Following Jesus Is A Daily Crucifixion

February 19, 2014

Do we have to follow Jesus to be in His Kingdom? Of course. Must we follow Jesus to be saved from sin and the wages of sin (Hell)? Of course. Then we must follow Jesus. Follow means to walk behind, as well as to accompany, someone. It means to conform with, to adhere to, to take over from, to imitate and pattern after, to admire, and to support and be devoted to the one who is leading. To follow also means to understand and comprehend the leader’s instructions. Do we perceive and accept the definition of “follow”? We must if we claim to be following Jesus. Otherwise we do not know what we are talking about.

Jesus says we must follow Him and His teaching or we cannot belong to Him. (Luke 8:21 // John 14:23) Jesus says we must follow Him wherever He leads us, and do so with complete loyalty, consistency, and faithfulness till the end. (Luke 9:57-62 & 14:25-35 // Rev. 21:6,7) Jesus says we must hold to His teaching so that we may know the Truth that frees us from slavery to sin. (John 8:31-36) Jesus says that whoever follows Him will never walk in darkness (the dark realm of ignorance, sin, and evil), but will possess real Life. (v. 12 & 10:10)

Therefore, we are set free forever from sin, but we must choose to walk in this freedom daily and learn, because of the evil howling about us, how to do so without faltering. Just as we have been saved, are being saved, and will be saved, the freedom from sin that we have been given is a freedom that must be walked in with determination and strength, and with praise and thanksgiving to God. It is a rest, but it is also a strenuous effort. (1 Cor. 9:24-27 // Heb. 4:9-11) Freedom is not “anything goes”, but is a life of joy in having the discipline and ability to walk in, and thus abide in, a peaceful, orderly, righteous, and love-filled life.

We know that Jesus has told us that in order to follow after Him, we must deny ourself and take up our cross daily. (Luke 9:23) He says that if we do not do this –that is, if we try to preserve our life (our well-being and our way of doing things)– we forfeit our eternal soul. (v. 24,25)

What is the cross our Lord has commanded us to take up and carry daily? First of all, what is a cross? It’s an instrument of crucifixion. What does God’s Word reveal about the relationship between His people and crucifixion? We know it teaches that we ourselves –our old self– must been crucified. (Gal. 5:24 // Col. 2:11) It teaches that upon submitting to being baptized into Christ, we are submitting to being crucified with Christ so that it is His will, not ours, that we live for. (Rom. 6:1-7 // 1 Peter 4:1,2) This is the cross we must take up and carry daily. (v. 13,19) We are to put Self on the cross daily, and throughout the day make sure it stays there –crucified. If we do not, then we are not following Jesus, and cannot follow Jesus –He, the crucified One who submitted to the Father in everything and who now sits at His right hand of authority, exalted over all.

Following Jesus is a must for walking in His Kingdom, in the Father’s will, and in Eternal Life. This is done by denying Self at all times –meaning, keeping it crucified so that Christ can live His life through us. (Gal. 2:20)

with love,

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