"MY GLORY ALL THE CROSS"
I. MANY SEEK GLORY FOR THEMSELVES.
Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise [man] glory in his wisdom, Neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches.
But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I [am] the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these [things] I delight, saith the LORD.
A. Jeremiah speaks of the wise man glorying in his wisdom.
1. Shakespeare said, "Man poor man, so ignorant in that which he knows best."
2. Many who profess to be wise have denied the existence of God. "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God."
3. Other men who profess to be wise say that if there is a God He is unknowable.
a. No wonder the prophet said, "But him that glorieth glory in this that he understands and knows me."
b. Jesus said that you had to come as a little child to enter the kingdom of heaven.
c. In a very real sense God is unknowable to the human intellect. Jesus said, "No man knoweth who the Father is but the Son and he to whom the Son will reveal Him."
d. That is why if you want to glory, glory that you know God. Men far smarter than you do not know Him.
4. Paul spoke of some who professed themselves to be wise when they were actually fools. For they changed the glory of an incorruptible God and fashioned their gods like corruptible man, then they served and worshipped the creation rather than the creator.
5. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that the world by wisdom knew not God.
6. Speaking of the Holy Spirit Jesus said, "Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not neither knoweth Him. But you know Him for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you."
7. Solomon said that one thing happens to the wise as well as the fool and that is death. With all your wisdom, you cannot escape death.
a. At that time all your wisdom will be of no value if you do not know God.
B. Let not the mighty man glory in his might.
1. Look how people strive to attain the body beautiful, they seek the perfect physique.
2. This is pretty much the scene in professional sports today. People glory in the might and abilities of the professional athletes.
3. As strong as you are you will one day die.
4. At that point all of the trophies will be meaningless if you have not gained that trophy of eternal life.
5. Paul said that he was pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
C. Let not the rich man glory in his riches.
1. So many people glory in their riches, in their possessions, they are envied by the world.
2. David speaks of them in the psalms.
They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
None [of them] can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
(For the redemption of their soul [is] precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
That he should still live for ever, [and] not see corruption.
For he seeth [that] wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.
Their inward thought [is, that] their houses [shall continue] for ever, [and] their dwelling places to all generations; they call [their] lands after their own names.
3. All the money in the world cannot buy your redemption from sin you have in and through Jesus Christ.
a. Jesus spoke of the eternal riches as being the true riches
b. Paul spoke of the unsearchable riches of Christ.
c. James said that God has chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, to be heirs of the kingdom which He has promised to those who love Him.
C. This desire for glory seems to be instilled in us by our fallen nature and manifests itself early in life.
1. Your little children are always calling to you, "Watch me daddy." Then they jump off a chair or a wall, and they wait for you to praise them for their daring and bravery.
2. If we have a certain skill or talent we love to show it off that we might receive the glory of being praised by others.
D. In verse 13 Paul spoke of those who desired to bring you under their rules that they might glory in your flesh. That is that they might glory in that they have brought you to their persuasion.
II. GOD FORBID THAT I SHOULD GLORY SAVE IN THE CROSS OF JESUS CHRIST.
A. I cannot glory in my accomplishments.
For who makes you to differ from any one else? and what do you have that you did not receive? now if you received it, why do you glory as though you did not receive it?
1. Any good or value that may have come from my life, it is all because of him. To God be the glory great things He has done.
2. Jesus said, "Without Me, you can do nothing."
a. I spent several years trying to prove Him wrong.
b. After much failure and frustration, I now acknowledge the truth of His statement.
B. Why I glory in the cross.
1. It speaks to me of the extent of God's love for me.
a. For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son.
b. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
c. Herein is love, not that we love God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
d. But God has manifested His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.
2. It tells me of the extent God will go to bless and help me.
a. If God spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not freely then give us all things?
b. Whatever I may need palls into insignificance when compared to what God has already given to me.
c. No wonder Paul said, "But my God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
3. It is on the cross that Jesus conquered the forces of darkness that are opposed to your walking in fellowship with God.
a. So through the cross, I have victory.
b. Paul wrote concerning the cross, "By it He conquered those principalities and powers that were against us as He triumphed over them through the cross and made an open display of His victory."
c. The cross removed the sting of death. Paul cried, "O death, where is your sting, O grave, where is your victory, the sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law, but thanks be unto God who gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ."
4. It gives to me the hope and promise of eternal life.
a. Jesus said to the disciples right after He was telling them that the hour had come for His crucifixion, "Because I live, you too shall live."
b. Paul wrote, "For if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He that raised Jesus from the dead will also make alive your mortal body by His Spirit that dwells in you."
c. Peter said, "Thank God for we have been born again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
d. If there had been no death on the cross, there could have been no victorious resurrection.
III. "BY WHOM THE WORLD IS CRUCIFIED UNTO ME AND I UNTO THE WORLD."
A. Earlier in this letter Paul had declared, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me, and the life that I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me."
1. The world for me has lost its charm, God's grace sustains me every hour.
2. Take the whole world but give me Jesus.
3. Moses chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. For he esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.
B. Through my reckoning myself to be crucified with Christ I am freed from the power that sin once held over my flesh. My sinful body appetites and passions no longer rule my life.
1. I did things I knew were wrong and were destroying me because I did not have the power to stop.
2. Now thank God through the cross, I am free not to do them.