saying this? He meant to declare strongly, that he trusted in nothing but "Jesus Christ crucified" for the pardon of his sins and the salvation of his soul. Let others, if they would, look elsewhere for salvation; let others, if they were so disposed, trust in other things for pardon and peace—for his part the apostle was determined to rest on nothing, lean on nothing, build his hope on nothing, place confidence in nothing, boast in nothing, "except in the cross of Jesus Christ."...

The cross sometimes means that wooden cross, on which the Lord Jesus Christ was nailed and put to death on Calvary. This is what Paul had in his mind's eye, when he told the Philippians that Christ "became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Phil. 2:8.) This is not the cross in which Paul boasted. He would have shrunk with horror from the idea of boasting in a mere piece of wood.

The cross sometimes means the afflictions and trials which believers in Christ have to go through, if they follow Christ faithfully, for their religion's sake. This is the sense in which our Lord uses the word when He says, "He who takes not his cross and follows after Me, cannot be my disciple." (Mt 10:38.) This also is not the sense in which Paul uses the word when he writes to the Galatians. He knew that cross well—he carried it patiently. But he is not speaking of it here.

But the cross also means, in some places, the doctrine that Christ died for sinners upon the cross—the atonement that He made for sinners, by His suffering for them on the cross—the complete and perfect sacrifice for sin which He offered up, when He gave His own body to be crucified. In short, this one word, "the cross," stands for Christ crucified, the only Savior. This is the meaning in which Paul uses the expression, when he tells the Corinthians, "the preaching of the cross is to those who perish foolishness." (1Co 1:18.) This is the meaning in which he wrote to the Galatians, "God forbid that I should boast, except in the cross." He simply meant, "I boast in nothing but Christ crucified, as the salvation of my soul."...

Jesus Christ crucified was the joy and delight, the comfort and the peace, the hope and the confidence, the foundation and the resting-place, the ark and the refuge, the food and the medicine of Paul's soul. He did not think of what he had done himself, and suffered himself. He did not meditate on his own goodness, and his own righteousness. He loved to think of what Christ had done, and Christ had suffered—of the death of Christ, the righteousness of Christ, the atonement of Christ, the blood of Christ, the finished work of Christ. In this he did boast. This was the sun of his soul....

This is the subject he loved to preach about....

This is the subject he loved to dwell upon when he wrote to believers....

This is what he lived upon all his life, from the time of his conversion....

Depend upon it, the cross of Christthe death of Christ on the cross to make atonement for sinners—is the center truth in the whole Bible. This is the truth we begin with when we open Genesis. The seed of the woman bruising the serpent's head is nothing else but a prophecy of Christ crucified. This is the truth that shines out, though veiled, all through the law of Moses, and the history of the Jews. The daily sacrifice, the Passover lamb, the continual shedding of blood in the tabernacle and temple, all these were emblems of Christ crucified. This is the truth that we see honored in the vision of heaven before we close the book of Revelation. "In the midst of the throne and of the four beasts," we are told, "and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain." (Re 5:6) Even in the midst of heavenly glory we get a view of Christ crucified. Take away the cross of Christ, and the Bible is a dark book. It is like the Egyptian hieroglyphics without the key that interprets their meaning—curious and wonderful—but of no real use...

Paul boasted in nothing but the cross. Strive to be like him. Set Jesus crucified fully before the eyes of your soul. Listen not to any teaching which would interpose anything between you and Him. Do not fall into the old Galatian error—think not that anyone in this day is a better guide than the apostles. Do not be ashamed of the "old paths," in which men walked who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Let not the vague talk of modern teachers, who speak great swelling words about "catholicity," and "the church," disturb your peace, and make you loose your hands from the cross. Churches, ministers, and sacraments, are all useful in their way—but they are not Christ crucified. Do not give Christ's honor to another. "He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord." (1Co 1:31)

I feel that I must say something on this point, because of the ignorance that prevails about it. I suspect that many see no peculiar glory and beauty in the subject of Christ's cross. On the contrary, they think it painful, humbling, and degrading. They do not see much profit in the story of His death and sufferings. They rather turn from it as an unpleasant thing...When I think of all this (Read Ryle's comments - for sake of space had to pass over much good material), I see nothing painful or disagreeable in the subject of Christ's cross. On the contrary, I see in it wisdom and power, peace and hope, joy and gladness, comfort and consolation. The more I keep the cross in my mind's eye, the more fullness I seem to discern in it. The longer I dwell on the cross in my thoughts, the more I am satisfied that there is more to be learned at the foot of the cross than anywhere else in the world....

Would I find strong reasons for being a holy man? Where shall I turn for them? Shall I listen to the ten commandments merely? Shall I study the examples given me in the Bible of what grace can do? Shall I meditate on the rewards of heaven, and the punishments of hell? Is there no stronger motive still? Yes! I will look at the cross of Christ! There I see the love of Christ constraining me to "live not unto myself—but unto Him." There I see that I am not my own now—I am "bought with a price." (2Co 5:15; 1Co 6:20-note) I am bound by the most solemn obligations to glorify Jesus with body and spirit, which are His. There I see that Jesus gave Himself for me, not only to redeem me from all iniquity—but also to purify me, and to make me one of a "peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Titus 2:14-note) He bore my sins in His own body on the tree, "that I being dead unto sin should live unto righteousness." (1Pe 2:24-note) There is nothing so sanctifying as a clear view of the cross of Christ! It crucifies the world unto us, and us unto the world. How can we love sin, when we remember that because of our sins Jesus died? Surely none ought to be so holy as the disciples of a crucified Lord. (THE CROSS OF CHRIST)

Horatius Bonar...

In entering Christ's service, let us, then, count the cost. In following him, let us not shrink from the cross. It was his badge of service for us; let us accept it as ours for him.

To the world the cross is an offence and a stumbling-block (Gal 5:11, cp 1Co 1:23). It is so in two ways. It makes those, who have taken it up, objects of dislike to others; and it is itself an object of dislike to these others. Thus while it unites the saints—it divides them from the world. It is the banner round which the former rally and gather it is the mark against which the arrows of the latter are turned. For there are "enemies of the cross of Christ," (Php 3:18-note) and enemies of Christ himself. Of them the apostle says, "their end is destruction." (Php 3:19-note) Thus the cross is both life and death, salvation and destruction. It is the golden scepter; it is the iron rod. It is the Shepherd's staff of love; it is the Avenger's sword of fire. It is the tree of life and cup of blessing; it is the cup of the wine of the wrath of God.

O enemy of the cross of Christ, know your dreadful doom. Do not take refuge in fancied neutrality; reasoning with yourself that because you are not a scoffer, nor a profligate, you are not an enemy of Christ. Remember that it is written, "He who is not for me, is against me;" (Mt 12:30, Lk 11:23, contrast Mk 9:40, Lk 9:50. Point = Neutrality is not possible!) and that, "The friendship of the world is enmity with God." (Jas 4:4-note) That cross shall be a witness against you, in the day when the crucified One returns as Judge and King! The early Christians had a tradition among themselves, that the cross was to be the sign of his coming; appearing in the heavens, as the herald of his advent. Whether this is to be the case or not—the cross in that day will be the object of terror to its enemies. They would not be saved by it—and they shall perish by it! They would not take its pardon—they must bear its condemnation. The love, which it so long proclaimed—shall then be turned into wrath. The glorious light beaming forth from it, to light them to the kingdom of light, shall then become darkness; their sun shall set, no more to rise; their night shall begin—the long, eternal night, which has no dawn in prospect, and no star to break its gloom. (Read Bonar's complete messages on The Surety's Cross)

The Old Rugged Cross
by George Bennard

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.

Vocal Rendition of The Old Rugged Cross — by Anne Murray with pictures from "The Passion of Christ"


Cross (4716) (stauros from hístemi = to stand) (Dictionary articles = ISBE, SBD, EBD) was an upright pointed stake often with a crossbeam above it or intersected by a crossbeam and utilized as an instrument of capital punishment. This word originally was used of wood or timber. In later Greek it came to mean a tree and was used of the cross by Peter.

In the NT, the cross speaks of the atonement necessitated by man's sin.

Thayer writes that stauros refers...

the well-known instrument of most cruel and ignominious punishment, borrowed by the Greeks and Romans from the Phoenicians; to it were affixed among the Romans, down to the time of Constantine the Great, the guiltiest criminals, particularly the basest slaves, robbers, the authors and abetters of insurrections, and occasionally in the provinces, at the arbitrary pleasure of the governors, upright and peaceable men also, and even Roman citizens themselves;

Stauros - 27x in 27v - Matt 10:38; 16:24; 27:32, 40, 42; Mark 8:34; 15:21, 30, 32; Luke 9:23; 14:27; 23:26; John 19:17, 19, 25, 31; 1 Cor 1:17, 18; Gal 5:11; 6:12, 14; Eph 2:16; Phil 2:8; 3:18; Col 1:20; 2:14; Heb 12:2. Stauros is not found in the Septuagint.

Jamieson comments on the cross...

the atoning death on the cross. Compare Php 3:3, 7, 8, as a specimen of his glorying. The "cross," the great object of shame to them, and to all carnal men, is the great object of glorying to me. For by it, the worst of deaths, Christ has destroyed all kinds of death [AUGUSTINE, Tract 36, on John, sec. 4]. We are to testify the power of Christ's death working in us, after the manner of crucifixion (Ga 5:24 Ro 6:5, 6).

John Eadie comments that on the meaning on the the cross of Christ noting that

always with the apostle means more than mere suffering; it signifies the atoning death of the Son of God, as in Gal 6:14 and in Gal 5:11.


The cross of Christ offered salvation without works of law of any kind; dispensed with the observance of Mosaic rites and ordinances as a condition of acceptance with God; gave welcome to the heathen without obliging them to become Jewish proselytes as a requisite preliminary step; and therefore the profession or preaching of it stirred up the malignant hostility of the Jews, as it destroyed their national distinction and pre-eminence, and placing the Gentile world on a level with them, desecrated in their imagination all which they and their fathers had revered and cherished for ages.

To escape the enmity of the Jews so fiercely fighting for their institutions, the Judaists insisted on circumcising the Gentile converts, and thus attempted to propitiate (satisfy) their opponents by showing that, in attaching themselves to the gospel, they had not deserted the law (cp Gal 6:12, 13),—nay, that they enjoined its observance on all who proposed to become members of the church, and were on this account enabled to carry Jewish influence into spheres of society which the synagogue had not in itself the means of reaching.

But this syncretistic (syncretism = the combination of different forms of belief or practice) mixture of law and gospel veiled the cross and its salvation, so free and fitting to mankind without distinction of race or blood; so that their profession was deceptive, perilous in its consequences, and prompted and shaped by an ignoble and cowardly selfishness; it was a “fair show,” but only in the sphere of fleshly things, and assumed on purpose to avoid persecution (Gal 6:13). They wanted (lacked) that earnest perception and belief of the one saving truth of which the cross is the centre, and that courage in holding it in its simplicity and purity against all hazards, which the cross inspires. In proof of his statement, that their motive is selfish and cowardly—the avoidance of persecution...


By stauros (Cross) some understand sufferings endured for Christ, as in the phrase, taking up one's cross (Luther, Grotius, Koppe, Rosenmuller), a view alike superficial and out of harmony with the context.

