Why We Need to Die and Deny Daily

July 18, 2011
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This post is part of a series on what it means to live a gospel-governed life. Check out the first post here.


Before we are able to live a gospel-governed life, we must first die to self. What I mean by dying is becoming holistically engaged in pursuing the will of God for our life. This is of course the polar opposite of living for self-glory or self-promotion.  

The life of Jesus was a prime example of what it meant to die to self, literally. Jesus himself said that there is no greater love that a person can demonstrate than to lay down their life for his friends (Jn. 15:13). 

How then can we die to self daily, for the glory of God and for the joy of the people that surround us?

Here are three observations based on Jesus’ teaching regarding dying to self daily and living a gospel-governed life:  


1. A daily death to self. In the gospel according to Matthew, Jesus says “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Here is what Jesus is saying (paraphrase mine): in order for you to be gospel governed, you must die to self (completely forget what you want) and be utterly consumed by the will of God (daily, perpetually, seeking out to do the will of God). We must know nothing else but our Savior who was maliciously murdered because of our sin and who miraculously rose again for our justification. 

2. Theology determines practicality. You will notice I say this often. It is because I firmly believe in it. Our theology (what we believe) will inevitably shape our practicality (how we live). We need to be consumed by fulfilling the will of God. We need to render him the glory He deserves. Jesus was consumed with doing this while here on earth. If we follow suit, we are well on our way to living a gospel-governed life.  

3. Exclusive Focus. During his earthly ministry, Jesus was consumed with completing the will of His Father. We see this when Jesus demonstrates his dedication by saying “I do nothing on my own authority” (Jn. 8:28), that his chief aim in life was to “do the will of him who sent me” (John 4:34), and “I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 5:30). Jesus is who we should persevere to perpetually imitate. 

Question: What other practical ways would you suggest a person is able to “die to self” for Jesus’ fame and for the joy of people? 


Thank you for reading this post. My hope and prayer is that together, we will learn to live and lead with purpose. I typically post two to four times a week. To make sure you don’t miss my newest posts, you can subscribe via RSS or EMAIL.


Bogdan Kipko

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Founder & Pastor of Forward Church In Irvine, CA & host of the Fuel For Life Podcast which is listened to in 50 states & 118 countries. Join the FFL nation!