Take up your cross

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Deacon, May 14, 2006.

  1. Deacon

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    These are “Red Letter” words in many Bibles.

    They have so much meaning to us because we know the whole story.

    But Jesus said them when instructing the disciples before he sent them out into the community for service. (Matthew 10)
    The same phrase is also found in Matthew 16:24; Luke 9:23; and Luke 14:27.

    Jesus had not yet revealed to anyone that He would die.

    What did the phrase “take up your cross” mean to the disciples before His crucifixion?

    How common was crucifixion?
    …and how common was having the one being crucified carry their own cross to the site?

    Do you think the disciples knew what the instructions meant?
    …or do you think it went right over their heads until they remembered it later?

    Rob
     
  2. doulous

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    Deacon said:

    Rob,

    Matthew 10:38 is a parallel between following Jesus and forsaking Him. Crucifixion the preferred method of execution in the Roman Empire. Its grotesque imagery and the pain it inflicted served as an effective deterent. Roman practice was for the condemned to carry their own cross to the place of execution, but I am not sure this is what Jesus meant when He said, "take up your cross." Jesus was probably telling the twelve to "embrace" the cross. In like manner we are to give up all in order that we may have Christ (Phil. 3:14-14). If we count possessions or human relationships of greater value than Christ, then we may find them snares in times of testing. I believe this is what Jesus is referring to in the verses preceeding and following Matthew 10:38:

    Deacon said:

    Do you recall the following statment by Jesus?

    There are many things that Jesus told His disciples that would not fully register until He ascended to be with the Father and sent them the promised Holy Spirit. Jesus is pictured in Matthew 9 as the bridegroom. The disciples are the attendants. Being able to see their Master daily made it difficult for them to rely on Him by faith. So while I do not believe Jesus' instructions were "over their heads", I do believe they did not fully appreciate them until after He was gone.
     
  3. StraightAndNarrow

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    So decipleship is important. Many here don't share your view although I certainly do. Many feel that "following Jesus" and enduring hardship in His name is akin to works salvation and thereby somehow reduces the Sovereignty of God as if that were possible.
     
  4. blackbird

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    For a criminal to be carrying a cross in Jesus' day---it spelled one thing.

    A Death Sentence had been passed---and that although the criminal was still living---death was so certain that in all reality he was dead already while he was still walking!

    Practicically and spiritually speaking---the application is as follows----the cross bearer's life has now expired--but miracle of all miracles--the life the cross bearer was now living---was by faith in the only begotten Son of God!!

    IOW---You're dead---and its the life of Jesus that you are living!
     
  5. doulous

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    Straight, if you referring to us Calvinists, I beg you to tell me one Calvnist who believes following Jesus and enduring hardship is akin to works salvation. None of us do. Once a person is "in Christ" that is exactly what they are supposed to do. The Calvinist believes that God's children WILL follow Him. That is where the sancitifying work of the Holy Spirit comes into play.
     
  6. Me4Him

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    Straight, if you referring to us Calvinists, I beg you to tell me one Calvnist who believes following Jesus and enduring hardship is akin to works salvation. None of us do. Once a person is "in Christ" that is exactly what they are supposed to do. The Calvinist believes that God's children WILL follow Him. That is where the sancitifying work of the Holy Spirit comes into play. </font>[/QUOTE]"That is where the sancitifying work of the Holy Spirit comes into play."

    Let me ask you something.

    IF the calling of the "Holy Spirit" is "Irresistable, would not the Sanctifying by the Spirit also be "irresistable", that is "impossible" for the person to "lay down their cross" and "Backslide???

    Would not the "will" of the spirit be the dominating "will" in both cases???
     
  7. doulous

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    Me4Him wrote:

    Me, EXCELLENT question. Yes, the salvific call of the Holy Spirit is irresistable. This is called the "effectual call." The Holy Spirit is also at work in the process of sanctification. You used the word "backslide" in the context of a person to "lay down their cross."

    Firstly, the word 'backslide' is not found in the New Testament. I would argue that it is not even implied in the New Testament. The term is used (in two different forms) three times in the Old Testament. It is used first in Proverbs 14:14.

    Since this word is used in Proverbs it would not be wise to derive doctrine. Proverbs is not primarily a doctrinal book. But there is a repeating theme within the book of Proverbs that we should pay attention to. Proverbs works in cuplets. Often the writer will compare the evil vs. the righteous, the good vs. the bad. He does the same thing in Proverbs 14:14. The word used in this passage is soog.

    In Jeremiah 49:4 and Micah 2:4 the Hebrew word shobeb is used. In the Jeremiah passage it is translated 'backslider' and in the Micah passage it is translated as 'apostate.' Here are the two passages.

    As we can see, the use of the word for back sliding is also reserved for those who are apostate. Apostates are those who never had faith but turned away from their outward religious facade. They appear to be righteous, but they are actually evil doers. 1 John 2:19, "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us."

