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  • Take up Your Cross

    What exactly did Jesus mean when He said to pick up your cross? Does it mean perseverance? Or dealing with specific issues we might face? Or personal battles? None of these, all of these?

    Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    Re: Take up Your Cross

    Originally posted by DavidC View Post
    What exactly did Jesus mean when He said to pick up your cross? Does it mean perseverance? Or dealing with specific issues we might face? Or personal battles? None of these, all of these?

    Thanks for your help!
    I would say "all of these". To follow Christ is to surrender in all areas of our lives, hence " deny yourself". Being a Christian can be difficult sometimes. Very difficult depending on the culture in which someone lives. I reckon about the worst persecution I've dealt with here at home for being a follower of Christ would be ridicule ( mostly from religious people ) . I other parts of the world it can mean giving your life ( literally ).

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    • #3
      Re: Take up Your Cross

      Originally posted by Pbminimum View Post
      I would say "all of these". To follow Christ is to surrender in all areas of our lives, hence " deny yourself". Being a Christian can be difficult sometimes. Very difficult depending on the culture in which someone lives. I reckon about the worst persecution I've dealt with here at home for being a follower of Christ would be ridicule ( mostly from religious people ) . I other parts of the world it can mean giving your life ( literally ).
      Thanks!

      Basically what you're saying is it means all inclusive suffering? Everything we go through - is carrying our cross? I had heard that it means more of self denial, I decrease so Jesus can increase in me, and it didn't mean certain issues we face.

      It just seems that maybe Jesus wasn't being so general when He said it.

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      • #4
        Re: Take up Your Cross

        Originally posted by DavidC View Post
        Thanks!

        Basically what you're saying is it means all inclusive suffering? Everything we go through - is carrying our cross? I had heard that it means more of self denial, I decrease so Jesus can increase in me, and it didn't mean certain issues we face.

        It just seems that maybe Jesus wasn't being so general when He said it.
        I'm not necessarily defining it as suffering alone, though it could be that. Just simply that following Christ is not easy sometimes. And you are right, it does mean self denial as well.

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        • #5
          Re: Take up Your Cross

          Originally posted by Pbminimum View Post
          I'm not necessarily defining it as suffering alone, though it could be that. Just simply that following Christ is not easy sometimes. And you are right, it does mean self denial as well.
          Ok, thank you for your help!

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          • #6
            Re: Take up Your Cross

            It means what it meant for Jesus. Risk your life even unto death for the gospel.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Take up Your Cross

              Originally posted by DavidC View Post
              What exactly did Jesus mean when He said to pick up your cross? Does it mean perseverance? Or dealing with specific issues we might face? Or personal battles? None of these, all of these?

              Thanks for your help!
              This is one of the most critically important statements for our day. So much of theology in the West today has to do with using Christ's cross to get blessed, to avoid persecution. It's said, straight out, that Jesus died so that we would not have to suffer and die. He took our sin so that we could be forgiven. He suffered and went to the cross so that we would not have to go to the cross.

              Although there is truth in this, that Jesus died for our sin, and that we cannot die for our own sin, it is simply not true that we can avoid taking up our own cross. We have to suffer too. We have to die too. We have to bear the abuses of others as well.

              On the issue of pre and post Tribulation the pretrib folks believe that we can avoid the Tribulation and God's Wrath in the Tribulation Period. Christ died for us so that we would not have to go through that period of time.

              But I'm postrib and believe that even though Jesus died for our sins we still have to suffer in the tribulations of the current age. It is not God's Wrath against us, but that it is our fate, as men, to suffer in this world along with wicked men, and suffer the same environmental problems that all men suffer, due to the overall sins of men.

              The only difference is, we as Christians suffer along with Christ, and do not harbor ill will, and hate, towards the wicked. We simply judge their sins, and patiently await Christ's coming to bring an end to all this on earth. Like Christ we "bear our cross."

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              • #8
                Re: Take up Your Cross

                Originally posted by DavidC View Post
                Thanks!

                Basically what you're saying is it means all inclusive suffering? Everything we go through - is carrying our cross? I had heard that it means more of self denial, I decrease so Jesus can increase in me, and it didn't mean certain issues we face.

                It just seems that maybe Jesus wasn't being so general when He said it.
                Hey brother David. Just a quick thought... we don't decrease so Jesus can increase. That's performance and is often taught today. But the truth is the opposite. He increases and we decrease. When God gets big in our sight, we get small in our sight. He is always the first cause and we are always the responder.

                John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease.
                NASB

                Here's a good example... imagine a tub that is full of water and that the tub and water represent you. Now, Jesus comes and gets inside that tub. What happens to the water in the tub? It overflows out of the tub. Jesus is bigger in the tub and the water is less in the tub. Jesus increased, you decreased.

                That's how grace works.

                As for self denial, I don't want to make it seem to be anything that it is not. Sometimes, that involves duty. But more than that, i think it involves compassion. Jesus said to the pharisees "go and learn what this means 'I desire compassion not sacrifice'". When a dad sees his daughter drowning, he desires to rescue her. He knows that if he jumps in the lake, he will lose his legs but his daughter will be saved. He jumps in the lake anyway and saves his drowning daughter. He did not sacrifice his legs. He gave them out of compassion/love for his daughter. The religious man, he doesn't give money. He sacrifices money then wishes to tell God or others all he has sacrificed so he can be honored by others. The man centerd religion in us is drawn to sacrifice and how it makes us feel self righteous, etc. But the Jesus in us is motivated by compassion so that we think more of the person we are helping or the God we are serving than we do of the cost to us.

                For God so loved the world that He sacrificed His only begotten Son... or For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.

                God bless you brother!

                Mark
                Matt 9:13
                13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
                NASU

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                • #9
                  Re: Take up Your Cross

                  Questions to ponder in regards to taking up your cross:

                  Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing some of your closest friends?
                  Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means alienation and rejection from your family?
                  Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means the loss of your reputation?
                  Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your job?
                  Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your life?

                  In some places of the world, these consequences are a reality. Now following Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean that all these things will happen to us, but are we willing to take up our cross? If there comes a point in our life where we are faced with a choice, "Jesus or the comforts of this life," which will we choose?
                  Galatians 6:14 - But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Take up Your Cross

                    Taking up a cross means dying.

                    Are you dead to self?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Take up Your Cross

                      Originally posted by Firebrand4God View Post
                      Taking up a cross means dying.

                      Are you dead to self?
                      Our life is hidden with Christ, who is in heaven. He died to his Self. And so, we derive our spiritual life from one whose Self was long ago put to death. Putting our own Self to death is a daily chore. We never fully arrive until the resurrection.

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