If Any Man Will Come


Elder Mark Green


From  December 2019  The Primitive Baptist   


Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Our Lord here sets forth his rule for those who would become his disciples. These are two expressions in this verse that eliminate exceptions to this rule. The first is the word “any.” He does not say “some men” or “most men,” but “any man.” There are no exceptions. Any individual, all people, anyone who desires who desires to follow Christ must do so upon the basis of this standard, because it sets the very definition of discipleship. No man can think himself a privileged case so that he can avoid the burdensome aspects of taking up his cross. If he is not doing what Jesus describes here, then he is not following the Lord.

The second limit that is set in this verse is the word “daily.” If we follow the Lord, we must to it every day. We cannot “take the day off,” as we are so prone to do. Brother Paul said that we are to “make not provision for the flesh.” We are not to carve out a little corner of our time in which we will indulge our sinful lusts. Oh, how this convicts me! I cannot plead ignorance; I cannot note extenuating circumstances, because there are none. It is something I am commanded to do daily, and I know that. May God help me to do it!

Our sinful nature has its various desires. We can either give in to those lusts and reap corruption and death, or we can deny them and reap life everlasting, as Brother Paul says in Galatians 6:7,8. He is not saying in that passage that our sowing to the Spirit causes us to have eternal life, but it allows us to enjoy the multitude of wonderful things that accompany salvation. His meaning here is much the same as it was in Romans 8:12: “For if ye live after the flesh (sow to the flesh), ye shall die (reap corruption): but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body (sow to the Spirit) ye shall live (reap life everlasting)."  


In both epistles Paul was talking to children of God, so he was not instructing them as to how they, being children of God, might be happier and more content and more fruitful in their service to God.