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Ministry/Preacher And Prayer
Ministry/Self Denial

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Matthew 16:21-28

[ From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"

Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."]

 

The Meaning

+ This discourse is also recorded in <Mark 8:34-38: 9:1>; and <Luke 9:23-27>.

 + [Let him, deny himself] that is, let him surrender to God his will, his affections, his body, and his soul. Let him not seek his own happiness as the supreme object, but be willing to renounce all, and lay down his life also, if required.

+ Denial in deed especially refers to withholding something from someone. It may even refer to self-denial--withholding or abstaining from the pleasures of the world for the sake of Christ <Matt. 16:24>.

+ Self-denial, in the scriptural sense, is the renouncing of all those pleasures, profits, views, connections, or practices that interfere with the true interests of the soul.

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ set Himself an example for Self Denial.

Peter had advised Christ to spare himself, and would be ready, in the like case, to take the advice; but Christ tells them all, they must be so far from sparing themselves, that they must deny themselves.

Herein they must come after Christ, for his birth, and life, and death, were all a continued act of self-denial, a self-emptying, <Phil. 2:7-8>.

+ Phil 2:5-11

[ Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! ]

+ John 13:12-15

[ When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am.

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. ]

 

The Importance

If self-denial be a hard lesson, and against the grain to flesh and blood, it is no more than what our Master learned and practised before us and for us, both for our redemption and for our instruction; and the servant is not above his lord. Note, All the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ must deny themselves.

It is the fundamental law of admission into Christ's school, and the first and great lesson to be learned in this school, to deny ourselves; it is both the strait gate, and the narrow way; it is necessary in order to our learning all the other good lessons that are there taught.

 

St. Paul accepted to lose every thing to gain Christ:

+ Phil 3:8

[ What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ ]

 

 

 Practical Applications

 

We must deny ourselves absolutely, we must not admire our own shadow, nor gratify our own humour; we must not lean to our own understanding, nor seek our own things, nor be our own end. We must deny ourselves comparatively; we must deny ourselves for Christ, and his will and glory, and the service of his interest in the world; we must deny ourselves for our brethren, and for their good; and we must deny ourselves for ourselves, deny the appetites of the body for the benefit of the soul.

 

1. To deny yourself is to depend on God not on your understanding.

One's understanding must be denied in preference of divine instruction

+ Prov 3:5

[ Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding ]

+ Story:

St. Antonios to St. Yousif: "You have found the way when you said I do not know"

 

2. To deny yourself is to deny your own will if it opposes the will of God.

The will must be denied so far as it opposes the will of God

+ Eph 5:17

[ Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.]

 

3. To deny your self is to reject the sin and the earthly desires.

+ Col 3:5-6

[ Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.]

 

4. To deny yourself is to reject your physical nature when opposed to righteousness

+ Rom 6:12-13

[ Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. ]

 

5. To deny yourself is to reject your position when opposed to God.

+ Heb 11:24-26

[ By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.]

 

6. To deny yourself means that you are willing to leave every gain for the sake of Christ.

+ Matt 4:20-22

[ At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. ]

 

7. To deny yourself means that you are willing to leave friends and relatives for the sake of Christ.

Your relatives and friends must be renounced if they stand in the way of relation with Christ

+ Gen 12:1

[ The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.]

+ Luke 14:26

[ "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-- yes, even his own life-- he cannot be my disciple. ]

 

8. To deny your self is to attribute every good thing, you are doing, to the power of God.

+ Acts 3:11-13

[ While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon's Colonnade.

When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. ]

+ 1 Cor 3:5-10

[ What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe-- as the Lord has assigned to each his task.]

+ Story: " is not Longinous but Christ who can heal you"

 

 9. To deny your self means to escape from the vain glory.

+ John 5:41

[ "I do not accept praise from men,]

+ John 5:44

[ How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God? ]

+ Story:

St. Antonious heals the kings daughter.

 

10. To deny your self is to introduce the other in honor

+ John 3:30

[ He must become greater; I must become less.]

+ Rom 12:10

[ Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. ]

+ Story:

St. Antonious & St. Paul drive out demon.

 

11. To deny your self means to forgive all the time, as Christ denied Him self to forgive you.

+ Story:

St. Aioub insulted the idols infront of his brothers.