By nature, by logic and by natural human thought, everyone in this world considers themselves to be "basically good". But God tells us that all men, all women and all children are "basically evil". At the base, at the root, at the very genesis of all their substance, human beings are evil, wicked, corrupt and completely without any goodness.
Ouch! We all are naturally repelled to think that we are bad, continually bad and always getting worse. It's easy to believe that others are bad, but anyone who truly believes that they themselves are the most wicked of all human beings...well, that person is a recipient of the grace of God. The first blessing from God to any human being is a revelation that "all is NOT well with my soul". Rather, I'm in deep trouble with God! I'm a sinner and hell is my just reward! Isn't there any way out?
Now, that brings up the subject of the cross. What really happened there? Beware! All false religion will teach that man is "basically good". False religion will always conceal the truth about man, sin and the cross. And most false religion parades around, calling itself "Christianity".
Can't understand this? Take a look in any modern hymnal. Look for a hymn on Galatians 6:14. Most sacred songs that claim any reference to Galatians 6:14 pervert the truth of God's Word and make the physical cross the thing to be worshiped.
And out there in the world, crosses are everywhere: necklaces, ankle bracelets, earrings; on billboards, churches and hospitals; and especially in rock music videos and vampire movies.
Is the meaning of the cross a relative thing? Is it okay to believe whatever you want to believe? ANSWER: What you know about and believe about the cross of our LORD Jesus Christ will determine your eternal destiny. It's the most important thing in the whole world.
So, what is the cross all about? And what does it mean to "GLORY IN THE CROSS"?
THE CROSS IS A PROCLAMATION FROM GOD TO ALL MANKIND. It's a declaration that God has fully accomplished everything He set out to do. He has saved His people from their sin forever more. How? He took their place. The sin of God's elect people were laid on the LORD JESUS Christ. He suffered eternal hell on their behalf, being guilty in their place. And those chosen sinners take His place before God - perfectly just, perfectly righteous, without sin - the greatest "transfer of wealth" the world has ever known!
Did Christ die "for all"? Yes! ALL that the Father had given to the Son before the world began are recipients of the gift of eternal life in the forgiveness of sin, as John 6:37 declares. The LORD Jesus came "to save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21), and He accomplished this great work with infinite precision and perfection.
And so, every sinner, comprehending that they have been cleansed and purchased by the precious blood of the Lamb of God, will "GLORY IN THE CROSS". Every true believer, every blood-bought sinner, every soul saved from eternal hell and death receives this understanding by divine revelation of the Word by the Spirit of God. The LORD makes them to know, to surely know, that they have received a new heart and a new nature. Instead of hating and resenting God their Maker, they love and cherish God their Saviour.
Yes, Galatians 6:14 is unspeakably vast. How could it possibly be put into words? Thousands and thousands of Bible teachers, preachers and theologians have tackled it. How could someone like me be so bold as to write a hymn based on that verse? How could a nobody like me dare to put such a verse into words?
Yes, it's true. I am nobody. I'm just the off-scouring. Nothing but stinking sores, head to foot. But, that's the wonder of the Gospel! At the cross of our LORD Jesus Christ, the poor, homeless, fatherless, destitute, broken, blind, imprisoned, starving sinner ascends from the dunghill to the highest heights of heavenly glory. The lame and the leprous are welcome to dine at the table of the King of Glory forevermore. The nothings, the nobodies, are embraced by God Himself in holiness and perfect righteousness. All our filthy garments made clean and white.
How can this be? The King of Glory became nobody, nothing. He became sin...for me.