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  • Self Denial

    As a Christian, is the purpose of your self denial a means to promote the greatness of God's name, or is it to promote the greatness of your name to God?


    Luke 9:23-24
    And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

  • #2
    Re: Self Denial

    Deny himself means to deny one's own desires, one's own wishes, one's on aspirations...to reckon them as dead (because we were crucified with Christ)...and to follow Him. He had NO desires of His own, other than to do that which He saw and heard our Father doing. That is to be our purpose, our goal, our way of life.

    blessings,

    Watchman
    Sunset remembers Eden...sunrise prophesies its return.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Self Denial

      Peter nails this in 1 Pe. 4:2 "You won't spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God." NLT

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Self Denial

        Originally posted by Noonzie View Post
        As a Christian, is the purpose of your self denial a means to promote the greatness of God's name, or is it to promote the greatness of your name to God?


        Luke 9:23-24
        And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
        In the context of Luke 9:23-24 what Jesus has in mind is a decision every believer will eventually make between his own interests and those of God when his own interests are different than God's will. So in the case of Jesus' death on the cross, Jesus asked the father whether there might be another way. Then he says, "not my will but yours be done."

        In this context, we might think that Jesus is talking about the practice of self discipline, or the act of controlling our impulses, each of which is Biblical but not what Jesus has in mind here. Or we might get the impression that Jesus want us to completely ignore our own personality, wishes, dreams, preferences, values and etc. and seek a life of severe asceticism. Or we might get the idea that Jesus wants us all to become ministers rather than say, doctors, firemen, policemen or librarians etc. I don't think this is what he has in mind. Instead, I think he speaks about taking up a cross on purpose.

        When a man carried a cross, he was going to his death and against his will. Jesus went to his cross voluntarily but his personal preference was to avoid it if possible. But going to the cross was a watershed moment in his life where he was being asked to side with God's will against his own personal preference. And likewise when we take our cross it will come at a significant moment in time when we might be asked to act according to God's will rather than following our own personal preference.

        We just naturally want to make this into a lifestyle as if taking up a cross is how we are supposed to live day-to-day. But the cross wasn't Jesus' day-to-day lifestyle. He didn't take up his own cross until it was time to do so. Don't get me wrong, he certainly obeyed his father at all times. But taking up a cross is a watershed moment in time when much is at stake and trust is put to the test.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Self Denial

          I would add to that by saying self denial is more of a desire that regeneration produces. It's not that we give up what we want to do, but rather we find greater joy in God which cuts the root of sin.

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          • #6
            Re: Self Denial

            Originally posted by Watchman View Post
            Deny himself means to deny one's own desires, one's own wishes, one's on aspirations...to reckon them as dead (because we were crucified with Christ)...and to follow Him. He had NO desires of His own, other than to do that which He saw and heard our Father doing. That is to be our purpose, our goal, our way of life.

            blessings,

            Watchman
            I give up my desires, wishes, aspirations because my wife and kid's desires, wishes, and aspirations are more important to me. But this means that they have become my desires. I get what I really want when I give up what I think I want. Which may mean that I am not really giving up my desires?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Self Denial

              Originally posted by Noonzie View Post
              As a Christian, is the purpose of your self denial a means to promote the greatness of God's name, or is it to promote the greatness of your name to God?


              Luke 9:23-24
              And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
              Our purpose is to glorify God. Any action or attitude that would elevate me proves the true motivation of my heart.

              I am much better off when I am in a state of being dependent upon Him. Even if, as in the case of Joseph, Daniel, and others, when they were glorified, they completely conferred any recognition and praise to God for thier state and acted accordingly.

              I really don't see that Jesus ever struggled with dying on that cross, as in all He did, He knew His Father's will and always desired (with joy and gladness, not begrudgingly) to do it.

              John 4:34
              Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work."


              Jesus ate, slept, bathed, etc., to fulfill the needs of the flesh, but as these things are required to keep the body healthy, they were done of necessity and it is God's will these things be done. Jesus did all things to please the Father, everything Jesus did was to satisfy God's will and to glorify God.

              I think a distinction should be made with us as our desire is to always feed the flesh, I have to discipline myself and depend on the Holy Spirit to desire to do His will. I don't believe Jesus had a selfish thought, otherwise He would have violated what He said in Mark 12:30,

              "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment."

              Jesus also said that if I think sin, it is the same as doing it.

              Matthew 5:28
              "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

              Also, Jesus said as quoted in the OP passage, that we were to take up our cross, not get put on the cross, I believe Jesus was referring to our bearing of burdens for His sake, which He said in Matthew 11:30

              "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

              So we are to deny our desire to satisfy and glorify self, and be truly willing to do His work (yoke, burden, cross, etc.) with joy and gladness, we will then realize that it is not a heavy burden but as Jesus has said to us, it will be light, for He will strengthen us.