The “cross,” as it is understood by the majority of interpreters, means the atoning death of the Son of God, in that “suffering, humiliation, and here more specially self-abnegation which is essentially involved in the idea of it” (Ellicott). It carries us back to stauros, with the same meaning, in Gal 6:12. The Judaizers boasted of their influence, of their converts' conformity to the Mosaic ritual, of the unhappy compromise between law and gospel which they had so far effected, but which secured them from persecution on account of the cross. That cross was to them a skandalon (word study) (stumbling block) in a variety of ways, especially as the symbol of a full and free salvation through faith, and without any ritualistic observance. But the cross in its expiatory sufferings was everything to the apostle; and in it, and only in it, would he glory. (Galatians 6 Commentary)

Harry Ironside explains that "of Christ," he means this then:—I accept the cross of Christ as my cross; I accept His death as my death; I take my place with Him as one who has died to the world, to sin, and to self, and henceforth I am not under law but under grace. Law crucified my Saviour (cp Gal 3:13). He met its claims upon that cross, and now, having satisfied all its demands, I am delivered from its authority and am free to walk before God in grace (Ro 6:14-note, Ro 7:4, 5, 6-note), seeking to glorify Him in a life of happy obedience because I love the One who died there to put away my sin (cp 2Co 5:14, 15)...Christian, have you taken that stand? Do you realize that Christ's cross means absolute separation from the world that rejected Him?"

Lehman Strauss...

In contrast to the self-effort and self-glorying of the legalizers, Paul adds his personal testimony: "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Gal 6:14).


By the cross here Paul does not have in mind the wooden beams on which the body of our Lord was fastened. To Paul the Cross was a revelation of the measure of man's hatred against God and of God's love for mankind. The Cross of Christ was the place where the love of God for sinners was poured out. There man did his worst against God while God did His best in behalf of man.

When the Judaizing teachers gloried in their success of persuading a Gentile to observe the Mosaic Law, Paul exalted the finished work of Christ at Calvary for sinners. They denied the Cross so that they would not have to bear a cross; Paul identified himself with it notwithstanding the persecution which resulted from such a stand. Paul knew that in heaven the believer's boast will be in God's redeeming grace and that all glory will be ascribed to the Lamb of God.


Let others despise the Cross if they will, but let it be the fixed purpose of every true child of God to find his highest expression of praise in the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only as we thus take our stand that the world-system is rendered unattractive to us and we are rendered unattractive to it. Faith in Christ and acknowledgment of what He has done for us will not allow for any compromise on our part with the world. Let the Cross separate us from the world and the world will no more appeal to us. (Galatians and Ephesians Commentary. 1957)

Spurgeon noted that "There are some sciences that may be learned by the head, but the science of Christ crucified can only be learned by the heart."

The Cross of Christ offends the natural man but strengthens the supernatural man for it is this very Cross that is the foundation for forgiveness and the key to future glory.


One shudders to think what the Apostle Paul would say about the utterly incredible statements made by men who are leaders in a rapidly growing movement in Christianity that includes what would otherwise be considered mainline evangelical churches (cp "winds of doctrine" Ep 4:14-note, "doctrines of demons" 1Ti 4:1, etc)...

[Speaking of Jesus' message] “The cross isn't the center...the cross is almost a distraction and false advertising for God.” (Brian McLaren)

The Church's fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. (Ed: Woe!) (Brian McLaren)

To think that the central meaning of Easter depends upon something spectacular happening to Jesus' corpse misses the point of the Easter message and risks trivializing the story. (Marcus Borg)

Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God's house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.” (Henri Nouwen)

I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many (not all) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish contexts. (Brian McLaren)

One can be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna. (Leonard Sweet)

I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity…I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can. (Thomas Merton)

(Note: All quotes from a 6 part series entitled Weathering The Storm)

Quotes of this "ilk" should cause any God fearing, Christ exalting, Word centered, Spirit controlled Christian to immediately be impelled to compare such statements with God's authoritative, fully inspired (it does not just "contain truth"), inerrant Word of Truth! A Berean mindset is no longer optional (it's never really been optional!) but is absolutely mandatory to allow one to discern truth from error (Acts 17:11-note, cp He 5:14-note, 1Th 5:19, 20-note, 1Th 5:21, 22-note)! Applying the Berean standard to these preceding quotes clearly brings one to the conclusion that they overtly contradict Paul's exaltation of and exultation in the Cross of Christ! Paul warned us that in the last days difficult times would come and men would be lovers of self, etc. (2Ti 3:1-note) It is incumbent on each believer that they not be carried away by varied and strange teachings (He 13:9-note), but instead seek diligently to hold fast to "the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict." (Titus 1:9-note) Let us retain the standard of sound doctrine (2Ti 1:13-note), fighting the pressure to jettison Scripturally sound teaching in order to tickle the listener's ears (2Ti 4:3-note), and let us not veer away from the ancient paths for only there will we find rest for our souls (Jer 6:16, 18:15). God's Word of the Cross is still foolishness to those who are perishing but praise God it remains the power of God to those who are being saved (1Cor 1:18).

Beloved let me state it plainly - If you are attending a local body and the pastor disparages the proclamation of sound doctrine (1Ti 6:3, saying things like "expositional preaching is too dry and boring and impractical" or in any way denigrates the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ) then you need to strongly consider separating from that body, lest you too be infected by their subtly seductive sensual doctrines (cp 2Ti 3:13-note, 2Pe 2:2-note, 2Pe 2:18-note).

Martin Luther - The cross of Christ runs through the whole of Scripture.

J. C. Ryle - Take away the cross of Christ from the Bible and it is a dark book.

Oswald Chambers made the interesting statement that "Every doctrine that is not embedded in the cross of Jesus will lead astray."

Holwick - First Century had even greater problems with cross than us. 1) Polite Roman society would never mention the word 'cross.' a) Instrument not just of death, but torture. b) Citizens could not be crucified - reason Paul beheaded. 2) Jews had further stumbling block that a crucified person is cursed by God, according to OT.

Octavius Winslow on "The Cross of Christ"...

Jesus could accomplish man's redemption in no other way than by crucifixion. He must die, and die the death of the cross. What light and glory beam around the cross!

Of what prodigies of grace is it the instrument, of what glorious truths is it the symbol, of what mighty, magic power is it the source!

Around it gathers all the light of the Old Testament economy. It explains every symbol, it substantiates every shadow, it solves every mystery, it fulfills every type, it confirms every prophecy of that dispensation which had eternally remained unmeaning and inexplicable but for the death of the Son of God upon the cross.

Not the past only, but all future splendor, gathers around the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. It assures us of the ultimate reign of the Savior, tells of the reward which shall spring from His sufferings; and while its one arm points to the divine counsels of eternity past, with the other it points to the future triumph and glory of Christ's kingdom in the eternity to come. Such is the lowly yet sublime, the weak yet mighty instrument by which the sinner is saved and God eternally glorified.

The cross of Christ was in Paul's view the grand consummation of all preceding dispensations of God to men. The cross of Christ was the meritorious procuring cause of all spiritual blessings to our fallen race. The cross of Christ was the scene of Christ's splendid victories over all His enemies and ours. The cross of Christ was the most powerful incentive to all evangelical holiness. The cross of Christ was the instrument which was to subjugate the world to the supremacy of Jesus. The cross of Christ was the source of all true peace, joy, and hope. The cross of Christ is the tree beneath whose shadow all sin expired, all grace lived. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! What a holy thrill these words produce in the heart of those who love the Savior! How significant their meaning, how precious their influence!

Marvellous and irresistible is the power of the cross! The cross of Christ has subdued many a rebellious will. The cross of Christ has broken many a marble heart. The cross of Christ has laid low many a vaunting foe. The cross of Christ has overcome and triumphed when all other instruments have failed. The cross of Christ has transformed the lion like heart of man, into the lamb like heart of Christ. And when lifted up in its own naked simplicity and inimitable grandeur, the cross of Christ has won and attracted millions to its faith, admiration, and love!

What a marvelous power does this cross of Jesus possess! It changes the Christian's entire judgment of the world. Looking at the world through the cross, his opinion is totally revolutionized. He sees it as it really is; a sinful, empty, vain thing. He learns its iniquity, in that it crucified the Lord of life and glory. His expectations from the world, his love to the world, are changed. He has found another object of love, the Savior whom the world cast out and slew. And his love to the world is destroyed by that power which alone could destroy it, the crucifying power of the cross. It is the cross which eclipses, in the view of the true believer, the glory and attraction of every other object. What is the weapon by which faith combats with and overcomes the world? (Jn 16:33) What but the cross of Jesus?

Just as the natural eye, gazing for a while upon the sun, is blinded for the moment, by its overpowering effulgence, to all other objects; so to the believer, wont to concentrate his mind upon the glory of the crucified Savior, studying closely the wonders of grace and love and truth meeting in the cross, the world with all its attraction fades into the full darkness of an eclipse.

Are not Christ and His cross infinitely better than the world and its love? (THE FOOT OF THE CROSS)

Our Lord - He is Lord of the universe but only those who are His by right of redemption and acceptance of the payment of His priceless blood (1Pe 1:18, 19) can lovingly, obediently call Him Lord. And so Paul says "our" Lord, this pronoun indicating in this context not just profession but possession of Christ by grace through faith. And yet because of His work on the Cross, even His rejecters will one day in the future be forced to acknowledge Him as Lord, but they will suffer the pangs of eternal separation for having rejected His gracious offer of redemption, as Paul explains in his letter to the Philippians...

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Php 2:8, 9, 10, 11)

Lord (2962) (kurios from kúros = might, power in turn from kuróo = give authority, confirm) signifies sovereign power and absolute authority. The primary meaning relates to possession of power or authority. It is the one who has absolute ownership and power. Jesus is referred to some ten times as Savior and some seven hundred times as Lord. Supreme in Authority. Kurios translates Jehovah (LORD in OT) in Septuagint (LXX) 7000 times.

Peter for example in 1Peter 3:15 (note) was exhorting His Jewish readers to...

set apart their Messiah, the Lord Jesus, as Jehovah (- Jesus), Very God, in their hearts, giving first place to Him in obedience of life. The word kurios also has the idea of “master” in it. Thus, the second Person of the Triune God was to be lord and master of their lives. He was to be their resource and defender when persecution came.

Martin Luther puts "Lord" in an interesting perspective noting that "The life of Christianity consists of possessive pronouns. It is one thing to say, "Christ is a Saviour"; it is quite another thing to say, "He is my Saviour and my Lord." The devil can say the first; the true Christian alone can say the second."

Jesus (2424) (Iesous from the Hebrew Yeshu'a = Jehovah will save or Yahweh is salvation) is the Hellenized as Jesus. In this Name is His deity, humanity vicarious atonement. God incarnate died for sinners to satisfy the just demands of His law.

