We see in Galatians 6:11 that Paul takes his own hand and writes this last paragraph to stress the importance of what he is telling. We read where the Judaizers were more afraid of what others would think them than what would happen to the Galatians. Paul is telling them his only glory is in the cross.
The cross is where the shed blood of Jesus Christ exposes all other false ways and is the only provision for sin. The preaching of the cross may be despised by many.
•The cross is the only way the lost may come to Jesus. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? … And how shall they hear without a preacher? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:13-14, 17).
So what does the preaching of the cross do? “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:18, 21).
Paul goes on in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
In Titus 1:3, Paul is telling us if we listen to any other way to be saved, it is false.
•The person of the cross is the one who satisfied the claims of the law. Colossians 2:14-15 says, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us … (Jesus) took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
Then in Romans we read of what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh. Jesus satisfied the demands of a holy God. In John 4:34, Jesus said, “My meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Romans 5:8 reads, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Paul also tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again on the third day according to the scriptures.” Finally, 2 Corinthians 5:21 reads, “For we hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
•The power of the cross is the power to save. Romans 1:16 reads, “For I am not ashamed of this Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also the Greek.”
•The provision of the cross is that it made peace with God, as recounted in Colossians 1:20-21: “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”
Joseph Merriman is pastor of First Baptist Church in Greenfield. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.