barbaric instigating leading to more acute
resulting in an excruciating painful and speedier death
“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:45, 46; Mark 15:33, 34).
Why did the Father forsake (separate Himself from) the Son for this period of time? The answer is found in 2 Corinthians 5:21:
For He [the Father]made Him [the Son] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (cf. Isaiah 53:6; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24)
Then Scripture records the following:
After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said . . . “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (John 19:28,30)
When Christ cried out on the Cross, “It is finished,” He announced the completion of a redemptive work thatHe alone could, and did, perform.The words, “It is finished,” are the translation of one word in the Greek text — Tetelestai.The perfect tense in the Greek text calls attention to a work completed in past time, with the results of this work extending into present time and existing in a finished state.This word is in the perfect tense and could be better translated, “It has been finished.” That is, at this point, everything relating to the work of redemption had been accomplished. Nothing more remained to be done. Accordingly, immediately after Christ cried out, Tetelestai, “He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”
The Bible is a book of redemption; and basic, unchangeable teachings surrounding redemption are set forth in Scripture, at the very beginning, revealing a purpose in view.In the first chapter of Genesis, God sets forth the unchangeable manner in which He, in His infinite wisdom and knowledge, restores a ruined creation. There is a restorative work that follows a specific pattern, and the matter is accomplished entirely through divine intervention. And within this unchangeable pattern set forth at the very beginning, God reveals how any subsequent ruined creation would, of necessity, have to be restored. It would have to be restored after a certain order, entirely through divine intervention, over a six-day (a six-thousand-year) period.
Thus, to establish correct thinking relative to the fundamentals of salvation, one must begin in Genesis. If all those holding erroneous views had begun in Genesis chapter one and understood and adhered to that which God set forth at the very beginning concerning how a ruined creation is to be restored, not a single erroneous view concerning salvation would exist today. Such couldn’t exist.
And, going to more specific thoughts concerning salvation, the preceding would equally apply to not only the salvation of the spirit but also to the salvation of the soul as well. Within the structure of this foundational framework, the salvation of the spirit (the salvation that we presently possess) is realized at the very beginning of the six days; but the salvation of the soul (a salvation occurring at the end of one’s faith, or as the goal of one’s faith [1 Peter 1:5, 9]) is an on-going process and is to be realized only at the end of the six days, on the seventh day.
In this respect, the unchangeable basics pertaining to redemption in relation to the whole of that which, in reality, is the man himself (both spirit and soul) have been set forth at the very beginning of Scripture, in Genesis 1:1-2:3. And if a person would understand salvation within its correct perspective, avoiding all error, he must begin here. Here — and only here — can a person see the unchangeable foundation, setting forth the unchangeable basics, laid down at the very beginning.
Hebrews 4:12 reveals a penetration of the Word into the innermost depths of man’s being and, though this means, able to effect a division between soul and spirit. And this is a teaching drawn from the very opening verses of Genesis (as seen earlier in this same section in Hebrews relative to the “rest” set before “the people of God” [vv. 4, 9]). The Spirit of God moves in Genesis 1:2b and God speaks in Genesis 1:3. In relation to man’s salvation, it is at this point (in what would be referred to as the foundational type) that a division is made between man’s soul and his spirit (in what would be referred to as the antitype).
In the type, the Spirit of God moved, God spoke, and light came into existence. Genesis1:2b, 3 records the initial act of the Triune Godhead in bringing about the restoration of the ruined material creation, an act in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each participated — the Spirit moved, God spoke, and then note that nothing can come into existence apart from the Son (John 1:3).
In the antitype, within the framework of man’s salvation experience, the matter is identical. There must be an act of the Triune Godhead, for this is how God worked to restore a ruined creation in the Genesis account, establishing an unchangeable pattern for a later work. Thus, as in the type, so in the antitype — the Spirit of God moves, God speaks, and light comes into existence.
Everything is based on the Son’s finished work at Calvary. The Spirit moving and God speaking are both based on that which occurred almost 2,000 years ago. When the Son cried out from the Cross, “It is finished [lit.,‘It has been finished’]” (John 19:30; cf. Luke 23:46), He meant exactly that; and when the Word of God reveals that we have a salvation of divine origin, based entirely on the Son’s finished work, this Word also means exactly what it states.
When man sinned in the garden, he died spiritually; and when unregenerate man, “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), is made alive today, he is made alive spiritually. The movement of the Spirit (Genesis 1:2b) and God speaking (Genesis 1:3) in order to restore the ruined creation are simultaneous events. It is the Spirit using the God-breathed Word to effectually perform a supernatural work in unredeemed man. It is at this point — through the in-breathing of God — that life is imparted to that which previously had no life. God breathes into dead man (the Spirit using the God-breathed Word, based on the finished work of the Son), and man is “made . . . live” [KJV: quickened] (Ephesians 2:1, 5).
At this point, light shines “out of darkness” (2 Corinthians 4:6), a division is made between the light and the darkness (Genesis 1:4), and the darkness has no apprehension or comprehension of that which is light (John 1:5; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14).
It is at this point in man’s salvation that the spirit is separated from the soul. The “spirit” in unsaved man is dead. It is a part of the totally depraved man, with his “body of…death,” in which there dwells “no good thing” (Romans 7:18, 24). With the movement of the Spirit, using the God-breathed Word, man’s spirit is made alive and, at the same time, separated from his soul.
The “soul” remains within the sphere of darkness, which is why “the natural [Greek: psuchikos, ‘soulical’] man” cannot understand “the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:14). That which remains in the sphere of darkness can have no apprehension or comprehension of that which has shined out of darkness. There is a God-established division between the two that cannot be crossed over (cf. Luke 16:26).
(Note that the preceding forms a foundational part of the reason why Christ becoming one’s Lord [cf. Luke 6:46] cannot be an integral part of salvation by grace.)
Eternal life is the free “gift of God,” obtained completely apart from works. Nothing that man does — not one single act, either before or after he becomes a recipient of this life — can have anything at all to do with the fact that this life becomes the present possession of an individual solely by grace (that which God is able to do entirely apart from human intervention or merit) through faith (through believing on God’s Son [Ephesians 2:8, 9]).
Christ’s finished work at Calvary provides a salvation that fallen man can avail himself of only by receiving that which has already been accomplished on his behalf — by believing.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us . . . . (Titus 3:5a)
Unredeemed man is totally incapable of effecting any part of his salvation. He is spiritually dead. He is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). And being spiritually dead, unredeemed man, before he can act in the spiritual realm, MUST come into possession of spiritual life, which can come only from God (Genesis 2:7).
Everything surrounding his passing from death to life MUST be accomplished on his behalf.
Thus, unredeemed man can only be completely passive in the matter. The total inability of fallen, ruined man to act in the realm of redemption has forever been foreshadowed in Scripture at the very beginning by a prior ruin — the ruin of the material creation in Genesis 1:2a.
The material creation, as man, was brought into a ruined state by an act of Satan; and the material creation in this ruined state, as man, could undergo no change in and of itself. This is the reason why the first thing we read in Genesis 1:2b, 3 concerning the restoration of the material creation is:
. . . And the Spirit of God was hovering (KJV: moved) over the face of the waters.
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
This act of restoration was accomplished, in its entirety, through divine intervention. And so it is with unredeemed man. The Spirit of God performs a work in the individual, based upon Christ’s past and finished work. The Spirit of God moves, God speaks, and light comes into existence.
Man passes “from death to life.” A bringing forth from above occurs, and it is all based on the finished work of God’s Son at Calvary.
Salvation for fallen man is both free and apart from works, but the procurement of this salvation by God’s Son was by no means free and apart from works. God’s Son provided this salvation by means of a vicarious sacrifice — the sacrifice of Himself; and fallen man can do no more than simply receive that which God’s Son has provided.
Fallen man is no more in a position to bring himself out of his ruined state than was the ruined material creation. Divine intervention was/is required in both instances.
The former restoration sets the pattern for the latter restoration. It is God’s unchangeable pattern, forever established in the opening verses of Genesis. Man, a subsequent ruined creation of God, MUST be restored in exact accordance with the established pattern. Note the words “not of yourselves” and “that we have done” in Ephesians 2:8 and Titus 3:5.
Both refer to the necessity of the complete absence of works on man’s part in relation to eternal salvation. The work has already been accomplished; the price has already been paid. When Christ cried out on the Cross, “It is finished” (John l9:30), He announced the completion of a redemptive work that He alone could, and did, perform.