              When Paul said He is crucified with Christ it is in this same thought of self denial, just using a different thought to communicate it. I don't see that he was referring to taking up our cross as such.

              It is also said often that Jesus prayed to the Father that if He could avoid going to the cross, but then relents to the Father's will;

              Matthew 26:39
              He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

              Matthew 26:42
              Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

              I think a distinction should be drawn from this in that it was not His death or beating that He desired to pass from Him, He had said that it was for that purpose He was here,

              John 12:27
              “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour."

              The knowledge that He was to be made sin on our account is the cup He desired to pass from Him, this would be a righteous desire no doubt, not a selfish desire and therefore can not be construed as such to think He desired to escape doing the Father's will. It is pureness of Jesus' desire that makes His desire that the cup pass from Him not a sin, than when I desire to do or not to do something of God's will. With me it's sin.
              Mark


              “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:13-14

              (All Scripture quoted is from NKJV unless otherwise noted)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Self Denial

                Originally posted by BroRog View Post
                In the context of Luke 9:23-24 what Jesus has in mind is a decision every believer will eventually make between his own interests and those of God when his own interests are different than God's will. So in the case of Jesus' death on the cross, Jesus asked the father whether there might be another way. Then he says, "not my will but yours be done."

                In this context, we might think that Jesus is talking about the practice of self discipline, or the act of controlling our impulses, each of which is Biblical but not what Jesus has in mind here. Or we might get the impression that Jesus want us to completely ignore our own personality, wishes, dreams, preferences, values and etc. and seek a life of severe asceticism. Or we might get the idea that Jesus wants us all to become ministers rather than say, doctors, firemen, policemen or librarians etc. I don't think this is what he has in mind. Instead, I think he speaks about taking up a cross on purpose.

                When a man carried a cross, he was going to his death and against his will. Jesus went to his cross voluntarily but his personal preference was to avoid it if possible. But going to the cross was a watershed moment in his life where he was being asked to side with God's will against his own personal preference. And likewise when we take our cross it will come at a significant moment in time when we might be asked to act according to God's will rather than following our own personal preference.

                We just naturally want to make this into a lifestyle as if taking up a cross is how we are supposed to live day-to-day. But the cross wasn't Jesus' day-to-day lifestyle. He didn't take up his own cross until it was time to do so. Don't get me wrong, he certainly obeyed his father at all times. But taking up a cross is a watershed moment in time when much is at stake and trust is put to the test.
                Did you miss the word "daily" Jesus used?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Self Denial

                  Originally posted by Noeb View Post
                  Did you miss the word "daily" Jesus used?
                  Yes, I forgot that Luke's gospel says "daily". But actually the English adverb "daily" suggests that the taking up of the cross is to be done "day after day", or "on a regular basis." But, the Greek word is not the adverb "daily" but the noun "day" preceded by the preposition "according to", or "corresponding to", which is in the accusative case. As such, the translation "daily" is the translator's opinion on what Jesus meant to say when he used the accusative case with the noun "day".

                  While the accusative noun can be adverbial, the idea that one takes up his cross day after day is not literally true. A person can only die once. Or more to the point, he can only be executed once. And so the idea that Jesus wants us to allow ourselves to be executed as part of our day-to-day routine sounds very strange. In the context of Jesus statements that he was about to be captured and killed and after his rhetorical question about gaining a life but losing a soul, it seems really unlikely that he was asking his apostles to die daily.

                  The accusative, when associated with time, can also be translated, "at the time when." Now, I could be wrong but I think it is more likely that Jesus meant to say,

                  "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day." And He was saying to all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross [when his time comes] and follow Me."

                  Jesus is saying, "My cross is to bear the sins of the world and the time for that is now. Anyone who wants to be my disciple will need to bear his cross, whatever that will be, at the appropriate time."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Self Denial

                    oh pish posh!
                    I don't even recognize this gospel.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Self Denial

                      The cross is the cross of obedience, it is saying yes to God day in and day out and walking in fellowship with Him.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Self Denial

                        There is a flip side to consider on self denial...

                        Col 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
                        Col 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
                        Col 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using after the commandments and doctrines of men?
                        Col 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

                        Paul was warning here of the influence of ascetism. We must surrender to God, but not to "will worship" as a show of piety.
                        I've been throwed outta better places than this.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Self Denial

                          Originally posted by awestruckchild View Post
                          oh pish posh!
                          I don't even recognize this gospel.
                          What does that mean?
                          The Gospel according to Luke?
                          This IGNORE button is by far one of the most useful tools I've used to keep my peace while navigating through some of the madness.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Self Denial

                            Originally posted by -SEEKING- View Post
                            What does that mean?
                            The Gospel according to Luke?
                            I do believe that he was referring
                            brorog's ab absurdo on the topic at hand.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Self Denial

                              Originally posted by awestruckchild View Post
                              oh pish posh!
                              I don't even recognize this gospel.
                              Probably not. Why not?

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