Yes. In order to become a Christian, a person must deny his own will to only obey God's will. “Then He (Jesus) said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’” Luke 9:23. Jesus, himself, only did God's will, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.” John 6:38 (NKJV) After a believer consecrates his heart and life to obey God, he forsakes his fleshly desires, worldly gain, and trying to do good outside of God's will. (These sacrifices are pictured in Jesus's three temptations in the wilderness.) Christians resist temptations from the world, their flesh, and the devil.
We give our lives to serve God as God directs. We use our time, resources, and talents to publish the Gospel instead of spending our lives seeking riches, status, power, and fleshly enjoyment. When the ruler asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus replied that he must forsake all to follow after him. Luke 18:22 (NLT), “When Jesus heard his answer, he said, ‘There is still one thing you haven't done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’”
If truly following the Lord, everything we have belongs to God. As stewards of that which now rightly belongs to God, we are to use our various ‘talents’ wisely in his service (Matthew 25:14-30).
Forsaking all, however, does not mean that God wishes us to sacrifice things which rightly belongs to others. If we have a spouse, children or other family that depends on us for their daily needs, it would be wrong to not provide things needful for their health and welfare. 1 Timothy 5:8, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
What exactly are Christians and what is their calling? Is Christianity self-centered or Christ-centered? These questions are explored as the Christian's future kingdom work is discussed.
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