Daily Devotional | Day 247
“Then He [Jesus] said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let Him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save His life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24, NKJV).
Eternal life is a free gift, but it is not without conditions. It is free in the sense that God alone is its author. We can receive eternal life, but we can’t create it. Additionally, eternal life is free because God offers it out of His love and goodness.
In today’s Scripture passage, Jesus lays out an underlying principle on how to obtain salvation from Him. The principle explains Jesus’ terms and conditions for salvation and discipleship. In the passage, you will notice two things. Jesus talks about discipleship (following Him) and getting saved. Unfortunately, in some quarters, people have tried to create a false dichotomy between discipleship and salvation.
To such people, being a disciple of Christ and being saved are two separate realities. They conclude, therefore, that you can be saved without following Jesus as His disciple. Or, you don’t need to be Jesus’ disciple to be saved. All you need to do is confess your faith in Christ. Following Jesus is good and commendable, but it is not required for salvation. But the reality is, such a position is a dangerous misreading of the Scriptures. Jesus taught the very opposite, as we can see from today’s reading. Let’s get into the passage.
If anyone desires to follow Jesus, He demands that they deny themselves and take up their cross. This means your love of self must end. You do that by dying to self. Dying to self simply means detaching yourself from the pride of life, lust of the flesh and lust of the eye (see 1 John 2:15-16). The cross is a symbol of death. Carrying your cross means remaining ‘dead’ to the flesh and its lusts (see Galatians 5:24). Immediately after this statement, Jesus adds that those who want to save their life will lose it, but those who lose their life for His sake will save it.
As you can see, Jesus connects the reality of following Him (and carrying one’s cross) with the reality of getting saved. They are two sides of the same coin. Jesus’ point is clear: If you want Him to give you a new life (eternal life), He wants you to let go your old life. You can’t have both.
If you hold on to your old life and its pleasures, it is impossible to receive God’s gift of eternal life. In Christ, the only way to live is to die. The Cross is a necessary path to the Resurrection. You must lose your old life at the Cross, if you want to enjoy Resurrection life. Skipping the Cross is not an option, if you want to live and reign with Christ (see Romans 8:17). Losing your old life at the Cross can be painful, but it is liberating. It is the only viable path to eternal glory.
Accept and obey Jesus’ terms and conditions. You will be glad you did.
Blessing: May the Lord’s goodness and mercies follow you today. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
For further study: Luke 14:25-33
Powerful truth. Let’s pray for all who have been led astray by false teaching about salvation.
Amen to that!
LikeLiked by 1 person