Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Two Crucifixions

"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." (Galatians 6:14)

Do you see, as I do, two crucifixions here? Evidently, the world being crucified to me, and me being crucified to the world, are not necessarily the same things. Think with me a minute.

The key words in the first phrase are "to me." This is a very personal arrangement. Obviously, the world is not dead, but, if it is dead to me, it doesn't hold the attraction for me that it does for others. I may participate in many of its activities. I may wear clothes that others around me wear. And I may even agree with conclusions that some unbelievers come to. But when any of these things go cross-grain to the revealed Word of God, they lose all favor in my sight and are no longer viable in my life. For all practical purposes, they are dead (or they should be).

Now, here it gets a little tricky, so pay attention. How appealing am I to the world? I don't want to be misunderstood here. Deliberate unattractiveness and condescending piety are not signs of spirituality. If anything, they smack of spiritual pride. What I am referring to is an unsaved world around us being aware that, though we may be like them in many ways, there is a point where the similarity ends and uniqueness begins. When that happens, and we cannot be forced into their mold, in their estimation, we are no longer of consequence to them. In this case, for all practical purposes, we become dead to them.

If this seems a little severe, remember we're talking about a crucifixion here. It’s one thing to glory in the Cross of Calvary and the sacrificial death of the Savior. It is quite another to glory in the implications of that Cross in our day to day lives.

It would be tempting to give a one-dimensional reading to Scriptures such as these, but if we expect to grow, we have to face them—and ourselves.

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