Wuest - The name “Jesus” is the English spelling of the Greek Iesous, which is in turn the Greek spelling of the Hebrew word Jehoshua which means “Jehovah saves.”...In the (name "Jesus") we see the deity, incarnation, and substitutionary atonement of our Lord, for the Jehovah of the Old Testament could not save lost sinners unless He paid the price of their sins, thus satisfying His justice, the price being outpoured blood, since the penalty of sin is death. And He could not die unless He became incarnate in human the second (name Christos), the fact that He is the Anointed of God, to Israel, its Messiah.  (Galatians Commentary - Verse by Verse)

Christ (5547) (Christos from chrio = to anoint, rub with oil, consecrate to an office) is the Anointed One, the Messiah, Christos being the Greek equivalent of the transliterated Hebrew word Messiah. In the Gospels the Christ is not a personal name but an official designation for the expected Messiah (see Mt 2:4, Lk 3:15). As by faith the human Jesus was recognized and accepted as the personal Messiah, the definite article ("the") was dropped and the designation "Christ" came to be used as a personal name. The name "Christ" speaks of His Messianic dignity and emphasizes that He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises concerning the coming Messiah.

Beloved, let us exult joyfully in one thing, the Cross of Christ, letting this be our single minded focus, our sole passion and joy. Christ crucified is to forevermore be our boast and exultation so that He Alone receives the glory and honor for every good thing in our lives and every bad thing that God turns for good. Such supernatural boasting happens when we appreciate and live in the glorious truth that we have been crucified with Christ on His old rugged cross (Ro 6:6-note). This radical truth transforms our lives (2Co 5:17) that were in the gutter so that they are now directed toward glory, the glory of the cross of Christ. (cp Gal 2:20-note). Next time you catch yourself being tempted to boast, ask yourself

"In this boasting, is it ultimately in some way
tied to boasting in the almighty Cross?"

If not, you might want to check that heart attitude or the words that proceed from that heart attitude (cp Mt 15:18, 19, Mt 12:36 where "careless" = argos = "not working", bearing no fruit type words [see study of words = rhema])

Take a moment to worship (try to keep a dry eye dearly beloved of the Slain Lamb Rev 5:9-note). Play the beautiful song by Michael Card - Boast in the Almighty Cross. 

Love Crucified Arose

Long ago He blessed the earth
Born older than the years
And in the stall the cross He saw
Through the first of many tears
A life of homeless wandering
Cast out in sorrow's way
The Shepherd seeking for the lost
His life the price He paid
Love crucified arose
The risen One in splendor
Jehovah's sole Defender
Has won the victory
Love crucified arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again
Throughout Your life You've felt the weight
Of what You'd come to give
To drink for us that crimson cup
So we might really live
At last the time love and die
The dark appointed day
That one forsaken moment when
Your Father turned His face away
Repeat Chorus

THROUGH WHICH THE WORLD HAS BEEN CRUCIFIED TO ME AND I TO THE WORLD: di' ou emoi kosmos estaurotai (3SRPI) kago kosmo:


Phillips paraphrases it bluntly albeit correctly...

the world is a dead thing to me and I am a dead man to the world.

Through which (di' ou) - This could just as easily be read as "through Whom", for the Cross was only the cruel instrument for crucifixion of the Christ. This statement serves to explain why Paul was boasting in the Cross. It was because of what the Cross of His Lord Jesus Christ had accomplished in his life (and the life of every believer). Because of the Cross, Paul was transformed from a man ruled by externals and the glory of human achievements (Php 3:3, 4, 5, 6) into a man ruled by the Lord Jesus Christ. He was liberated from domination by the lusts of this fallen world. Christ became his all in all (You are My All in All).

Vincent writes of (di' ou) that "The relative may refer either to the cross, by which, or to Christ, by whom."

John Eadie commenting on "through which" (through the Cross) versus "through Whom" (through Christ on the Cross) that "the sense is not materially different whichever view may be adopted. It was by the cross only in its connection with Christ that the world was crucified to the apostle, or it was only by his union with Christ in being crucified with Him that he was crucified to the world. (Galatians 6 Commentary)

The NET Bible note says "Or perhaps, "through whom," referring to the Lord Jesus Christ rather than the cross.

A Simple Study...
Through Him

Consider the following simple study - observe and record the wonderful truths that accrue through Him - this would make an edifying, easy to prepare Sunday School lesson - then take some time to give thanks for these great truths by offering up a sacrifice of praise...through Him.

Jn 1:3 [NIV reads "through Him"], Jn 1:7, John 1:10, Jn 3:17, Jn 14:6, Acts 2:22, 3:16, Acts 7:25, Acts 10:43, Acts 13:38, 39, Ro 5:9 [note], Ro 8:37 [note], Ro 11:36 [note]; Jn 1:7 1Cor 8:6, Eph 2:18 [note], Php 4:13 [note], Col 1:20 [note], Col 2:15 [note], Col 3:17 [note], Heb 7:25 [note], Heb 13:15 [note], 1Pe 1:21[note], 1John 4:9

Would you like more study on the wonderful topic of through Him? Study also the NT uses of the parallel phrase through Jesus (or similar phrases - "through Whom", "through our Lord", etc) - John 1:17, Acts 10:36, Ro 1:4, 5- note; Ro 1:8-note, Ro 2:16-note, Ro 5:1-note; Ro 5:2-note Ro 5:11-note, Ro 5:21-note, Ro 7:25-note, Ro 16:27-note, 1Cor 15:57, 2Cor 1:5, 3:4, 5:18, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:5-note, Php 1:11-note, 1Th 5:9-note; Titus 3:6-note, He 1:2-note; He 2:10-note, Heb 13:21-note, 1Pe 2:5-note, 1Pe 4:11-note, Jude 1:25)

All things are from Him, through Him and to Him.
To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
(Romans 11:36)

World (2889) (kosmos related to the verb kosmeo = to order or adorn, to put in order [Mt 25:7 = "trimmed"], to adorn literally [1Ti 2:9], to adorn figuratively [Titus 2:9-note]) means first of all something that is well-arranged, that which has order or something arranged harmoniously. Kosmos refers to a system where order prevails. In this context (as with many if not most of the NT uses), kosmos takes on a more negative meaning. In this sense kosmos is like the Greek word for flesh (sarx), which can be a neutral word, but which many times in the NT takes on an evil connotation.

Kosmos/kosmeo give us our English words cosmos (the ordered universe), cosmopolitan (literally a citizen of the world!) and cosmetics (those things we put on in order to bring order out of "chaos"!) English terms. A matter of "cosmic" significance, is something which is important for the whole world. When one speaks of a "cosmopolitan" city, it means a city which has citizens from many parts of the world

As used in the present context kosmos is an "evil force", the enemy of God and of every believer:

Trench explains this "evil force" as "All that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitutes a most real and effective power, being the moral, or immoral atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale.

Kosmos represents the whole mass of mankind alienated from and hostile to God and His Son. As such kosmos represents the system of values, priorities, and beliefs that unbelievers hold that excludes God. This meaning of kosmos includes the aggregate of things earthly -- earthly goods, endowments, riches, advantages, pleasures, etc., which, although empty and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ: - 1Jn 2:16, 17, Mt 16:26

Richison sums up the word world as "that which is against God, the satanic order (1Jn 5:19, Lk 4:6). Paul died to the world system when Christ died on the cross. Those without Christ are victims of Satan’s distorted worldview. Those with Christ have changed their worldview. Although they may fall to temptations within Satan’s order, their status is in a new order, a perfect status with God. This does not mean the Christian is free from the influence of Satan’s order. It does mean, however, the believer is no longer under the authority of his system (cp Acts 26:18). The believer is no longer under bondage to that system because he changed lords when he became a Christian (Jn 17:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19; Col 2:20, 21, 22, 23-note)

Norman Harrison explains that...

The world is a part of a closely coordinated triumvirate of evil: the world, the flesh, the devil. They appear as partners in man's undoing: in the temptation to fall away from GOD into sin (Ge 3:6); in man's present fallen state (Ephesians 2:2,3); in drawing the Christian back into

the world (1Jn 2:15, 16, 17). The same appear in our Lord's temptation (Mt 4:1-11). They are inseparable; they work together; they have identical aims.

The world -- from the Greek kosmos, or world-system -- may be defined, in its bad, ethical sense, as the order or arrangement "under which Satan has organized the world of unbelieving mankind upon his cosmic principles of force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and pleasure" (C. I. Scofield).

The world offers man everything he could wish; everything to satisfy his intellectual, physical, social, esthetic, and passionate craving; everything to keep him content in his present condition -- everything but GOD. "For all that is in the world" -- designed to appeal to "the lust of the flesh," to "the lust of the eyes" as they look upon the things of the world and crave them, to "the pride of life" Satan-injected into man's veins -- "is not of the Father, but is of the world" (1Jn 2:16). Friends, search the Scriptures, with a good concordance or a chain reference Bible, for what GOD has to say about the world. He knows; you should know it as He knows it.

Christ came all the way from glory to deliver us. It cost Him His life to accomplish this deliverance: "Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world" (Gal 1:4KJV), and in achieving such deliverance He was carrying out "the will of God and our Father." (Gal 1:4KJV)

Christ's life was itself one long triumph over the world, signalized by His words at its close: "I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Its selfishness and greed -- He had refused it all. Its hatred, slander, and persecution -- He had met it all with divine patience, meekness and gentleness (2Co 10:1).

The world gave Him a cross -- that also He endured, "despising the shame" (He 12:2). His death -- was it a defeat or a triumph? He died thus, "that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (He 2:14,15). Hear the cry of the victor, "Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out" (Jn 12:31).

Delivered from the world, its fears and their final outcome, death; from the world's god, the pride, ambition and selfishness he implants in his devotees. Then -- to think of it is grief of heart -- some Christian people persist in living worldly lives, persist in being known for their worldliness. How can they? Only through ignorance, we trust. Only by getting "off side." They have necessarily left His Side and gone back to the bondage of Our Side. ("I" CRUCIFIED VERSUS THE WORLD - GALATIANS 6:14-15)

Moses the servant of God (1Chr 6:49, 2Chr 24:9, Da 9:11, Rev 15:3-note) gives us an example that we might be imitators of him and so inherit the promises (see He 6:11, 12-note), for he chose...

rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin (that the world had to offer). (Heb 11:25-note)

And why was Moses willing to live as dead to the allure of the power, pleasure and pomp this world had to offer him? It is because he thought about the alternatives and came to the conclusion that...

the reproach (disgrace) of Christ (which for believers today would include the scorn, scoffing and shame associated with the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ) greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. (Heb 11:26-note)

John Henry Jowett - Worldliness is a spirit, a temperament, an attitude of soul. It is life without high callings, life devoid of lofty ideals. It is a gaze horizontal, never vertical. Its motto is 'Forward', never 'Upward'.

Akin writes that kosmos is "an evil organized earthly system controlled by the power of the evil one (1Jn 5:19) that has aligned itself against God and His kingdom (1Jn 4:3, 4, 5; 5:19; Jn 16:11). (Akin, D. L. 1, 2, 3 John: Broadman & Holman Publishers)

Wuest - Kosmos refers to an ordered system. Here it is the ordered system of which Satan is the head, his fallen angels and demons are his emissaries, and the unsaved of the human race are his subjects, together with those purposes, pursuits, pleasures, practices, and places where God is not wanted. Much in this world-system is religious, cultured, refined, and intellectual. But it is anti-God and anti-Christ...The Germans have a word for kosmos (world of men who are living alienated and apart from God) the zeitgeist or spirit of the age. This masquerade costume which saints sometimes put on, hides the Lord Jesus living in the heart of the Christian, and is an opaque covering through which the Holy Spirit cannot radiate the beauty of the Lord Jesus. The world says to that kind of a saint, “The modernism of your appearance nullifies the fundamentalism of your doctrine.”   (Galatians Commentary - Verse by Verse)

Marvin Vincent sums up this meaning of kosmos writing that it is "The sum-total of human life in the ordered world, considered apart from, alienated from, and hostile to God, and of the earthly things which seduce from God (Jn 7:7; 15:18; 17:9, 14; 1Cor. 1:20, 21; 2Co 7:10; Jas 4:4.


