“As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Galatians 6:14a When you really take an honest look at it, there is nothing “cool” about the Christian life as described by the apostle Paul. There is the denying yourself thing. There is the yielding control part. And then there is the giving away your life thing.
And even after all of those sacrifices, there is shockingly little-to-no room in this worldview to boast about some of the more acceptable aspects of being a Christian, like feeding the poor, healing the sick, or even seeing people repent from their torn up lives to turn their lives to Christ and be baptized.
In short, Paul is simply focused on this: Jesus Christ, his crucifixion, and how we get to participate in that surrender of the will and body…DAILY.
In fact, Galatians 6:14 goes on to say this “Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.” This doesn’t sound like an attractive lifestyle for people who are seeking “cool” points.
Elsewhere, here is what Paul has to say in Philippians 3:8: “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.”
This journey through the Book of Galatians has been a bit of a walk on the wild side. Fired up about FREEDOM, Paul is unafraid to take a hard stance against religious rules. He contrasts the results of selfish cravings and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. And he lands the whole thing on the bloody and grotesque image of the Cross, making it pretty clear that this Cross is the only thing he has any boast in.
Here are some of the questions we will be answering on Sunday night:
Is Paul saying that following Jesus means crucifying any interest I have in this world? Isn’t that a depressing faith?
Isn’t there a way for me to follow Jesus and keep my “cool” points?
This is such an incredibly high standard…how in the world can ANYONE achieve this lifestyle?
Click here if you would like an idea about what it would be like to come visit us this weekend.
And click here if you would like to read the Bible passage ahead of time.
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