"take up your cross...."

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Helen, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    In Barry’s and my estimation, one of the most misunderstood and misquoted parts of the Bible has to do with ‘taking up your cross.’

    I cannot count the times I have heard or read comments such at “Yeah, he’s my cross to bear,” speaking of an unsaved husband, or “my boss is my cross to bear,” or such like.

    No, these are NOT crosses to bear. These are situations in your life that the Lord has allowed so that, first of all, you can be disciplined and matured in Him and, second, so that His grace can be seen in your life despite difficult circumstances, thus inviting others to trust in Him.

    Let’s take a look at the verses which talk about a cross to bear:

    Matt. 10:38 – ”And he who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.”

    Matt. 16:24 – And Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

    Mark 8:34And when he had called the people to him, with his disciples also, he said to them, “Whoever desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake, and the gospel’s, will save it.”

    Mark 10:21Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “One thing you lack. Go your way, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

    Luke 14:27And whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

    It is clear that taking up one’s cross means denying oneself and dying to self. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:31, ”I affirm by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” The Corinthians are the fruit of his labor, which required him to deny himself and die to himself daily. They were not a burden he resented. They were not his cross to bear!

    What is the cross that we are to pick up SO THAT we can die on it DAILY?

    We would suggest that it is our willing submission to Christ. That to deny ourselves and die daily means saying ‘no’ to self and ‘yes’ to Christ in every circumstance of our lives. It becomes a way of life. Our bodies, in this way, truly do become living sacrifices. A sacrifice involves death and we die to ourselves every time we deny our own natural reactions to circumstances and instead pray for and prefer Christ’s reactions to be expressed through us.

    We do have circumstances that can be too difficult. Rather than ‘bear’ these as some kind of wrongfully defined crosses, we are told to bear one another’s burdens, and we are told to cast our burdens on Christ. We were NEVER meant to go it alone, in good times or bad. The times, the circumstances are not our ‘crosses’ to bear.

    Our willing submission is what we are to ‘pick up’ daily, thus dying to self as we consciously and consistently prefer Christ to express Himself through and in our lives.

    “Take up your cross” is followed immediately by “and follow me.” We follow Him by the agency of the Holy Spirit within those of us who have been born again in Him.
     
  2. DHK

    DHK
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    Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    Mark 15:27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

    The cross was an instrument of death, the common method of execution. It is the way that Jesus died. It is the way the thieves died. To take up one's cross means sacrifice--a living sacrifice to the point where one is completely yielded to Christ, and nothing of this world counts any longer.

    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.

    I am dead; I don't live. It is Christ that lives in me. My desires don't exist any longer. This tabernacle (my body) exists only for the purpose of pleasing Christ and no one else or nothing else. That is death to self.
    Take up your cross and follow me.

    Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
    DHK
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Well said, both Helen and DHK. Jesus deserves nothing less than our absolute, total dedication.
     
  4. StraightAndNarrow

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    He not only deserves it He demands it of His followers. You can't be a Christian without taking up your cross and following Him.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    He not only deserves it He demands it of His followers. You can't be a Christian without taking up your cross and following Him. </font>[/QUOTE]Hi, StraightAndNarrow.

    Hmm. Sounds like "Lordship salvation" to me. (Forgive me if that's not what you meant.) So I'll ask you the same question I did the man who first taught me that in "Teachings of Jesus" in 1972.

    I trusted Christ as Savior when I was four. Don't doubt it a bit. I remember conviction of sin, repentance and faith at my mother's knee. But I didn't know anything about making Christ my Lord. Didn't dedicate my life to Christ until I was 16. So, when was I saved, at age 4 or age 16?
     
  6. genesis12

    genesis12
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    My friend and I were six years old. We attended a revival in a SB church. On the last day, Sunday, I went "backstage" with him. He began removing his shoes and asked me if I was going to be baptized. I obediently agreed. When I came up out of the water I looked everywhere for angels, listened for heavenly music --- and I was faithful in church attendance thereafter. But that was the only thing I was faithful in. It was many years before Jesus became and is today Lord of my life. I must say that the change was slowly progressive, not abrupt. I know that I am saved today, I just don't know when "it" happened.
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I did doubt my salvation for just a little while in high school, but soon got that settled on my own with the Word of God. Today I am still sure I was saved at age 4. After all, we are to become as little children in order to be saved, right?

    But if you had asked me if Christ was Lord of my life, I'd have said, "Huh?!?" I wanted to be baptized, but Dad wouldn't let me be baptized until I understood what it was about. So at 6 I was finally baptized. If you had asked me then if I was carrying my cross and ready to die for Christ, I'd have said, "Huh?!? When can I play?" :D
     

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