GALATIANS 6:14-16: “But may I never boast—except in the cross of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. Through Him the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything—but only a new creation. Now as many as live by this rule— shalom and mercy on them and on the Israel of God.” TLV
OBSERVATION: A dear friend once told me – “The main thing, is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” This statement has stuck with me throughout my life. And when I think about my walk with the Lord, it has kept me from straying off into tangents that were either wrong or unproductive.
What is the “main thing?” In the believer’s life the main thing is Jesus. It is not simply the teachings of Jesus, as this would simply make Jesus a great philosopher or teacher. Rather, it is the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. It is His sacrifice that has opened the way for me to have a relationship with the Father, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and walk in newness of life.
In essence – the cross is everything!
When Paul looked at everything he could boast about he chose one thing – the cross of Jesus Christ. Why? The cross is a dividing point. It is the end of our sin and the beginning of our new life. It is the call to surrender and the freedom to live. It is our victory over sin, death, and the devil, and our bridge to eternal life. In the cross of Jesus Christ we find everything – salvation, sanctification, and redemption.
Paul writes in Romans 6 that when we place our faith in Jesus Christ we are united in His death and resurrection. Our old man is crucified with Christ, and our new man is risen to walk in newness of life. The cross is the dividing point. And the cross points the way to our new life. The old hymn rightly refrains – “The cross before me, the world behind me…no turning back, no turning back.”
In Christ we have died to our old way of thinking, acting, and living. We have been resurrected to live a new life in the Spirit. This new life is counterculture to this world and all it stands for. We are liberated to focus on the things that are eternal as we hold lightly the things that are temporal. We no longer are to focus on outward appearances, but hunger for the true regeneration of the heart. This is why Paul says,
- “For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything—but only a new creation.”
The enemy always tries to get us to return to trusting in the externals of life. Yet, the cross calls us to trust only in the internals. The internal of faith, hope, and love. The internal of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The internal of Christ in us, the hope of glory. It does not matter what I have or accomplish. The only thing that is eternal, the only thing that truly matters is – am I becoming a new creation?
This question takes brutal honesty on our part. Are my values changing? Are my thoughts directed to things above rather than things on this earth? Am I walking in the love and forgiveness of Christ toward others? Am I seeking to serve rather than be served? Am I a better person, a better man, a better husband, and a better father? Is the cross doing its full work in my life?
Lord, I hunger for the cross to do its full work in my life. Therefore, today I choose to boast in the cross of Jesus Christ my Lord! May I walk in its fullness and in its power. Change me from the inside out and make me a new creation in Christ Jesus!
In Jesus Name!