The words, “It is finished,” in John l9:30 are the translation of one word in the Greek text — Tetelestai. This word is in the perfect tense and could be better translated, “It has been finished.” That is, at this point, everything relating to the work of redemption had been accomplished. Nothing more remained to be done. Accordingly, immediately after Christ cried out, Tetelestai, “He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”
The perfect tense in the Greek text calls attention to a work completed in past time, with the results of this work extending into present time and existing in a finished state. This is the same verb tense used in Ephesians 2:8 relative to the present state of redeemed man — “For by grace you have been saved . . . .” The person was saved during past time, with the results of God’s work surrounding his salvation extending into and existing during present time in a finished state.
Redeemed man is in possession of a salvation (present) wherein everything has already been accomplished (past) on his behalf. The Holy Spirit has performed a work based on Christ’s past, finished work. The Spirit has breathed life into the one previously having no life, and the Spirit could perform this work only because of Christ’s past, finished work at Calvary.
Thus, redeemed man is presently in possession of a salvation wherein everything wasaccomplished in past time through divine intervention, with everything extending into and existing during present time in a finished state. And this work, completed in past time through divine intervention — whether Christ’s finished work at Calvary, or the Spirit breathing life into the one having no life — is not only something that unsaved man cannot have a part in but it is also something that saved man cannot change, add to, or take from.
Man is powerless to act in this complete realm. The matter is as Jonah stated immediately prior to his deliverance from the sea: “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9b).
Man can do no more than simply receive that which has already been done. That’s why Scripture states,
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [put your trust, reliance, in the One who has accomplished everything on your behalf], and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31)
“Salvation” in the Word of God is spoken of in three tenses — past, present, and future:
1) Christians have been saved.
2) Christians are being saved.
3) Christians are about to be saved.
The previously quoted verses provide examples of how Scripture deals with each of these three tenses or aspects of salvation.
In Ephesians 2:8, 9, salvation is a past, completed act.
In 1 Corinthians 1:18, salvation is a present, continuous work.
In Hebrews 1:14, salvation is a future, inherited possession.
Since the Word of God presents salvation in a framework of this nature, it is vitally important in Scriptural interpretation to first ascertain to which of these three aspects of salvation any given passage pertains.
In the past aspect of salvation, dealt with in Ephesians 2:8, the words in the corrected text, “you have been saved,” are a translation of two Greek words that form what is called in the Greek text a “periphrastic perfect.” The “perfect” tense refers to action completed in past time, with the results of this action extending into present time and existing in a finished state. The“periphrastic” construction places additional emphasis on the present, finished state and refers to the persistent results during present time of the past, completed work.
Salvation in this verse is wrought by grace through faith, accomplished completely in past time, and is the present possession of every believer. This present possession, in turn, constitutes an active, continuing, ever-abiding salvation.
The eternal security of the believer cannot be expressed in stronger terms than the periphrastic construction of the perfect tense in Ephesians 2:8, for the present results of the past action, in this case, can only continue unchanged forever.
However, in 1 Corinthians 1:18, dealing with the present aspect of salvation, things are presented in an entirely different light than seen in Ephesians 2:8. Rather than the verb tense in the Greek text referring to a past, completed act, the tense refers to a present, continuous work. The former has already been completed, but the latter has yet to be completed.
Then, in Hebrews 1:14, dealing with the future aspect of salvation, matters are presented in a completely different light yet. The wording in the Greek text of this verse refers to something that is about to occur. Nothing is past or present; the reception of this salvation, in its entirety, is placed in the future.
Further, the salvation referred to in Hebrews 1:14 is not only to be realized in the future, but it is also an inherited salvation. And the thought of inheritance further distinguishes the salvation in this verse from the salvation previously seen in Ephesians 2:8, for the salvation that Christians presently possess is not an inherited salvation.
Rather, our present salvation was obtained as a free gift during the time we were alienated from God. And, as aliens (outside the family of God), we were in no position to inherit salvation, for inheritance in Scripture is always a family matter.
In the Old Testament, “sons” were first in line to receive the inheritance, with “daughters” next. If there were no sons or daughters in the immediate family, the inheritance was passed on to the nearest family member or members, designated by the law of inheritance (Numbers 27:8-11).
Consequently, an individual had to be a family member before he could be considered for the inheritance, which, during the present dispensation, is restricted to “children” or “sons” of the Owner. That’s why the statement is made in Romans 8:17, “. . . if children, then heirs . . . .” And that’s also why in Hebrews 1:14 that an inherited salvation pertains to those who have already been saved, those who are no longer alienated from God but are presently family members.
In this respect, the complete scope of salvation — past, present, and future — has a beginning point, with an end in view. It involves the Spirit of God breathing life into the one having no life, effecting the birth from above. And this has been done with a purpose, an end, in view. This has been done so that the Spirit can take the one who now has spiritual life and perform a work in the life of that individual, with a view to an inheritance that will be realized at a future time.
Thus, one should immediately be able to see the importance of proper distinctions being drawn and observed in the realm of these three aspects of salvation. And depending on how one approaches and deals with the different salvation passages in Scripture, either difficulties can be avoided on the one hand or insurmountable problems can result on the other.
Man’s sin in the garden in Eden produced death. Man died the day he ate of the forbidden fruit. Since his body continued to live, revealing that his soul — the life-giving principle in the blood (Leviticus 17:11; cf. Genesis 9:4) — remained unchanged with respect to life (natural life), it is evident that it was his spirit that died.
The spiritual nature is that part of man that links him directly with God. “God is spirit,” and man’s worship of God must be “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24, NASB). The death of Adam’s spirit separated him from God (establishing the primary meaning of “death” in Scripture — separation from God), and this death (this separation from God) “spread to all men” (Romans 5:12).
Scripture speaks of an unsaved person as being “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). With an unredeemed, inanimate spirit (spiritually dead), he is alienated from God, separated from God (Ephesians 2:12).
But once the person has been born from above, he is then spoken of as having passed “from death into life,” as having been “quickened [NKJV: ‘made us alive’]” (John 5:24; Ephesians 2:5). Possessing an animate spirit, possessing spiritual life (having been made alive spiritually), he is no longer separated from the One who Himself is “Spirit” (John 4:24).
This aspect of salvation is brought to pass by the Spirit of God breathing life into the one having no life, based on Christ’s finished work at Calvary; and once this has been accomplished, everything surrounding the work effecting this aspect of salvation has been completed, with this work existing in a finished state (as previously seen through the use of the perfect tense in Ephesians 2:8).
Thus, the salvation experience that man enters into at the time of the birth from above is a work of the Spirit, based on a previous work of the Son. It is a spiritual birth and has to do with man’s spirit alone: “. . . that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6b).
The salvation of the soul, on the other hand, should never be associated with the past aspect of salvation. Scripture carefully distinguishes between the soul and the spirit, never using the words interchangeably in this respect (cf.1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12).
And Scripture also carefully distinguishes between salvation in relation to the spirit and salvation in relation to the soul. Salvation in relation to the spirit is always dealt with in a past sense, but not so with the salvation of the soul. Rather, the salvation of the soul is always dealt with in a future sense:
receiving the end of your faith -- the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:9)
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)
But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe [are faithful] to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:39)
The statements and exhortations in these verses pertain to Christians alone — those whose spirits have already been saved and whose souls are in the process of being saved, with the salvation of the soul being realized only at a future time.
The salvation of the body presents very few problems for the majority of Christians. Very few Christians contend, contrary to Scripture, that the body has either already been redeemed or is in the process of being redeemed. Scripture places the redemption of man’s body entirely in the future (Romans 8:23).
The Christian’s body is presently in a continuous state of deterioration. The body grows old and weakens with time; and the body is subject to sickness, disease, and eventually death. This must ever remain the case as long as the body remains in its present state. The “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and the unredeemed body must pay the price that sin requires.
Within this unredeemed body lie two opposing entities, each seeking dominion — a redeemed spirit, and an unredeemed soul. The unredeemed soul is housed in an unredeemed body, and the two are mutually compatible. But the redeemed spirit housed alongside an unredeemed soul in an unredeemed body experiences no compatibility with either of the other two at all. Compatibility is not possible, for “what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
This heterogeneous union is what produced the cry of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:24,
O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?
(For information on the redemption of the body, refer to the appendix — “Adoption, Redemption of the Body” — in the author’s book, God’s Firstborn Sons.)
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.
For whoever desires to save his life [soul] will lose it, but whoever loses his life [soul] for My sake will find it.
