|Matthew 16:24-25 |
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any man desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. [To follow Christ you must persistently (daily) and patiently go to Him to sit in humble silence as you wait on Him, listening and watching for his word within your heart; when you hear Him, then you must obey Him. To obey is to follow. Self-denial occurs by obeying the Lord's spoken commands heard instead of your will, (His will, not your will); this is taking up the cross, which is the power of God to free you from sin. The cross is to your will and your carnal mind, which must be denied.]
25 For whoever will save his life, shall lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it.3 [if you live after the flesh (the sinful nature), you will die; but if through the Spirit you mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, you will live. Rom 8:13. To find the superior life of God, you must crucify your selfish life on the inward cross of self-denial, and thereby find the Life of God in union with God.]
3 For whoever will save his life, shall lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it. To attain salvation is to be free from sin. To attain salvation is to find the new life in God, to put on the incorruptible, to have become an entirely new creature, to have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections] on the inward cross of self-denial. But if you try to please God, while holding onto your pleasures, pastimes, lusts, affections, selfish behaviors, etc., you will lose your soul and the life of God, to be banished from heaven. You must lose your fleshly life, to find the life of God. From the Word of the Lord within: "The sacrifice of life has been given to the few who would lose their life to save it"... I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service and worship. Rom 12:1. The life to be found is the life of God, which is the light in men; and when found, man no longer walks in spiritual darkness, following his own will, but walks in the light, performing God-directed works to the glory of God.