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In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says something that must certainly have seized His hearers' attention: "If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for y...
It goes deeper than that. In Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Jesus repeats this same thing in Matthew 10:38; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Luke 14:27. what he is saying is that we must die to self. The cross is an instrument of death, a means of execution. Paul sums it up nicely in galatians 2:20 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. It is demonstrated that the cross was to be a daily means of death to self. That is why we must carry it to continually die and crucify self there in. When we are dead to self we are alive to Christ. When we are alive to Christ, he lives in us. We have to turn away from our fallen nature and cling to Christ. It is by choosing Christ no matter the cost and trusting him to keep us through every trial and temptation is how we crucify self. We say "nevertheless not my will but thy will be done." even if we fall we get back up and submit to Christ and accept the death to self by faith daily. Picking up the cross is about making Christ the lord of your life, following his words even if it crosses your natural inclination. If I love to lie and the bible says thou shalt not bear false witness, I will choose not to lie and trust in Christ's victory over lying to be my victory, die to my will and ask him to do his will in me and make every conscious choice possible to choose him. Even if I fall flat on my face I will get up and fall at the foot of the cross to please with him. The greatest struggle we will ever have is with ourselves. If the devil and his fallen angels suddenly disappeared from earth, we would still sin because our natures are naturally bent to commit sin. The devil only throws the things in our path that we want already. That is why we have to die, put the old man of sin on the cross so Jesus can live in us. Many times we try to rationalize doing things that the bible forbids because we want something, or it crosses our natural leanings. Picking up the cross is biting your tongue and saying a kind word when you want to blow up on someone, choosing not to live a certain lifestyle even though you like it because it contradicts the bible and so forth. All of heaven was poured out in the gift of God's son to the human race. When God gave us his son he literally gave us everything that he had. Jesus is omnipotent, omniscient he is God and equal with his Father and one with his Father. If God gave us everything that he had, it should be our joy to sacrifice all for him. Because God only asks us to give up the things that will destroy us.
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