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” (Matthew 16:24-27)
The following is a reproduction of Chapter 2 from Arlen L. Chitwood’s book, Salvation of the Soul, which may be wholly extracted from the homepage of www.bibleone.net, should the reader so select. Before the above passage of Scripture is specifically addressed, Mr. Chitwood discusses some foundational material. If the reader would like to review only that which applies to the above passage of Scripture, in which “ he may skip down to the portion of the commentary under the heading “If Any Disciple.”
In Matthew chapter sixteen, coming into the vicinity of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus took His disciples aside on several occasions and continued to teach them, as before, revealing things to come. Beginning with verse thirteen, immediately after His warning to beware of the leaven (false doctrine) of the Pharisees and Sadducees, this revelation falls into four categories, which are all interrelated:
1) The true identity of Christ (vv. 13-16, 20).
2) The impending inception of the Church (vv. 17-19).
3) The approaching crucifixion of Christ (vv. 21-23).
4) The salvation of the soul in relation to the coming kingdom (vv. 24-27; cf. v. 28; 17:1-9).
Overall Scope of Events
1) “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”(Matthew 16:16)
The disciples, as evidenced by Peter’s confession, believed that Jesus was the Christ (v. 16); but the masses in Israel believed otherwise (vv. 13, 14).”
The word “Christ” (or “Messiah,” as translated from the Hebrew text) means Anointed One.In the Old Testament, prophets, priests, and kings were anointed; and the complete ministry of Christ (past, present, and future) encompasses all three of these offices.As Prophet (past), “Christ died for our sins”; as Priest (present), “He ever lives to make intercession” for us; and as King (future), “He shall reign forever and ever” (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 7:25; Revelation 11:15).
Insofar as Peter himself was concerned, his confession really involved only the latter, the kingly office, rather than all three. The disciples at this time did not grasp the fact that the Cross and the present dispensation (in which Christ would exercise the office of Priest) would precede the kingdom (vv. 21-23; cf.17:3, 4, 22, 23; 20:17-19; Luke 9:30, 31).
Peter acknowledged Jesus as God’s Son immediately following his acknowledgment of Jesus as “the Christ.” “Sonship” implies rulership,and this is exactly what Peter had in mind (cf. Exodus 4:22, 23; 19:5, 6; 2 Samuel 7:12-14). It was simply recognition by an additional means of that which he had already stated.
In reality though, an acknowledgment of Jesus as “the Christ,” God’s Son,must involve His complete, threefold office — Prophet, Priest, and King. And this was something that Peter did not understand at this time, as shown by his further remarks.
Christ’s future ministry as King,within the Scriptural framework in which it is set forth, cannot exist apart from two things:
1) A finished work in His past ministry as Prophet.
2) A continuing work (to be completed in the future) in His present ministry as Priest.
This is the primary reason for Christ’s severe rebuke of Peter in Matthew 16:23. Peter, in verse twenty-two, unknowingly denied to Christ that which he had previously attributed to Christ in verse sixteen (cf. Matthew 26:63, 64).
Note Christ’s words in this respect to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, following His resurrection:
O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? (Luke 24:25b, 26).
“Suffering” must precede “glory.” And apart from the former, the latter cannot occur. This is an established biblical principle that cannot change (cf. Genesis 37:23-36 and 45:1-15; Exodus 2:11-15 and 40:33-38; Job 2:6-8 and 40:12-17; Psalm 137:1-9; 1 Peter 1:11; 2:21; 5:1).
2) “I will build My Church.” (Matthew 16:18)
Matthew’s gospel is the only one of the four gospels that records Christ’s announcement that He was going to build His Church. The record of this announcement is given in a gospel that, throughout the gospel, centers on Christ’s kingship and the coming kingdom. And the record is given at a particular time in Christ’s ministry. It is given following Israel’s climactic rejection of the King and the proffered kingdom of the heavens.
Thus, this revelation of the Church occurred following a particular set of circumstances occurring within Christ’s ministry, necessitating a change. This though would not be a change in the message but a change pertaining to the recipients of the message, a change concerning those to whom the message would be proclaimed.
The message would still center on the kingdom, but there would be a change concerning those to whom the offer of the kingdom would be extended. In complete keeping with Israel’s climactic rejection in chapter twelve and Christ’s departure from the house in chapter thirteen, the kingdom was about to be taken from Israel and given to “a nation bearing the fruits of it” (Matthew 21:43b).
The Church, in this respect, was to be called into existence for definite and specific purposes surrounding the kingdom of the heavens; and these purposes were not only intimately associated with the coming kingdom, but the complete fulfillment of these purposes could not be realized until that day Christ exercised His office as King.
But, preceding the Church being brought into existence, the events of Calvary had to occur first. A means of salvation had to be provided first (a means connected with Israel, yet separate from Israel), else there could be no new entity of the nature referred to by Christ.
(Note that the Passover lamb was given to Israel, and only Israel could slay this lamb [Exodus 12:1ff]. Thus, only Israel could have slain the Paschal Lamb in 33 A.D., which is exactly what occurred [Acts 2:23, 36; 7:52].
Man today is saved on the basis of the death of a Jewish Paschal Lamb and His shed blood — a Lamb slain by the only one who could slay this Lamb, by Israel. But, though the Lamb was given to Israel and Israel slew the Lamb, unsaved man today doesn’t have to go to Israel per se to avail himself of that which has been done. Rather, the slain Lamb [who was raised from the dead and lives forevermore], with His shed blood, has been made available for all — Jew and Gentile alike.
And because this is true, all that a person has to do today — Jew or Gentile alike — is “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” [Acts 16:30, 31]. Then, because of Christ’s finished work at Calvary, the believing individual passes “from death into life” [John 5:24; Ephesians 2:1, 5].
This then allows the Spirit to perform a work in the individual [an immersion in the Spirit], placing him “in Christ.” And this, in turn, allows the individual to be numbered among those forming the new entity — the “one new man” — which Christ announced during His earthly ministry that He was about to bring into existence.)
And, beyond being brought into existence in this manner, it would be necessary that this new entity, as Israel, have a priest. This would be necessary because, as in Israel, salvation wouldn’t do away with man’s sin nature. And, with man still retaining his sin nature, the ever-present possibility of individuals falling into sin would exist among those within the camp of the saved; and sins committed by the saved, by Christians, would have to be dealt with in a manner that was in complete keeping with the way God, in the Old Testament, had previously established that they be dealt with — through a priest ministering on the individual’s behalf, on the basis of death and shed blood.
The entire matter of the sin question in relation to salvation — past, present, and future — was dealt with in the camp of Israel by death and shed blood. It was dealt with first by the application of the blood of slain paschal lambs (Exodus 12:1-13). Then it was subsequently dealt with by the blood of other slain animals and the work of priests (e.g., Leviticus 1-7, 16).
The entire matter of the sin question in relation to salvation — past, present, and future — is dealt with today through exactly the same means, by death and shed blood. This has forever been established in the Old Testament, and it can never change.
Today, as in the Old Testament, the sin question in relation to salvation is dealt with first by the application of the blood of the slain Paschal Lamb (cf. Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 5:7). Then it is subsequently dealt with by Christ’s high priestly work and His shed blood presently on the mercy seat in the heavenly sanctuary (Hebrews 9, 10).
In this respect — to effect salvation past, present, and future — Christ died “for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3); He presently lives, exercising a priestly office, in order “to make intercession” for us, providing a present cleansing from sin (Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 1:6-2:2; cf.John 13:4-12); and Christians, because of this twofold work of Christ (Prophet and Priest), can look forward to a third work of Christ when He comes forth as King. They can look forward to reigning as consort queen with Him during the coming day of His power.
In this respect, everything surrounding God’s redemptive work by and through His Son — past and present — moves toward a revealed time when this redemptive work will be realized in its fullness, in the coming kingdom.
Thus, in Matthew chapter sixteen when Peter denied to Christ His work as Prophet at Calvary — “Lord; this shall not happen to You!” (v. 22) — he, apart from realizing that which he was doing, was not only denying to Christ His subsequent work as Priest but he was also denying to Christ His future work as King as well (something that he had previously acknowledged [v. 16]). And, for this reason, Peter then experienced a severe rebuke at Christ’s hands — “Get behind Me, Satan! . . . .” (v. 23)
The events in Matthew chapter sixteen occurred shortly after Israel’s “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” and Christ’s subsequent departure from “the house” — the house of Israel (chapters 12, 13). And, for all practical purposes, even though the announcement was not made until later (Matthew 21:43), the kingdom of the heavens (at the time of the events in Matthew 16) had already been taken from Israel and was about to be offered to a separate and distinct “nation.” This new “nation,” the Church (1 Peter 2:9, 10), would, in turn, do that which Israel had failed to do — bring forth “the fruits of it [fruits relating to the kingdom].”
