“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.
It’s not possible to follow Jesus Christ without denying yourself, because your “self” and Jesus are opposite, both want to rule and reign in you, but both can’t reign in the same life at the same time, you can only have one master. It’s either your “SELF” will be your lord or you allow Jesus as your Lord.
Salvation is the beginning of genuine Christian life with Christ
Jesus, but not the end, it is the commencement of a journey, not a conclusion; your continuity determines your eventual destiny. Many Christians are making a costly mistake, thinking everything is settled after they repent and get saved, so they relax, not knowing that salvation is to start a race of battle and forces for heavenly kingdom; such Christians relax and eventually revert back into their old sinful lifestyles.
Jesus Christ told His saved disciples, “if anyone desires to come after Me” This means Jesus has gone to glory in heaven, and if any one desires to come after HIM into the same glory, then He said, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” Luke 9:23. Today, we will share about the first aspect, “let him deny himself.”
After you are saved in Christ Jesus, old sinful nature and notion will not completely vanish, your self still remains unsaved and it will always want to pull you back into old life of sin. Our “self” serves as a channel by which Satan tries to overpower the Spirit of God in us. This “self” remain unchanged with our bodies, and inspired by the kingdom of hell to pull us back into sin. James 3:6, “…..and it is set on fire by hell”
After you are genuinely saved, that is not all, you then start to deny your self, or else your self will reign in your life. Those preachers and churches who preach “cash and carry” gospel and make fire brigade altar call of “Just confess your sins and accept Jesus as your Savior, that is all” such preachers are misguided end time false preachers. After your salvation, you must deny yourself daily, if not, your salvation will be lost and you will go back into your old sins.
You must crucify your self or you will keep crucifying Jesus again by putting Him to open shame, when you go back into sin. Hebrews 6:6, “if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”
Barabbas Or Jesus?
“Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” Matthew 27:17.
After you repent and confess your sins and become saved by the Blood of Jesus, you need to still make a serious decision, which will determine your destiny: Who do you want to let live in your life, Barabbas or Jesus? Barabbas represents your old sinful lifestyle and nature; your “Self” or Jesus Christ? Somebody must live and somebody must be crucified. You have the choice to make, and it is on daily basis, “who do you want to let live and reign in your life, and who do you want to crucify?
When you allow your self to reign in you by falling into any form of sin, then you are crucifying Jesus again in your life. On the other way, when you deny your self from giving in to sin, it means you are crucifying yourself and allowing Jesus to live and reign in your life. It is simultaneous.
How To Deny Self
Our identity with Christ comes clear when we deny our “self”, and our heaven is sure at the same time then. After we are saved, self will come again, it is still there. The tendency to commit sin will always come again. For example, the tendency to masturbate will come, it will overwhelm you as if you can’t but do it, but no, you can deny it, as long you don’t aid it or give in to it; the pressure will fade away and you have won in Christ. You need to know that the coming of the tendency to sin in your mind is not a sin except you give in to it. The tendency to get angry will come, the tendency to have sexual immorality, to lie and so on; the feeling will be overwhelming, but all you need is to deny it – by refusing and rejecting it. When you calm down and refuse, the overwhelming feeling will recede.
The more you deny those sinful tendencies, the more you become stronger in Christ and your old self becomes weaker. But when you give in once again, then you crucify Jesus and the sinful self is energized in you. That is how many Christians rise and fall. Though when the sinful tendency feeling comes, as it is overwhelming as if we should give in, but we must constantly deny it by calming down and rejecting the tendency. After you overcome the sinful tendency, don’t relax, it will soon come again, keep watching, praying and be at alert always.
Do not think tendency to get angry, to masturbate or commit a
particular sin will not come back simply because you overcome yesterday, the battle continues, the race proceeds and the grace of God is abounding.
This does not comes easily, it does not come by our power and
self-determination, New Year Resolution, Transcendental Meditation or any religious ritual; to deny our sinful self and reject sinful tendency, we must first have genuine salvation in Christ Jesus, that is the foundation. You surrender your life to Jesus genuinely by repenting and confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your Lord, you can also rededicate your life to Jesus if you have been falling and rising, so as to start better.
Then to deny our “self” on daily basis, we must pray and read Bible daily. We pray for God’s grace to deny ungodliness and worldly lust.
Titus 2:11, 12, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has
appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age”
We pray for strength to reject sinful tendencies, and we read Bible torefresh and grow in the Spirit. Without daily prayer and Bible reading, it is not possible for you to deny yourself. Christians who are too lazy or busy to observe daily Bible reading, at least 2 chapters, and daily prayer at least 1 hour, are those Christians who always rise and fall, always fervent and frivolous, always forward and backward in the Spirit. Your prayer must center on your Christian life first, for grace and help of God, before you pray for provision or any earthly blessing.
Make the right decision to dedicate or rededicate your life to Jesus fully and better, and determine to deny and discipline your old sinful self and tendency every day, every minutes – Watch!
1 Corinthians 9:27, “But I discipline my body and bring it into
subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
This message is from Revelation of Truth Evangelical Ministries, RTEM
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