Why is self-denial a prerequisite to being a Christian (Luke 9:23)?


Clarify Share Report Asked January 29 2024 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Paula Fether Lifelong student of the scriptures
Salvation is a gift, which can be freely accepted or rejected. But one must be humble to accept a gift with gratitude. If "self-denial" is humility, then the "why" simply acknowledges this humility. We deny the self as our 'god' (highest authority) and accept the one true God, by faith in the Jesus who died for us and rose again.

January 29 2024 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Appelt
Luke 9:23, and the parallel accounts in Matthew 16:24-27 and Mark 8:34-38, speak of the only time Jesus spoke about self-denial. When Jesus was speaking about this, He was addressing those that were following Him, basically the disciples. Jesus was not talking about them becoming believers but about them following Him as His disciples. 

The only requirement to being a Christian is always for one to believe in Jesus, as Jesus Himself said, John 6:47. This was the only way Jesus ever gave to have eternal life, John 3:16. It was the same message given by the apostles, Acts 16:31. Salvation is the gift of God, not to be earned or worked for, Ephesians 2:8-9. 

The context of Luke 9:23 speaks about what followers of Jesus should expect to do if they choose to follow Him. It is as if the Lord asked, “Do you really want to come and follow me? If so, this is what is to be expected.” He indicated there is a cost to being a disciple, Luke 14:25-33. It is a commitment one must be fully aware of. 

First, they must deny themselves, which is to renounce all one’s desires, wishes, and purposes. It is as if one voluntarily and completely surrenders one’s will to serve the master as a servant or slave.

Second, they must take up their cross daily. This vivid image means accepting and bearing any affliction that comes from identifying with the Lord. To carry the cross means, a total yielding with no turning back as if heading for execution. Death was always in view. When Paul said he died daily, I Corinthians 15:31, it means he was as if being crucified each day. He suffered for the Lord, as others since then have done. One must expect to suffer for the Lord, John 15:20, Romans 8:17, Philippians 1:29, II Timothy 3:12.

Third, they must continue to follow the Lord, living by His example, I Peter 1:15, 2:21. It means sitting at His feet, learning of Him, and obeying and submitting to His word. It means going where He commands and doing His will.

When one sees verses like this which say to do something, it has to do with discipleship. Confessing Him, persevering, enduring to the end, being fit for the kingdom of God, entering or striving to enter the narrow gate, and making a commitment are not about salvation, but about discipleship. Through these, one will be found worthy before the Lord and rewarded accordingly.

One cannot be a disciple without first believing on Him. Otherwise, there is absolutely nothing he can do to be saved. That is the lesson of the two “I’s in the word “Christian.” The first “I” is in “Christ” when one believes in Jesus. The second “I” follows “Christ.” Both “I’s” are necessary to be a complete Christian. 

Self-denial is not the prerequisite for becoming a Christian, but it is the prerequisite for being the best Christian.

February 01 2024 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Zachary Campbell
The concept of self-denial is a complex one that has been interpreted in many different ways by Christians throughout history. There is no single, universally accepted answer to the question of why self-denial is seen as a prerequisite to being a Christian. However, some possible reasons include:

* **Self-denial as a way of showing humility and obedience to God.** Christians believe that God is ultimately sovereign, and that humans should submit to his will. Self-denial can be seen as a way of acknowledging God's authority and demonstrating one's commitment to following his commandments.
* **Self-denial as a way of overcoming sin and selfishness.** Christians believe that humans are inherently sinful, and that self-denial is necessary to overcome our sinful desires and live a more Christ-like life. By denying ourselves, we are choosing to put God's will before our own, and this can help us to grow in holiness and love.
* **Self-denial as a way of sharing in the sufferings of Christ.** Jesus himself experienced great suffering and sacrifice, and Christians believe that they are called to share in his sufferings. Self-denial can be seen as a way of identifying with Christ and participating in his redemptive work.
* **Self-denial as a way of helping others.** By denying ourselves, we free up resources that we can use to help others in need. This can be seen as a way of living out the Christian call to love and serve others.

It is important to note that these are just some possible interpretations of the concept of self-denial. There are many other ways to understand this concept, and each individual Christian will have their own unique perspective on it. It is also important to note that self-denial should not be seen as a form of self-punishment or self-harm. Rather, it should be seen as a way of expressing love for God and others, and as a way of growing in spiritual maturity.

Ultimately, the question of why self-denial is seen as a prerequisite to being a Christian is a complex one that can only be answered by each individual for themselves.

February 03 2024 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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