As I approach a quarter-century of walking with Jesus in Christian believing, I have listened to countless sermons, messages, college and seminary chapel addresses, and Christian school exhortations. Without question, none has made a more indelible impact on me than Boasting Only in the Cross. For 10 years, again and again, I have returned to read and listen. I am always spiritually richer for it. Boasting Only in the Cross was delivered by John Piper at Passion OneDay 2000 and is a clarion call for the Cruciform Life .
Only boast in the cross of Jesus Christ. It is a single idea. A single goal. A single passion. Only boast in the cross. The word can be translated “exult in” or “rejoice in.” Only exult in the cross of Christ. Only rejoice in the cross of Christ. Paul says let this be your single passion, your single boast and joy and exultation…
All exultation in anything else should be exultation in the cross. If you exult in the hope of glory you should be exulting in the cross of Christ. If you exult in tribulation because tribulation works hope, you should be exulting in the cross of Christ. If you exult in your weaknesses, or in the people of God, you should be exulting in the cross of Christ.
Why is this the case? For this reason: for redeemed sinners, every good thing – indeed every bad thing that God turns for good – was obtained for us by the cross of Christ. Apart from the death of Christ, sinners get nothing but judgment. Apart from the cross of Christ, there is only condemnation. Therefore everything that you enjoy in Christ – as a Christian, as a person who trusts Christ – is owing to the death of Christ. And all your rejoicing in all things should therefore be a rejoicing in the cross where all your blessings were purchased for you at the cost of the death of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Oh great Christ! You took what I deserve that I may have all I do not. May I never boast in anything but your great work. For truly, I have nothing else about which to boast.