Luke 9:23 ESV
“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’”
If we want to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives, this is what it means to believe in him. It is consistently what he taught and what his apostles taught all throughout the New Testament. We must deny self, which means we are to humble ourselves before the Lord in repentance and in the forsaking of our sins, and we must surrender our lives to Jesus as living sacrifices to him, willing to suffer and to die for the sake of his name.
And then we must take up our cross daily. And Jesus taking up his cross meant his death, but it also meant death to our sin. So when we take up our cross daily, daily we are dying with him to sin and to self and we are no longer walking in sin according to the flesh. Sin is no longer our master because Jesus died on that cross to deliver us from our slavery (addiction) to sin so we would now be slaves of him and of his righteousness.
And then to follow Jesus is to obey him, to do what he says and to follow his example in how we are to live our lives. Now, none of us will ever be without sin like Jesus was, and we are not asked to (nor could we) die on a cross for people’s sins, but we can live holy and godly lives by the grace of God and in his power and strength. And we can daily put sin to death by the Spirit. And we can share the truth of the gospel with people for their salvation.
Luke 9:24-25 ESV
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”
If we should choose not to deny self, and not to take up our cross daily and to follow Jesus, we cannot be his. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for his sake we die with him to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness, then we have eternal life with God. For if the world is what we hold on to and go after, we will forfeit our salvation from sin and eternal life with God.
For we can’t be lovers of the desires of the flesh and lovers of God and of his righteousness at the same time. The two are opposing to each other. We can’t continue in deliberate and habitual sin and be regarded as righteous in the eyes of God, either. For it is those who make righteousness their practice who are righteous as God is righteous. And if we do not obey the Lord, in practice, we do not love him and we do not know him.
Luke 9:26 ESV
“For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
Being ashamed of Jesus and his words goes way beyond just being shy or fearful about sharing the gospel with other people. When we deny Jesus and his words instead of denying our own flesh, we are ashamed of him and of his words. And when we choose our sins over him and his word we are ashamed of him and of his words. For how we choose to live either gives honor to the Lord or it dishonors the Lord, depending on what we choose.
And now we need to pay close attention to what this says next. If we, by our choices, and by how we live, deny Jesus and not self, and choose sin rather than die with him to sin, and choose our stubborn wills instead of obedience to him, when he comes back he is going to deny us. He is going to say, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity. I never knew you!” And he said something to this effect several times.
So, our salvation from sin is not just forgiveness of sins and the hope of heaven when we die. Our salvation is deliverance from our slavery to sin so that we can now be slaves of God and of his righteousness, and so that we no longer live in sin, and so we can now, by the grace of God, walk in holiness and in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant). So, please take this to heart, and please read these Scriptures:
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
My Heart’s Desire
An Original Work / June 29, 2013
Based off Rm. 10; Lu. 9:23-26; Ep. 4:20-24
Loved Ones, Oh, my heart’s desire
Is that you might come to Jesus.
Many appear zealous for God,
But they do not trust in Him.
They have not submitted to the One
Who saved them from their sins;
Not forsaken their sins,
Nor have they obeyed their King.
The word of the Lord is near you:
The word of faith we’re proclaiming:
That you must confess your faith
In Jesus as your Lord and King:
Believe in Him as your Lord,
And follow Him where’er He leads.
Share the gospel; be a witness,
And meet others’ needs.
Beautiful are the feet of those
Who bring the good news of Jesus:
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself today;
Die to sin and self, and
Let the Spirit transform you in heart;
Put on your new self in Jesus,
Yielding to the cross.