Mostly because of medical treatments, I don’t preach much any more. But from time to time, God still encourages me with a sermon idea. And at least with this one, I decided to publish a brief of the sermon in this blog.
Glory In The Cross
(C.I.T.: Paul wanted to avoid glorying in anything but the cross of Jesus.
PURPOSE: Consecrative; I want my hearers to desire to glory in the cross.
THRUST: We need to glory in the cross alone.
PICTURE: "Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master.")
Please look with me at Galatians 6:14
"But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."
Many years ago I was pastor of a church that built a new worship center. And I got to pick the pulpit. I had seen one that was shaped like a cross. I told the builder what I wanted, and he found one for me. When it was installed, I went to a store that made plaques and got a small brass plaque and mounted it permanently to the pulpit where anyone who stood behind it could see. It read, "God forbid that I should glory. . ."
The translation of Scripture that I read from used the word boast. But the word in the original language is, "glory." This is a problem because we never use the word glory as a verb in modern English. The Classic Amplified Bible expands this verse to express its meaning.
"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!"
Let me connect this verse with its context by reading chapter 5, verse 26.
"Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another."
But just as the word boast gives evidence of a struggle to translate 6:14 from the original language to modern English, the word conceit does not quite get the meaning in 5:26. The Greek word here is a compound word made up of the word glory and the word for vanity. So the Classic Amplified Bible read,
"Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another."
We are tempted to come at one another in competition, seeking our glory from or instead of them. My wife recently gave me a copy of C.S. Lewis's book, The Weight of Glory. In the introduction, Lewis' secretary, Walter Hooper, said he and Lewis once discussed Mallory's Morte d' Arthur. At one point Lancelot said with his selfless acts, he was "winning worship," that is increase his reputation. They agreed that statement was inherited from paganism. But Hooper asked if Lewis was aware that, however unintentionally, he was "winning worship" through his marvellous books.
Lewis responded in a low still voice, and with the deepest and most complete humility Hooper had ever seen in anyone, "One cannot be too careful not to think of it." But you cannot simply avoid vainglory. You must focus on higher glory.
This relates to a deep need in our lives. Jesus painted a picture of the ultimate fulfillment of this truth. In the Parable of The Talents in Matthew 25 He said the master would say to those who invested and increased what had been entrusted to them, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master." We all desperately need to hear God's words, "Well done." That is our glory. No other glory will satisfy our need.
Our true glory comes to us through the gospel. Our glory is the cross. It begins by calling us to admit we are nothing. Galatians 6:3 keys on this in the fellowship as Paul seeks to bind the church family together.
"For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself."
But Jesus died for us to give us His glory. That is the glory of the cross. Let me give you six applications of the glory of the cross in our lives. I promise I will not preach to you for an hour on each of these points. But I earnestly desire for you to grasp each of these applications of your glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Recognizing The Glory of The Cross
As long as the cross is merely the beginning point of your faith, you have not grasped much of its meaning.
- Receiving The Glory of The Cross
John 1:12 says,
"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."
To receive Christ is to put your faith in Him and in what He did for you on the cross.
- Reveling In The Glory of The Cross
To grasp the depth of what Jesus did for you at the cross, you must meditate on it. Think about it and soak up its reality in your life.
- Rejoicing In The Glory of The Cross
And meditating on the wonder of it, should cause you to rejoice in all that God has done for you. If you cannot rejoice over what God has done for you, you have an intellectual disconnect. You just don’t get it.
- Boasting About The Glory of The Cross
We ought to desire that God be glorified because of the cross. It is certainly worth telling others about.
- Sharing The Glory of The Cross
And we should be prepared to help people come to know the glory of the cross for themselves.