Great Gospel Texts: Galatians 6:14

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal 6:14).[1]

Avoid Conceit

As the Apostle Paul concludes his letter to the Galatians, he encourages his readers to watch their actions and to beware the sin of pride (Gal 6:3). Here in our gospel verse, he minds his own words! Arrogance and boasting are dangerous, and the evil of pride brings eternal ruin. When it comes to the gospel, pride may take several forms. Some hear the truth that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23) and reject any responsibility for their sins. “I’m not that bad!” is the retort of a conceited heart. Others hear the gospel warning and are sure they’re the exception. “I’ll figure out my own salvation,” and, “I’m sure I have time to fix things!” are common refrains.

These are prideful responses, full of self-importance. Paul knew any excuse he might make to God would be foolish and sinful. “Far be it from me to boast,” he says. Each of us must confess our sin and abandon our pride before a holy God.

Accept Christ

Instead of our own works or value, Scripture points us to someone far greater. If I will boast, says Paul, it will be in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! The cross is the greatest event of all time and eternity. The perfect, sinless Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself and suffered the punishment we deserve for our sins. He gave His life to save the souls of humankind. God punished Him for us, and when His judgment against all our sins was finished, Jesus gave up His own life. God raised Him from the dead and exalted Him above all created beings, including you and me (Php 2:8-11).

In divine grace, God opened the way to heaven for sinners like us. We can’t earn this salvation ourselves. Accepting Jesus’ work on the cross for yourself is the way to heaven. Will you believe His Word? “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph 2:8-9).

A Visible Change

Finally, our verse shows us that people who accept the Lord Jesus as Savior are permanently changed. God gives each saved person His Holy Spirit to guide and help us grow in understanding and obedience to His Word (Act 5:32). With our sins forgiven and old selfish ways gone, we rejoice in new lives given through Jesus Christ!

The change God’s salvation brings to our lives is so great that he uses a very powerful word to describe it – crucified. The people we used to be are dead, and the old sinful and prideful world we lived for we don’t want anymore. The world notices the change God made in us. Since our boast is in the cross of Jesus Christ, and we stand strong with Him, the world that rejected and crucified Him doesn’t want us either!

[1] Bible quotations in this article are from the ESV.