Pristine Grace

Gal 6:14-15, (GILL)
14  But God forbid that I should glory,.... The apostle, on the contrary, expresses his aversion to glorying in anything these men did; not in his outward carnal privileges, as a Jew; nor in his moral, civil, and legal righteousness; nor in his gifts and attainments; nor in his labours and success, as of himself; nor in the flesh of others, or in any outward corporeal subjection to any ordinance, legal or evangelical; his glorying and rejoicing were rather in the spirituality, the faith, hope, love, patience, order, and steadfastness of the saints, than in anything in the flesh, either his own or others: and indeed he chose not to glory in any thing,

save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; meaning either the infirmities, reproaches, tribulations, and persecutions, which he endured for the sake of Christ, and the preaching of his Gospel; or the Gospel, the doctrine of the cross of Christ, and salvation by it: or rather a crucified Christ himself, whom he preached; though counted foolishness by some, and was a stumbling to others: he gloried in him, and determined to know, and make known, none but him, in the business of salvation; he gloried in him as crucified, and in his cross; not in the wood of the cross, but in the effects of his crucifixion; in the peace, pardon, righteousness, life, salvation, and eternal glory, which come through the death of the cross; he gloried in Christ as his wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption:

by whom the world is crucified to me: so that he feared not the worst men, and things in it, any more than he would one that was fastened to a cross, or dead; since Christ, by his crucifixion and death, had overcome the world, the prince of it, the men and malice of it, the sin that was in it, and had made him more than a conqueror also; his faith in a crucified Christ overcame the world likewise; so that he looked upon it as the Israelites saw the Egyptians, dead on the sea shore; nor did he affect and love, but trampled upon and despised, as crucified persons generally are, those things in it which are the most alluring to the flesh, the lusts of it; the doctrine of grace, of a crucified Christ, taught him to deny the riches, honours, pleasures, profits, and applause of the world; which were to him as dross, in comparison of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord: the ceremonial law also, the elements of the world, were dead unto him, being nailed to the cross of Christ, to be of no further use and service unto men:

and I unto the world; that is, am crucified to the world, as the Syriac and Arabic versions express it; that is, he was despised by the world for the sake of a crucified Christ, as the world was by him, in comparison of him; the world had no affection for him, as he had none for the world; and as the ceremonial law was dead to him, so he was dead to that, through the body of Christ, and had nothing to do with these beggarly elements, nor they with him, which sense is confirmed by the following words.

15  For in Christ Jesus,.... These words are omitted in the Syriac and Ethiopic versions; See Gill on "Ga 5:6",See Gill on "1Co 7:19", they contain a reason why the apostle gloried in a crucified Christ, and looked upon the world as dead to him, and he to that, in every state of it; particularly as it may design "the worldly sanctuary" of the Jews, and all the rites and ceremonies appertaining to it; and among the rest

circumcision, which availeth not anything; neither as a command, type, or privilege; or in the business of salvation, being abolished by Christ:

nor uncircumcision; being now no bar to the Gospel, Gospel ordinances, or a Gospel church state; or to any of the blessings of the everlasting covenant, which come upon the uncircumcision, as well as the circumcision. But to apply these words to baptism and non-baptism is a wretched perversion, and making a very ill use of them, whereby the minds of men are worked up to an indifference to a Christian institution; for though baptism is of no avail in the business of salvation, yet it cannot be said of it, as of circumcision, that it avails not anything as a command; for it is a standing ordinance of Christ; or as an emblem and sign, for it is significative of the death and burial, and resurrection of Christ; or as a privilege, for it is of use to lead the faith of God's people to his blood and righteousness for pardon and justification; for he that believes, and is baptized, shall be saved; and it is necessary to church communion: and, on the other hand, it cannot be said that non-baptism avails not; it is a bar to church fellowship; and a neglect of baptism in those who are the proper subjects of it, is resented by Christ, and is a rejecting of the counsel of God against themselves; which was the case of the Pharisees, in the time of John the Baptist:

but a new creature. The phrase is Rabbinical;See Gill on "2Co 5:17" by which is meant, not a new creation of a man, as a man, of the members of his body, or of the faculties of his soul; nor of an external reformation, or a walking in newness of life, which is the fruit and effect of this new creation work; but an internal principle of grace, a good work of God begun in the soul, called the hidden man of the heart, the new man, Christ formed in us, of which faith that works by love is a part: this is called a "creature", and so not of man, but God; for none can create but himself; and in which work man is purely passive, as the heavens and the earth were in their creation: it is "but" a creature, and therefore needs divine support, fresh strength from God, and frequent supplies of grace to maintain and preserve it; nor is it to be trusted in, but the grace which is in Christ, from whence it comes, and by which it is secured. This is a "new" creature, in opposition to the old man; and because it is a principle in man, which never was there before; it consists of a new heart and spirit, of new eyes, ears, hands, and feet, expressive of new principles and actions, of new light, life, love, desires, joys, comforts, and duties: now this is of avail; it is a branch of the new covenant of grace, which God has therein promised to bestow on his people; it is an evidence of interest in Christ, the new and living way to the Father, and eternal life; such are newborn babes, regenerated persons, and have a right and meetness for the kingdom of God; shall possess the new Jerusalem, shall dwell in the new heavens and new earth; they are called by the Lord's new name, the adopted children of God; and have a new song put into their mouths, which none but redeemed and newborn souls can sing; and shall drink the new wine of endless joys and everlasting pleasures with Christ, in his Father's kingdom. These words are said to be taken out of the Apocalypse of Moses, a spurious book, but without any foundation.

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