Eadie comments that Paul describes an...

intercrucifixion—the world has died to him, and he has died to the world. The “world” (kosmos) is the sphere of things in which the sarx (flesh) lives and moves—that in which self and sense delight themselves: opposed to that sphere of things in which the pneuma (spirit) finds its fitting nutriment and exercise, and also to “the new creature” in the following verse (Gal 6:15). The term kosmos (in Gal 6:14) represents wealth, power, pleasure, indulgence, “lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life,” (1Jn 2:16) —all that draws humanity after it, which so many seem to crave as their only portion, and in which they seem to find their supreme delight. The world in this sense is opposed to God: “the friendship of this world is enmity with God,” Jas 4:4; 1John 2:15. The apostle had long seen all this hostility and hollowness on the part of the world, and so he had done with it. It was crucified to him; it was a thing done to death for him, and he was done to death so far as regarded it. As Schott pithily puts it, alter pro mortuo habet alterum.

Each had been nailed to the cross; each to other was dead. Christ's cross effected this separation. It was the result of neither morbid disappointment, nor of the bitter wail of “vanity of vanities,” nor of a sense of failure in worldly pursuits, nor of the persecutions he had undergone—scourging, imprisonment, hunger, thirst, fastings, and nakedness. By none of these things did he die to the world. But it was by his union with the Crucified One (cp Jn 16:33, 1Jn 5:4, 5): death in Him and with Him was his death to the world, and the death of that world to him. (Galatians 6 Commentary)

The more we glory in the mighty cross of Christ,
the less the world can lure us with its fading "glory".

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Tow’ring o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.
John Bowring (1825)

Has been crucified (4717) (stauroo from stauros = cross, in turn from histemi = to stand) means literally to nail or fasten to a cross and so to crucify -- literal death by nailing to and hanging from a cross (a stake).

In Galatians Paul uses stauroo in a metaphorical sense to refer to crucifixion of the flesh (as a result of the literal crucifixion)...

Galatians 5:24+ Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Friberg says this metaphorical sense of stauroo in Gal 5:24 speaks of "of a believer's renouncing his old sinful way of living to be united to his Lord - crucify, put to death, i.e. be done with. (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker Academic)

BDAG says that in Gal 5:24 stauroo means "to destroy through connection with the crucifixion of Christ, crucify, a transcendent sense (and in Gal 6:14 refers to) the believer who is inseparably united to the Lord has died on the cross to the kind of life that belongs to this world (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature)

The perfect tense signifies past completed action (the day my co-crucifixion with Christ became my reality by grace through faith) with present ongoing result or effect (that I continue to be as a dead man to the world's allurements). The perfect tense signifies that the believer's eternal state is that of one crucified with Christ, forever in union with Him (covenant oneness), the One Who is now and forever our life (Col 3:4-note).

Zodhiates says that what Paul is saying is that "his regard for his crucified Savior was so great that the world had no more charm for him than the corpse of a crucified malefactor would have had, nor did he take any more delight in worldly things than a person expiring on the cross would do in the objects around him. (Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. AMG)

Paul made the cross his boast in that it was his place of "death to self". And in being crucified on the cross with Jesus, Paul at the same time changed his relationship to the world. It was crucified to him, and he was crucified to it. 2Timothy 1:8, 9, 10, 11, 12 are the words of a man to whom the world was crucified; don't you agree?

Norman Harrison observes that "God's one way of defeating the world is to crucify it, and with it the "I" to whom the world makes its appeal. As the flesh was crucified jointly with Christ, so likewise the world that works hand in glove with the flesh for my undoing. God's great antithesis is carrying through to care for every point of practical difficulty. I and the world must be separated; so I and the world are set on opposite and opposing sides. If I am on His Side I am not on the world's side. If I am on the world's side, giving my allegiance to the world, I am no longer on His Side; I have denied the cross and the Christ by which and by whom -- both translations are equally permissible -- the separation was effected. I am back on Our Side; there is no middle ground. ("I" CRUCIFIED VERSUS THE WORLD - GALATIANS 6:14-15)

Allen (Bethany Bible) has a practical exposition of Galatians 6:14 asking...

What did it mean that the world was crucified to him? I believe that it meant he was no longer driven by the world's approval. As far as he was concerned, the world was "crucified" - dead! He didn't care what a dead "thing" said about him. And what's more; not only was the world crucified to him, but he was crucified to the world.

What did it mean that he was crucified to the world? It meant that the world still had something of its pull - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the boastful pride of life; but it was no longer the driving force of Paul's life. The world would give out its orders to him and try to press him into its mold; but it would fail. It would no more be the guiding principle in his life than it would over a dead man - because he truly was dead; crucified to it through Christ. Jesus said,

In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

In what ways was Paul crucified to the world? I can think of three specific ways.

First, he was crucified to the world's pull upon him through the lust of the flesh. The world keeps many people prisoner through the pull of the flesh. Its philosophy is, "If it feels good, do it." That, in fact, has become the guiding principle in life for many. but Paul asserted,

Those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Gal 5:24, cp Ro 6:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14).

Does the world still exercise rule over you through the pull of the flesh? Have you yet been "crucified" to this world by putting to death the deeds of the flesh?

Second, Paul was crucified to this world's pull on him through the lust of the eyes. He was willing to suffer the loss of all things on this earth in order to be fully Christ's (cp Php 3:4-note, Php 3:7, 8-note, Php 3:9-note). An attachment to the things of this earth keeps many people prisoner to this world. It's philosophy in this regard, is "He who dies with the most toys wins".

Jesus spoke of the foolish man who became prosperous, built up his barns to store his grain, then told his own soul,

Take your ease; eat, drink and be merry." But God told him, "'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (Luke 12:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21).

The things of this world did not hold Paul prisoner. He was able to have much or little - to be in poverty or to abound (cp Php 4:11,12-note, Php 4:13-note). It didn't change him. It didn't rule his soul. He could possess the things of this world as God provided them; but they couldn't possess him. He was crucified to the things of this world; and now, his life consisted in Christ and not in them. He wrote,

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on the things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Col 3:1-note, Col 3:2-note, Col 3:3, 4-note).

Do the things of this world rule over you? Are the things of this world your "life"? Have you been "crucified" to this world by crucifying "the lust of the eyes"?

Third, Paul was crucified to this world's pull through the pride of life. Many are deeply concerned with how others think of them. They are either ruled by the 'fear of man' (Pr 29:25) or they are driven to become feared by men. They longed to be looked up to and respected in the eyes of this world. The "pride of life" expresses itself in the world's motto: "I did it my way".

But this didn't have a grip on Paul. He was no longer concerned about what this world thought of him. He embraced and proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ wholeheartedly (Ro 1:16-note) - even though the world mocked it, and rejected it, and persecuted him for it.

There was a time, during one of his missionary journeys, when he was dragged out of the city (Lystra) he was preaching in, stoned viciously, and left for dead. But then, he immediately got up, and marched back into the very city that had just stoned him (Acts 14:19, 20). On another occasion, he was on his way to preach the gospel in Jerusalem. There were prophets who warned him that imprisonment and trouble awaited him there; and many in the churches were pleading with him not to go. But Paul answered,

What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord (Acts 21:13).

He was not ashamed of the gospel, because he was already "crucified" to the world - and why should a crucified man care what the world says about him?

Paul no longer craved respect and honor from this world. He put it this way:

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.' Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" (1Cor 1:18, 19, 20).

God has made the wisdom of the world all foolish through the cross; and Paul was crucified upon it, with Christ, to the wisdom of this world. Paul lived a crucified life (Gal 2:20-note). He serves as our example. But then, we shouldn't be surprised by this; because Jesus taught this to us long ago when He said,

Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny (aorist imperative = Do this now!) himself, and take up (aorist imperative = Do this now!) his cross, and follow (present imperative = keep on following) Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels (Mark 8:34, 35, 36, 37, 38).

[{Editorial Comment: "The first two imperatives are aorist, giving a summary command to be obeyed at once. The “coming after” and the “taking up” are to be obeyed at once and are to be a once-for-all act. That is, these acts are to be looked upon as a permanent attitude and practice of life. The whole life is to be characterized by an habitual coming after and taking up of the cross. After having once for all given over the life to the Lord, the believer must hence-forward count it ever so given over. He is not his own anymore. He belongs to the Lord. He is the Lord’s property. The word “follow” however, is in the present imperative, which commands the doing of an action and its habitual, moment by moment continuance. The first two imperatives give direction to the life. The last speaks of the actual living of that which has been given direction by two once-for-all acts." (Galatians Commentary - Verse by Verse)

Why does Jesus call us to take up our cross? It's so that we may be crucified upon it to the world (Ed: Wuest "The cross was the instrument of death. Here it speaks of death to self."). And why does He then call us to follow Him with it? It's so that we may then go on to live a crucified life in the midst of this world for His sake.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ; would you commit yourself with me, this year, to seek before God to live a crucified life in this world? (Living A Crucified Life, Galatians 6:14)

Stauroo - 46x in 42v -

Mt 20:19; 23:34; 26:2; 27:22, 23, 26, 31, 35, 38; 28:5; Mark 15:13, 14, 15, 20, 24, 25, 27; 16:6; Luke 23:21, 23, 33; 24:7, 20; John 19:6, 10, 15, 16, 18, 20, 23, 41; Acts 2:36; 4:10; 1 Cor 1:13, 23; 2:2, 8; 2 Cor 13:4; Gal 3:1; 5:24; 6:14; Rev 11:8

Jesus predicted His own crucifixion...

Matthew 20:19 (Lk 24:6, 7) and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.

The cry that will echo throughout eternity is that of the Jews and their leaders to Pilate...

Matthew 27:22, 23 (Mark 15:13, 14, Lk 23:21, 23, John 19:6, 15) Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Crucify Him!” And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Crucify Him!”

Peter reminded his Jewish audience at Pentecost of the stumbling block of the Cross...

Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Paul's primary message was the Cross of Christ...

1Corinthians 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,

1Corinthians 2:2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

2Corinthians 13:4 For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.


World has been crucified to me and I to the world - Dead to me and I to it! Paul in a sense saw the world as if it were nailed to a cross and consequently he considered the world as good as dead and he as good as dead to the world which describes intercrucifixion to use John Eadie's term. You can take all the world but let me have the Cross of Christ...Just give me Jesus...