Thus, attention called to the Church in connection with the kingdom of the heavens at this point in Christ’s ministry, to later be more fully revealed through the Apostle Paul, is at the exact juncture where one might expect such revelation — after Israel’s climactic rejection (chapter 12), followed by Christ’s departure from the house (chapter 13).
3) Church, Body, Bride
Viewing the matter from another perspective, the basic principles relating to the formation of the bride (who is to one day reign with Christ as consort queen) and the redemptive work of the Son in relation to the bride are introduced in the New Testament at this time, though previously set forth millennia before. They were previously set forth in the first three chapters of Genesis, by the experiences of Adam in relation to Eve; and these principles remain unchanged throughout Scripture, having been reintroduced by Christ during His earthly ministry.
Adam was the first man upon the earth. He was also a type of Christ, the second Man, the last Adam (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45-47); and the experiences of Adam in relation to Eve prefigure the experiences of Christ in relation to His bride.
Eve was created in Adam at the very beginning, but was not brought into existence as a separate entity until a later point in time. Adam was put to sleep, his side opened, and from this opened side God took one of his ribs and formed Eve from the rib. Eve, in this manner, was taken out of Adam and then presented back to Adam for a helpmate (Genesis 2:20).
Adam, apart from Eve, was incomplete (for she was part of his very being — bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh). And, because of this, when presented back to Adam, Eve completed Adam, along with realizing completeness herself. In the highest sense, Eve was still part of Adam’s body, and God looked upon both together as “one flesh.” Both of them together, though two entities, formed one complete person (Genesis 2:21-24).
In the antitype, the bride of Christ has existed in the Son from eternity. The bride’s existence and salvation date back to a past time, “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4; Revelation 13:8). The bride, however, could not be brought into existence as a separate entity until the Son, at a time during Man’s Day, was put to sleep and His side opened.
This took place at Calvary. The Son died, and His side was opened. And out of this opened side came forth “blood” and “water” (John 19:34) — the two elements necessary to bring into existence the bride, separate from the body, but still part of the body (the “water” speaks of cleansing after the application of the “blood”).
Once the complete, redeemed bride has been brought into existence in this manner, “nothaving spot, or wrinkle . . . without blemish” — once Christ has completed the work announced in Matthew 16:18, building His Church — the bride will be presented back to the Son; and the bride will complete the Son (Hebrews 2:10 [the word “perfect” in this verse should be understood in the sense of bringing to completion]). Then, when the bride completes the Son in this manner, in the highest sense, as in the type, God will look upon both as “one flesh.” Both of them together, though two entities, will form one complete person (Ephesians 5:26-32).
In the preceding respect, God’s past work in bringing Eve into existence and His present work in bringing His Son’s bride (the Church) into existence, based on the events of Calvary, must be studied in the light of one another.
As previously seen in Genesis 2:22, God took a rib from Adam’s side, which “He made into a woman.” The Hebrew word translated “made” in this verse is banah,which means “to build.” Eve was created in Adam at the very beginning, later taken out of Adam, built into a bride, and then presented back to Adam.
In Matthew 16:18 Christ said, “. . . upon this rock I will build My Church.” Then Christ was later put to sleep at Calvary, His side was opened, and the two elements necessary to bring the bride into existence flowed forth — blood and water.
(The word “Church” [Greek: ekklesia, meaning “called out”] is used more than one way in the New Testament. The word is used, for example, in Revelation 2, 3 to refer to all of the saved during the present dispensation, those called out of the world. But the word is also used in a futuristic sense, as seen in Matthew 16:18, referring to a segment of the saved — those called out of the larger body of Christians, those called out of the saved [cf. Hebrews 12:23].)
The Church to which Christ referred in Matthew 16:18, synonymous with the bride — created in Christ from eternity — is presently being built in the previous manner. It is presently being removed from the body, called out of the larger body of Christians, and built into a bride. And the time when this process will be completed, with the bride being revealed and presented back to the Son, lies in the future.
Just as Eve was taken out of Adam’s body, the bride of Christ is presently being taken out of the Son’s body. The entire body over which He is the Head consists of all the saved during this present dispensation. But the bride is a smaller group that is presently being called out of the larger group, i.e., called out of the body. All of the saved are “called” (or, “called out” in relation to the world) and form the body, but only the “called out” (from among the saved) — those taken out of the body — will form the bride of Christ. The bride is a selection out of a selection (a removal from the body of those previously removed from the world):
For many are called, but few are chosen [lit.,“few are called out,” referring to a select group removed from the “called”].” (Matthew 22:14)
Note that man had no part in God’s work surrounding the formation of Eve — from the time of her creation in Adam, to the time when she was presented back to Adam. Nor can man have a part in the formation of the Son’s bride. Jesus said, “I will build My Church.”
The word “Church” comes from a compound Greek word (ekklesia), which, as previously seen, means “called out” (ek, “out”; kaleo [or, klesis], “to call”). And the clear teaching of Scripture attests to the fact that the Church that Christ is building consists of individuals who are being called out of the saved, not individuals who are being called out of the world.
The Church, in the preceding respect, is the body of Christ in the same sense that Eve was the body of Adam. Eve was bone of Adam’s bones, and flesh of Adam’s flesh (Genesis 2:23).
All of Eve was of Adam’s body, but she was not all of his body. “For we [Christians] are members of His [Christ’s] body, of His flesh, and of His bones” (Ephesians 5:30). All of Christ’s bride will be of His body, but the bride will not be all of His body.
And as Eve was to reign as consort queen with the first man, the first Adam (Genesis 1:26-28), thus will it be for the second Man, the last Adam and His bride. The first man, the first Adam, could have reigned only as a complete being, with Eve completing Adam; and the second Man, the last Adam, can, in like manner, reign only as a complete being, with the bride completing God’s Son.
In that coming day, the King with His consort queen will reign in this manner — as one complete person — fulfilling that which was set forth surrounding man’s creation (male and female) in the beginning.
4) “Whoever . . . .” (Matthew 16:25)
. . . whoever loses his life [soul] for My sake will find it.
For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16:25b, 27)
Following the revelation of “Jesus” as the Christ,the coming inception of “the Church,” and the coming “sufferings,” “death,” and “resurrection” of Christ, revealed events continue with the announcement concerning “the salvation of the soul” in relation to the coming “kingdom” (vv. 24-27). Then, the last verse in chapter sixteen, along with the first five verses in chapter seventeen (ignore the chapter break), continue with the subject of the kingdom itself.
The entire program of God during the preceding two dispensations (Gentile and Jewish), along with the present dispensation (Christian), moves toward the climactic dispensation having to do with this present earth — the Messianic Era. During Old Testament days, the salvation of the soul in relation to the heavenly sphere of the kingdom was open to those in Israel. Numerous Old Testament saints, desiring positions in this heavenly sphere of the kingdom, governed their pilgrim walk accordingly. And these Old Testament saints, in that coming day when the kingdom is under the rule of their Messiah, Jesus the Christ, will realize these heavenly positions (Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:28, 29; Hebrews 11:8-16).
However, with the removal of this offer from Israel and the subsequent setting aside of the nation, the offer today is being extended to an entirely new nation, a new creation — the “one new man” in Christ.Individuals from this new creation in Christ can govern their lives in a manner during the present dispensation (as individuals from the old creation in Jacob could during the past dispensation) that will allow them to qualify for positions in the heavenly sphere of the coming kingdom. And in that coming day, Christians shown qualified will, as certain Israelites from the prior dispensation, realize the salvation of their souls (lives).
Hebrews 2:3 reveals that the message concerning “so great salvation [salvation of the soul]” was first announced by the Lord. This message, however, within the text, had to do with a particular group of people outside Israel (“we” [Christians — the new creation in Christ, which was about to be brought into existence when the message was first announced]). And the message involved the same salvation, in connection with a kingdom, previously offered to and taken from Israel — the saving of the soul in relation to the kingdom of the heavens.
The salvation of the soul, as previously seen, was a major subject of Old Testament Scripture (Proverbs 11:30; Ezekiel 3:17-21; 14:14-20); and numerous Old Testament saints, as Moses, “looked to the reward.” They looked beyond their earthly inheritance to a heavenly inheritance. They desired a higher calling, “a better, that is, a heavenly country,” and they will have a part in “a better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:10-16, 26, 32-40).
