*Topic: Self Denial: The Utmost Condition For Discipleship*
*By: Oluwaseun Isaac Agbenla*
*Bible Text: Matthew 16:24-25*
 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 is a price to pay if you must do exploit for the Kingdom of God. Jesus highlighted many requirements amongst them are; to deny ourselves, to take up our cross and to follow him.
To “deny” according to the Greek word simply means to DISOWN. So, to deny ourselves we have to disown ourselves. What does it mean? It means we cannot claim ownership of ourselves and whatever we are made off. It means we have totally surrendered all to the authority and ridership of Jesus Christ being the Lord and Saviour of our lives.
In 1 Corinthians 6:20, the Bible explain it better:
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
It, therefore, implies that whatever God desires you do at any time must be obeyed irrespective of your personal opinion. When you disown yourself, you can no longer argue with the rightful owner. You cannot use whatever is not yours any way you like because you will have to give an account of how you use it to the one who paid the price to own it. Jesus has paid the price for us and we are now his property fully. We can conclude that Jesus loan us the life we now live as Paul explained in Galatians 2:20
Beloved, until you have reached this level of understanding, you cannot move further to the next level which is to take up your cross. Many people are not carrying any cross for Jesus. They are living for themselves. They are not sacrificing anything for the sake of the gospel. Such people have not taken their cross let alone bearing the yoke of Christ. You need to ask yourself like I am asking myself, have you started your walk with Jesus or you are still living largely to please your flesh and self.
Brethren, the condition will not be waved for anyone. Jesus says “if any man”, that is, no matter who you are you must abide by the condition. This is why many are taking a shortcut because they cannot bear the pain of sacrificing their money, time, resources, and pleasure for the advancement of the gospel.
I will continue in Part 2 if the Lord permits.
God bless you