Volume. XXVIII, No. 5
Sunday, 04 August 2013

Glorying In The Cross - Part 1

"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).

The Subject here Spoken of by Paul —The Cross of Christ

This word is used in three different senses in the Bible. It is important to distinguish them.

1. It is used to signify the wooden cross—the tree upon which the Lord Jesus was crucified. The punishment of the cross was a Roman invention. It was made use of only in the case of slaves, or very notorious malefactors. The cross was made of two beams of wood crossing each other. It was laid on the ground, and the criminal stretched upon it. A nail was driven through each hand, and one nail through both the feet. It was then lifted upright, and let fall into a hole, where it was wedged in. The crucified man was then left to die, hanging by his hands and feet. This was the death to which Jesus stooped. "He endured the cross,despising the shame." "He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Mt 27:40, 42; Mk 15:30, 32; Lk 23:26; Jn 19:17, 19, 25, 31; Eph 2:16).

2. It is used to signify the way of salvation by Jesus Christ crucified. So 1 Corinthians 1:18, "The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us who are saved it is the power of God"; compared with verse 23, "We preach Christ crucified." Here it is plain that the preaching of the cross and the preaching of Christ crucified are the same thing. This is the meaning in the passage before us, "God forbid that I should glory." It is the name given to the whole plan of salvation by a crucified Redeemer. That little word implies the whole glorious work of Christ for us. It implies the love of God in giving His Son (Jn 3:16); the love of Christ in giving Himself (Eph 5:2); the incarnation of the Son of God; His substitution—one for many; His atoning sufferings and death. The whole work of Christ is included in that little word, the cross of Christ. And the reason is plain; His dying on the cross was the lowest point of His humiliation. It was there He cried, "It is finished! The work of My obedience is finished, My sufferings are finished, the work of redemption is complete, the wrath of My people is finished"; and He bowed the head and gave up the ghost. Hence His whole finished work is called the cross of Christ.

3. It is used to signify the sufferings borne in following Christ. "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me" (Mt 16:24). When a man determines to follow Christ, he must give up his sinful pleasures, his sinful companions; he meets with scorn, ridicule, contempt, hatred, the persecution of worldly friends; his name is cast out as evil. "He that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution." Now, to meet all these is to "take up the cross." "He that taketh not up his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." In the passage before us the words are used in the second meaning, the plan of salvation by a crucified Savior.
Dear friends, it is this that is set before you in the broken bread and poured out wine, the whole work of Christ for the salvation of sinners. The love and grace of the Lord Jesus are all gathered into a focus there. The love of the Father; the covenant with the Son; the love of Jesus; His incarnation, obedience, death; all are set before you in that broken bread and wine. It is a sweet, silent sermon. Many a sermon contains not Christ from beginning to end. Many show Him doubtfully and imperfectly. But here is nothing else but Christ, and Him crucified. Most rich and speaking ordinance! Pray that the very sight of that broken bread may break your hearts, and make them flow to the Lamb of God. Pray for conversions from the sight of the broken bread and poured out wine. Look attentively, dear souls and little children, when the bread is broken and the wine poured out. It is a heart–affecting sight. May the Holy Spirit bless it.

Dear believers, look you attentively, to get deeper, fuller views of the way of pardon and holiness. A look from the eye of Christ to Peter broke and melted his proud heart, and he went out and wept bitterly. Pray that a single look of that broken bread may do the same for you. When the Roman centurion that watched beside the cross of Jesus, saw Him die, and the rocks rend, he cried out, "Truly this was the Son of God!" Look at this broken bread, and you will see the same thing, and may your heart be made to cry after the Lord Jesus. When the dying thief looked on the pale face of Immanuel, and saw the holy majesty that beamed from His dying eye, he cried, "Lord, remember me!" This broken bread reveals the same thing. May the same grace be given you, and may you breathe the cry, Lord, remember me.

Oh, get ripening views of Christ, dear believers! The corn in harvest sometimes ripens more in one day than in weeks before. So some Christians gain more grace in one day than for months before. Pray that this may be a ripening harvest day in your souls.

