Summary: The great apostle Paul refused to glory in anything other than the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The cross itself was not glorious, but the work of the cross accomplished by our Lord Jesus Christ is where Paul gave glory.
GLORIOUS CROSS OF CHRIST
A. What is the most glorious thing in all the world to you?
1. One would say, “It would be glorious to have plenty of money.” Another, “It would be glorious too have political power.” Someone else, “It would be glorious to have a good education.”
2. But when we hear Paul, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
B. The cross in itself was not glorious.
1. It was an instrument of torture and shame. Jews said, “Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.” (Gal. 3:13)
2. Cicero said, “Far be the cross, not only from the eyes and ears, but even from the thoughts of the Roman Citizen.
3. The cross itself does not matter, but the fact that the son of God died on it make it forever glorious for the Christian.
C. Paul did not always think that the cross was glorious.
1. He hated the name of Christ; he persecuted Christians and tried to stamp out Christianity.
2. Then one day he met Christ and that changed his whole life. Now we hear him saying:
a. “for I am determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2)
b. “I am crucified with Christ:” (Gal. 2:20)
c. “But we preach Christ crucified…” (1 Cor. 1:23)
3. The meaning of things often changes for us. So the meaning of the cross had changed for Paul. He once hated the idea of the cross, but now he feels the cross is the most glorious thing in all the world.
I. THE CROSS IS GLORIOUS IN ITS REVELATIONS
A. It reveals the depth of human sin.
1. The cross is the supreme expression of man’s sin. Sin reached it’s climax at Calvary.
2. We think we know something about sin. We read the newspapers; we see it on television; we see it in the lives of those around us; we find it in our own hearts.
3. There are homes wrecked by sin. There are lives ruined by it. There are premature deaths because of it.
4. We know nothing of the awful depth of sin until we go to the cross. We see the One Who is dying and we say, “Who is this that is dying, and why does he He die?” the answer comes back, “This is my only begotten Son, dying not for His own sin, but for the sins of others.”
5. A man was put to death in the electric chair. He did not blubber that he was innocent. He said, “I am dying for my own sin, my own crime.”
6. Our sin plucked God’s Son out of the Father’s bosom and brought Him down to this world to die upon a cruel Roman cross.
B. It reveals the character of God’s justice.
1. “Why did God allow Jesus to die?”
2. God is a just God. If His Law is broken someone must be punished; someone must pay the penalty.
3. God would topple from His throne in heaven if He did not punish those who have broken His laws.
C. It reveals the highest love in heaven and earth.
1. The cross shows not only how deep a man can go into sin, but how high God can go in love.
2. “Herein is love, not that we loved Him, but that He loved us and gave Himself for us.”
3. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
4. This is not natural love; this is supernatural love.
5. A wealthy man in Chicago had a little girl who was desparately ill. He called many doctors and spent great sums of money for treatments, but she did not improve. Finally he wrote out a check for $20,000.00 and sent for a famous doctor. The doctor came and his treatments was successful and soon the little girl was well and strong again.
D. It reveals the only way that men can be saved.
1. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
2. There is no other way of salvation. The way of the cross is the only way.
3. “I must needs go home by the way of the cross.
There’s no other way but this;
I shall ne’er get sight of the Gate of Light,
If the way of the cross I miss.”
II. THE CROSS IS GLORIOUS IN ITS POWER
A. The Cross has power to draw men to Christ.
1. “And, I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” (Jno 12:32)