    Me, I am making a case for the fact that believers cannot backslide according to the Old Testament usage of the word. Now, can beleivers fall into sin? Can they be disobedient to the Lord? Absolutely. We all sin. But our lives should not be defined by gross deliberate sin. If our life , over a period of time, mimicks the world, I would have grave concerns over the spiritual state of that person. John wrote, 1 John 2:3-6 3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked." The believer can struggle against sin, but the believer cannot leave or abandon the faith. If they do, they are apostate and never saved to begin with. Paul wrote, "He who began a good work in you will perform until the day of Jesus Christ." Sanctification is a process that is wrought by the Holy Spirit in our lives.
     
  8. Me4Him

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    Jer 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

    Backsliding is refering to those who come "face to face" (acknowledge) with God then have slide backwards, (still acknowledging God, to his face) but refusing to obey.

    Ho 11:7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.

    Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, (acknowledged God) but went and played the harlot also.

    You said Backslide wasn't in the NT, the word isn't, but the meaning is.

    1Co 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you,

    Fornication can be either Physical or "Spiritual" as in "Whoring after other gods",

    which is what Judah did in playing the harlot.

    but went and played the harlot also.

    2Ch 21:11 Moreover he made high places (idol worship) in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.

    Backsliding is not an apostate, but one who has been "close to God" but "backslide" away from God.

    And what does the scripture say do with such a person/nation.

    1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

    God does turn Israel over to Satan (AC) during the trib for rejecting Jesus.

    but in making my point, (long way around) God's spirit was not the dominating "WILL" in keeping Israel from backsliding, it was their "choice",

    as a matter of fact, Israel didn't have a "Spirit" (Comforter) to lead/guide them only the "written word", and they could "chose" to obey/be saved, disobey/be condemned.

    If God's call to Israel wasn't "Irresistable", nor the sanctifying by a "Spirit", nor the "regeneration" before they believed God,

    What has changed in the plan of salvation/human nature to make all these necessary before the church can hear/be saved???
     
  9. whatever

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    Good question. I think blackbird got it right. It signified a "dead man walking", and I think the disciples knew that, even though they surely didn't yet realize all that it meant for themselves.
     
  10. Deacon

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    In this evenings Bible study we were discussing Col. 3:5-21
    The phrase in Matthew 10:38 means so much more when you view it in historical context.
    It fits right in with what doulous and blackbird said above.

    The Jews of that time saw those being crucified caring their own cross to their death.
    Taking up the cross was a death sentence.

    Jesus was acknowledging here that the way of true life wouldn't be easy.

    It is not easy to deny ones self,
    to give up fleshly pleasures.

    “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." (Gal 2:20 NAS)

    "If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness." (Ro 8:10 NAS)

    Rob
     
  11. rsr

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    Please, please don't let this thread — which opened with a good question — turn into another C/A debate.

    There are plenty of those already.
     
  12. npetreley

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    I agree. But that assumes that the OP was about discipleship, not salvation, doesn't it? Otherwise it is a C/A (or as I would prefer to call it, C/SP) debate. I happen to think it's about discipleship, though, and would like to see more about that.
     
  13. rsr

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    I see absolutely no reason to believe the OP was about C/A.

    I also see no reason to equate A with SP — but that's a topic that is not germane to this discussion and will not be pursued.
     
  14. doulous

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    Me4Him wrote:

    I would agree with your definition which is a state of unbelief. I still argue that believers cannot backslide according to the meaning of the word.

    Additionally, everytime the word "shobeb" or "soog" is used in the O.T. (outside of the Proverbs passage) it refers to the nation of Israel. Israel is seen as unbelieving and apostate.
     
  15. npetreley

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    Like I said, I agree. Just saying that others seem to be interpreting it as a C/A issue. I don't interpret it that way. I think Jesus was talking about discipleship.
     
  16. Deacon

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    Turn the thread anyway you like, just relate it to the opening threads' verse or its context and then give a reason for your thoughts.

    I believe the context of the verse relates it to discipleship.
    We did bring up 'backsliding' last night when I brought up one of my favorite verses:

    Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; (Gal. 6:1 NAS)



    Rob
     
  17. Joseph M. Smith

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    The phrase "take up your cross" in the mouth of Jesus before the crucifixion might be evidence of what some of the redaction critics avow -- that the Gospels are the product of the early church's experience, and are more likely to reflect early church language than the ipsissima verba of Jesus. I don't know that I can either agree or disagree with that, but it is a provocative thought that might be borne out by this kind of apparent anachronism.
     
  18. Me4Him

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    I'm a firm believer in OSAS, that said,

    The "Cross" is the symbol of "crucifying the flesh" for "Salvation", and in conforming to Jesus image, we have to crucify the will of the flesh just as Jesus did when he dreaded dying but said: not my will, but thy will be done.

    We make these decisions everyday, sometimes to obey the "will of the flesh", and crucify the spirit, or crucify the will of the flesh, for the sake of the Spirit/salvation, not only for ourselves but also the world, since we are the "light of the world".

    Laying down your cross quenches not only the spirit but also the "gospel", No spirit, no light.


    Mt 5:14 Ye are the light of the world.
    Mt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
    1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.


    2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:


    Being called "SONS OF GOD" and send to be a "light to the world", Just as Jesus was, puts an "Awesome" responsibility on man, and the only way to do that is to "carry your cross" and "crucify the old man" everytime he sticks his ugly head up, not that we can/do, but God can turn a little into a lot. (two fishes/five bread)
     

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