Matthew 16:24 – 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.
There are some Christians to whom religion is a very easy thing. There is no cross in it; no self-denial; no bitterness; no toil; no conflict. And when we say to them, Why is it thus? why do you sit at ease? they answer, Are we not saved by grace? Are not all these struggles or trials, of which you speak, proofs of a legal spirit? So they take their ease, and enjoy the good things of this world. They are naturally, it may be, of an easy temperament. God has, perhaps, given them much of this world’s prosperity. They have not had, or at least have not felt, the sharp strokes which some have done. They know the gospel. They like ‘religion.’ They take pleasure in the Bible, in pious conversation, in the soothing or solemn songs of Zion. Their life is one of spiritual ease,—religious luxury.
“Light and Truth” by Horatius Bonar
Having no cross in your Christianity is a bad place to be. As the song “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone” says there is a cross for everyone. People want a life of no cross, no self-denial, no bitterness, no toil and no conflict just like Mr. Bonar states. The modern grace movement is really a “no cross” movement. The reason they become lawless as they push grace is they don’t want any pain or struggle in their Chrisitianity. They would say all the troubles that Christian’s have is because they try to live holy lives. They would say that the cross would go away if you just took it easy and enjoyed the things of the world a little more. That is probably true but it is only because the devil would help them along the way.
There are people who are religious, sing gospel songs, go to church, read their Bibles and pray and have a life of religious luxury but yet have not the pain of a cross. A cross brings to a Christian who lives godly in Christ Jesus suffering in this world. You can’t be a disciple of Christ until you deny yourself and pick up the cross Christ has for you and willingly bear it. Having no cross is not an option for a disciple. If you don’t have enough pain or toil, maybe you need to ask the Lord for some. Likely you already have some, the problem is you don’t want to pick it up. The problem is you can’t pick it up because you already have what you want to do in your hands. First you have to set down what you want befor you can pick the the cross of what He wants. You are saved by grace but you now live by the cross. The crosses in life is what makes you grow. There is a saying no pain, no gain. I would say no cross, no growth.
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