But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14
Paul was consumed with the cross and its effect on his life. It had liberated him from selfish, worldly living, and made him a new creature. It was for this message that he bore the marks of the cross in his body. No, there were no nailprints in his hands and feet, but there were many scars from the beatings; there were doubtless many visible signs of the sufferings and hardships he had gone through. He is not suggesting in this verse that his sufferings had any redemptive value. He is pointing to the effect of the cross in him, enabling him to live with such abandonment of his own life and well-being. Truly Paul was an incarnation of the gospel. He had received God’s word deep into his being, and it had taken possession of the whole vessel. Paul was not an incarnation of God – he was still a man, capable of falling, capable of frustrating the grace of God. But by his yieldedness, he had allowed the power of the cross to burn through his whole being. It had burnt away carnality, and made him a blazing witness to the power of the cross. Paul says here that he is nothing in himself, but that in and through the death of Jesus Christ, God has turned his whole life around, filling him with love and good works, flowing from the Holy Spirit within him. God can do it for anyone who is bold enough to take Him at his word.
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