Vol. 5, No. 2
~ Page 8 ~
[Fulton County Gospel News, Vol. 36, No. 8, Aug. 2002, page 4.]
In Galatians 6:14 Paul says, "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 I unto the world." In this verse, Paul shows the proper place of glorying and in focusing on the Christ. He also speaks of two "crucifixions" here: The world is crucified to the child of God, and the child of God is crucified unto the world. To be crucified to something means to be dead to it. So, Paul's meaning here is to be dead or separated from the world.
In Romans 6:3-5, Paul teaches that baptism is patterned after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Paul then explains in verse 6, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." This is the idea in Galatians 6:14. The Christian will not now let the world and its appeals, lust, and enticements attract him. Because Paul had experienced the new birth at baptism, he was able to say, "I 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).
To be crucified with Christ is to turn from sin and the world and live to God. One is crucified with Christ when he is baptized. Only those who have been baptized can say that they have been crucified with Christ. By being crucified with Christ one becomes pleasing to God, so it is desirable.
However, one can turn from the truth and back into the hardening process of sin. When this happens they are said to be "crucifying the Son of God afresh" (Hebrews 6:6). In order to keep this from happening we must follow the exhortation found in Colossians 3:1. "If ye then be risen with Christ seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
[Power, September, 2001]
In the eighth century B.C., Isaiah would not restrain himself from heralding the good news that would bring glory to God. He wrote,
"For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the gentiles shall see they righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name" (Isaiah 62:1-2).
The new name would be given by the Lord himself when the Jews and the Gentiles were brought into the one body. God promised Abraham at the dawn of time that he would bless "all families of the earth" through him (Genesis 12:3). In "the church, which is his body," Jew and Gentile are brought into friendship with God. Paul said, "And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby" (Ephesians 2:16).
The first historical occasion for Jew and Gentile to enjoy the fellowship of the faith together in one congregation was at Antioch of Syria. The Holy Spirit recorded the wondrous event in Acts 11:26, "And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." This marks the first time anyone was called by the name "Christian." The new name "Christian" was the name given to the disciples by God himself. It is in the disciples of Christ wearing this name that God is to be glorified. Isaiah wrote, "Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God" (Isaiah 62:3).
Interestingly, Isaiah said all kings would see the glory of God, and Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, himself being a Jew, urged King Agrippa to become a Christian. Luke wrote, "Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian" (Acts 26:28). This is the second time the Scriptures make reference to the new name Isaiah foretold. And, as the glory of God was growing through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, it is noteworthy that the best efforts of inspired men were being exerted to urge people to become Christians.
The final time the new name is mentioned in the Bible occurs in a context of suffering -- not suffering that comes by being a murderer, a thief, a busybody in other men's matters, or generally as an evil doer (1 Peter 4:15), but the joy of suffering for righteousness sake and thereby being partakers of Christ's suffering (1 Peter 3:14; 4:13). Peter wrote, "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf" (1 Peter 4:16). Isaiah said that God would be glorified through the new name, and the apostle Peter reiterated that truth and applied it to those who proudly wear the name "Christian."
The new name "Christian" was the name given to the disciples by God himself. It is in the disciples of Christ wearing this name that God is to be glorified. All Christians are members of the house of God which is the church of the living God (1 Peter 4:17; 1 Timothy 3:15). All members of the house of God have obeyed the Gospel of God (1 Peter 4:17). All who have obeyed the Gospel of God are expected to be righteous (1 Peter 4:18). Again, Isaiah said, "The Gentiles shall see they righteousness and all kings thy glory." The righteousness of God brightly goes forth when people are taught to obey the Gospel, thereby becoming members of the church of Christ, and to live righteous lives.