And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?
And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.
And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.
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.
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.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
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.
– Mark 8:27-38
To harness the great promises we have in Christ, you need to have a better understanding of the Cross. First of all, you must understand that there is no Christianity without the sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross. The Cross is a place of death – death to sin; death to self and death to the world. Apostle Paul, therefore, had to say, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
The cross is not a place to be dreaded but a place to be desired. It is the place where we triumph over principalities and powers and gain victory over sin, iniquity, weights, and burdens (Col. 2:15).
In the volume he wrote on The Inner Life, Thomas Kempis said, “In the Cross is salvation; in the Cross is life; in the Cross is protection against our enemies; in the Cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the Cross is strength of mind; in the Cross is joy of spirit; in the Cross is excellence of virtue; in the Cross is perfection of holiness. There is no salvation of the soul, nor hope of eternal life, save in the Cross.”
The Lord Jesus said in Mark 8:34, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” If you truly desire to live eternally with Christ, you have to die with Him on the cross. You have to take your old man – your old nature – to the cross and nail him there. After this will follow the resurrection of the new you that will reign in dominion on earth and in glory eternally.
- Pray that today you will make the transition from a carnal life to a spiritual lifestyle.
CONFESSION: On the old rugged Cross my Saviour was crucified. On it I crucify my old nature of sin and shame.