Q. I have a question about verse Luke 9:23. Is this verse talking about sanctification? or eternal salvation? And finally, what are we to deny ourselves? Thank you for your time.
A. Luke 9:23 says,
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
After salvation, this is the most important message of the Gospel. If we want to be a follower of Jesus we should set aside our selfish ambitions for life and seek His will for us instead. That’s what the phrase “deny himself and take up his cross daily” means. In Romans 12:1-2 Paul urged us to offer our whole beings as living sacrifices to God. He said we should no longer conform to the pattern of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. The way he might say this today is that we should abandon our secular world view and adopt a Biblical world view instead.
In Matt. 6:31-34 Jesus put this still another way. He urged us to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness and in return He would accept responsibility for all of our needs. In short, the Lord has a purpose for our life and if we give Him permission, He’ll fulfill that purpose in us and make sure we don’t have to worry about anything along the way. You have my assurance that you won’t find a better deal anywhere.
As you look around you, it’s easy to see that most Christians don’t do this, so it can’t be a salvation issue. It’s something you can only do after you’re born again. It turns you from being a believer into a being a follower, from living a defeated secular life into living a victorious Christian life (1 Cor. 9:24-25). In doing so you will bear much fruit (John 15:5) and store up much treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:19-21).