They will realize the salvation of their souls in relation to the heavenly inheritance (cf. Hebrews 10:26-11:1), with the remainder of the nation (the vast majority) realizing an earthly inheritance in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
(The fact that the heavenly sphere of the kingdom was taken from Israel at Christ’s first coming, following almost fifteen centuries of Jewish history dating back to Moses, or following almost two millennia dating back to Abraham, cannot do away with the attitude that numerous Old Testament saints took relative to this sphere of the kingdom. Many Old Testament saints exercised faith relating to the heavenly sphere of the kingdom, and they will not be denied an inheritance therein [Hebrews 11:39, 40].)
The message concerning the salvation of the soul in relation to a “nation” (the Church) that was not Jewish, which was first announced by the Lord, was not understood by the prophets. They “inquired and searched diligently” concerning something that was beyond their day and, thus, not for them — coming into possession of this salvation through being “partakers of Christ’s sufferings” (1 Peter 1:9-12; 4:12, 13).
Jesus alluded to this new “nation” that would inherit “so great salvation” in Matthew 12:46-50 by referring to a new relationship that was not conditioned on lineal descent (descent from Abraham), and Jesus made known to His disciples additional facts concerning this new entity in the parables in Matthew 13:1ff and His revelation of the Church in Matthew 16:18ff. Then, the full revelation surrounding this separate, distinct “nation,” the Church, was later vouchsafed to the Apostle Paul and is called in Ephesians 3:3 “the mystery,” referring to something heretofore not opened up and revealed.
Revelation surrounding the mystery, in this respect, “first began to be spoken by the Lord,” the message was “confirmed to us by them that heard Him,” and the full revelation was then given through the Apostle Paul.
(That which is seen in the mystery revealed to Paul was not something unknown and foreign to the Old Testament Scriptures. Rather, that which is seen in the mystery revealed to Paul was a major subject of Old Testament typology. The Spirit of God simply took that which is seen in the types and, by Paul, opened up and revealed numerous things previously recorded in this manner.)
Matthew 16:13ff outlines the transfer of the salvation of the soul in relation to the kingdom of the heavens from Israel to the Church, and these verses constitute one of the pivotal sections in the gospel of Matthew. Matthew chapter twelve is the beginning pivotal section, and chapters thirteen and sixteen continue this same trend of thought, providing additional details.
Then, the announcement is made in chapter twenty-one (vv. 33-43) concerning the removal of the kingdom from Israel. And the events of Calvary follow, allowing the Church — the new recipient of the offer to occupy heavenly positions in the kingdom — to be brought into existence and occupy the necessary position “in Christ” (necessary to form a new creation, a new man, a new nation [cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:11-15; 1 Peter 2:9, 10]).
(For additional information surrounding “the one new man” in Christ,refer to the author’s book, Search for the Bride, Chapters 7, 8.)
If Any Disciple
The text from Matthew 16:24-26, dealing with the saving or the losing of the soul, has been removed from its context by numerous individuals over the years and erroneously used relative to the message of salvation by grace as it relates to the unsaved. These verses, however, have nothing to do with a message to the unsaved in this respect. Truths brought out in these verses relate to the saved alone, those already in possession of eternal life.
(Note: Removing these verses from their contextual setting and using them in relation to the unsaved does away with and destroys that which is actually taught in this section of Scripture, along with fostering confusion relative to the biblical teaching concerning the salvation of the soul.
Other passages of Scripture dealing with this same overall subject are, more often than not, accorded this same type of treatment [e.g., the warning passages in Hebrews, or the overcomer's promises in Revelation 2, 3].)
Within the text,Jesus is speaking to His disciples. The words, “If any man” (KJV), in verse twenty-four could be better translated, “If anyone,” i.e., “If any of you [disciples].” The word “man” is not in the Greek text but in the KJV has been supplied by the translators. The disciples were saved individuals (all, including Judas), and the message concerning denying oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following Christ (things not possible for the unsaved to accomplish) was directed to them.
This thought surrounding the disciples in verse twenty-four leads into verses twenty-five and twenty-six, which refer to the saving or the losing of the soul, with a view to being recompensed as stewards in the Lord’s house (reward according to works) in the coming kingdom (vv. 27ff). The word “For” connects verse twenty-five with verse twenty-four, and the same word again connects verse twenty-six with both preceding verses. Denying oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following Christ in verse twenty-four is the manner in which the salvation of the soul is brought to pass (vv. 25b, 26b). And the inverse of this would be true concerning the manner in which the loss of the soul is brought to pass (vv. 25a, 26a).
Within the context, as previously shown, Jesus is dealing with things relating to the kingdom of the heavens (v. 19). His Messiahship (vv. 13-16, 20), the Church (vv. 17-19), the Cross (allowing the Church to be brought into existence [vv. 21-23], along with showing “death” which Christians must experience relative to the self-life, the soul [1 Corinthians 1:18; Colossians 2:12; 3:1-4]), and the salvation of the soul in relation to the coming kingdom (vv. 24-27) constitute the subject matter at hand. One thought leads into another related thought, with the latter, the salvation of the soul in relation to the coming kingdom, being the end or the goal toward which everything moves.
Note how plainly and unmistakably the salvation of the soul (vv. 24-26) is connected with the coming kingdom (vv. 27ff) rather than with eternal life. The word “For” (same word that begins vv. 25, 26) appears once again, connecting verse twenty-seven with the preceding verses.
Thus, verses twenty-four through twenty-seven can only be looked upon as an indivisible unit in Scriptural interpretation, with one thought leading into another and all things moving toward a revealed goal.
(Note that Matthew 16:28-17:5 forms an additional explanation and provides commentary for v. 27, explaining that which is in view by the Son of Man coming “in the glory of his Father with his angels.”
And the thought of reward according to works is dealt with in related Scripture, seen both in connection with the kingdom [Luke 19:12ff] and the salvation of the soul [Hebrews 10:35-11:1, 23-26; James 2:5, 14-26].)
1) Deny Oneself
To deny oneself is to deny the fleshly impulses of the soul — the self-life. The unredeemed soul housed in an unredeemed body is to be kept under subjection by the instrumentality of man’s redeemed spirit.
By and through the impartation of the Word of God into man’s redeemed spirit, individuals, under the leadership of the indwelling Holy Spirit, progressively grow into spiritually mature Christians; and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christians growing in such a manner are able to deny the fleshly impulses of the soul, keeping their bodies under subjection.
This subjective state of the soul in relation to the spiritual man can be graphically illustrated from Old Testament typology in the lives of Sarah and Hagar. Hagar (the bondwoman), despised in the eyes of Sarah (the freewoman), had fled into the wilderness. But the angel of the Lord finding her by a spring of water gave the command, “Return to your mistress [Sarah], and submit yourself under her hand” (Genesis 16:4-9).
If a Christian is to be victorious over the fleshly impulses of the soul, those impulses which are under the bondage of sin must be made submissive to that which has been removed from this bondage. This is the clear teaching of Scripture, and there is no alternate way that this can be accomplished.
Sarah’s and Hagar’s sons (Isaac and Ishmael) are set forth in both Genesis and Galatians as typifying respectively the man of spirit (Isaac) and the man of flesh (Ishmael). The soul (self-life) of man (in association with the flesh) must be made submissive to the spiritual man. Hagar was blessed, but only subsequent to her submission to Sarah (Genesis 16:10); and man in his self-life will be blessed, but only subsequent to the submission of the soul to the man of spirit, empowered and controlled by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Accordingly, blessings relating to the self-life (soul) can occur only in connection with the saving of the soul. Thus, the great issue centers on the man of flesh and the man of spirit both striving for control of the Christian’s life (soul), with the salvation of the soul hanging in the balance and being realized only through control of the self-life by the spiritual man.
(Blessings in connection with man’s self-life though are not as one may be led to think — having the best of both worlds, for such is impossible. Blessings in connection with the self-life are inseparably connected with dying to self. One has to die in order to live [John 12:24, 25]. The section that follows deals with this aspect of the matter.)
2) Take Up One’s Cross, and Follow Christ
The “cross” was the instrument of death,and taking up one’s cross is dying to self, dying to the self-life. Christians are told,
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)
The man of flesh, the deeds of the body, exhibited through one’s self-life must be kept in a constant state of dying. The old man, so to speak, is to be affixed to the cross and not be allowed to move about. If mortification after this fashion occurs, the man will live (he will experience the salvation of his soul); however, if mortification after this fashion does not occur, the man will die (he will experience the loss of his soul).
