“But We Don’t Want to Upset Anyone…”

It should be commonly understood that Jesus stated that those that would follow and imitate Him as His disciples must be willing to sacrifice all in order to do so. Jesus clearly taught:
 
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. […] In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:26-27, 33).

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Putting on the Breastplate of Righteousness

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6, NIV)
 
Stand, therefore, with […] righteousness like armor on your chest… (Ephesians, 6:14 HCSB)
 
In no other walk of life do we teach the practical before the theoretical. Doctors spend thousands of hours in a classroom learning the theoretical before they ever touch a human body. A mechanic learns how a motor works theoretically before they ever rebuilt one. This is true in any profession. We generally teach people why they should do something before teaching them how to do it.
 
Much of the confusion over exactly what righteousness is (and is not) within the church can be attributed to a failure to understand that the Bible addresses two different aspects of righteousness. Many theologians agree that Scripture addresses both positional, theoretical righteousness and conditional, practical righteousness.
 
However, many believers and even pastors have never been taught how practical righteousness flows from theoretical righteousness. The sad reality is that when it comes to righteousness, we either try to take the shortcut of just telling people what they should and should not be doing; or the shortcut of not requiring them to do anything at all.

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Replacing Deception with Truth in Our Lives; The Belt of Truth Part II

Jesus said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:23-26)
 
What does it mean to deny ourselves? To take up our cross daily and lose our lives?

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