by J.C. Ryle
“The Gospel of Luke” 1858
“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it–but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world–and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” Luke 9:23-25
We learn here, the absolute necessity of daily self-denial. Every day we ought . . . to crucify the flesh, to overcome the world, and to resist the devil.
We ought to keep our bodies under control, and bring them into subjection. We ought to be on our guard, like soldiers in an enemy’s country. We ought to fight a daily battle–and war a daily warfare. The command of our Master is clear and plain, “If any man will come after Me–let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
Now what do we know of all this? Surely this is a question which ought to be asked. A little formal church-going, and a decent attendance at a place of worship–can never be the Christianity of which Christ speaks in this place.
Where is our self-denial? Where is our daily carrying of the cross? Where is our following of Christ? Without a religion of this kind–we shall never be saved.
A crucified Savior will never be content to have a self-pleasing, self-indulging, worldly-minded people!
No self-denial–no real grace! No cross–no crown!
by J.C. Ryle