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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke

PART 3 - JESUS' MINISTRY IN GALILEE (Luke 4:14 - 9:50)

17. The End of Christ's Ministry in the Mountainous Region of Galilee (Luke 9:10-50)

LUKE 9:23-27
23 He said to all, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits his own self? 26 For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed, when he comes in his glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you the truth: There are some of those who stand here, who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Kingdom of God.”

Do you wish to follow Christ and become a member of his kingdom? Do you long to change into his image and become a child of God that the name of your Father may be hallowed in your conduct? Then your sins will be cleansed in Christ’s presence. In these verses, the words “self” and “life” appear four times, and the pronouns “me” and “my” appear five times, which brings us face to face before Christ. His holiness shows up your impurity, so confess your corruption openly, deny yourself, and hate your dissipation. Do not indulge in self-praise, but avoid it. Do not listen to the cry of the flesh, but overcome your selfish sensitivity, crush your self-pity, and consider yourself as nothing so that Christ may become everything.

How in practice do you deny yourself? Christ said, “Take up your cross”, not, “Take up my own cross.” He means to prepare you to accept a death sentence because of your sins, for the cross signifies the cruelest death penalty, reserved for runaway slaves, and despised criminals. Christ suggests to you, a slave of sin, a runaway from God’s wide mercy into the company of the disobedient, that you should bow your head to the penalty of death where the Spirit of God condemns without mercy. Then you will hate your corrupt self and despise it. You will also know that you have lost your soul, and that it has no value, but to descend into destruction.

This self-denial does not take place just once, but is realized daily by following Christ. Your Lord did not say, “Deny yourself for only once and you will be saved”, but he wants you to practise your self-denial daily, to continue in judging yourself at all times, ever to bear in mind your death penalty.

In fact, nobody can deny and deaden himself, and live at the same time, except those who follow Christ. In him we learn how to resist our sins, tread on our pride, and at the same time hear his call to the true life that is filled with joy, happiness, and love.

Following Christ is like a walking on the summit of a range of mountains, where on the right and the left there are deep chasms. But in faith, we place our trust in our Leader, and follow him step by step, neither quicker nor slower, neither before him nor behind him, but side by side with him, at the same speed, according to his will, looking to him, not caring about ourselves, but focusing all our attention on him that we may forget ourselves and win him.

Christ stabs you further in your own self, saying to you, “If you wished to speak highly of your manners and your continuous ease, and to display your noble origin, you would soon fade away and become corrupt because of such selfishness, as all clever and rich nations decline and fall through their boastfulness. But if you worship Christ and choose poverty for his service, seeking not your self but him, then his power and Spirit would flow in you, and his life would compensate your loss and give you an eternal being.

Unfortunately, people think that they are reforming the society with its schools, education, and morals. The are actually deceiving themselves. What we need, in fact, is to kill the ego, and not to boast of the customary morals, but to reject false humanity to win Christ alone. It is possible for a man, family, or people to prosper, and become so rich, clever, famous, and great that all the world may profit through him; but then he will come to the top of the slope and begin to fall down, for whoever relies on himself to win the whole world, deviates from God, moves away from him, and loses everlasting life, for Christ said, “No one can serve two masters.” Christ understood this crafty temptation of the devil from the beginning, and refused to possess the world choosing the cross. This is why today he possesses the world and the heavenly places, and lives forever (Also compare John 12:25; Luke 17:23; Matthew 10:33) . Do you love Christ? Come to him and ask him to heal your losing soul. He is the Savior of the world, and is prepared to care for you that you may be healed and follow him. See the absolute loss of your soul, and confess it before Christ, asking him for your salvation that he may change your corruption into holiness. Hurry up and save yourself, for Christ is your Savior.

Do you love Jesus? Then tell the others about your Savior, for the bridegroom who does not tell about his beloved bride or address her does not love her, and the Christian who does not read Christ’s words daily and tell others about him does not love his Savior at all. Are you ashamed of bringing the word of your Lord before your friends? Who is greater, Christ or men? Do you love yourself or your Lord?

Christ will come in magnified glory, for he denied himself on the cross and won it, having been given all authority in heaven and on earth by his Father. The Son will come in the glory of the Lamb of God, in the full glory of the Father and of all the holy angels who will be attending him. Then the kingdom of God will appear openly and become reality. Have you denied yourself, and become worthy of the kingdom of God by Christ’s blood and Spirit?

Christ knows that no man is worthy of entering into the kingdom of God. But whoever takes part in renewing the universe receives the power of eternal life in the midst of our wicked age, and passes from death into everlasting life. Since the Day of Pentecost, millions of people have lived heavenly life, over whom death has no power, for they have denied and condemned themselves, bringing honor only to Christ, the beloved Redeemer, and looked forward to his coming prayerfully.

PRAYER: O Lord Jesus Christ, You are my Savior, my Model and Aim. Forgive my selfishness, put to death in your kindness my corrupt self, and create in me a clean heart, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Bind me to yourself that I may follow your Spirit wherever you will.

QUESTION 69: How do we deny ourselves?


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