ESV - 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
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Let's begin with what Jesus didn't mean. Many people interpret "cross" as some burden they must carry in their lives: a strained relationship, a thankless job, a physical illness. With self-pitying...
Pick up your sin nature! That's your cross! those false thoughts... the flesh! And put on the full armor of god you you can resist in the evil day...We are to live in today and pick up our cross which includes our desires. Not our will....we are to be spiritual creatures....i added a video... it explains it great. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RATr6haxDmM&feature=player_detailpage
Taking up our cross and following Jesus is what we should do for rewards in heaven. But that is discipleship, not salvation. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, and we all sin, but the GIFT of God, is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. First Corinthians 15:1-4 That Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, that He was buried and rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures. If we believe He did it for us, we are saved and have eternal life at that point. If we have to take up our cross and follow Jesus to be saved, and we do that, then we have something to boast in. What we did to save our selves and not what Jesus did.. We can only be saved by what He did for us, not by what we do or do not do, our works. Romans 11:6 Salvation is a free gift from God, not by anything we do. If you add one thing a person has to do to be saved, then it is no longer grace. The only thing we have to do is believe the gospel. Since Christ died for all our sins, we can no longer be condemned. John 3:18 We have no sins to pay for. Jesus already paid for them all. Does that mean we can go live in sin for the rest of our lives and still be saved? Yes. But God does chasten His children. We can not lose our salvation because Jesus paid for all sin. But we can lose our life and our rewards in heaven that we could have had if we had obeyed Him. But once we believe and are sealed by the Holy Spirit we have eternal life based on what He did for us, not on what we do. The reason we need a savior is because none of us can live without sin. If we could live without sin, then Jesus died in vain. Taking up our cross and following Jesus does not save us. Believing on Him as the only way of salvation and accepting His full payment for all our sin forever is salvation by grace and when we believe it we have eternal life. No one can save themselves.by how they live an what they do. We can only be saved by what He did and not by anything we do or do not do. Once we have eternal life, we are saved forever based on what He did, not on what we do.
We must crucify our flesh[old sin nature] and let it die there on the cross, as Jesus did in obedience and faith to the Father. It is time of choices, time to show where our faith lies so i pray that we ALL believe and with faith and love make this cross a light burden and whatever it is for Christ sake crucify it, in Jesus name
Converting to Christ in salvation and following Jesus as the Way as His disciple (follower) are 2 different things (Jn 5:24; 11:25; 12:46). Conversion involves faith alone in Jesus Christ, only, plus or minus nothing. Discipleship, totally different, goes farther than conversion: he has to "deny" himself, who would be a follower of Jesus. The disciple must jettison all self-idolatry and forget about the dictates of the self. Previously, we served self (Eph. 2:1-3). Now, instead, we bow before Him against Whom we had before rebelled. We may be scorned for our following a new Leader, the one who carried His own cross to Mt. Calvary and Who undoubtedly heard scorning en route (Mt 5:11; Jn 15:18-21). “What our Lord said about cross-bearing and obedience is not in fine type. It is in bold print on the face of the contract.” -- Vance Havner
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