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Thread: What is our cross?

  1. #1

    Question What is our cross?

    In Matthew, Mark and Luke there is scripture where Jesus is saying that if anyone wants to follow Him, they're to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him.

    I understand this whole scripture except the part where it says to take up our cross. What is our cross?

    Thank you in advance for any/all help.

    Victoria

  2. #2
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    Victoria,

    Your question is a good one, but also one that requires a deep and extensive answer in order to be properly understood. One of the best books I have ever read that deals with this subject is "The Spiritual Man" by Watchman Nee. But since that is a 800-page work, I will try to keep my reply to a readable minimum.

    Watchman Nee associates these passages in the Gospels with a believer's responsibility to deny himself. We have a lot of natural affections calling for our attention throughout a day. Some of these are obviously sinful, some of them seem more noble but still have the human soul as their source. All of these affections need to be denied, our living for ourselves and our own pleasure and our own will needs to be delivered over to the cross every single day, as Luke points out. We need to walk in the Spirit, as Paul commands us. The only way to do this is to apply the work of the cross to both the whole of the flesh through faith in Jesus Christ. When we do that, the Spirit will begin to move through us and live His life through us.

    But the soul and the natural affections that make up our 'self' will keep knocking...and need to be denied over and over again.

    This is a short version and in no way does justice to the depth and richness of the subject matter. But it's a start.
    Who have I in heaven but You oh God? Besides You, I desire nothing here on earth. My heart and my flesh may fail me, but God will be the strength of my heart and my portion forever...as for me, the nearness of God is my good - Psalm 73:25-26, 28a

    Check out my new blog at pilgrimtozion.blogspot.com

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JesusIsLord4Ever View Post
    In Matthew, Mark and Luke there is scripture where Jesus is saying that if anyone wants to follow Him, they're to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him.

    I understand this whole scripture except the part where it says to take up our cross. What is our cross?

    Thank you in advance for any/all help.

    Victoria

    Our cross is our difficulties that come to us in our daily life. Sometimes they come from without, sometimes from within.

    Those that comes from without need no explanation: they are the trials and tribulations of this life.

    Those that come from within can be tendencies and temptations of the flesh. Maybe we have a tendency toward impatience, or lust, or towards stealing. We carry our cross by denying these disordered inclinations and thus obeying God.

    In short, carrying our cross is putting up with the trials of life, and denying any and all inordinate desire within, so that we can live our life according to the will of God, as expressed in the Word of God.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSiscoe
    In short, carrying our cross is putting up with the trials of life, and denying any and all inordinate desire within, so that we can live our life according to the will of God, as expressed in the Word of God.
    How does one discern the will of God ? You said "as expressed in the Word of God"

    I agree with both PilgrimtoZion, and RSiscoe, though i wish to give a more solid answer to one new in Christ.
    How is such a fellow supposed to know when to deny him/herself, and what the perfect will of God is ?

    What is our cross ? Maybe if one understands exactly what the cross is, one can therefore determine exactly what is is we are supposed to do.

    Let's look to see what the cross meant to Yeshua:

    Joh 19:7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

    Here we see Yeshua litterally died to the Law, by the Law. So he came out from under the Law to the ressurrection of life.

    In the same way we are to die to the Law by the Law, so we can come out from under it to the newness of life.

    The cross was meant for criminals, and they were usually tortured before they had to bear their cross. Meaning they bore the wages of their deeds, and died thereupon, being cursed.

    Now since we do not get excecuted, and Yeshua calls us to deny ourselves (meaning the fleshly nature), and bear our own cross, we must therefore by the Law execute our own flesh, so we can come out from under it, to the newness of life, and live according to the Spirit.