The words “take up” and “follow” in verse twenty-four appear in two different tenses in the Greek text. The first has to do with a one-time act, but the latter has to do with continuous action. That is, Christians are to “take up” the cross at the beginning of their pilgrim walk, never laying it down; and, in this manner, they are to “follow” Christ continuously throughout the pilgrim walk.
(The translation of the parallel passage in Luke’s gospel, “. . . let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (9:23b), would seemingly militate against the preceding. This though is not the case at all.
First, there is some question concerning the validity of the word “daily” in the text. The word is not found in a number of the better manuscripts. But, if the word is to be considered part of the text, this part of the verse should be translated and understood in a similar manner to the way Wuest has it in his Expanded Translation: “. . . let him at once and once for all pick up and carry his cross day after day.”)
The same basic thought is set forth in Romans 12:1, where Christians are told, “. . . present your bodies a living sacrifice.” The word “present” has to do with a one-time act to be performed at the beginning of the pilgrim walk, never to be repeated. As the Old Testament priest placed the sacrifice upon the altar and left it there, the New Testament priest (a Christian) is called upon to do the same with his body. The body is to be placed upon the altar by a one-time act, and the body is then to remain upon the altar in a continuous state of sacrifice, never to be removed.
“Continuous dedication” in the Christian life is the correct biblical perspective. “Rededication” — as men often use the term — is, on the other hand, completely out of place, for such cannot exist within the biblical framework of the pilgrim walk.
A Christian cannot rededicate his life for the simple reason that he doesn’t have a life to rededicate. He has a life that can be given over to “continuous dedication” alone (whether or not he does so), and faithfulness or unfaithfulness among Christians will have to be understood and dealt with in this biblical respect.
3) For Whoever . . . .
The word “whoever” in verse twenty-five refers directly back to verse twenty-four. The thought is, “Whoever of you [disciples] . . . .” Verses twenty-five and twenty-six further amplify that which has already been stated in verse twenty-four, and, along with verse twenty-seven, form the Lord’s own commentary on this verse.
The word translated “life” twice in verse twenty-five and twice again in verse twenty-six (ASV) is from the Greek word psuche,which means either “soul” or “life.” A number of translations (e.g.,KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV) render the word psuche “life” in verse twenty-five but “soul” in verse twenty-six. Since “soul” and “life” are synonymous terms, translating psuche as “life” in one verse and “soul” in the next verse cannot really be considered incorrect. But not everyone has access to the Greek text or understands that “soul” and “life” are synonymous terms; and an inconsistent translation of this nature has, over the years, served to foster confusion in the interpretation of these verses.
Any Christian who refuses to “deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow” Christ during the present day (v. 24) — synonymous with “whoever will save his life [soul]” (v. 25a) — “shall [in that coming day] lose it” (v. 25a), i.e., he will experience the loss of his soul/life.
On the other hand, any Christian who will “deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow” Christ during the present day (v. 24) — synonymous with “whoever will lose his life [soul] for my sake” (v. 25b) — “shall [in the coming day] find it” (v. 25b), i.e., he will realize the salvation of his soul/life.
The inverse of the place that the soul/life is allowed to occupy during the Christian’s present pilgrim walk will be true during the coming reign of Christ. A Christian who saves his soul/life today (allows his self-life to gain the ascendancy, allows his soul to rule) will experience the loss of his soul/life in that coming day; and a Christian who loses his soul/life today (keeps his self-life under subjection, refuses to allow his soul to rule) will realize the salvation of his soul/life in that coming day.
Profit … Exchange
The words “profited” and “exchange” in verse twenty-six have to do with building or refusing to build upon an initial investment. Christians alone are in view. Only the saved are in possession of this initial investment and, thus, in a position to profit.
The very ultimate in man’s goals, aims, ambitions, and aspirations — gaining the entire world in the self-life — is set over against forfeiting one’s life (his self-life) for the sake of Christ. And profit is accrued only in the latter. There can be no profit in the former, for the initial investment cannot be used in this realm. The initial investment can be used in the realm where the man of spirit alone is operative. And an accrual of profit on the initial investment will result in the salvation of one’s soul, but no accrual of profit on the initial investment will result in the loss of one’s soul.
“Profit” and “exchange” are the subject of several parables on stewardship that the Lord gave during His earthly ministry, and a brief review of two of these parables, the parable of the pounds and the parable of the talents, will illustrate what is meant by these expressions in Matthew 16:26.
In the parable of the pounds (Luke 19:11-27), a certain Nobleman (the Lord), before departing into “a far country,” delivered “ten minas [KJV: pounds]” to His “ten servants” and commanded them, “Occupy till I come.” “Ten” is the number of ordinal completion, signifying all of the Lord’s business delivered to all of His servants. The “minas [pound]” is a monetary unit of exchange, and all of the Lord’s servants were to trade and traffic in all of the Lord’s business during His time of absence. And they were to continue in this manner until their Lord returned.
Christ’s clear statement to His household servants before His departure was, “Do business [KJV: Occupy] till I come” (Luke 19:13b). Those in the parable who followed their Lord’s instructions and used the initial investment realized a profit, but the servant who refused to follow his Lord’s instructions and use the initial investment realized no profit at all.
Then, upon the Lord’s return, the servants profiting from the initial investment were rewarded, but the servant who realized no profit suffered loss.
The parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) presents another picture of this same truth. A certain Man (again, the Lord) called “his own servants,” delivered to them “his goods [talents],” and then departed into “a far country.” The “talent,” as the minas/pound, is a monetary unit of exchange, pointing to the Lord’s business. The Lord’s servants, as in the parable of the minas/pounds, were to trade and traffic in the Lord’s business during His time of absence.
And, as in the parable of the minas/pounds, those servants who exercised faithfulness and used the talents entrusted to them realized a profit from the initial investment; but the servant who refused to exercise faithfulness and use the initial investment entrusted to him realized no profit at all.
Then, upon the Lord’s return, the servants profiting from the initial investment were rewarded, but the servant who realized no profit suffered loss.
The salvation of the soul is clearly set forth in Matthew 16:24-27 as emanating from works following the salvation of the spirit and has to do with rewards in the coming kingdom. Salvation completely apart from works applies to the “spirit” alone, and salvation in connection with works applies to the “soul” alone. The former must first be realized before the latter can come into view at all.
Through the salvation of the spirit (Ephesians 2:8, 9), Christians have been “created in Christ Jesusfor good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
(James is the main epistle in the New Testament dealing particularly with faith and works in relation to the salvation of the soul. This subject is developed more fully in Chapter 5 of this book. Also see the appendix in this book.)
---End of Arlen L. Chitwood’s Material---
Of His own will He brought us forth by the Word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.(James 1:18, 21)
“Redemption” is the central issue throughout all Scripture, but redemption includes far more than the salvation that we presently possess. Redemption begins with unredeemed man who, because of sin, is both alienated from God and dwelling on an earth that is under a curse; and redemption terminates with redeemed man dwelling as a joint-heir with his Messiah, ruling over an earth removed from the curse.
In this respect, God’s revealed purpose for man’s redemption is to ultimately place him in the position for which he was originally created: “Let them havedominion . . . .” And when this has been accomplished, restored man will occupy a regal position over a restored earth, removed from the curse (cf. Genesis 1:26, 28; Acts 3:21; Colossians 1:20).
Anything short of this revealed goal is short of God’s purpose for His redemptive work surrounding man.
The Hebrew word translated “dominion” in Genesis 1:26, 28 is radhah,which means “to rule.” This is the same word translated “rule” in Psalm 110:2, referring to Christ ruling the earth in the coming age as the great King-Priest “after the order of Melchizedek.” Christ, however, is not to rule alone. He will have many “companions” (Hebrews 1:9; 3:14) ruling as joint-heirs with Him, and God’s purpose for His past and present redemptive work surrounding man is to ultimately bring him into this regal position — a culmination of God’s redemptive work, to be realized at a future date.
The text in James 1:18, 21 has to do with a present work among Christians, a bringing forth from above, in relation to the salvation of their souls. The individuals in this passage (the writer included himself) had been begotten from above, realizing the salvation of their spirits. And through the birth from above, these individuals had been placed in a position (possessing spiritual life) where there could be a continued bringing forth from above, allowing them to ultimately be brought into a realization of the salvation of their souls,following that seen in these two verses.
