Friday, July 29, 2015

Matthew 16:24-28

5. (16:24) Jesus Christ, Death—Cross—Commitment: Jesus’ death demands the total commitment of a

man. Christ gives four steps that are involved in total commitment:

A person must will to follow Christ. The word “would” (thelei) means to desire, wish, design, purpose,

resolve, determine. It is a deliberate willing, a deliberate choice, a determined resolve to follow Christ. If a

person really wills and deliberately chooses to follow Christ, then he has to do the three things mentioned.

Note: the choice is voluntary; it is made by the person. It is the individual who wills and chooses; therefore,

it is the individual who must act and do the three things mentioned.

A person must deny self. The word “deny” (apatnesastho) means to disown, disregard, forsake, renounce,

reject, refuse, restrain, disclaim, do without. It means to subdue, to disregard one’s self and one’s interest.

Very simply, it means to say” no.” But note: the call is not to say “no” to some behavior or thing but to

deny self; and this means much more than just being negative, that is, giving up something and doing without

something. It means that we are to act positively, to say “yes” to “Christ” and “no” to self. It means to

let Christ rule and reign in our hearts and lives, to let Christ have his way completely. Of course, if a person

allows Christ to rule in his life, all negative as well as positive behavior is taken care of. In Greek the

word “deny” is an aggressive aorist which means that the person enters a new state or condition. It means,

“Let him at once begin to deny self.”

A person must take up the cross.

A person must follow Jesus. The word “follow” (akoloothei) means to be a follower or companion, to be

a disciple. It has the idea of seeking to be in union with and in the likeness of. It is following Christ, seeking

to be just like Him. Again, this is not a passive behavior but an active commitment and walk. It is energy

and effort, action and work. It is going after Christ with zeal and energy, struggling and seeking to

follow in His footsteps, no matter the cost. Note that the steps of Christ led to death before they led to glory

(Matthew 16:21).

(16:25-28) Commitment: Jesus’ death offers four arguments for total commitment.

And abandonment of this live saves a person. What does it mean when Scripture says that a person

saves his life by losing it and loses his life by finding it? The key is in the words “for me.” Christ says that

“whoever loses his life for me, will find it.” The person who abandons his life—who sacrifices and gives

all he is and has for Christ—shall save his life. But the person who keeps his life, shall lose his life completely

and eternally.

The person who “saves his life”…

—By seeking to avoid the aging of the body and death yet denies Christ—that person shall lose his life


—By seeking to make his life more and more comfortable, easy, and secure (beyond what is necessary)

and neglects Christ shall lose his life eternally.

—By seeking to gain wealth and power and fame by compromising Christ shall lose his life eternally.

—By seeking the thrills, excitement, and stimulation of this world by ignoring Christ shall lose his life


As said above, the person who loses his life for Christ—who sacrifices and gives all he is and has for

Christ—saves his life, and he saves it eternally. The person who keeps his life and what he has for himself

shall lose his life, and he loses it eternally. The call of Christ is just what He says: a lie of denial that takes

up the cross and follows in His steps.

“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom

for many.” (Matthew 20:28).

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10).

“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I

you..” (John 20:21).

“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”

(Romans 15:1).


1. Do you earnestly have a will to follow Christ or is it a formality because it’s the right thing to do or say?

2. What causes you not to wholly deny yourself?

3. What are some hindrances that prevent you from totally committing to God?

4. Is completely following Christ (selling out) hard for you to do or does it comes naturally because you

are aware of such great sacrifice He made?

5. Do you sometimes struggle with totally surrendering your all to God in certain areas of your life?

If so, list them.

6. Do you feel that if Christ completely denied himself and showed total commitment, you should follow

his example in your life that you live for Him