Freedom Ministries Fellowship Notes
What does it mean to take up our cross?
Praise and Worship: 10 minutes:
Testimonies: 5 minutes
Review: What does it mean to take up our cross?
Romans 6:10-11 tells us, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Believers need to know when they sin today, they don’t have to fear the judgment and punishment of God. All of God’s judgment was placed on Jesus “once for all.” Contrary to what most people believe, this does not create a desire to go out and sin more. Jesus himself said in Luke 7 that when people know they have been forgiven, it causes them to fall in love with God even more.
If we have died to sin once for all, then what does it mean to take up our cross daily? This subject is recorded three times in Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:23. Luke is the only account that tells us to take up our cross “daily.” The word “daily” is not in the original texts, but even if it were, the meaning does not change.
There are two interpretations to this concept of “taking up our cross daily.” If you run into a difficult subject in scripture, the best way to find the true meaning is to remember what happened on the cross. We were perfected forever on the cross though Jesus Christ. Man cannot add to this perfect work. Most interpretations of scripture will try to add man’s work to Jesus. The first interpretation of this scripture, will tell you to completely die to your desires, die to your dreams and give up everything and suffer like Jesus did on the cross. Can you see how this exalts man’s efforts and does not address what Jesus already “finished” on the cross?
The correct interpretation of this is to remind yourself daily that you already died for all of your sins on the cross with Jesus. Matthew 16:24-27 makes this concept clear. Jesus tells his disciples the only way to receive life is to deny their own efforts to be righteous and receive life through the cross. The only way to receive life is to follow Jesus! Jesus explains that man could gain the whole world through his own efforts, but it would still not be enough to purchase his soul. Matthew 16:27 says the Son of Man will come again and judge everyone according to his works. If you try to receive life through your own good deeds, you will be judged. This reduces man’s efforts to nothing and exalts the finished work of Jesus. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ! So what are the “works” for New Testament believers? Jesus answers this for us in John 6:28-29, “Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” We simply need to believe in Jesus! Praise God!
Taking up our cross daily and denying ourselves does not mean suffering every day and denying ourselves the pleasures of life. It is not denying our God given dreams and desires in our hearts. It is knowing that we died on the cross and were punished for our sins once for all through Jesus Christ. Our suffering, and voluntary self-denial could never add to the cross. They may seem noble, but they are merely religious exercises. God has put dreams and visions in every one of us. He does not desire for us to deny those dreams and visions. Instead He desires for us to stop trusting in our own efforts, and trust in His inexhaustible riches of grace and righteousness. When we daily receive an abundance of His supernatural grace, and remember that His righteousness is a precious gift from God, we will reign in life and the whole world we be blessed by the life of Christ flowing through you!
Prayer: 10 Minutes:
If there is any situation in your life that needs prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to pray through you for that situation. The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us according to the will of God. It is the perfect prayer and is always answered!
All services are streamed live and archived at www.freedomministries.org. If you desire to help us share the true gospel of Jesus and fund projects that impact lives, consider registering at Godchangeseverything.com. Let’s show the world that God truly does change everything!
Share God’s goodness together.
Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Amen