In the morning when I rise,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world.
Give me Jesus.
(Play this song - one of my all time favorites)

Richison - "Paul looks at the world as if he were on the cross and that is the way the world looks at him. Paul looks at the world as though he were dead to his aspirations. The greater the glory of the cross looked to him, the less the world attracted him. When our soul feeds on the cross, it closes down our heart for the world. The more our heart feeds on the world, the less our hearts care about the cross. (Galatians 6:14 - Bible Exposition Commentary)

John Piper writing that in the life of the great Puritan John Bunyan (Pilgrim's Progress) - Death to the world was the costly corollary of life to God. The visible world died to Bunyan. He lived on “God that is invisible.” Increasingly this was Bunyan’s passion from the time of his conversion as a young married man to the day of his death when he was sixty years old. (The Hidden Smile of God - Online Book)

John Piper writes that Charles Simeon...

loved to contemplate the cross of Christ not only because it signified “salvation through a crucified Redeemer,” but also because by this cross he had died to the pleasures, riches, and honors of this world. Man’s admiration could not lure him; man’s condemnation could not lame him. He was dead to all that now, because “by [the cross] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal 6:14). The cross was the place of his greatest humiliation and the place of his greatest adoration. It was death-dealing and life-giving. Therefore Simeon said that he, like Paul, “would ‘know nothing else’ (1Co 2:2) and ‘glory in nothing else’ (Gal 6:14).” Christ was crucified for him. He was crucified with Christ. This was the key to life and endurance.

So unfathomable are the counsels of divine wisdom contained in it, that all the angels of heaven are searching into it with a thirst that is insatiable. Such is its efficacy, that nothing can withstand its influence. By this then, my brethren, you may judge whether you are Christians in deed and in truth, or whether you are only such in name.… For a nominal Christian is content with proving the way of salvation by a crucified Redeemer. But the true Christian loves it, delights in it, glories in it, and shudders at the very thought of glorying in anything else. (Simeon - emphasis added by Dr Piper)

Here is the root of Simeon’s endurance: the cross of Christ giving rise to a “shuddering delight”—shuddering at his own remaining corruption that may betray his soul by fear of man and the love of the world; delight that rises higher than all that man can take or give, and therefore triumphs over all threats and allurements. Christ is all. “Let all your joys flow from the contemplation of his cross.” (The Roots of Endurance - Online Book)

When we walk with the Lord,
we'll be out of step with the world.

J Vernon McGee - Between Paul and the world there was a cross. That should be the position of every believer today. That will have more to do with shaping your conduct than anything else. You will not boast about the fact that you are keeping the Sermon on the Mount, or that you belong to a certain church, or that you are a church officer, or a preacher, or a Sunday school teacher. You will not be able to boast of anything. You will just glory in the Cross and the One who died there. (Galatians 6:13-14 - Mp3)

Donald Campbell - The world system with all its allurements, fleshly displays, and religions of human effort was cast aside by Paul. He looked at the world as if it were on a cross—and the world looked at Paul as though he were on a cross. (Bible Knowledge Commentary.)


Norman Harrison emphasizes how the cross makes possible the believer's separation from the world, but first gives a synopsis of Biblical separation...

The Principle of Separation - Running all the way through Holy Writ is an urgent, underlying principle -- that of separation. So long as GOD allows evil in the world He must adhere to this principle of separation from it.

Considered historically - Among the antediluvians the line of Seth was God's people. When they disregarded this principle of separation and intermarried with the descendants of Cain, evil multiplied and gave occasion for the judgment of the flood. God began anew with Abraham, saying, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee" (Ge 12:1). He obeyed, with one exception -- Lot. Genesis 13 is an exposition of the principle of separation: "Separate thyself"; "and they separated themselves the one from the other" (Ge 13:9,11). Then God was free to pronounce abundant blessing upon Abraham, "after that Lot was separated from him" (see Ge 13:14, 15, 16, 17). And now comes the experience of restored fellowship (Ge 13:18), and by contrast the dismal failure of worldly Lot (Ge 14, 18, 19). And, remember, we are the spiritual children of Abraham (Gal 3:7, 29).

The history of Abraham's descendants, the children of Israel, is the same. In Egypt, type of the world, they were in bondage. When delivered from Egypt and led into the promised land, they were called to separate themselves from the inhabitants of Canaan, as "a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people ... an holy nation" (Ex 19:5, 6). So Solomon prayed, "For Thou didst

separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be Thine inheritance" (1Ki 8:53). (Read Dt 32:8,9; then the sadness of the "but," Dt 32:15, when this separation is forsaken). The ups and downs of Israel through Joshua, the Judges, and the Kings, is wholly a matter of separation observed or separation forsaken. The latter prevailed; GOD had but one course, the major operation of separating them from their land and all it meant to them, into the bondage of Babylon. Read please -- do read it -- this sad harvest from the sin of non-separation, 2Chr 36:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.

Considered prophetically - Spiritually the present state of the world is a mixed field of wheat and tares: "Let both grow together until the harvest," but the harvest is the appointed time of separation into different lots and destinies (Mt 13:30). While all are to be raised from the dead, there will be two kinds of resurrection (Jn 5:28, 29). Yes, and two times of resurrection; so that "they that are Christ's," as distinct from those who are not, are to be raised at His coming from among the dead (see 1Co 15:23). The wicked dead are left for their appointed lot and judgment.

Considered presently - Present living should conform to future prospect. Separation will obtain then, why not now? It should, and must, if we would keep "on side." Read with bowed heart our Lord's prayer for His own (John 17). Some eighteen times in thirteen verses Jesus uses the word "world" (Jn 17:5, 6, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21, 23, 24,2 5); seven times He refers to His own as "given" to Him by the Father (how precious is a gift!). By such expressions as these He forever separates us, His gifts, from the world: "The men which Thou gavest Me out of the world" (Jn 17:6); "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou has given Me, for they are Thine" (Jn 17:9); "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (Jn 17:14).

The Power of Separation - What is to bring about a life of separation? If I am expected to live this way, must it be by self will and determination? Then I would be in constant danger of giving way to the world's appeals. No; it's the cross! The cross "by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." (Gal 6:14) There it stands, the cross, between me and the world that formerly claimed me. Something has happened to me; and something has happened to the world. The bond of responsiveness has been broken. The world had me by the eyes, ears and nose: I used to see, hear and smell all of its allurements; it had me at its beck and call. Now that "I" has died -- died with CHRIST, a new "I" -- risen with Him -- has been endowed with a new sense of seeing, hearing, and smelling (2Co 5:17, cp Ro 6:4), so that I recognize and appreciate spiritual values not found in the world's offerings. I find my life on a higher plane; I move in a different sphere. Crucifixion broke my bondage to the world; the resurrection that followed gave me a life of liberty.

But more. It is "the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." Its power to separate is not impersonal; rather, it's the power of a person. That Person lives today to make His cross operative; He lives in me. I was crucified to the world and raised to live a new life; CHRIST was crucified and

raised to live His new life in me. The result: I am separated from the world, and separated to CHRIST. My life has a new center, a new set of desires, an entirely new outlook.

Considered typically, Separation has this twofold aspect as taught through the Tabernacle: the

linen curtain of the court separates from the world outside, while the house line separates the

believer to Father, Son and Spirit living within. Every Christian should have a testimony ringing with the reality of this experience. I am glad to give my testimony in the words of a man referred to by Dr. Ironside. He had been in deep sin. After his conversion one of his friends in sin said to him,

"Bill, I pity you -- a man that has been such a high-flyer as you. And now you have settled down, you go to church, or stay at home and read the Bible and pray; you never have good times any more."

"But Bob," said the saved man, "you don't understand. I get drunk every time I want to. I go to the theatre every time I want to. I go to the dance when I want to. I play cards and gamble whenever I want to."

"I say," said Bob, "I don't understand it that way. I thought you had to give up these things to be

a Christian."

"No, Bob," said his friend, "the Lord took the 'want to' out when He saved my soul, and He made me a new creature in CHRIST JESUS. I simply don't 'want to' do those things anymore."

In a real sense the Christian isn't giving up any thing. He is giving himself up to CHRIST. Then

CHRIST takes care of the rest.

The Peril of Non-Separation The above facts make perfectly evident to us all the true nature of the Christian life, as over against any other life, and the true purpose of Christ in establishing the New Covenant and in bringing us into it. That life is not just a good life; that purpose is not to make good people, with varying degrees of goodness as they may elect to live the life; rather, it is to have a peculiar people, peculiar to Himself, peculiarly His own, now and eternally. (Our English word, 'peculiar,' when rightly understood, is full of meaning, and none more appropriate could be chosen. As Webster's Dictionary tells us, 'peculiar is from the Roman "peculium" which was a thing emphatically and distinctively one's own, and hence was dear'. A single word sometimes contains a sermon. And what a sermon we have here! To be a peculiar people is not to be an odd people. Still less to be a people noted for ungraciousness or rudeness. It is to be 'emphatically and distinctively' the Lord's own people, and therefore to be very specially dear to Him" [Tom Olson in Now]. Could there be any finer description of our bridal relationship?)

That peculiar, intimate relationship of endearment -- we giving ourselves to Him; He giving Himself to us -- is nothing short of a marriage union. It was to this end that He took us with Him through crucifixion, through death to every bond that previously obligated us -- to the law, yes, and to the world -- that we might be free, as a new creature, to be "married to Another," even to the risen, glorious CHRIST (Romans 7:4).

Thus GOD sees every child of His joined to His Son in a sacred, indissoluble union. He has brought us to His Side as a bride. We are joined in a life-union to the most beautiful, wonderful person in the universe. The HOLY SPIRIT is busily engaged in making us over into His likeness -- the fruit of the Spirit. To leave His Side, to go back to Our Side, to the reviving of the flesh and its cravings for the world -- what is it but gross infidelity! It is consorting with His enemy! It is adultery!

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4)

This is exceptionally strong language; it couldn't be stronger. And GOD means it! GOD sent His Son to deliver us from the world. He sent His Spirit to bring us into a vital marital union with

His Son. He holds us precious to Himself in these bonds. Then we deliberately turn our back on the entire set-up, playing fast and loose with the world? He counts it infidelity -- adultery in the spirit.

Where are we? We are hopelessly back on Our Side. Allowing our flesh to draw us into friendship with the world, we have not merely broken fellowship with Him; we have made ourselves His enemy. Worldly Christian, God means it; you had best believe it. An adulteress! What an ugly word. But the sin is far more ugly. If adultery of the flesh is offensive, how much more adultery of the spirit! While the one is grieving to the Spirit in His lust against it, the other is a grief to the Father, the Son and the Spirit. It is an abomination in His sight.

Dear reader, thinking yourself free to be a so-called worldly Christian, consider what you are doing. The world is God's enemy. It put CHRIST on the cross. It would do it again. You are friendly with it and its ways. What can GOD do but count you on the other side? He says you have made yourself His enemy. There is no middle ground. You are sadly "off side." Won't you turn again to CHRIST, to live in Him, to let His love constrain you to a life of utter devotedness to Him? ("I" CRUCIFIED VERSUS THE WORLD - GALATIANS 6:14-15)

Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Oh, the peace of love divine!
Oh, the bliss of consecration!
I am His, and He is mine.
-- Rebecca S. Pollard

Listen to Kathryn Scott's incredibly beautiful rendition of Isaac Watt's classic hymn as you meditate on the power of the cross to separate you once and for all time from enslavement to this present evil world which is passing away...

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
by Isaac Watts

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of CHRIST, my GOD;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Tozer put it this way - We must do something about the cross and one of two things only we can do—flee it or die upon it.

Wiersbe notes that "Christians can become worldly, and they do so (like Lot -see Ge 13:10, 11, 12, 13 and Ge 19:1ff) by degrees. First there is friendship with the world (Jas 4:4); then love for the world (1Jn 2:15, 16, 17); and finally conformity to the world (Ro 12:2). The result is that the compromising believer is judged with the world (1Co 11:32). Anything in our lives that keeps us from enjoying God’s love and doing God’s will is worldly and should be put away. To live for the world is to deny the cross of Christ (Gal 6:14). The world hates Christ; how can the Christian love the world? Believers who are friends of the world are at enmity with God. They grieve the Spirit, who jealously yearns for their love. (Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books) (Bolding Added)

Thomas Watson...

