"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." Here Paul speaks of three crucifixions:
THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST FOR HIS PEOPLE
Paul's constant theme in preaching was the doctrine of the cross, effectual, blood atonement by Jesus Christ, the God-man Mediator. He never tired of hearing it, meditating upon it, or preaching it. He saw and interpreted everything in the light of substitutionary redemption. But he saw more in the gospel than the death of Christ for him. He also saw –
THE CRUCIFIXION OF THE WORLD TO THE BELIEVER
What does Paul mean when he says, by Christ "the world is crucified unto me"? "As the result of seeing all things in the light of the cross, he saw the world to be like a felon executed upon a cross" - (C. H. Spurgeon). He had no more fear of the world than he would of a dead corpse. Paul's "faith in a crucified Christ overcame the world, so that he looked upon it as the Israelites saw the Egyptians, dead on the sea shore" - (John Gill). He had no more regard for the judgment of the world than he would for the opinions of an executed murderer (I Cor. 4:3). Certainly, the context suggests that Paul looked upon the religion of this world with as much contempt as the Jews did upon the crucified Christ (Gal. ; ; 1:6-9). The ceremonial law he called the "elements of the world and of bondage" (Gal. 4:3,9). The ordinances of legal worship he called, "the rudiments of the world" (Col. 2:20). All legal, free-will, works religion he called, "the satisfying of the flesh" (Col. 2:16-23). And Paul looked upon all that is in the world, which is pleasing and alluring to the flesh, as no more pleasing or alluring to him than a dead corpse (I Tim. 6:5-11). To faith the world is crucified! And our text also shows –
THE CRUCIFIXION OF THE BELIEVER TO THE WORLD
"The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Two things are intended: (1.) By faith in Christ crucified we are as dead to the law as the law is to us (Gal. ; Rom. 7:4). (2.) Faith in Christ makes God's people the objects of the world's wrath, contempt, and ridicule (Gal. ; II Tim. ).