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14May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

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14. But God forbid that I should glory. The designs of the false apostles are here contrasted with his own sincerity. As if he had said, “To avoid being compelled to bear a cross, they deny the cross of Christ, purchase with your flesh the applause of men, and end by triumphing over you. But my triumph and my glory are in the cross of the Son of God.” If the Galatians had not been utterly destitute of common sense, ought they not to have held in abhorrence the men whom they beheld making sport of their dangerous condition.

To glory in the cross of Christ, is to glory in Christ crucified. But something more is implied. In that death, — so full of disgrace and ignominy, which God himself has pronounced to be accursed, and which men are wont to view with abhorrence and shame, — in that death he will glory, because he obtains in it perfect happiness. Where man’s highest good exists, there is his glory. But why does not Paul seek it elsewhere? Though salvation is held out to us in the cross of Christ, what does he think of his resurrection? I answer, in the cross redemption in all its parts is found, but the resurrection of Christ does not lead us away from the cross. And let it be carefully observed, that every other kind of glorying is rejected by him as nothing short of a capital offense. “May God protect us from such a fearful calamity!” Such is the import of the phrase which Paul constantly employs, God forbid

BY WHICH the world is crucified. As the Greek word for cross, σταυρὸς, is masculine, the relative pronoun may be either rendered by whom, or by which, according as we refer it to Christ or to the cross. In my opinion, however, it is more proper to apply it to the cross; for by it strictly we die to the world. But what is the meaning of the world? It is unquestionably contrasted with the new creature. Whatever is opposed to the spiritual kingdom of Christ is the world, because it belongs to the old man; or, in a word, the world is the object and aim of the old man.

The world is crucified to me. This exactly agrees with the language which he employs on another occasion.

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ; yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:7, 8.)

To crucify the world is to treat it with contempt and disdain.

He adds, and I unto the world. By this he means that he regarded himself as unworthy to be taken into the account, and indeed as utterly annihilated; because this was a matter with which a dead man had nothing to do. At all events, he means, that by the mortification of the old man he had renounced the world. Some take his meaning to be, “If the world looks upon me as abhorred and excommunicated, I consider the world to be condemned and accursed.” This appears to me to be overstrained, but I leave my readers to judge.




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