Paul’s feelings towards the Cross—"God forbid that I should glory..." (A)

1. It is implied that he had utterly forsaken the way of righteousness by deeds of the law. Every natural man seeks salvation by making himself better in the sight of God. He tries to mend his life; he puts a bridle on his tongue; he tries to command his feelings and thoughts, all to make himself better in the sight of God. Or he goes further: tries to cover his past sins by religious observances; he becomes a religious man, prays, weeps, reads, attends sacraments, is deeply occupied in religion, and tries to get it into his heart; all to make himself appear good in the eye of God, that he may lay God under debt to pardon and love him.

Paul tried this plan for long. He was a Pharisee, touching the righteousness in the law blameless; he lived an outwardly blameless life, and was highly thought of as a most religious man. "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ." When it pleased God to open his eyes, he gave up this way of self–righteousness forever and ever; he had no more any peace from looking in—"we have no confidence in the flesh"; he bade farewell for ever to that way of seeking peace. Nay, he trampled it under his feet. "I do count them but dung that I may win Christ." Oh, it is a glorious thing when a man is brought to trample under feet his own righteousness; it is the hardest thing in the world.

2. He betook himself to the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul got such a view of the glory, brightness, and excellency of the way of salvation by Jesus, that it filled his whole heart. All other things sank into littleness. Every mountain and hill was brought low, the crooked was made straight, the rough places smooth, and the glory of the Lord was revealed. As the rising sun makes all the stars disappear, so the rising of Christ upon his soul made everything else disappear. Jesus, suffering for us, filled his eye, filled his heart. He saw, believed, and was happy. Christ for us, answered all his need. From the cross of Christ a ray of heavenly light flamed to his soul, filling him with light and joy unspeakable. He felt that God was glorified, and he was saved; he cleaved to the Lord with full purpose of heart. Like Edwards, "I was unspeakably pleased."

……...to be continued next week

By Robert Murray McCheyne as preached on 25 Oct 1840

(Edited from reprint in Memoirs and Remains of R.M. McCheyne, Christian Classics Foundation, 1997)

Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813-1843) was educated at Edinburgh University. In 1835, he be­came As­sist­ant at Lambert (near Stirling). In 1836, he was ordained Minister of St. Pe­ter’s Established Church in Dundee. In 1839, he went to Palestine as one of the Mis­sion of Enquiry to the Jews from the Church of Scotland.

More Lively Hope



Kitchen Roster: Today’s Team Leader: Bro Phil Surman. Next Lord’s Day: Bro Raphael Ng
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*New Basic Bible Knowledge Class starts 25 Aug.
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Praise & Thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Bros Eric Lai (Adl), Houston Li, & Raphael Ng (Barossa/Adl); Sisters Emily Zheng, Daphne Lai, Megan Lim & Catherine Teng (Adl); & others who are travelling. 
Church Activities, in the past week.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Visitors & new worshippers.

Prayer Items
Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki; Rev & Mrs James White; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bros Surish Dharmalingam (Laos), Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (S’pore); Sisters Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe, Margaret Pearson, Corinne Teng, Susan Varadi (Nursing Home) & Audrey Yeo; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Mr Mang Soo Ong; Bro Peng Cheong Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello; Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.
Special Prayer: Rev Edward Paauwe (surgery); Bro Len Pearson (Lobethal); Sisters Margaret Hooper (post-surgery), Michelle Lee (surgery next week in Melb) & Mavis Wong’s mother (salvation & surgery)
God’s comfort in grief: Sis Sooi Chin Gong & family; Sis Clara Samels & family.
iSketch & Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry & preparation for Ordination: Ps Hai Seng Lim.
Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & Ministry, Life University (Sihanoukville).
Kuching Missions: Bro Jeremy Teo & family.
IBPFM & PMU: Board & Missionaries serving the Lord round the world.
Ministry in New Life BPC (London) & God’s guidance for the future: Ps & Sis Ki.
Ministry in Hope BPC - God’s guidance for future - Ps & Sis Weng. 
Journey mercies: Rev & Mrs Pong S Yiew (Adl); &  others who are travelling. 
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
Full-time Job - Bros Timothy Ngoma & Jonathan Liao (Syd); Sisters Corinne Teng & Sharon Ying (Per); & others looking for  stable jobs.
Australian Visas - Sisters Clara Sim & Sharon Ying (Perth - for PR).
Hope BPC - for new Pastor; New Session candidates & Election.
God’s guidance & direction in S’pore: Sis Felicia Tan (for church & work).
Candidates for Baptism & Membership Transfer.
Year 12 students: for strength & encouragement in their studies.
Unity & fellowship of B-P Churches.



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