This is willingness to endure persecution. You come knowing how desperate you are and how doomed you are. The more we take in the word the more we become like Him. The call to salvation, then, is a call to full commitment, nothing knowingly held back, nothing knowingly held back. It’s not “Jesus loves you, or God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”  It’s about carrying a cross, the cross in which you yourself may be executed. “ - make disciples.”  That’s what we do. Or to say it in the words of our text, looking at verse 23, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”  That is not an invitation to a higher kind of Christian living. Don’t you think it’s time to receive Him as Lord? I'm overwhelmed with my failure. Because that goes with the territory. He was “a Pharisee.”  They were the legalists. Amen. It made for an interesting week. I’m thankful for the life the Lord gave me. But the gospel was so precious, Christ was so precious, eternal life was so important, forgiveness of sin was so valuable that they were eager and anxious to pay whatever it cost. This is about you embracing Mine. The heart sees in itself only sin, only impotence, only failure, only unworthiness, and seeks to be rescued. Keep me out of hell,” and sometime later in your life you would confess Him as Lord. Enter your email address and we will send you instructions on how to reset your password. All rights reserved. The proud sinner wants Christ and his immorality. Yes, most of the congregation today are women … next time you are in church look around. This is the stuff of true conversion. I’m crying out to be rescued like a drowning man who isn’t debating on what the terms are going to be after he gets out of the water. The Holy Spirit Within – The Old Testament believers could only have the Holy Spirit upon them, but we can now have the Holy Spirit within us. Jesus came as the proto-typical divine evangelist. It assumes that Jesus is Lord, and Christ, and God, and Savior. How to communicate the gospel? I am the Lord’s.”  That’s it. They weren’t limited. I not only don’t do anything for the Lord, I can’t do anything for the Lord. So the law was given in order that it might be a crushing blow delivered to the head of the sinner who can’t keep the law and is therefore cursed by the law, Galatians 3. Every day. I’m sick of my natural, depraved, impotent, sinful self.”  It’s disowning yourself. His is in. “..but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8, Man has power because of God has sanctioned him to have power. You need to start obeying. John 15:10, “If you keep My commandments you’ll abide in My love;”  If you don’t, you won’t. You know, in Matthew 7, this whole matter of obedience is at the heart of the sermon on the mount. The proud sinner wants Christ and his covetousness. In days of hardship, particularly persecution, those who are in the process of becoming Christians count the cost of discipleship carefully before taking up the cross of the Nazarene.”. Very often the condemned person would carry a piece of the cross, the cross-piece, sometimes drag the whole thing. And so no fruit ever comes and the plant withers and dies. And we pray that You’ll use us, first of all, use these truths to help us examine ourselves to see if we’re in the faith, if these are the attitudes with which our hearts are ruled and governed which demonstrate then that this is the work of the Spirit of God in us. So, this whole matter of following Jesus is sort of saying “no” to self and “no” to safety. First, it requires self denial, arnsasth, strong expression, literally “to disown something.”  You need to disown yourself, to disown yourself. And there’s no more definitive text to go to than this one and those others that are similar to this one, and to hear from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. I want eternal life. So, you’re coming, you’re saying, “I’m at the end of myself. The simple message is this:  Salvation and discipleship are the same thing, and that every time Jesus said, “If you want to follow Me, you have to count the cost, you have to take up the cross, you have to deny yourself, you have to obey Me, follow Me, keep My Word,” He was not calling people who were already Christians to a higher level, He was calling people who are not Christians to become saved.

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