In the Cross of Christ I Glory

The title of this essay is the same as a hymn written by John Bowring in 1825.  Perhaps you know the song.  Perhaps you also know this text:

1 Corinthians 2:2 NKJV For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Paul was a sinner.  He once described himself as the worst of all sinners.  I can identify with that.  Perhaps you can too.  Paul understood his standing before God when he stood alone: chief of sinners.  But he also understood that because of the Cross of Christ he didn’t have to stand before God alone.  Since Paul became a Christian, Jesus would stand there with him.  Jesus would actually stand in front of him, between Paul and God the Father.  Paul’s guilt/debt had been paid by Jesus – on the Cross.  Since Paul was a Christian, when God looked at Paul’s sin debt, what He saw was the Cross – Christ’s sin payment.  Paul’s debt was paid, his guilt absolved, his sins forgiven, his life restored to oneness with God (what the Bible calls ‘atonement’), and his eternal soul saved.  When I believe and obey the gospel of Christ, God does that for me too.

Without the Cross of Christ there would be no reason to open my eyes in the morning.  Without the Cross of Christ there would be no hope, no purpose, no meaning to anything.  Life would be an abyss, a constant falling into darkness, a horrific and never-ending scream that no one would hear.

Here is what the Christian has because of, and only because of, the Cross of Christ.

The Cross of Christ gives hope for the future.

Philippians 4:13 NKJV I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

In faith and love I give my life to Christ.  I am forgiven.  I am helped by Christ on my Christian journey.  When I die as a faithful Christian, heaven is my home.  Jesus has prepared a place and promised to meet me there.  He will keep His word.  Because of His promises, assured by the Cross, I can live each earthly day filled with hope.

The Cross of Christ gives purpose to my life.

Philippians 2:7-8 RSV 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

The One who took my sins away and paid for my ticket to heaven emptied Himself, humbled Himself, in order to do that for me.  Because of what He has done for me, I want to be like Him.  If He served, I want to be a servant.  If He was merciful, I want to show mercy too.  If His morality was impeccable, I want mine to be the same.  If He helped people even when He was tired and they were struggling, I want to do likewise.  Because of the Cross, I have a mission every day – to become a little more and a little more just like Jesus in my thoughts, words, and actions.

The Cross of Christ gives joy to my heart.

Galatians 6:14 RSV  But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

I can feel good about myself, in a wholesome way, because of the empowered life Jesus has shown me.  I can know I am living the way I was designed by God to live.  I was made in God’s image, and because of the Cross, I can become reconformed to that image which I had lost because of sin.  As a Christian, I am a member of the family of God.  What a profound reality – that God wants me in His family, and through Jesus has adopted me into it.  We call Good Friday ‘good’ for a reason.  The Cross is God’s present to me.  I am ecstatic.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
towering o’er the wrecks of time;
all the light of sacred story
gathers round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o’ertake me,
hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
never shall the cross forsake me:
lo, it glows with peace and joy.

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One Response to “In the Cross of Christ I Glory”

  1. Bobby Valentine Says:

    I appreciate your thoughts John

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