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What if I am not tough enough to deny myself, take up cross & follow?

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by Bob8102, May 13, 2022.

  1. Shadowkat

    Shadowkat New Member

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    The idea is to make things easy to understand for those who seek. That’s what Jesus did with his stories if not his parables. He spoke to the common man with common references to familiar objects and structures. Even when he spoke in riddles He used common language and structures.
    As for taking up one’s cross daily, if you combine it with “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” which must also be true, the thought I get is that a person should daily be about advancing their christian faith and the kingdom of God through prayer, study, works of love and compassion as well as seeking to find and grow the special gifts that the Spirit has given each individual follower of Christ. Like Nehemiah on the Jerusalem wall build your spiritual life brick by brick, lay the foundations, and set up its gates and become a city on a hill that lights the way for others. The point, I think, is to simply be about being a Christian every day. That’s not so hard, eh?
     
  2. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Then you are finally in the right place to properly depend upon God. The person who thinks they can do for God rather than the reverse is doomed to failure spiritually.

    2 Corinthians 12:9-10
    9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
    10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    Philippians 4:13
    13 I can do all things through Christ wh strengthens me.

    What we think the "cost" will truly be walking with God, following Christ, and what it actually is are always two very different things. All we can really understand is that, if we walk rightly with God, there will be a cost. But it is a cost we can bear because we have the "exceeding great reward" of knowing and loving our holy Maker. If we lose all else, we have Him, who is greater than all of Creation put together.

    It isn't your concentration on submitting that is the key to being saved and walking well with God. Everything in the Christian life depends on God, not you. Remaining in a place of submission to God is super-important as the basic relational dynamic in which you walk with Him, but it is the Holy Spirit who prompts you to submit, and who enables you to do so.

    Philippians 2:13
    13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

    (Romans 8:13-14; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:18, etc.)

    We are all pretty distractible creatures and so need the Spirit to prompt us throughout each day to live in submission to God, which he does. Rest in him, in the Spirit's work of bringing you on into a deep, holy, joyful experience of himself, of God. Being perfect, he's going to do a far better job of leading you to such a place than you will do by your own efforts. Your "job" is to receive, remain and reflect his work in you.

    More On The Three Spiritual R's: Receive, Remain, Reflect.
     
  3. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    2 Peter 3:16
    16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    Hebrews 5:11-14
    11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
    12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
    13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
    14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.


    Ephesians 4:17-19
    17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.
    18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
    19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.


    It sounds...good(?) on paper to say that a teacher only understands what s/he is teaching when they can make it accessible to a six-year-old, but there is a very distinct limit to this "rule." Perhaps in the broadest, most superficial strokes, various complex, "meaty" realms of knowledge can be opened to a six-year-old, but surely you don't think the intricacies of nano-technology, or quantum mechanics, or actuarial mathematics can be fully taught to a six-year-old, however skilled the teacher. There is far more to learning than the capacity of the teacher to make information accessible. As the passages above indicate, when it comes to spiritual truth, a powerful complicating factor in comprehending it is the state of the heart of the one being taught. Their heart may be hardened, calloused, because of sin; they may be "dull of hearing," accustomed to spiritual "milk" and find spiritual "meat" difficult to digest; spiritual truth may be hard to understand, not because it is taught poorly, but because it runs contrary to the natural, human way of thinking and behaving, and so on. Sometimes, learning problems lie with the student, not the teacher.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2022
  4. VCR-2000

    VCR-2000 Well-Known Member

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    I feel that way. Sometimes I wonder why God even had to create humans that are capable of autonomous free will including choosing to do good or evil, only for Him to say that we will only be "saved" if we chose to deny ourselves and follow him. I certainly hate evil but I question God's binary black/white sense of morality and justice. When if a human ruler said to his subjects "This is the right way and that is the wrong way, if you choose the wrong way you will be severely punished for the rest of eternity", then he would be called a tyrant.

    And denying yourself isn't fun, it means that if you love singing (or anything life that) and being in the spotlight, regardless of other motives, even if you think you don't love it as much as God, God would rather have you not participating in activities "of the world". God is that jealous of his creation.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2022
  5. VCR-2000

    VCR-2000 Well-Known Member

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    You know, that just comes across as "Sorry, I don't want to help you if you don't submit to my ideas."
     
  6. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    To call it binary is like calling darkness and light binary. Darkness is the absence of light. Morality is not our call; it is God's call. Evil, or wrong, is absence of Good, right. The commandments are not just right for us to do, they demonstrate God's nature and purity. Doing right vs wrong in sufficient degree won't accomplish anything but show us how wrong we are. We will fall short. In other words, the commandments are insufficient to save us. This is about God, not us.
     
  7. chilehed

    chilehed Veteran

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    That comes across as being upset that I won't cosign someone's apparent attempt to avoid responsibility for his own spiritual growth.

    Without God's help, no one is strong enough to pick up his cross and follow him. Fortunately, he's quite willing to provide the strength it takes, all we need to do is ask. The only reasons we can't ask are 1) lack of desire, and 2) lack of ability due to mental defect. If the problem were lack of ability due to mental defect, we not only couldn't formulate the question but also would have reduced culpability for our wrongdoings. If the problem is lack of desire, it's not that we can't but because we won't.
     
  8. chilehed

    chilehed Veteran

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    Who taught you that nonsense? What an utterly absurd idea!
     
  9. VCR-2000

    VCR-2000 Well-Known Member

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    Many Christians believe that things like the physical matter and anything that isn't explicitly seen or mentioned in the Bible is corrupted by it's very nature. That only the spirit is pure.
     
  10. chilehed

    chilehed Veteran

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    I know that some people believe it, I was taught many similar things growing up. But it's rubbish that has nothing to do with Christianity and can be found nowhere in either Sacred Scripture or Sacred Tradition. Its roots lie in the Gnostic heresies.
     
  11. VCR-2000

    VCR-2000 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but a majority of Christianity that I read tends to that similar mentality.
     
  12. chilehed

    chilehed Veteran

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    I strongly suggest that you broaden the scope of your library to include Catholic works. A good place to start might be Catholicism and Fundamentalism, by Karl Keating.

    I also suggest Adversus Haereses by St. Irenaeus, although being written nearly 1900 years ago and translated from Latin it's a bit more difficult to read than more modern works.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2022
  13. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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    Don’t think what if.
     
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