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COMMENTARY

COMMENTARY
English
Gospel according to Matthew
Gospel according to Mark
Gospel according to Luke
Gospel according to John
Acts of the Apostles
Epistle to the Romans

German
Die Offenbarung des Johannes

Arabic
إنجيل المسيح حسب متى
إنجيل المسيح حسب مرقس
إنجيل المسيح حسب لوقا
إنجيل المسيح حسب يوحنا
أعمال الرسل
رسالة إِلى أهل رومية
رسالة إِلى أهل غلاطية
رسالة إِلى أهل فيلبي
رسالة إلى أهل كولوسي
رسالة إلى العبرانيين
رسالة يعقوب
رؤيا يوحنا

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2. The Principles of Following Jesus
(Mark 8:34-38)
34   And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35   For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
36   For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37   Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
38   Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

These verses are so rich that huge volumes are insufficient to interpret them. So keep them by heart, mention them at all times, and ask Christ to realize them in your life in the joy of the Holy Spirit.
Peter believed in Christ, and determined to follow him without noticing that his own fleshly mind and human feeling were not in harmony with the kingdom of God, for no one is righteous before the Holy One. He who does not complain against himself, confessing his sins and putting to death his haughtiness, is not worthy and capable of following Christ.
The first step in this following requires self-denial. So let us not respond to ourselves any longer, but say to our selfish wishes “No!” Let us consider ourselves as nothing. Let us despise ourselves, and not honor, or glorify them.
Why does Christ ask us to take a negative position toward the ego? Because egocentricity poisoned every aspect of our life that our thoughts have become polluted, and our good deeds incomplete and insufficient. Did you begin to deny yourself, or do you love yourself, and make up your face before the mirror more than what is normal? Did you tread on your lusts, or are you still struggling for the dignity of your clan? Jesus denied himself and his family, and became a servant to everyone. Did you aspire to be esteemed and regarded highly? If you did, you would not meet with Jesus who is meek and contented. Deny yourself, for our God is a lowly Lord.Jesus leads his disciples to a second step in following him, saying: “Take up your cross!” He does not mean his own cross, or our problems, sufferings, and persecutions for his name, but he refers to the general meaning of the cross at that time, which was specified by the Romans to execute criminals and runaway slaves. By mentioning the word “cross”, Jesus means that you are guilty before God, a slave of your sins, and disobedient, and that death is your fate.
Only a few of Jesus’ followers recognize the mystery of self-condemnation, for our knowledge of ourselves requires first our knowledge of God. My measure of myself is not my thought, or my feeling, but God himself, his law, and his greatness. Before him, we are nothing. We are rather perishing and corrupt. Blessed are you if you recognized the loving holy God. Then you will know, without explanation, who you are, and you will become entirely broken.
Did you deny and condemn yourself? Then follow Jesus as a hearing disciple, obtaining from him guidance, power, and comfort. Paul experienced this position, and described it with his well-known statement: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”
Once again, we say: if you seek celebrity, human power, and earthly success, your spiritual life will become week, and you will become one of those who are dead in sins. But where you sacrifice your life thankfully for your reconciliation to God, and spread the gospel of Christ by word and deed, you will live peacefully and joyfully forever, not because of the good fruit you bear of yourself, but because of the hope, love, and prayers established by the Holy Spirit who dwells in you. The Holy Spirit renews yourself, and creates in you a holy mind. The new life in Christ is the true life, which is worthy of being called life, and everything else is but affliction and misery. In spite of their great wealth and luxurious cars, many millionaires sleep with their guns under their cushions. Beauty queens live with wounded, injured consciences. Such people are absolutely unhappy. They will remain worried and miserable until they are purified with Christ’s blood, and renewed by the power of his Holy Spirit.
Every man without Jesus is a slave to sin, losing the purity of his heart, having lost himself forever. Man is unable to renew himself by himself. Without Jesus, you are poor, lost, and condemned to destruction, for you are unclean and wicked in nature. In fact, Christ alone is the Savior of the world, and whoever neglects, or rejects the word of his salvation will be destroyed forever. But those who accept his gospel, and confess his power in our disobedient age, will see hope in the future of the world, for Christ is coming soon in the glory of his Father. His living followers are his glorious retinue. Then he will set up the kingdom of his love on earth with those who died to themselves, and there they will live in the power of his Spirit. Are you still a slave to your lusts, or are you established in Christ?

 

Prayer:   We thank you Lord Jesus, because you left your heavenly glory, made yourself of no reputation, became a weak man, obedient to the guidance of your Father, and bought us back to the true spiritual life; also because you humbled and denied yourself, and returned to your Father and his glory, living and reigning with him in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever. Teach us your thought that we may deny ourselves, leave our lusts crucified on your cross, serve you in your love motives, and love all men as servants of your pleasure. Amen.

 

Question:

51. What are the necessary principles of following Jesus?

 

 

Table of contents

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

PART 1
THE PRELIMINARY PERIOD IN THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST
(MATTHEW 1:1 - 4:25)

PART 2
CHRIST TEACHES AND MINISTERS IN GALILEE
(MATTHEW 5:1 - 11:1)

PART 3
THE UNBELIEVING JEWS AND THEIR ENMITY TO JESUS
(MATTHEW 11:2-18:35)

PART 4
JESUS’ MINISTRY IN THE JORDAN VALLEY DURING HIS JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM
(MATTHEW 19:1 - 20:34)

PART 5
JESUS’ LAST MINISTRIES IN JERUSALEM
(MATTHEW 21:1 - 25:46)

PART 6
CHRIST’S SUFFEINGS AND DEATH
(MATTHEW 26:1-27:66)

PART 7
THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
(MATTHEW 28:1-20)

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