Text: Galatians 6:14-18
What matters is not religious rules or rituals but whether or not we have accepted Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for us. And if we have, we are part of (verse 16) “the Israel of God.” Where, as he writes earlier in this letter (3:28), “There is neither Jew nor Greek… you are all one in Christ.”
“May I never boast except in the cross of Christ.” My behavior vacillates but what happened on the cross doesn’t change.
Three blessings of being near the cross:
1. When we are near the cross we are blessed with humility.
Humility “comes calling” when I realize the cross was necessary because of my sin. (Romans 3:23 “All” have sinned and all includes me.
That not only creates humility but also compassion and mercy for others.
“Be my glory ever,” To glory in the cross means to see it as the preeminent display of God’s love for us and our value to Him.
As a Super Bowl ring is the symbol of a football players glory, so the cross is the symbol of my glory.
It says He died for me. It says He calls me beloved. It says He made me part of His eternal family. It says He chose to live in me. It says He has opened his throne room to me. It says He will never abandon me. It says He will never give up on me.
2. When we are near the cross we are blessed with thankfulness.
I have peace with God because of the cross (Romans 5;1). There is no condemnation because of the cross (Romans 8:1).
“Rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
We did not have to be believers. We are believers by the grace of God.
3. When we are near the cross we are blessed with perspective.
“Crucified to the world and it to me.” I no longer orient myself by the rules of this world. I have to play by them to get along, but the world is not the source of my ultimate truth and it doesn’t define my ultimate values.
The cross reminds me that this life is the fanfare, the prelude, the introduction to life beyond.
It would not hurt for us to pray “Jesus keep me near the cross every day,.”
“Yes, Lord, keep me near the cross today. Be my glory today. Be what I am proud of. Be what I am thankful for. Be what I am thrilled about. Be what I am known for.”