One sign of genuine love to God, is crucifixion to the world. He who is a lover of God—is dead to the world. "The world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Galatians 6:14). That is, "I am dead to the honors and pleasures of the world."

He who is in love with God is not much in love with anything else. The love of God, and ardent love of the world—are incompatible. "If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1John 2:15). Love to God swallows up all other love—as Moses' rod swallowed up the Egyptian rods.

If a man could live as high as the sun—what a small point would all the earth be. Just so, when a man's heart is raised above the world in the admiring and loving of God—how poor and diminutive are these things below! They seem as nothing in his eye. Test your love to God by this.

What shall we think of those who never have enough of the world? They have the cancer of covetousness, thirsting insatiably after riches: "Who pant after the dust of the earth!" (Amos 2:7). "Never talk of your love to Christ," says Ignatius, "when you prefer the world before the Pearl of great price!" Are there not many such, who prize their gold above God? If they have a good farm—they care not for the water of life. They will sell Christ and a good conscience for money. Will God ever bestow heaven upon those who so basely undervalue Him, preferring glittering dust before the glorious Deity?

What is there in the earth, that we should so set our hearts upon it? The devil makes us look upon it through a magnifying glass! The world has no real intrinsic worth; it is but paint and deception!

Thomas Watson applies this truth to suffering for Christ first exhorting us to "Avoid those things which will hinder suffering. The love of the world. God allows us the use of the world (1Ti 6:7, 8). But take heed of the love of it. He who is in love with the world will be out of love with the Cross. 'Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world' (2Ti 4:10-note). He not only forsook Paul's company but his doctrine. The love of the world chokes our zeal. A man wedded to the world will for thirty pieces of silver betray Christ and his cause. Let the world be as a loose garment that you may throw off at pleasure. Before a man can die for Christ—he must be dead to the world. Paul was crucified to the world (Galatians 6:14). It will be an easy thing to die, when we are already dead in our affections. (Beatitudes)

I Have Decided — To Follow Jesus
The Cross before me
The world behind me
No turning back
No turning back

Though none go with me
Still I will follow
Though none go with me
Still I will follow
Though none go with me
Still I will follow
No turning back
No turning back!
(Song by Michael Card)

Findlay commenting on the Paul's rejection of the attractions of the world says "He can never believe in it, never take pride in it, nor do homage to it any more. It is stripped of its glory and robbed of its power to charm or govern him.

Puritan Stephen Charnock - The world we live in would have fallen upon our heads, had it not been upheld by the pillar of the Cross; had not Christ stepped in and promised a satisfaction for the sin of man. By this all things consist—not a blessing we enjoy but may put us in mind of it; they were all forfeited by sin—but merited by His blood. If we study it (the Cross) well, we shall be sensible how God hated sin and loved a world.

Horatius Bonar - To the believing man the world is a crucified thing. There is now enmity, not friendship—hatred, not love—between the woman's seed and the serpent's seed. The cross has produced the enmity. It has slain the world, and made it altogether unlovable. One sight of the cross strips the world of its false beauty and attractiveness! The cross furnishes a theme for glorying. (Gal 6:14) Paul gloried in it, counting it the only thing worth boasting of, worth admiring, worth caring for. The cross is the scorn of the world—it is the glory of the saint. It is the theme of the church's song, the theme of her praise. She glories in the cross. (Ed: Do the songs in your worship time in church exalt the Cross of Christ and the eternally efficacious blood of the Lamb? If not, why not?) (Read the enumeration of the 21 things accomplished by The Cross Of The Lord Jesus) Let the Church of Christ sing and lift high the Cross of Christ as in George Kitchin's great hymn...

Lift High the Cross

Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore His sacred Name.

Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
The hosts of God in conquering ranks combine.

Each newborn servant of the Crucified
Bears on the brow the seal of Him Who died.

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
As Thou hast promised, draw the world to Thee.

So shall our song of triumph ever be:
Praise to the Crucified for victory.

Thomas Watson...

QUESTION. What advantage will accrue to us, by often thinking of our short stay here?

ANSWER 1. Meditation on the shortness of time would cool the heat of our affections for the WORLD. These visible objects please the fancy—but they do not so much delight us—as delude us. They are suddenly gone from us. Worldly things are like a fair picture drawn on the ice—which the sun quickly melts.

The time is short, so why should we overly love that which we cannot keep over long? 1Corinthians 7:31: "The fashion (or pageant) of the world passes away." (cp 1Jn 2:17-note) Time passes away as a ship in full sail. This, thought on seriously, would mortify covetousness. Paul looked upon himself as ready to loosen anchor and be gone. His love to the world had already died, Galatians 6:14: "The world is crucified to me—and I unto the world." Who would covet that which has neither contentment nor continuance? (Time's Shortness)

This old hymn (1776) well expresses Paul's sentiments in Galatians 6:14 regarding what a believer's boastful attitude should be toward the Old Rugged Cross...

Rock of Ages
Augustus Toplady

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy laws demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;

Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace.
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die

Paul Apple - What is there in the world system -- with its wealth and material possessions and variety of entertainment -- that still holds enough of an attraction for us to distract us from living for Christ? Have we experienced this same crucifixion to the world that the Apostle Paul talks about? (Galatians)

Robert Murray McCheyne writes that Romans 1:16 phrase "I am not ashamed of the Gospel" - This passage is the same in meaning with that in Galatians 6:14, 'But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ...'. The meaning of both passages is just this, that the way of righteousness through Christ was what Paul gloried in. There are two things implied in it. First, he was not ashamed of the gospel before God. Paul rested his eternal salvation on the righteousness of Christ. Like David, he said, 'This is all my salvation and all my desire' (2Sa 23:5). He had no other way of access to God but that; if that failed, all failed. He had no other way of going to God in secret but that, therefore he says, 'I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.' But again, there is implied in it that he was not ashamed of the gospel before men. Many men are ashamed of the gospel, but Paul was not ashamed of it. (Believers Not Ashamed)

Steve Canfield (Revival Preacher for Life Action Ministries) in his article entitled The Ways of God writes...

After studying revival accounts for a good portion of my life, I have come to the conclusion that revival comes when people gain a right perspective of the Lord. Yet tragically, our generation has lost an understanding of the greatness, grandeur, power, and majesty of the eternal God of the universe. We often say we want to know God's will, but we haven't taken the time to know Him.

I meet many people who are pushing against the will of God, even in the midst of their trying to 'discover' it. I believe this is because they have never understood the ways of God. Set up against the ways of men - comfort, convenience, attempts to control, influence, manipulate, and succeed - God's ways stand in stark contrast. The ways of God are often ways of obscurity, criticism, servant hood, and deprivation. They involve self-denial, repentance, poorness of spirit, and humility. The ways of God are rarely in line with the ways of this world....

God does His work in suffering ways. I wish this wasn't one of the ways of God. But the fact is, the ways of God are the ways of the Cross. One of the greatest struggles in my life is to die to what I want to be and accept what God wants me to be. Galatians 6:14 says, 'God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world was crucified unto me, and I unto the world.' We must die to our desire for praise, our desire for ease, our desire for control, and be willing to embrace that cross. John 12:24 says, 'Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.' A seed will not produce life until it is buried, covered, and out of sight, never to be seen again. It has to be put into the ground. Are you willing to go into the ground? To be buried, covered, and never seen again? Are you willing to die to yourself, to your reputation, to your praise? This is the only way to gain the true life. This is the only way that God's will can be accomplished through you. Once we grasp the ways of God, we can begin to understand the will of God. The will of God is rarely convenient. (The Ways of God, Steve Canfield)

David Curtis...

When we talk of the cross of Christ here in our text, we are not talking simply about the wooden instrument of death, which our Lord Jesus was nailed to. The "cross" is used in metonymy for the atoning work of Christ, it refers to all Christ accomplished as He died in our place on the Cross.

A metonymy is a figure of speech in which something named is used to represent another thing that is part of or associated with. When we say, "I was reading Calvin last night," we mean that we were reading a book written by him. The name of the author is used to represent the work he has written. Metonymy is a figure of speech where an initial or prominent feature is taken to represent the whole thing. So when Paul says that he boasts in the cross, he is referring to the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

Justification is a declarative act whereby God declares righteous him who believes in Christ. Justification is not being made righteous experimentally, but being declared righteous. It is not the removal of our liabilities, it is the imputation of Christ's righteousness. It's not something done in us, it is something done for us. Righteousness is imputed, not imparted. That means that though I may not act righteous, my account says that I am....

...Paul is saying: My glory, my boast, is all in the Lord Jesus Christ. That's because my salvation is altogether in Christ. He is the One who died on the cross to pay for my sin, and He is the One who has given me the faith to believe on Him. I have been crucified unto the world. I am dead to the world. The things and pleasures that it offers don't appeal to me anymore. I have lost my interest in those worldly things; I just want to live for Christ.

These statements (Gal 6:14, Php 3:4, 5, 6, 7, 8) that Paul makes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit trouble us, don't they? It hits me very hard. It makes me realize that when we put life in its proper perspective, the things of the world are so unimportant.

What does it matter how many cars we have or how big a house we live in? What does it matter how much money we have in the bank? Our life on earth is short; sooner or later we will die. What really matters is that I'll be with the Lord throughout eternity. That's the only thing that counts.

Paul says, "There's nothing I have to boast about, except the cross of Jesus Christ." Grace takes all the boasting out, because I realize I didn't do anything; I failed; I didn't measure up; I blew it. And all I have is what I received on the basis of grace. He said, "I had to die to the world"-- which means that living life independent from God is believing: "I can do it without God, I don't need help." Paul died to that mindset. (Galatians 6:11-15 Boasting in the Cross)

John Piper...

My mother wrote in my Bible when I was fifteen years old—I still have the Bible—“This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.” The point I am trying to make right now is that my mother’s motto and Owen’s motto, “Be killing sin or sin will be killing you,” are virtually the same. The Word of God is the instrument for killing sin. The truth will set you free. For Owen the cross of Christ was the central message and sin-killing power of the Word of God. It was the central, liberating truth. To focus here, he said, is the main way to kill the sin that kills our joy.

As to the object of your affections, in an especial manner, let it be the cross of Christ, which has exceeding efficacy towards the disappointment of the whole work of indwelling sin: “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal 6:14). The cross of Christ he [Paul] gloried and rejoiced in; this his heart was set upon; and these were the effects of it—it crucified the world unto him, made it a dead and undesirable thing. The baits and pleasures of sin are taken all of them out of the world… If the heart be filled with the cross of Christ, it casts death and undesirableness upon them all; it leaves no seeming beauty, no appearing pleasure or comeliness, in them. Again, says he,

“It crucifies me to the world; makes my heart, my affections, my desires, dead unto any of these things.”

It roots up corrupt lusts and affections, leaves no principle to go forth and make provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. Labor, therefore, to fill your hearts with the cross of Christ … that there may be no room for sin. (John Owen: On Indwelling Sin in Believers) (Bolding and color added)

This is the heart of the battle in the fight for joy. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free—free to see the surpassing glory of Christ, free from the blinding, joy-killing desires that make war on the soul. In the fight for joy, there is no replacement for the liberating power of truth—the truth of God’s promises and the word of the cross, where all the promises were blood-bought by the death of Christ. (When I Don't Desire God - Online)

A W Pink on overcoming the world...

