(CP also 16:25-27; Mk 8:35-38; Lu 9:24-26). These passages enable us to better understand what Jesus is saying in Mt 10:39: what Jesus says here has a twofold application for Christians. One is that whoever lives a life of self-gratification will lose it; whoever puts to death the sinful deeds of the body will gain it (CP Mk 8:34; Lu 9:23; Ro 8:12-13; 1Cor 6:9-11; Col 3:5-10). Deny himself in Mk 8:34 and Lu 9:23 means to put the interests of God's kingdom above all else and renounce all self-interests and ambitions which are contrary to God's word (CP Col 3:1-4). The other application is that if Christians are put to death for the gospel's sake, they have the sure hope of eternal life (CP Ac 6:8-7: 60; Rev 3:5); if through fear of physical death they deny Jesus, God will punish them (CP Mk 8:38 (also Lu 9:26); 2Ti 2:11-12; Rev 21:8). The fearful in Rev 21:8 are professing Christians whose fear of man overrides their loyalty to Christ. This explains the paradox of discipleship - to lose life is to find it: to die is to live (CP Mt 10:24-28; Mk 8:35-37; Lu 9:24-25; Jn 12:25-26).
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