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. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. —Galatians 6:14-15 ESV
What does that mean, that here must be no boasting – no exultation – except boasting and exulting in the cross of Christ? Here is some insight from Pastor John Piper:
But Doesn’t Paul Tell Us to Boast in Other Things Also?
This word for “boasting” or “exulting” was used in the last text that we wrestled with in Romans 5:2, 3, 11. Romans 5:2, “We exult in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:3, “Not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations.” Romans 5:11, “And not only this, but we also exult in God.” 2 Corinthians 12:9, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses.” So what does Paul mean – that he would not “boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”? No boasting except in the cross!
He means that, for the Christian, all boasting should be a boasting in the cross. All exultation should be exultation in the cross.
- If you exult in the hope of glory, let it be an exulting in the cross of Christ.
- If you exult in tribulation because tribulation works hope, let it be an exulting in the cross of Christ.
- If you exult in God, you are exulting in the cross of Christ.
- If you exult in your weaknesses, let it be an exulting in the cross of Christ.
Why is this the case? Because for redeemed sinners, every good thing -indeed every bad thing that God turns for good – was obtained for us by the cross of Christ. Apart from the death of Christ, sinners get nothing but judgment. Apart from the cross of Christ, there is only condemnation. Therefore, everything that you enjoy in Christ – everything you boast in, everything you exult in – is owing to the death of Christ. And all your exultation in other things is to be an exultation in the cross where all your blessings were purchased for you at the cost of Christ’s life.
Every blessing in life is meant to magnify the cross of Christ. Or to say it another way, every good thing in life (and every bad thing that God turns for good) is meant to magnify Christ and him crucified.