(For additional information on the divine work in a Christian’s life in the preceding respect, as set forth in James 1:18, 21, refer to the author's book, Brought Forth From Above.
The issue surrounding redemption in relation to alienated, unredeemed man has to do with the salvation of his spirit;and the issue surrounding redemption in relation to redeemed man, who possesses a right relationship with God, has to do with the salvation of his soul. Thus, relative to the salvation of both the spirit and the soul, man has been saved [salvation of the spirit] in order to bring him into a position where he can be saved [salvation of the soul].
The former has to do with eternal verities and the latter with millennial verities. Through the salvation of man’s spirit,he comes into possession of eternal life; but only through the salvation of his soul does he come into possession of the inheritance awaiting the faithful, to be realized during the Messianic Era.
And the latter [the saving of the soul], not the former [the salvation of the spirit], is the subject in view in James 1:18, 21.)
Therefore, Lay Aside . . . Receive . . . .
In James 1:21, there is really only one command in the wording of the Greek text. The verse should literally read,
“Therefore, putting away all filthiness and all prevailing wickedness, in meekness receive the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.”
Following the salvation of one’s spirit, an individual (Christian) is commanded to “receive . . . the implanted Word,” for this Word alone is able to effect the salvation of his soul.
However, a Christian is to receive this Word only after he has set aside the things that would hinder the reception of this Word. The words “filthiness” and “wickedness,” though appearing to refer basically to the same thing in the English text, set forth two entirely different thoughts in the Greek text.
The word translated “filthiness” comes from a root word that, relative to the human ear — the channel through which “the implanted Word” is received — could have to do with ear wax. In a metaphorical manner of viewing the matter, the thought set forth through the use of this word has to do with the possibility that these Christians’ ears, so to speak, were filthy. There were possibly obstructions — having to do with a dulled spiritual perception — which prevented the Word of God from flowing through the auditory canals in a proper manner; and, if so, they were to remove these obstructions.
Then, after these Christians had removed any obstructions that could prevent them from hearing the Word of God properly, they were to put away all “wickedness” in their lives. This is simply a general term that carries the thought of “anything opposed to purity.” These Christians were to put away any impurity in their lives that could hinder the reception of the Word of God. And receiving the implanted Word in this fashion would then allow them to “grow thereby unto salvation” (1 Peter 2:2, ASV), i.e., through spiritual growth they would ultimately realize the salvation of their souls.
The word “implanted” has to do simply with that which is placed on the inside. This Word is to be firmly fixed within a person’s mind, within his thinking process. The channel, as we have seen, is the ear. According to Romans 10:17, “. . . faith comes by [‘out of’] hearing, and hearing by [‘through’] the Word of God.” The Word is to flow through unobstructed auditory canals into a saved human spirit, for a revealed purpose.
Once the Word has been received in this manner, the indwelling Holy Spirit can then perform a work in the individual. As all hindrances (all impurities) are set aside and the spiritual man is allowed to exert full control, the Holy Spirit, using “the implanted Word,” can then effect spiritual growth. And, as this process continues over time, spiritual growth of this nature will lead from immaturity to maturity.
The teaching in James 1:21, or for that matter the book of James as a whole, must be understood in the light of the subject matter at hand — the salvation of the soul.In order to properly understand the Word of God at this point, one must not only have an understanding of the salvation that he presently possesses, but that person must also have an equally good understanding and comprehension of the salvation that he is about to possess.
Teachings surrounding the salvation of the soul are, in reality, the central subject matter in all of the epistles — both the Pauline and general epistles, from Romans through Jude.
Each epistle is different, containing its own peculiarities; and each has been written to provide a different facet of revealed truth, with all of the epistles together forming a complete body of revealed information and instructions for Christians relative to present and future aspects of salvation.
In this respect, apart from an understanding of the salvation of the soul, it is not possible to properly understand the central message of the epistles. An understanding of the salvation of the soul, which is introduced in the Old Testament and continued in the gospels and the book of Acts, is the key that will open the epistles to one’s understanding.
Thus, the importance of understanding that which Scripture reveals about the salvation of the soul cannot be overemphasized.And this importance can be shown by the goal, which the writer of Hebrews dealt with near the beginning of his epistle, referring to this salvation as “so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3; cf. Hebrews 1:14; 2:5; 6:13-19; 10:35-39; 1 Peter 1:9).
It is the greatest thing God has ever designed for redeemed man, for it includes joint-heirship with His Son over all things during the coming age.
Growing unto Salvation
Putting away therefore all wickedness, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking,
As newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation.(1 Peter 2:1, 2, ASV)
The ASV has been quoted rather than the KJV because it includes the translation of two explanatory Greek words in verse two (ref. also NASB, NIV, Weymouth). These two words, eis soterian,appear at the end of the verse and actually sum up and conclude the thought of the entire verse, for within these two words lies the revealed reason for growth to maturity.
(The words eis soterian are found in some Greek manuscripts but not in others. The weight of manuscript evidence though would favor the inclusion of these two words in the text, which is why most Greek texts printed in modern times include these words.
A translation of these two words is not found in the KJV because the Textus Receptus, the main Greek text used for the New Testament portion of the KJV, does not include these words. Most English translations in modern times though, using later Greek texts based on more manuscript evidence than the Textus Receptus, include these words.
And, because of the subject matter at hand — the saving of the soul — these two words fit perfectly into the overall text.)
Eis soterian should be properly translated either “unto salvation” or “with respect to salvation” (ref. NASB). Then the question naturally arises, “What aspect of salvation is in view?” It can only be the salvation of the soul, for not only is this the subject matter dealt with in 1 Peter (cf.1:9, 10) but Christians do not grow “unto” or “with respect to” the salvation that they presently possess.
The salvation of the spirit was effected in past time completely apart from any accomplishment, effort, etc., of man. Nothing can ever be added to or taken from this salvation, for it is based entirely on the finished work of Christ at Calvary. And this finished work can never be changed or altered in any fashion.
All Christians remain on an equal plain within the scope of this salvation. A newborn babe in Christ, a carnally immature Christian, and a spiritually mature Christian all occupy identical positions insofar as the salvation of the spirit is concerned. Christian growth is brought to pass on the basis of the salvation of the spirit, but there is no such thing as growing “unto” or “with respect to” this salvation.
The command in 1 Peter 2:2, although applicable only to newborn babes, parallels and has to do with the same central thought as the command in James 1:21: “. . . long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation” (1 Peter 2:2, ASV) and “. . . receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Both begin at the same point (a reception of the Word of God into man’s saved human spirit), progress in the same manner (spiritual growth), and end at the same point (salvation).
The commands to receive the Word of God in both James 1:21 and 1 Peter 2:2 are preceded by parallel statements:
Therefore lay aside [lit.,Therefore laying aside] all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive . . . . (James 1:21a)
Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evilspeaking . . . desire [long for] . . . . (1 Peter 2:1, 2a)
Nothing must be allowed to interfere with the reception of the Word of God as Christians mature day by day. This is the reason Christians are exhorted over and over in the New Testament to separate themselves from the things of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Sin in one’s life will impede the reception of the Word of God; and sin harbored in one’s life will impede the reception of this Word to the extent that the individual may fail to grow “unto salvation.”
The problem of sin in the Christian’s life today, in view of the coming salvation of the soul, is the reason Christ is presently exercising a high priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. Christians reside in a body of death with the ever-present sin nature; and, in this condition, they reside in a world under the control and dominion of Satan and his angels. Residing in the present world system after this fashion, Christians come under constant attack from the archenemy of their souls; and failure in the pilgrim walk, producing defilement in their lives, can and does occur.
Because of present conditions and circumstances, Christ, as High Priest, is performing a work in the heavenly sanctuary. He is performing a present, continuous cleansing for Christians, accomplished solely on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat (Hebrews 9:11, 12). And forgiveness and cleansing from “all unrighteousness” occur as Christians “confess” their sins (1 John 1:5, 6, 9; 2:1, 2).
The reason for Christ’s present ministry has to do with the salvation of the soul, as the reason for His past ministry had to do with the salvation of the spirit. God’s complete purpose for man cannot be realized apart from the salvation of both, i.e., the salvation of man as a complete being (which, in that coming day, will include his body as well).
Milk … Meat … Strong Meat
In the terminology of Scripture itself, milk is for babies, and meat is for those who have experienced sufficient growth to leave the milk and partake of solid food. Both milk and meat (solid food) are indispensable elements as one progressively grows from an immature infant into a mature adult, and nourishment to produce proper growth in both the physical and spiritual realms must come from the correct source.
