June 10, 2015

Galatians 6:14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

In this final section, written in his own hand rather than dictated, (verse 11) Paul echoes what he said so famously in 2:20 of this same letter: “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.” This principle is of great importance, and certainly bears repeating! As long as we are “alive” to the world and the world is “alive” to us, we are open to all sorts of temptations, but to the degree we are in Christ, fully immersed in Him and what He did for us on the cross, we are “dead” to the world and immune to temptations. You can’t tempt a corpse! The first half of this verse is significant, because as long as we take pride in things to boast of them, we are “alive” to them, and they to us. For example, it is not at all wrong to love your children and be pleased when they do well, but if you depart from the Biblical standard in order to excuse your children’s sins, as some pastors have done even in recent memory, you are placing your children ahead of God, and that is idolatry. The problem is, crucifixion is no fun! It is the root of the word “excruciating” and no one likes anything that is excruciating, either physically or emotionally. We run from it, not realizing that refusing the cross of Christ is choosing eternity without Him, and from all the Biblical descriptions, that is horrible beyond words. We forget Jesus words: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24)

I wish I could say my crucifixion were over, but that’s not the case. Positionally it is accomplished, but on this earth it is still in process. I still respond to temptations, even if I don’t yield to them. That should keep me humble in dealing with the sins of those around me. I am to keep my own eyes on Christ and encourage others to do likewise. Romans 8:1 is a great comfort: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I am not to condemn others, nor am I to accept condemnation. The devil is the accuser, and that’s what “Satan” means. However, even when the facts are as he says, that’s not the last word for those who repent and believe. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:8-10) This is what I need to walk in, both in relation to myself and in relation to those to whom I minister.

Father, You know who is on my heart and mind right now. I know nothing of what may or may not have happened, but You know everything. I ask that You reveal Your grace and love to them, whatever is going on, so that they may be freed from the traps of the enemy to walk in Your light and life, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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