What is it to be a Disciple of Christ? (Part Two)

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.”

 

  • In Jesus’ day, people knew what it meant to “take up” a cross. They saw scores of criminals bearing the cross to the place where they were to be executed, and they witnessed scores of crucifixions, some even by the side of the roads that led in and out of the cities.
  • The cross does not mean merely bearing one’s particular hardship in life, such as poor hearth, abuse, unemployment, invalid parents, an unsaved spouse, a wayward child. The cross is always an instrument of death, not just an object to carry or bear.
  • What is to do in order to “take up” our cross? He is to deny himself daily. He is to let the mind of Christ, the mind of humbling himself to the point of death, be in him and fill his thoughts every day (Phil. 2:5-8; 2 Cor. 10:3-5). He is to put his will, his desires, his wants, his ambitions to death. In their stead, he is to follow Jesus and to do His will all day long. Note this is not negative, passive behavior. It takes positive, active behavior to will, to deny self, to take up one’s cross, to follow Christ. A person has to act, work, get to it, be diligent, consistent, and enduring in order to die to self.

 

Romans 6:11-13 (ESV) ~ “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”

 

  • The believer reckons or counts himself crucified with Christ.
    • Galatians 2:20 (ESV) ~ “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
  • The believer reckons or counts himself dead to sin, but alive to God.
    • 1 Peter 4:2 (ESV) ~ “… so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.”
  • The believer does not let sin reign in his body.
    • Romans 6:12 (ESV) ~ “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. The believer does not yield his bodily members as instruments of sin.”
  • The believer does not yield his bodily members as instruments of sin.
    • Romans 8:13 (ESV) ~ “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
  • The believer yields himself to God – as much as those who are alive from the dead are yielded to God.
    • Romans 12:1 (ESV) ~ “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
  • The believer yields his bodily members as instruments of righteousness.
    • Galatians 5:16 (ESV) ~ “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
 
Pastor Andy Lambert
{pastorandy@cvcog.church}

Leave a Reply