“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”The enemy of your soul, the devil, will offer you a crossless life. He offered that to the Lord. In Matthew 4, the devil told the Lord Jesus that he would give Him the whole world if the Lord would simply bow and worship before him. Jesus told him, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (verse 10). “We must be determined in our surrender to the Lord!”In Matthew 16:21-23, the devil tried to use Peter the apostle. Peter said to the Lord that He did not have to go to the cross. But the Lord said to Peter:
“Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (verse 23).In Matthew 27:40, again the devil came and said through the crowd, “If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” The devil will come and offer us a crossless life, for he knows that only on the cross will we have authority over him! Please understand, there is not one way for the Lord Jesus and another way for us. Paul the apostle wrote in Romans 6:3: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” And he also told us in Romans 6:6:
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”Christians are called to live a life of crucifixion! And once we make that commitment to the Lord-to die to self and the things of this world-the battle begins. A cry will arise in hell against us. At that point, the enemy will come and offer us the world. He will send us individuals who will try to interfere with that commitment. These people may even be our family, friends, or people in our churches. He will even tempt us at the moment of our total surrender, offering us deliverance from the cross. But that is why the Word of God commands us:
“God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar” (Psalm 118:27).The flesh does not want to die. The flesh does not want to surrender. The flesh resists the will of God. The devil will come against us. The world will come against us. And our flesh will come against us at the moment we make that commitment. This is the reason why the Bible tells us that we must bind the sacrifice at the altar. We must be determined in our surrender to the Lord! The life of a Christian is an ever-increasing participation in Christ’s death. We die daily. And as we die, the Lord Jesus begins to live in us. Now, you must understand, the cross is the place where satan is ever-defeated. The cross is the place where neither he nor his demons can touch you! It is the place of safety, the place of victory, and it is there that the promise is fulfilled: “For sin shall not have dominion over you” (Romans 6:14). As you stay on that cross, sin cannot touch you. Remember, the Bible says:
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Romans 6:6).The person that is dead to self is free from sin! The cross is the place of perfect and total victory against sin. If you come down from that cross, the devil will overpower and defeat you. And you will continue to be defeated in your life as a Christian until you go back on that cross. It is the place of safety and victory. It is there you will experience power over all the power of the devil. The true Christian is the one mentioned in Galatians 5:24, where Paul the apostle wrote: “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” The next verse says, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” You cannot live in the Spirit until you are on the cross. The cross of Jesus Christ is our total triumph! That is why Paul also wrote in Romans 8:35-37:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”You can only become a conqueror when you are on the cross. Verse 36 says that the flesh must first be crucified, and then in verse 37 we are told that we will be conquerors. And once you have surrendered, then your life belongs totally to Him.