We know from scripture that God calls us to a different style of life when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We are to be ‘aliens’ in this world, set apart for His service. Jesus expresses what the life of a disciple should entail in Matthew 16:24-27.
□ Read Matthew 16:24-27. What are the three actions that Jesus requires of the believer?
The first question we need to ask ourselves is “What does it mean to deny self?”
□ Read John 13:37-38. What does Jesus predict that Peter will do in denial of Him?
□ Read John 18:15-18, 25-27. What is involved in Peter’s denial of Jesus?
What does it mean then that we are to deny self in Matthew 16:27-27?
□ Read Luke 23:26, 44-46. What is the outcome of crucifixion on the cross?
Keeping in mind that Step 1 is ‘denying self,’ what does Jesus mean by Step 2 ‘taking up our cross’? How do you understand death on the cross?
Step 3, according to the Matthew 16 passage, is to follow Jesus. Using your word study tools, look up the Greek word translated “follow” and record below.
Literally this word would mean to be in the same road with; i..e., to accompany or to walk in His footprints. In light of this understanding of “follow,” what do you think Jesus means by “follow me” in the Matthew 16 passage?
□ Read Romans 12:1-2. Explain how this passage and Matthew 16:24-27 are similar.
God always requires us to die to self. Sometimes He may even call us to die physically for the cause.
“Eighty and six years I have served him. How then can I blaspheme my King and Saviour? Bring forth what thou wilt.” And with those words, Polycarp was burned at the stake for refusing to burn incense to the Roman Emperor. (Polycarp, 69-155 A.D., when asked to deny His Lord.)