Luke 9:23 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentObserve here, 1. How our Saviour recommends his religion to every person's election and choice, not compelling any one by force and violence to embrace or entertian it: If any man will be my disciple: that is, if any man chooses and resolves to be a Christian.
Observe, 2. Our Saviour's terms propounded: namely, self-denial, gospel-suffering, and gospel-service.
1. Self-denial: Let him deny himself: by which we are not to understand either the denying of our sense in matters of faith, or in the renouncing of our reason in matters of religion, but a willingness to part with all our earthly comforts and temporal enjoyments for the sake of Christ, when called thereunto.
They to whom we bear the greatest natural affection, even the wife of our bosom, and the offspring of our bowels, and those to whom we yield the highest reverence, and to whose commands we owe most entire obedience, as our fathers and mothers; if the authority of natural, civil, or ecclesiastical superiors should combine to tempt us to do what Christ forbids, yet Christ must be loved more than these, and obeyed before all these; yea all these must be comparatively hated in respect of him.
Farther, this precept requires us to deny our honor and reputation, our wealth and outward estate, our whole subsistence, and all our temporal good things, even life itself, when the interest of Christ and religion calls for it; otherwise we cannot be his disciples.
2. Gospel-sufferings: he must take up his cross daily; an allusion to a Roman custom; when a malefactor was to be crucified, he took his cross upon his shoulder, and carried it to the place of execution.
Here note, that not the taking of the cross, but patient bearing of it, when God has made it, and laid it upon our shoulder, is the duty enjoined: let him take up his cross.
3. Gospel-service: let him follow me, says Christ; that is, obey my commands, and imitate my example. He must set my life and doctrine continually before him, and be daily correcting and reforming of his life by that rule and pattern.
Observe 3. The arguments urged by our Saviour to induce men to a willingness to lay down their lives for the sake of Christ and his holy religion: He that will save his life shall lose it, and he that is willing to lose his life for the sake of the gospel, shall find it: intimating to us,
1. That the love of this temporal life is a great temptation to men to deny Christ, and to renounce his holy religion.
2. That the surest way to attain eternal life, is cheerfully to lay down our temporal life, when the glory of Christ, and the honor of religion require it at our hands.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.