Far too many want the blessing of heaven w/o the burden of the cross. This is evident by apathy toward a true deep relationship with Christ. One that costs us our time, talents and treasures. We somehow think that comfortable christianity is from God. While it may look genuine, it denies the power of God by its casualness toward HIM and HIS word and even HIS church. Holy Spirit, purge and purify, make us like HIM!
MM and 3 others like this.
SP So what does it mean to carry the cross?
great question... God's word teaches us that in Matthew 10:38-39 we are
to take up the cross, that is the burden of losing our lives for HIS
sake. That is further echoed in Rom. 12:2 presenting our bodies a
living sacrifice, and again ...in
Galatians 2:20 where we see that Paul says "crucified" with Christ. It
is the constant, daily denial of the self life and all our indulgences
for the glory of Christ....Read Radical & Radical Together for
phenomenal examples of modern day believers fleshing it out! Bless you
SP Mat 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
BR You are right on target my friend...this is the burden of the cross...
SP So there are 3 steps to following Christ. 1. Deny and die to self 2. take up the cross 3. follow Him,... Yet it is true that most of us who call ourselves the church of God have not even done step 1. so how can we say we are followers of Christ if we can't even give up the earthly and our fleshly things....
SP Jesus said it best when talking to the physical law abiding man who asked what shall he do to inherit eternal life... Mar 10:21 Then 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."
BR That's the journey of the faith young man. Dying daily as Gal. 2:20 teaches us...We do not say we are followers because of our works as you just shared in MK...Jesus used this to show him that what he desperately needed was not outward conformation to the law but inward transformation of the Holy Spirit...which overflows in the life of denial of self and selfless sacrifice for the glory of God. Salvation is by grace through faith, is not of mans works but is a gift from God....which leads true believers into good works....which God has ordained we should do....Eph 2:8-10...It is a beautiful journey of grace, mercy and truth working out our salvation....God is so merciful to us...
SP Now... Have any of us done that. Given it up all for the cause... Left mother, father, family, houses, cars, hobbies, etc. and followed Him? Do we even continue to have an attachment to them? Do they still take up our time? Do we still give them power over our lives? If we lost them, would we feel a loss, down and sad?
SP So to deny self is a physical thing and the first step, doing away with physical burdens in our lives... While taking up the cross is a spiritual burden for it is like saying "I carry this body that I am now dead to and its lust and sin and the even world that I may do the will of God, our Heavenly Father." So I no longer live but Christ in me.
SP and if Christ in me lives, then following Him is not a burden but a blessing to others, for they do receive and will hear and witness the salvation and power of God thru them that truly follow Christ Jesus unto eternal life.
SP Awesome... Thank you Spirit of Truth... now I understand the cross...
BR [my future comments in brakets]
In reality...[as in you have ill said] the Bible says in Gal. 5:16.... the flesh wars against the Spirit...so Biblically the burden is the battle...only as we yield, moment by moment to His Word & His Spirit (which is never contrary to His word) will we grasp the meaning of His cross. Dying to our sin, our selfish desires and satan's deceptive ways....God's word is clear and our victory is secure...but far too many take the easy way....that is why our Savior said the way is broad that leads to destruction and narrow that leads to eternal life, few actually find it....our choice in life reveals which road we are on...That is why James said you show me your faith without your works..(lip service christianity) and I will show you my faith by my works...(life service)...May our Father reveal truth through His word to all of us my friend....
SP Gal. 16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don't do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
SP Above is the whole thought. Yes verse 17 does say the Spirit wars against the flesh. But it is only the reason for what it says in verse 16. It actually does not say the burden is the battle, but that the burden is the spiritual victory over sin. Verse 16. Walk in the Spirit that we do not do the will of the flesh. The battle is before the burden, to decide who to serve, the flesh or the Spirit, to walk in the flesh or walk in the Spirit. If we walk in the Spirit then we carry our flesh which we are dead to and have victory over it thru Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 11:30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Only a baby struggles to walk, so only if we are walking in the flesh do we struggle. But if we walk in the Spirit then it is a continual victory and not a battle. 16 says to walk therefore in the Spirit so we may walk in victory over flesh (17) "because" the Spirit wars against the flesh.
[Un-friended in face book for these comments... I guess it is wrong to question a statement even if it is backed up with scripture. How else can we grow in knowledge and in truth]