Category Archives: Self-denial

Self-denial – alone makes us a friend of God

Oswald Chambers offered particularly insightful interpretations of scripture.  His Complete Works in one volume is worth reading.  Except for a few occasions, he’s right on.  Perhaps to make a point, one of those rare occasions occurred.  He said that God didn’t punish the “human race for one man’s sin.”

God obviously DID, as cemeteries world-wide prove.  Indeed, Genesis 3:14-24 leaves no doubt that Adam’s sin inflicted universal, history-long death and tragedies on all mortals.  Paul summarized that in Romans 5:12.  To say less minimizes the impact of one’s sin in another’s life.  David’s sin, for example, had long-lasting, nationwide results.  Also, while we are born with Adam’s self-will, we are not born in sin.  That Calvinist-Augustinian error results in the baptism of innocent babies.  Works, 830

Chambers did correctly conclude that the SELF Adam advanced in Eden became the personal will in each life at birth that begets sin at the age of accountability.  The disposition to assert self against God remains the unresolved issue between us.

We should never get into the ring with God to resolve it with blows.  We have neither the pounds nor the reach to succeed.  We should, as Jesus preached in an-in-your-face warning, practice self-denial vis á vis God.  The Master’s concept of a cross in self-denial emphasizes a visible and dramatic impact on disciples.  In that day, carrying a cross was a full-time effort at someone else’s direction.  The person imposing it determined where it was carried, for how long and to what purpose.  Anyone under a cross, then, has lost control of his life.  His decisions are made by others and he can only comply or collapse under the burden.

No Christian carrying the Master’s cross of self-denial need faint under it.  The Holy Spirit will never weigh us down to collapse.  However, self-denial is, and can never be nothing but:  the acknowledgement that God in Christ makes and enforces all the rules of faith and behavior; that Genesis to Revelation reveals God’s revealed word, with the New Testament superior and final; that seeking Christ’s-likeness is the purpose of discipleship; that in our daily role as Christ-like followers we witness to others.  While self-denial is nothing BUT these things, et al equally-important, it is nothing LESS than the above.  Are we carrying Christ’s cross of self-denial?

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