View Full Version : Prompting The Necessary Duty Of Self-Denial(moved from ETC per OP Request)

Sep 16th 2008, 02:11 AM
By George Whitefield

1. Meditate frequently on the life of our blessed Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Follow him from his cradle to the cross, and see what a self-denying life he led! And shall not we drink of the cup that he drank of, and be baptized with the baptism that he was baptized with? Or think we, that Jesus Christ did and suffered everything in order to have us excused and exempted from sufferings? No, far be it from any sincere Christian to judge after this manner: for St. Peter tells us, "He suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps." Had Christ, indeed, like those that sat in Moses' chair, laid heavy burdens of self- denial upon us, (supposing they were heavy, which they are not) and refused to touch them himself with one of his fingers; we might have had some pretense to complain: But since he has enjoined us nothing, but what he first put in practice himself, thou art inexcusable, O disciple, whoever thou art, who wouldst be above thy persecuted self-denying master: And thou art no good and faithful servant, who art unwilling to suffer and sympathize with thy mortified, heavenly-minded Lord.

2. Next to the pattern of our blessed master, think often on the lives of the glorious company of the apostles, the goodly fellowship of the prophets, and the noble army of martyrs; who by a constant looking to the author and finisher of our faith, have fought the good fight, and are gone before us to inherit the promises. View again and again, how holily, how self-denyingly, how unblameably they lived: And if self-denial was necessary for them, why not for us also? Are we not men of lie passions with them? Do we not live in the same wicked world as they did? Have we not the same good spirit to assist, support, and purify us, as they had? And is not the same eternal inheritance reached out to us, as was to them? And if we have the same nature to change, the same wicked world to withstand, the same good spirit to help, and the same eternal crown at the end; why should not we lead the same lives as they did? Do we think they did works of supererogation? If not, why do not we do as they did? Or why does your own church set apart festivals to commemorate the deaths and sufferings of the saints, but in order to excite you to follow them as they did Christ.

3. Think often on the pains of hell; consider, whether it is not better to cut off a right hand or foot, and pull our a right eye, if they offend us (our cause us to sin) "rather than to be cast into hell, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Think how many thousands there are now reserved with damned spirits in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day. And think withal, that this, this must be our case shortly, unless we are wise in time, deny ourselves, and follow Jesus Christ. Think you, they now imagine Jesus Christ to be an hard master; or rather think you not, they would give ten thousand times ten thousand worlds, could they but return to life again, and take Christ's easy yoke upon them? And can we dwell with everlasting burnings more than they? No, if we cannot bear this precept, deny yourselves, take up your crosses; how shall we bear the irrevocable sentence, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels?" But I hope those, amongst whom I am now preaching the kingdom of God, are not so disingenuous as to need to be driven to their duty by the terrors of the Lord, but rather desire to be drawn by the cords of love.

4. Meditate on the joys of heaven: think, think with what unspeakable glory those happy souls are now encircled, who when on earth were called to deny themselves as well as we, and were not disobedient to that call: Lift up your hearts frequently towards the mansions of eternal bliss, and with an eye of faith, like Stephen, see the heavens opened, and the Son of man with his glorious retinue of departed saints, sitting and solacing themselves in eternal joys. Hark! Methinks I hear them chanting forth their everlasting Hallelujahs, and echoing triumphant songs of joy. And do you not long, my brethren, to join this heavenly choir? Do not your hearts burn within you? As the hart panteth after the water brooks, do not your souls so long after the blessed company of these sons of God? Behold then a heavenly ladder reached down to you, by which you may climb to this holy hill. Let us believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and deny ourselves! By this alone, every saint that ever lived ascended into the joy of their Lord. And then, we, even we also shall ere long be lifted up into the same most blissful regions, there to enjoy an eternal rest with the people of God, and join with them in singing doxologies and songs of praise, to the everlasting, blessed, all-glorious, most adorable Trinity, for ever and ever.

Sep 16th 2008, 02:23 AM
oops, wrong section. sorry mods.

Sep 17th 2008, 05:08 AM
could a moderator move this to "bible chat" please?

Joe King
Sep 17th 2008, 05:11 AM
I would like to engrave that on my brain if possible.

Sep 18th 2008, 01:43 PM
Concerning self-denial

I was talking with a believer this morning on the phone. Jesus said to his disciples, if any want to follow me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross, and follow me (Mt16:24). What do ourselves refer to? Our selves refer to the things of men or the word of men, which belongs to satan (Mt16:23).Then how to deny ourselves? Follow Jesus! Jesus did not say anything else but "Follow me!" when he was calling his disciples. Then how to follow Jesus today? The flesh of Jesus went up to heaven after resurrection, and on earth he is the word of GOD, the words of the Bible which are explained (Lk24:25-27). This is the spiritual meaning of "the curtain of the temple split in two when Jesus gave his last breath on the cross" (Mt27:50-51). That's to say, as we speak the word of GOD in the Holy Spirit, the life of Jesus is at work in us, and we put to death our own words, our own thoughts and our own things. This is the case with Paul (2Co4:10-14).

As the Bible is now unsealed on this 2300 days, this is no longer a very hard burden if we are willing to read aloud the open scroll, the word on our lips, and confess the word as Jesus and Lord (Rom10:8-10). May the LORD open our eyes to see! Amen.