“But may it not be for me to boast if it is not in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”—Galatians 6:14
“Once a man sees himself in the light of the cross, he sees the horror of that self-centered view in its every aspect.” -DM Lloyd-Jones
“God’s chief end is to glorify himself with a view to bringing man to enjoy him forever”
How often when asked to witness our faith to others do we begin with “this is what God did for me.” What a sad statement it is, when our view of salvation is centered on ourselves. I am not the object of redemptive history; God is. What a skewed view we have in the church.
Part of the power of the cross, when brought to bear on the lives of God’s people, is to break this idea that there is anything about the process of salvation that we deserve. We are but wretches before God, our righteousness, as Paul put it, is nothing more than a filthy rag (and we won’t discuss that imagery). We are nothing more than desperate beggars brought into the house before the storm. Yet, somehow, once we are in the house, we begin to think ourselves the master of the place. We see the meal that is brought to us as something that is deserved and we see the comforts within as our rightful place to recline.
When I was in High School, I worked for a wealthy couple tending their property. They had sixty acres of land and it was my job to keep it up and to do whatever odd jobs they had for me. Each year at Christmas, the St. Clair family had a huge and wonderful party for all of their friends. They often had as many as 70 people in their home for these parties. One year, they hired me to help direct traffic with people coming and going. Maryland winters are often quite cold, and I stood outside the festive home, all bundled up, directing people where to park.
After the party was well underway and the guests had all arrived, Mr. St. Clair came outside and invited me into their home to enjoy the festivities. Once inside, he introduced me as if he were introducing an honored guest and instructed me to eat my fill from the buffet table.
I did eat and was welcomed warmly by the guests, but at the same time, I had an overwhelming feeling of being out of place. Here I was, a high school student from a modest family, dressed in jeans and a sweat shirt, with mussed up hair from being under a stocking cap all night, mingling with some of the most wealthy people of the region who were dressed to the nines. I enjoyed myself on that evening immensely, but never once did I begin to feel that I deserved to be a part of these festivities. My presence was solely due to the grace of the host.
Our attitude toward our salvation ought to be the same as mine was at that party. How we don’t deserve to be present in the master’s house, but God has brought us in out of the cold, introduced us as an honored guest, and sat us at his table as his child. And why does he do this? Because of the work of his son on the cross. Oh, how we ought to cherish that cross! We are the recipients of God’s wonderful grace. It is something that we must never take for granted!