The Cross Part 17

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17. The cross was that to which the Jews (Peter and Paul among them) had to flee, from Moses' law, for justification, purification, and the power of a new life. In 1 Corinthians we saw Paul meeting carnality of flesh by the cross; in this epistle he argues against the law upon precisely the same ground. The law was part of a religion of the earth when God was ruling in the world over Israel: a Christian who rightly understood the cross, would see in it not only God's estimate of our old man, but God's estimate of the earth and of worldly religion, and therefore no man that understands the cross can Judaize.
"I am crucified with Christ." (Gal. 2:2020I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20).) This, observe, is his grand argument against being under the law for justification. The law cannot take hold of a dead man. Well, then, I am crucified with Christ. Then, lest any one should say, " But are you not alive," he adds" nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." The law cannot take hold of Christ, for He fulfilled it. And neither will he admit it to be his standard of life, for he adds, " and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me [and then, observe, he goes on]-I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." This was his own clear ground to go upon. The cross of Christ had said to him, There's nothing good to come from your flesh, neither can Moses in all his search through you find anything; therefore Christ was put to open shame, through grace for you; look away from self and religion of the earth, to Christ Jesus, who is risen. And so much did he feel the power of this voice from the cross, that he contents himself with saying to the Galatians,