"For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith." 1 Jn 5:4

One of the fruits of the new birth, is a faith which not only enables its possessor to overcome the sensual and sinful customs, and the carnal maxims and policies by which the profane world is regulated--but also the lying delusions and errors by which the professing world is fatally deceived.

The only thing which will or can "overcome the world" is a God-given--but self-exercised faith.

Faith overcomes the world firstly, by receiving into the heart God's infallible testimony of the world. He declares that "the world" is a corrupt, evanescent, hostile thing, which shall soon be destroyed by Him. His Holy Word teaches that the world is "evil" (Gal 1:4); that "all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father--but is of the world" (1Jn 2:16-note); that "the whole world lies in wickedness" (1Jn 5:19) and shall yet be "burned up" (2Pe 3:10-note). As faith accepts God's verdict of the world, the mind is spiritually enlightened; and its possessor views it as a worthless, dangerous, and detestable thing!

Faith overcomes the world secondly, by obeying the Divine commands concerning it. God has bidden us, "Do not be conformed to this world" (Ro 12:2-note); "Do not love the world, neither the things that are in the world" (1Jn 2:15-note); and warns us that "Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world, becomes an enemy of God." (James 4:4-note). By heeding the Divine precepts, its magic spell over the heart is broken.

Faith overcomes the world thirdly, by occupying the soul with more glorious, soul-delighting and satisfying objects. The more the substance of the heavenly world engages the heart--the less hold will the shadows of this earthly world have upon it. "For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God" (He 11:10-note).

Faith overcomes the world fourthly, by drawing out the heart unto Christ. As it was by fleeing to Him for refuge, that the soul was first delivered from the power and thraldom of this world--so it is throughout the Christian life. The more we cultivate real communion with Christ--the less attraction will the baubles of this world have for us! The strength of temptation lies entirely in the bent of our affections, "for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Mt 6:21-note). While Christ is beheld as "the chief among ten thousand" (Song 5:10) and as "altogether lovely" (Song 5:16) --the things which charm the poor worldling, will repel us.

The world gains the victory over the unregenerate by captivating their affections and capturing their wills. But the Christian overcomes the world, because his affections are set upon Christ and his will yielded to Him.

Here--then, we have a sure criterion by which we may determine our Christian progress or spiritual growth.

If the things of this world have a decreasing power over me
-- then my faith is becoming stronger.

If I am holding more lightly the things most prized by the ungodly--then I must be increasing in an experimental and soul-satisfying knowledge of Christ. If I am less cast down when some of the riches and comforts of this world are taken from me--then that is evidence they have less hold upon me. (Faith as an Overcomer)

Brian Hedges - Christ's death on the cross is both the ground of our boasting and the pattern for our living. Pride is demolished; servant hood is embodied in the cross. (A Passion for the Cross - Life Action Revival Ministries)

George Findlay - Paul knows but one ground of exultation, one object of pride and confidence- his Savior's Cross. Before he had received His gospel and seen the Cross in the light of revelation, like other Jews he regarded it with horror. Its existence covered the cause of Jesus with ignominy. It marked Him out as the object of Divine abhorrence. To the "Judaistic Christian" (Ed: Seems to be a bit of an oxymoron!) the Cross was still an embarrassment. He was secretly ashamed of a crucified Messiah, anxious by some means to excuse the scandal and make amends for it in the face of Jewish public opinion. But now this disgraceful Cross in the Apostle's eyes is the most glorious thing in the universe. Its message is the good news of God to all mankind. It is the center of faith and religion, of all that man knows of God or can receive from Him. Let it be removed, and the entire structure of revelation falls to pieces, like an arch without its keystone. The shame of the Cross was turned into honour and majesty. Its foolishness and weakness proved to be the wisdom and the power of God. Out of the gloom in which Calvary was shrouded there now shone forth the clearest light of holiness and love. (The Epistle to the Galatians Online)

Phillip Doddridge writes that Paul desires not to boast in "my descent or circumcision, in my abilities or interest in making converts, or indeed in any thing else...I view the world, as little impressed by all its charms as a spectator would be by any thing which had been graceful in the countenance of a crucified person when he beholds it blackened in the agonies of death, and am no more affected by the objects round me than one that is expiring would be struck with any of those prospects which his dying eyes might view from the Cross on which he was suspended. (The Family Expositor)

John defining Biblical Counseling lists 10 essentials, one of which is "Cross-cherishing - (Galatians 6:14): It is not enough to say that our counseling honors Christ. Some non-Christian systems, even Muslims, say this. Biblical Counseling must go to the heart of our problems and the heart of God's solution, which always means going to the cross where the depths of sin and the heights of grace are revealed. There is no true exalting of Christ or honoring of God that does not cherish the cross. The decisive severing of pride and despair is the cross of Christ. It is the ground of humility and hope. There is no true mental health without understanding the desperate condition we were in without the cross, and without feeling the joy of deliverance from that condition through the death of Christ on our behalf. (Read the article to see all 10 essentials - Toward a Definition of the Essence of Biblical Counseling)

S Lewis Johnson - Paul no longer is enslaved by the pursuits of the world, the maxims of the world, the smiles of the world, the treasures of the world. There's one thing about the Apostle Paul, he took that cross right down into everyday life. And so the third cross is the cross on which Paul died to the world. "And I, to the world." Now, I think that what he meant by that was that the world didn't think much of Paul. He didn't think much of the world and the world didn't think much of him. It was mutual antipathy. Now, Paul had been a great man. He had been a great scholar. If he had not been converted he would have had the highest of accolades written after his name. We might have been thinking not about Rachi or Ebenezer, but we might have been citing a man by the name of Saul as one of the great rabbis of all time. He was advanced beyond his contemporaries in Judaism. But when he was converted then the religious world was done with Paul and the world as a whole was done with Paul. (Three Crosses and Treasures of the World Online)

J C Ryle asks "Are you a believer that longs to be more holy? Are you one that finds his heart too ready to love earthly things? To you also I say, "Behold the cross of Christ." Look at the cross, think of the cross, meditate on the cross, and then go and set your affections on the world if you can. I believe that holiness is nowhere learned so well as on Calvary. I believe you cannot look much at the cross without feeling your will sanctified, and your tastes made more spiritual. As the sun gazed upon makes everything else look dark and dim, so does the cross darken the false splendor of this world. As honey tasted makes all other things seem to have no taste at all, so does the cross seen by faith take all the sweetness out of the pleasures of the world. Keep on every day steadily looking at the cross of Christ, and you will soon say of the world, as the poet does—

Its pleasures now no longer please,
No more content afford;
Far from my heart be joys like these,
Now I have seen the Lord.

As by the light of opening day
The stars are all concealed,
So earthly pleasures fade away
When Jesus is revealed.

Steve Zeisler commenting on Paul's declaration of crucifixion to the world...

“I no longer relate to the world the same way,” Paul continues. “I don’t expect it to pay off. The world has been crucified to me and I to the world. It doesn’t persuade me or own me anymore. And it doesn’t respect me or have much use for me anymore. But I will boast of this: Because I have Christ, I have everything. The cross is at the center. This is my passion!” In Hebrews 2:15 it says that those who fear death are subject to slavery all of their lives. We know our frailty, our inadequacy. We know that the experiment is going to fail, and our best efforts aren’t going to work. “Senior moments” seem less funny to me all the time. The machine is breaking down. The possibilities are fewer. There is something looming out there that is the end of things, and I am more aware of it. Fearing death even from childhood makes a person a slave to their desires or to what they abhor. We run from death, or we pretend it’s not there. The alternative is to have someone who will die for us, in Whom we can die and be given life. This language is a complete affront on one level. It certainly was an affront in upper-crust Roman society. The Roman practice of crucifying criminals was spoken of in euphemisms, the way we say “restroom” instead of “toilet.” It doesn’t sound as crude and hard and impolite. But the cross was in fact a bloody instrument of torture and execution. That is what Paul says he boasts of. He not only doesn’t avoid mentioning it, he proclaims it! “What Christ has done for me is the heart of the matter! I speak of nothing else.” The cross stands for the power of God who raised Jesus from the dead. The logical conclusion is not the end of all things but resurrection and life itself. Remember in Gal 2:20 (note) Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

The contrast is intended to be very clear: those who make a good showing outwardly, versus the one who boasts only of what the Savior has done for him.

Those who advocate circumcision versus the one who does not choose either circumcision or uncircumcision, but insists on a new creation (2Co 5:17), who insists that this life is unfixable (cp Mk 8:34, 35, 36, 37) but that the love of God is greater than that (cp Ep 2:4-note), who finds hope in union with Christ. (The Cross At the Center)

C H Mackintosh devotional - The Cross Separates Us - The same cross which connects me with God, has separated me from the world. A dead man is, evidently, done with the world; and hence, the believer, having died in Christ, is done with the world; and, having risen with Christ, is connected with God, in the power of a new life--a new nature. Being thus inseparably linked with Christ, he, of necessity, participates in His acceptance with God, and in His rejection by the world. The two things go together. The former makes him a worshiper and a citizen in heaven, the latter makes him a witness and a stranger on earth. That brings him inside the veil: this puts him outside the camp. The one is as perfect as the other. If the cross has come between me and my sins, it has just as really come between me and the world. In the former case, it puts me into the place of peace with God; in the latter, it puts me into the place of hostility with the world, ie., in a moral point of view; though, in another sense, it makes me the patient, humble witness of that precious, unfathomable, eternal grace which is set forth in the cross.


To glory in the cross is to ponder with wonder and awe what Jesus accomplished personally for each one of us individually, the very act of worship to which we are invited in communion (1Co 11:23, 24, 25, 26). As Thomas Watson exhorts...

Let us remember Christ's death with JOY. "God forbid that I should glory—except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ," Galatians 6:14. When we see Christ in the Lord's Supper crucified before our eyes—we may behold Him in that posture as He was in upon the cross, stretching out His blessed arms to receive us. O what matter of triumph and acclamation is this! Though we remember our sins with grief—yet we should remember Christ's sufferings with joy! Let us weep for those sins which shed His blood—yet rejoice in that blood which washes away our sins! (The Lords Supper)

And as Helen Lemmel so beautifully explained when we ponder the glory of Jesus, any luster and attractiveness of this passing world fades into the background of His splendor, majesty and glory...

Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Thomas Watson - Christ is compared to a pearl: "when he had found one pearl of great price" (Matt. 13:46). Christ, this pearl, was little with regard to his humility—but of infinite value. Jesus Christ is a pearl that God wears in his bosom (John 1:18); a pearl whose luster drowns the world's glory (Gal. 6:14); a pearl that enriches the soul, the angelic part of man (1 Cor. 1:5); a pearl that enlightens heaven (Rev. 21:23); a pearl so precious that it makes us precious to God (Eph. 1:6); a pearl that is consoling and restorative (Luke 2:25). This pearl of more value than heaven (Col. 1:16,17). (The Godly Mans Picture)

Puritan Thomas Brooks has these devotional thoughts on Galatians 6:14...

