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Sabbath: Boasting in the Cross — 9 Comments

  1. When Paul says in Galatians 6:14, “May it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,” he is reminding us of the great blessing we received when we were bought at the cost of the death of Jesus Christ. But how does one boast about the cross? After all the cross was an instrument of torture, intended to exert excruciating pain, maximum humiliation and suffering from the criminal. It was grossly inhumane, brutal, merciless and bloody. However, the crucifixion of the sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ struck a fatal blow to satan, sin and powers of darkness.

    Paul knew what the prophet Jeremiah had written: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches" (Jeremiah 9:23) as well Solomon's wise counsel: "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips" (Proverbs 27:2). We can clearly see that Paul's exhortation to glory in the cross of Christ stood in contrast to the Jews' boasting of their culture and tradition. They insisted on circumcision of their converts. Circumcision to them was a sign of belonging to God. They never saw the great love shown by our Lord at the cross. In this regard Ellen G. White says, "Through the cross we learn that the heavenly Father loves us with a love that is infinite. Can we wonder that Paul exclaimed, 'God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ'? Galatians 6:14. It is our privilege also to glory in the cross, our privilege to give ourselves wholly to Him who gave Himself for us. Then, with the light that streams from Calvary shining in our faces, we may go forth to reveal this light to those in darkness."—The Acts of the Apostles, page 210.

    When we accept Jesus Paul tells us in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

    • And yet, it was not the "excruciating pain of the cross," or the "crown of thorns," or the, "stripes from the whippings," that broke the heart of Jesus or that, "paid the price for our sins," but it was "the turning away of his Father's presence because of his becoming sin for us when he cried out "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" This is where our focus should always be that he did for all and for me.

  2. It is interesting at least one parting shot, so to speak, about circumcision,Galatians 6:12-15. I can imagine Peters thoughts when those verses were written.

  3. The might of the cross really does put into perspective what is considered highly in the eyes of the world, both futile and vain. I pray to rightly divide my time on what really matters, living and sharing Jesus Christ to the world.

  4. Please forgive me for asking this. It implies to me that circumcision is being optional in the time of Paul. Is that correct? Why and how this circumcision a big deal in this time? Were the Gentiles afraid of being circumcised that it made a barrier for them to be a christian? Scenario: It looks like a gentile was faithfully converted to Christianity but then when asked for circumcision he cannot handle it and his faith faded? Please enlighten me.

    • The Jews have always regarded circumcision as essential. The issue for the Christian church was that many of the early converts to Christianity were Jews who saw Christianity as part of the Jewish religion - a bit like the Pharisees and Saducees. Then gentiles became accepted into Christianity and the Jewish Christians thought that they needed to adopt Jewish customs and rites as well. The issue extended far beyond circumcision. The Judaizers - those who wanted the gentile Christians to conform to Jewish law - caused a fuss in the church in Galatia and one of the aims of Paul's letter was to show that circumcision was not necessary for salvation.

      The relationship between Christianity and the Jewish religion continued to exercise Paul through much of his ministry. It can be argued that his arrest in Jerusalem before he was sent to Rome was essentially the result of Paul trying to appease the Judaizers by partaking in a ceremonial cleansing at the Temple. it is actually quite interesting to read the book of Acts to see where the conflict between Christianity and Judaism is evident. The history of the Judaizers is quite a sad one and many of them perished when Rome attached Jerusalem circa 70AD.

  5. I never heard of Paul taking part in any "ceremonial cleansing at the temple, Please, where in the Bible is that found? I would really like to know about this.

  6. I have been a SDA since 1965. I was born and raised Catholic. Since then I have come across the works related SDA'S theology and also the faith related one too. About four years ago I came across a "born and raised SDA," that not only did not believe in the divinity of Jesus Like the old Jewish theology did and does even now, but he also wears the four tassels from his waist down that also was very much a law to the OT Jews and still is and he also still does. He sees this LAW as being very much in force today as was and still is the law of circumcision. He claims that Jesus also wore those four tassels all his life and so did the Apostle Paul. The four tassel law can be found in two places of the OT: Deuteronomy 22:12 and Numbers 15:38,39


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