Commentary on "Boasting in the Cross"
Day 4: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 - Boasting in the Cross
14 But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world.
I'm going to cover very quickly what took a great many sentences to cover in the quarterly. Paul's boasting in the cross was amazing because to the Jews such an idea was offensive. The Romans wouldn't even consider crucifixion for it's citizens and to the gentiles it was considered to be the worst method of punishment.
Yet Paul says we should never boast in anything except what the Lord did for us in his crucifixion on the cross? Is the cross really that important you might say? I have noticed—and it's kind of hard not to notice having been a Adventist pastor's kid—that Adventists boast in the Sabbath more than the cross. That puts Adventism in direct conflict with Paul, not to mention God the Holy Spirit who is inspiring these words.
So why is it so important that we boast in the cross and not the Sabbath...or our so called ability to keep the Sabbath?
The answer is simple, the cross frees us from religious slavery and the mire of legalism and living under the law, while keeping the Sabbath keeps us in religious slavery, drowning in the mire and muck as a slave to the law.
To conclude today I'm going to look at two important passages from Romans that explain why we should only boast in the cross.
1 What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? 2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life. 5 For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection.
6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in light of the fact that He lives, He lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. 14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:1-14)
One of the greatest fears of the legalist when hearing about the simplicity of true salvation (By Grace alone, Through faith alone, in Christ alone) is that for some reason it will cause the new believer to wallow in his or her freedom and turn into a sin machine. However the new believer has been saved by God's grace and is no longer under sin's dominion. This alone should cause the new believer to yearn to follow Christ's calling. We are children of light. The Law of the Spirit causes to walk more and more in His ways. We will still sin but we are no longer dead in our sin.
Notice verse 14 in particular. Sin has no rule under us for we are no longer under the Law but under grace.
This is huge. We are no longer under the law when we are born again, because we've been saved by grace—we live in that grace forever. When exactly did we become dead to the law? Or when did the law become dead to us?
1 Since I am speaking to those who understand law, brothers, are you unaware that the law has authority over someone as long as he lives? 2 For example, a married woman is legally bound to her husband while he lives. But if her husband dies, she is released from the law regarding the husband. 3 So then, if she gives herself to another man while her husband is living, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law. Then, if she gives herself to another man, she is not an adulteress.
4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were put to death in relation to the law through the crucified body of the Messiah, so that you may belong to another — to Him who was raised from the dead — that we may bear fruit for God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions operated through the law in every part of us and bore fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law. (Romans 7:1-6)
We are born spiritually dead—our spirit is dead to sin. We are in the domain of darkness. Yet the Father draws us to the Son through the Holy Spirit and awakens us to our fatal condition. He uses the law to show that we are incapable of keeping the law and to direct us to the only person who has EVER kept that law perfectly, Jesus Christ.
When we surrender ourselves into salvation by giving up ourselves and our sin to Jesus on the Cross our status changes—our spirit is made alive in Christ. The Holy Spirit is sent from heaven and Indwells us and seals us (not by keeping a day) for heaven. We are transferred from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of the Son He loves (Col. Chapter 1).
Amazing things to be certain but the most amazing thing is since we are in Christ and Christ is in us we are seen by the Father as having perfectly kept the law and we are also moved out from under the power of the law of death and into the power of the law of the Spirit—the law only entered by being born again—born of heaven.
We have been released from the law because we died to it in Christ, and we rose together in a new life.
We have entered into the rest of God, the true Sabbath and thus the true Sabbath rest, where the Christian rests everyday in the grace of God!
That is why Paul says he will only boast in the cross of Christ and says that we should only boast in what that crucifixion on Golgotha did for us also.
Everything else was a shadow, but the Christian rests in the reality of living under the law of grace. Everyday is a day of worship and living life unto our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Copyright 2011 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised December 21, 2011. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Glendale, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.
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