There is enough in a suffering Christ, to fill us and satisfy us to the full. He has the greatest worth and wealth in Him. Look, as the worth and value of many pieces of silver is to be found in one piece of gold; just so, all the petty excellencies which are scattered abroad in the creatures—are to be found in a bleeding, dying Christ! Yes, all the whole volume of perfections which is spread through heaven and earth—is epitomized in Him who suffered on the cross! A man cannot exaggerate, in speaking of the glories of Christ. Certainly it is as easy to contain the sea in a sea-shell—as to fully relate the transcendent excellencies of a suffering Christ!

O sirs! there is in a crucified Jesus—something proportionate to all the straits, needs, necessities, and desires of His poor people. He is...

bread to nourish them,
a garment to cover and adorn them,
a physician to heal them,
a counselor to advise them,
a captain to defend them,
a prince to rule them,
a prophet to teach them,
a priest to make atonement for them;
a husband to protect them,
a father to provide for them,
a brother to relieve them,
a foundation to support them,
a head to guide them,
a treasure to enrich them,
a sun to enlighten them, and
a fountain to cleanse them!

What more can any Christian desire—to satisfy him and save him; and to make him holy and happy—in time and eternity? (Excerpt from The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures)


J C Philpot devotional thoughts on Galatians 6:14...

An An experimental knowledge of crucifixion with his crucified Lord made Paul preach the cross, not only in its power to save, but in its power to sanctify. But as then, so now, this preaching of the cross, not only as the meritorious cause of all salvation, but as the instrumental cause of all sanctification, is "to those who perish foolishness." (1Co 1:18) As men have found out some other way of salvation than by the blood of the cross, so have they discovered some other way of holiness than by the power of the cross; or rather have altogether set aside obedience, fruitfulness, self-denial, mortification of the deeds of the body, crucifixion of the flesh and of the world.

Extremes are said to meet; and certainly men of most opposite sentiments may unite in despising the cross and counting it foolishness. The Arminian despises it for justification, and the Antinomian for sanctification. "Believe and be holy," is as strange a sound to the latter as "Believe and be saved" to the former. But, "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord," (Heb 12:14-note) is as much written on the portal of life as, "By grace are you saved through faith." (Ep 2:8-note) Through the cross, that is, through union and communion with him who suffered upon it, not only is there a fountain opened for all sin, but for all uncleanness. Blood and water gushed from the side of Jesus when pierced by the Roman spear.

This fountain so dear, he'll freely impart;
Unlocked by the spear, it gushed from the heart,
With blood and with water; the first to atone,
To cleanse us the latter; the fountain's but one.

"All my springs are in you," (Ps 87:7-note) said the man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22); and well may we re-echo his words. All our springs, not only of pardon and peace, acceptance and justification--but of happiness and holiness, of wisdom and strength, of victory over the world, of mortification of a body of sin and death, of every fresh revival and renewal of hope and confidence; of all prayer and praise; of every new budding forth of the soul, as of Aaron's rod, in blossom and fruit; of every gracious feeling, spiritual desire, warm supplication, honest confession, melting contrition, and godly sorrow for sin--all these springs of that life which is hidden with Christ in God are in a crucified Lord. Thus Christ crucified is, "to those who are saved, the power of God." (1Co 1:18) And as he "is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption," (1Co 1:30) at the cross alone can we be made wise unto salvation (2Ti 3:15KJV-note), become righteous by a free justification, receive of His Spirit to make us holy, and be redeemed and delivered by blood and power from sin, Satan, death, and hell. (July 3)

Octavius Winslow in Morning Thoughts (November 11)...

CONFORMITY to the death of Christ can only be obtained by close, individual, realizing views of the cross. It is in the cross sin is seen in its exceeding sinfulness. It is in the cross the holiness of God shines with such ineffable luster. This is the sun that throws its light upon these two great objects—the holiness of God, the sinfulness of the sinner. Veil this sun, remove the cross, blot out the Atonement, and all our knowledge of holiness and sin vanishes into distant and shadowy views. Faith, dealing much and closely with the cross of Christ, will invariable produce in the soul conformity to His death. This was the great desire of the apostle: “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” This was the noble prayer of this holy man. He desired crucifixion with Christ; a crucifixion to sin, to indwelling sin, to sin in its every shape—to sin in principle, sin in temper, sin in worldly conformity, sin in conversation, sin in thought, yes, sin in the very glance of the eye. He desired not only a crucifixion of sin, of one particular sin, but of all sin; not only the sin that most easily beset him, the sin that he daily saw and felt, and mourned over, but the sin that no eye saw but God’s—the sin of the indwelling principle; the root of all sin—the sin of his nature. This is to have fellowship with Christ in His sufferings. Jesus suffered as much for the subduing of the indwelling principle of sin, as for the pardon of the outbreakings of that sin in the daily practice. Have we fellowship with Him in these sufferings? There must be a crucifixion of the indwelling power of sin. To illustrate the idea: if the root be allowed to strengthen and expand, and take a deeper and firmer grasp, what more can we expect than that the tree will shoot upward and branch out on either hand? To cut off the outward branches is not the proper method to stay the growth of the tree: the root must be uncovered, and the axe laid to it. Outward sins may be cut off, and even honestly confessed and mourned over, while the concealed principle, the root of the sin, is overlooked, neglected, and suffered to gather strength and expansion.

That the inherent evil of a believer will ever, in his present existence, be entirely eradicated, we do not assert. To expect this would be to expect what God’s Word has not declared; but that it may be greatly subdued and conquered, its power weakened and mortified, this the Word of God leads us to hope for and aim after. How is this to be attained? Faith dealing frequently and closely with Christ—the atoning blood upon the conscience—the “fountain opened” daily resorted to—the believer sitting constantly at the foot of the cross, gazing upon it with an eye of steady, unwavering faith—“looking unto Jesus.” In this posture sin, all sin—the sin of the heart, the sin of the practice—is mourned over, wept over, confessed, mortified, crucified. Let the reader again be reminded that all true crucifixion of sin springs from the cross of Christ. (MORNING THOUGHTS)

As we meditate on the Cross, we cannot help but recall the fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins. Take a moment and worship at the foot of the Old Rugged Cross...

There Is a Fountain — Filled with Blood
by William Cowper

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

Oswald Chambers says Galatians 6:14 is the secret of spiritual consistency (like the apostle Paul) for it gets us back to the basic, essential foundation of all we are now in Christ. Thus he exhorts believers to...

Get back to the foundation of the Cross of Christ, doing away with any belief not based on it. In secular history the Cross is an infinitesimally small thing, but from the biblical perspective it is of more importance than all the empires of the world. If we get away from dwelling on the tragedy of God on the Cross in our preaching, our preaching produces nothing. It will not transmit the energy of God to man; it may be interesting, but it will have no power. However, when we preach the Cross, the energy of God is released. ". . . it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. . . . we preach Christ crucified . . ." (1Co 1:21, 23). (See full Devotional)

The feebleness of the church is being criticized today, and the criticism is justified. One reason for the feebleness is that there has not been this focus on the true center of spiritual power. We have not dwelt enough on the tragedy of Calvary or on the meaning of redemption. (See full Devotional)

We must never allow anything to interfere with the consecration of our spiritual power. Consecration (being dedicated to God’s service) is our part; sanctification (being set apart from sin and being made holy) is God’s part. We must make a deliberate determination to be interested only in what God is interested. The way to make that determination, when faced with a perplexing problem, is to ask yourself, "Is this the kind of thing in which Jesus Christ is interested, or is it something in which the spirit that is diametrically opposed to Jesus is interested?" (See full Devotional)

Some years ago, a 14-foot bronze crucifix was stolen from Calvary Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas. It had stood at the entrance to that cemetery for more than 50 years. The cross was put there in 1930 by a Catholic bishop and had been valued at the time at $10,000. The thieves apparently cut it off at its base and hauled it off in a pick-up. Police speculate that they cut it into small pieces and sold it for scrap. The thieves figured that the 900-pound cross probably brought about $450. They obviously didn't realize the value of that cross. That is the problem, of course—understanding the value of the cross. As the gospel writers relate the story of Jesus' crucifixion, the theme that runs through all the details is rejection. Not only did people not see the value of Jesus, they also didn't understand the value of his death. May we not be so blind! (Lee Eclov, in the sermon "The Agony of Victory,"

Just A Glimpse - Travelers who drive across the flat landscape of Groom, Texas, are surprised by an unexpected sight. Looming up against the sky is a cross 190 feet high. That giant symbol of the Christian faith was erected by Steve Thomas in the prayerful hope that the thoughts of anyone who sees it might be turned to Jesus. When his handiwork was finished and dedicated, he said, "We want some converts out of this."

All Christians are grateful when a nonbeliever's attention is drawn to Jesus Christ and the cross. The awareness may be fleeting, but who can predict what even a split-second reaction may mean to an immortal soul? Suddenly a sinful person may begin to wonder why Jesus died on the cross. This may prompt him to seek answers from the Bible or from Christians he may know.

What about us as Christians? As we hurry along through life's often dreary landscape, are we grateful for any reminder of our Father's love that sent His Son to die? Through the cross, Jesus has reconciled us to God and given us His peace (Ephesians 2:14,16). Take some time today to reflect on the meaning of the cross, and let it flood your heart with praise to the Savior. — Vernon C. Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Once from the realms of infinite glory,
Down to the depths of our ruin and loss,
Jesus came, seeking—O Love's sweet story—
Came to the manger, the shame, and the cross. —Strickland

To know the meaning of the cross,
you must know the One who died there.

The Cross - Centuries before Jesus was born, the cross had been used as an instrument of torture and death. In 519 bc, for example, King Darius I of Persia crucified 3,000 political enemies in Babylon. This method of execution was later adopted by the Romans for noncitizens and slaves.

When Jesus Christ bore our sins at Calvary (1Peter 2:24), the cross took on a new significance. There the Savior, "through the blood of His cross," made it possible for us to escape judgment and be reconciled to God (Colossians 1:20, 21).

The apostle Paul understood the significance of the cross. He had done many things in which he might have found personal satisfaction and pride (2Corinthians 11:16-12:13). But in his letter to the Galatians he wrote, "God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (6:14). As we understand what Jesus did for us on the cross, we too will be humbled. Our feeble efforts are nothing; His work is everything!

The resurrected Savior invites all men and women to come humbly in faith to Him. By believing that He died in our place on the cross, we receive full forgiveness.

No wonder the hymnwriter Horatius Bonar exclaimed, "Hallelujah for the Cross! (Play Hymn)!" — Henry G. Bosch (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

The cross, it standeth fast—
Hallelujah, hallelujah!
Defying every blast—
Hallelujah, hallelujah!
The winds of hell have blown,
The world its hate hath shown,
Yet it is not overthrown—
Hallelujah for the cross!

Hallelujah, hallelujah,
Hallelujah for the cross;
Hallelujah, hallelujah,
It shall never suffer loss!

It is the old cross still—
Hallelujah, hallelujah!
Its triumph let us tell—
Hallelujah, hallelujah!
The grace of God here shone
Thru Christ, the blessèd Son,
Who did for sin atone—
Hallelujah for the cross!

’Twas here the debt was paid—
Hallelujah, hallelujah!
Our sins on Jesus laid—
Hallelujah, hallelujah!
So round the cross we sing
Of Christ, our offering,
Of Christ, our living King—
Hallelujah for the cross!

The cross of Christ
is the bridge between God and man.