October 23, 2023
TAKE UP YOUR CROSS SOLDIER
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, if anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
The following is taken from the study guides of “The Gospel of the Kingdom” - Take up your Cross and “We War Not Against Flesh and Blood” - The Adversary.
After Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended He was hungry. (Luke 4:2)
Note the following three areas of temptation that our Adversary seeks to deceive and to destroy.
Question #1. Luke 4:3 And the devil said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
The devil is trying to have Jesus question the validity of His own identity. Which is questioning the validity of scripture. Then the devil tempts Jesus’s area of need, for He is hungry, having fasted for forty days. Listen to the Lord’s response.
Answer #1. Luke 4:4 “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”
Jesus has the victory over “The Lust of the Flesh”
Question #2. Luke 4:5-7 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory, for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
Answer #2. Luke 4:8 Jesus answered, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.”
Jesus has the victory over “The Lust of the Eyes” (World)
Question #3. Luke 4:9-11 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written, He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you, and, in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
Answer #3. Luke 4:12 Jesus answered, “It has been said, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”
Jesus has the victory over “The Pride of Life.”
Note that the devil/Satan used the same three temptations that he used in the garden to deceive Adam and Eve.
Genesis 3:6 states, So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, (Lust of the flesh), that it was pleasant to the eyes, (Lust of the eyes), and a tree desirable to make one wise, (Pride of Life), she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
What was lost in the garden by the temptations of the devil, having gone through the same, Jesus has overcome. May we follow His example.
TESTIMONY OF THE CROSS
May we be found faithful declaring:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (Pride of Life)
For I am Christ’s, and I crucify the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24 (The Lust of the flesh)
But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14 (The lust of the eyes, the world)
For no one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62)
“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Timothy 2:3-4)
In order to be useful to our Commanding Officer, as a soldier enlisted in the army of God according to scripture we must not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – THE LUST OF THE FLESH, THE LUST OF THE EYES, and the PRIDE OF LIFE – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17
It is only those who have taken up their cross, crucified their flesh with all its desires will be soldiers in the Army of God.