“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Gal.6:14).
St. Paul was once a proud Pharisee, smug in his self-righteousness. In Philippians 3:5,6, he lists some of the things in which he took great pride:
“Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel,of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.”
But everything was changed since that day when the Lord appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Suddenly he had seen himself a lost, condemned sinner in the sight of a holy God and had tasted the matchless grace that could reach down from heaven and save even him. He knew now that he could not stand before God in himself, or “on his own two feet,” as we say. His only safety before the bar of God was to take refuge in Christ,as he says in Verse 9:
“And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”
Now he knew, as we all should know, that he really had nothing to boast of as far as his own standing before God was concerned. For the rest of his life, however, he did constantly boast of one thing: the cross,where the Christ he had so bitterly persecuted had died for his sins that he (Paul) might be justified before God. All else of which Paul boasted was embraced in the cross of Christ. This too is really the only thing we have to boast of and the most godly saint will enthusiastically join Paul in saying:
“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 UNTO THE WORLD.”