    Read these verses for further clarification:


    Rom 7:4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.
    Rom 7:5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
    Rom 7:6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.
    Rom 7:7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet."
    Rom 7:8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law, sin lies dead.
    Rom 7:9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.
    Rom 7:10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.
    Rom 7:11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
    Rom 7:12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
    Rom 7:13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
    Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.
    Rom 7:15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
    Rom 7:16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.
    Rom 7:17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
    Rom 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
    Rom 7:19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
    Rom 7:20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
    Rom 7:21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
    Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,
    Rom 7:23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
    Rom 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
    Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
    Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
    Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
    Rom 8:3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
    Rom 8:4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
    Rom 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
    Rom 8:6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
    Rom 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.
    Rom 8:8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
    Rom 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
    Rom 8:10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
    Rom 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
    Rom 8:12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
    Rom 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
    Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

    Yeshua said:

    Mat 22:36 "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
    Mat 22:37 He said to him, " "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
    Mat 22:38 This is the greatest and first commandment.
    Mat 22:39 And a second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
    Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

    AGAIN:

    Mar 12:28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?"
    Mar 12:29 Jesus answered, "The first is, "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one;
    Mar 12:30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'
    Mar 12:31 The second is this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

    Check out this :Hear O Israel, and research the meaning of the Hebrew Word "Shamah"

    Deu 5:1 Moses convened all Israel, and said to them:
    Hear, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances that I am addressing to you today; you shall learn them and observe them diligently.

    Remember this:

    Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

    These two laws are summary of all others that hang on these two, as do all the prophets that ever taught of Him.

    Go study !!!
    Last edited by Jesusinmyheart; May 11th 2007 at 11:08 PM. Reason: may have been construed as cut down so i edited.
    Jer 6:16 Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.
    2Jn 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
    If it's not done out of unselfish love, then it's hardly righteous.
    http://disciple2yeshua.wordpress.com/




  5. #5
    Thank you so much everyone for the helpful answers.

    Kind of like nailing our sins and self to the Cross. Dying to self. Anyway, so much info and so very helpful. Thank you so much.

    Victoria

  6. #6
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    What is our cross?

    It is something God asks us to do that is the opposite of what we would choose.

    Jesus said we must 'take up' our cross (Matt. 16:24), as He did. It is not something thrust upon us.

    It's nailing our desires on the cross and choosing to live as Jesus asks us 24/7.

  7. #7
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    That's what my sig means.
    "Been there" to the cross.
    "Done that". My sin nature has been done away with!

    We had a talk about this at church this morning for mother's day.
    A lady made an excellent comment.
    We can't crucify ourselves. We can take the cross, lay it down, nail our feet and one hand, but we can't nail the other hand and raise it up ALL BY OURSELVES!
    We need to be willing to follow God. The world will crucify us because of our beliefs and convictions. The fact that we have chosen NOT to live a normal life is what's gonna get us crucified as we pursue what God wants us to do in our lifetime.
    Nothing more. Nothing less.
    My faith in Christ is righteousness!
    Jesus came to save us, His Spirit to change us.
    Christ covers OUR imperfection with HIS perfection!!!

  8. #8
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    There's also the aspect of humiliation associated with the cross:

    Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes

    1 Cor 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

    Cheers
    Leigh

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    Jesus had a cross to bear because it was Gods will.
    My assumption would be that our cross is anything in our life that God won't deliver us from, the assumption it must be Gods will.
    Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.
    C. S. Lewis

  10. #10
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    Hi JesusIsLord4Ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by JesusIsLord4Ever View Post
    In Matthew, Mark and Luke there is scripture where Jesus is saying that if anyone wants to follow Him, they're to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him.

    I understand this whole scripture except the part where it says to take up our cross. What is our cross?

    Thank you in advance for any/all help.

    Victoria
    It was customary for a condemned person to carry his cross on the way to his execution. So in essence Jesus was telling His disciples that we must be willing to follow Him even until death, because "He that loveth his life shall lose it......." (Jn. 12:25). Jesus said in Matt. 16:24 that "......let him deny himself, and take up his cross...." To deny ourself means to refuse our own claims upon ourself and to surrender our lives from our own works of righteousness, worldly living and lust. We are to take up our cross, to "take up" is translated as "lift up" in the Greek, which is a stronger word than that used in Matt. 10:38, and implies a lifting of the cross on HIGH, so that ALL may see it! This is the strongest statement in the New Testament about the disciple's need to curcify himself, by yielding to the claims of Christ's Lordship over him (cf. 2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Pet. 2:21). We must bear the burdens, afflictions, and the shame that will accomany carrying our cross. But "if we suffer, we shall also reign with him..." 2 Tim. 2:12. Hope this helps!

    Love,
    Madeline
    "Me and God, we'd be mates"

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