1) In the Physical Realm
The analogy concerning a newborn Christian’s spiritual needs for the “milk which is without guile” is drawn from the physical needs and desires of a newborn baby. Almost immediately following birth the baby instinctively begins seeking nourishment from his mother. His needs are very basic: food, warmth, and security.
These are all satisfied at his mother’s breasts, as he longs for his mother’s milk. This milk is pure, easily digested, and contains all the necessary components for the early growth of the entire body, especially the brain and nervous system. The mother’s milk is a living organism that cannot be duplicated. Man’s best efforts to reproduce this milk are described by the terms “most like,” or “near to.”
A child in his early physical growth does not continue on milk indefinitely. The child’s growth always moves toward a day when he is able to leave the milk and continue on solid food. The solid food that the child first begins taking is a type that is more easily masticated and digested. But as the child grows, the teeth become more firmly entrenched, the digestive system matures, and the day arrives when the child becomes physically mature enough to handle any type of solid food.
2) In the Spiritual Realm
God revealed Himself to Abraham as “El Shaddai [‘Almighty God’]” (Genesis 17:1). El is the singular form of the plural Hebrew word for “God” (Elohim), and Shaddai is a derivative of the word shad, which means “breast.” In this respect, God literally revealed Himself to Abraham as the “All-Powerful, Breasted God,” i.e., the All-Powerful God who nourishes, gives strength, and satisfies. This appears to be the primary thought behind the words El Shaddai when used with God’s own people in view.
God’s revealed Word to man, derived from the “All-Powerful, Breasted One,” is the means through which God nourishes, strengthens, and satisfies His people throughout their pilgrim walk. The newborn Christian, because of his new nature, is to instinctively long for the “spiritual milk which is without guile” (1 Peter 2:2, ASV); and the more mature a Christian becomes, the more he, in like manner, is to instinctively move on into the “meat” and “strong meat” (solid food) of the Word.
This Word is “living and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12) and contains everything necessary for Christian growth to maturity. The weaning process in Christian growth pertains only to the “milk,” not the source. It is not possible for any Christian to receive nourishment apart from the “All-Powerful, Breasted God.”
Proper Christian growth begins with “milk,” progresses to “meat,” and then moves on to “strong meat” (KJV). In Hebrews chapter five, the writer of this book severely rebuked certain Christians for their inability to handle anything but “milk.” They had been saved for a sufficient length of time that they should not only have progressed from milk to meat, and then to strong meat (solid food), but they should also have progressed to the point where they could teach the Word to other Christians.
However, because of a lazy, careless manner of conducting their spiritual lives over time, these Christians had not experienced proper growth in their understanding of the Word. They were still on the milk of the Word and had not progressed in their Christian growth beyond the point of needing to be taught themselves.
The subject matter at hand in relation to “strong meat” (solid food) in Hebrews chapter five is the Melchizedek priesthood. The writer of this book had “many things” he would like to have said concerning this priesthood; but these things had to do with a realm of biblical doctrine beyond that which these Christians, because of their immaturity, were able to comprehend.
The things associated with the Melchizedek priesthood had to do with strong meat (solid food), and these Christians were still on milk. They were unable to partake of meat, much less strong meat drawn from teachings surrounding the Melchizedek priesthood.
(Note that both “milk” and “meat” have an association with that which is living in both the physical and spiritual realms. Man may attempt to duplicate both; but, in reality, he can duplicate neither. Life of this nature — physical or spiritual — comes only through breath, which comes from God.
This whole overall thought will explain what is meant in John chapter six by partaking of Christ as the Bread of life, or eating His flesh and drinking His blood [vv. 33-35, 48-58]. There is the living Word, and there is the written Word [which is living as well]. The two are inseparably related, for, by way of explanation concerning that which is stated in John chapter six, John had previously called attention to the Word becoming flesh [John1:1, 2, 14].
God’s Son is a manifestation of the Old Testament Scriptures in the form of flesh [cf. Luke 24:25-27, 44]. And, accordingly, an individual partakes of the Word made flesh through an intake, assimilation, and digestion of the written Word. Both are simply manifestations of the Word, which is God, in two different forms.
Everything is alive. It is a partaking of the living Word through a partaking of the written Word [which, again, is living as well]. It is a progression from living milk, to living meat, to living strong meat (solid food). Only through this means can spiritual growth for the man now possessing spiritual life occur.)
The Christians in Hebrews chapter five were said to be “dull of hearing” (v. 11). The thought from the wording of the text is that they didn’t necessarily begin this way as newborn babes. This is something that had resulted from the careless manner in which they had governed their spiritual lives. Before they had grown to the point where they could leave the milk of the Word, they had become sluggish in hearing the Word of God. They, as brought out in James 1:21, had, so to speak, possibly allowed wax to build up in their ears. Their spiritual perception had been dulled, preventing them from hearing properly.
The Word of God was not being allowed to travel in a proper and natural manner through the auditory canal into their saved human spirits. There was no proper exercise of faith because there was no proper exercise of hearing the Word of God (cf. Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6). And, apart from the reception of this Word, there could, consequently, be no growth toward maturity.
The only way to rectify an existing situation of this nature is clearly outlined in James1:21 and 1 Peter 2:1, 2. It requires removing any obstructions from the auditory canals. That is, it has to do with laying aside everything opposed to purity, and receiving “with meekness [in a favorable manner] the implanted Word . . . .”
The word translated “dull” in Hebrews 5:11 is from the same word in the Greek text translated “sluggish” (KJV: slothful) in Hebrews 6:12:
that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
The Christians referred to in chapter six were exhorted to not be like the ones previously referred to in chapter five; and the given purpose had to do with faith, patient endurance,and a future inheritance (vv. 13ff).
The word “patience” is the translation of a Greek word that has to do with patient endurance over time. In this case, a long period of time, the entire Christian life, is in view. These Christians were to receive the Word of God in a continuing manner throughout their entire pilgrim walk. The reception of this Word would, in turn, produce a walk by faith and progressively result in Christian maturity. And, while patiently enduring trials and tests during the pilgrim walk after this fashion, they were to look ahead to the inheritance that would be realized at the end of their faith, in connection with and at the time of the salvation of their souls (cf.Hebrews 6:14-19; 1 Peter 1:4-9).
---End of Arlen L. Chitwood’s Material---
Matthew 10:5a, 22,32-39
These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying . . . (22) And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. . . . (32) Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. (33) But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. (34) Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. (35) For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; (36) and a man’senemies will be those of his own household. (37) He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. (38) And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. (39) He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
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. (25) For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (26) For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (27) For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. (28) And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. (29) When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” (30) Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. (31) And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. (32) Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. (33) And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, (34) they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink. (35) Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” (36) Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. (37) And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. (38) Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. (39) And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads (40) and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” (41) Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, (42) “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. (43) He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” (44) Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing. (45) Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. (46) And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have Youforsaken Me?” (47) Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” (48) Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink. (49) The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.” (50) And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (35) For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’swill save it. (36) For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (37) Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (38) For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Mark 10:17, 21-27
Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” . . . (21) Then Jesus, looking athim,loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” (22) But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (23) Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (24) And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! (25) It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (26) And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” (27) But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
Mark 15:15-26, 33-37
So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified. (16) Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. (17) And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, (18) and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” (19) Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. (20) And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. (21) Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. (22) And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. (23) Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. (24) And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take. (25) Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. (26) And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS. . . . (33) Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. (34) And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (35) Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!” (36) Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.” (37) And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. (Luke 23:26-46)
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (24) For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. (25) For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?(26) For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.”
Luke 14:26, 27
If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. (27) And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
John 19:16-19, 23-24, 28-30
Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away. (17) And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, (18) where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. (19) Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. . . . (23) Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. (24) They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,”that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”Therefore the soldiers did these things. . . . (28) After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” (29) Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. (30) So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!”And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
1 Corinthians 1:17, 18, 21
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. (18) For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. . . . (21) For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.
Galatians 6:12, 14
As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. (14) 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.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (14) For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, (15) having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, (16) and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, (6) who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, (7) but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (9) Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, (10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, (11) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (12)Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; (13) for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. (8) Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (9) and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; (10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, (11) if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (12) Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. (13) Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, (14) I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (15) Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. (16) Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. (17) Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. (18) For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: (19) whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame — who set their mind on earthly things. (20) For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (21) who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, (20) and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.(21) And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled (22) in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— (23) if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Hebrews 12:1, 2
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (2) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.