Dear Gary, I find your ‘post’ – “take up your cross and follow Jesus” – spot on! As I pondered your ‘post’ the following thoughts came to mind:
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits (gives up the right to) his soul” (Matthew 16: 24-26).
Jesus is bidding His disciples to lose the soul (i.e. – ‘die to self’).
The Greek word used in these verses for ‘soul/life’ is psuche and means”:
· One’s own self – The seat of one’s emotions personality, purpose and self will.
· Life – the natural life of the body.
· Soul – One half of the inner man that animates the physical life/body.
(Nelson’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words – pg. 1067).
We should note the correlation between the words life and soul, in these verses, and take notice that Jesus indicates in this verse that man’s participation is required. Please note the very next verse – Matthew 16:27):
“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then recompense (giving that which one deserves) every man according to his deeds.”
We see this word recompense in another verse of scripture:
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5: 10).
The soul, being the embodiment of one’s emotions, will, purpose and personality is extremely powerful, corrupt and will override the spirit if we allow it. This is why Jesus admonishes that we ‘die to it’, follow Him and become His disciple. These are very important verses of scripture as they relate to soul salvation. Thanks for your faithfulness and insight, Gary. Tyler Cole