A key to overcoming our sins is learning when to deny ourselves. Christ plainly declares that those who desire to follow Him must deny themselves.
Has anyone, other than Jesus Christ, really exhibited self-control? In the end, however, this is the ultimate aim of growing in the character of God.
Protestant theology recognizes that Christian self-discipline presents a major logical difficulty in its keystone doctrine of 'by grace alone.'
How do we, as modern Christians, bear our cross as Jesus commands? Christ meant far more than simply carrying a stake over our shoulders!
Producing fruit is not simply a matter of having Jesus Christ or being forgiven. He says we will not produce anything unless we go on growing in Him.
God intends that we give ourselves as living sacrifices, mortifying our carnal nature, allowing God to consume our abilities in service.
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that God does not do things uselessly, and certainly does not need our physical goods, examines the role of the offering and sacrifice rehearsed at each Holy Day. The nouns offering and sacrifice derive from two separate Greek words meaning "to bring forth" and "to kill" …
Jesus commands His followers to take our cross and follow Him. Does He mean to carry a pagan symbol, or is there a deeper meaning to His weighty words?
Bearing our cross means our time on this earth is virtually finished, that we are willing to give up our lives, emulating the life of our Savior.
When Jesus gathered His disciples as He began His ministry, He needed principled and devout worshippers to teach and prepare for the work of spreading the gospel.
Our lives parallel what Christ experienced: crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and glorification. The death of self must precede resurrection and glory.
God has chosen the weak and base things of the world, yet we can still sacrifice our personal concerns for the greater good just as our Savior did.
Following Jesus requires absolute commitment, often involving sacrifice and discomfort. We must be willing to give up family and societal ties for God's sake.
Some equate abstinence with religious asceticism, but abstinence is broader. Christians may need to abstain from more than just sinful actions.
For His Own reasons, God has chosen not to reveal His plan to those the world considers wise, but, instead, to work with the weaker sort of mankind.
When we mortify the flesh, refusing to feed the hungry beast of our carnal nature, we suffer. Suffering for righteousness' sake helps us to know Christ.
The Gnostics criticized by Paul in Colossians 2:16-17 were guilty of bringing in ritualistic ascetic discipline to propitiate demons.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing upon the metaphorical aspects of work and walking, suggests that these activities play a major role in overcoming and sanctification. We must have a higher regard for Christian works than our everyday job, realizing that work is a wholesome activity toward the production of something. The first picture …
Christ's sacrifice was not merely substitutionary, but representative, with Christ giving us a pattern for life - mortifying our flesh and putting out sin.
Mark Schindler, maintaining that our response to the evil of the world sets us apart as the light of the world, cautions us not to abandon our children to the custody of interactive smartphones or iPads. In 1989, Charles Krauthammer warned that we are moving into extremely dangerous times and that we ought not abandon our …
We all have hungers, from a desire for certain foods to a yearning for success. Jesus teaches that we are blessed when we hunger for righteousness.
Like the marriage covenant, counting the cost is the most serious part of the baptismal agreement, not something to be taken lightly.
In taking undue attention off the self, sacrifice (as an act and as a way of life) creates peace, prosperity, cooperation, and most of all, character.
Eternal life, emphasizing a special intimate relationship with God the Father and Christ, is vastly different from immortality, connoting only endless existence.