Why We Need to Die and Deny Daily

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.



6 responses to “Why We Need to Die and Deny Daily”

  1. Ryan Pickell Avatar
    Ryan Pickell

    This brings to mind for me the story of Mark Chapter 10. A rich man comes up to Him and says he wants to follow Jesus. Jesus in return tells him to go and sell everything he has, leaving his family and friends behind. Just as you pointed out with category #1, this man is the perfect example of someone not willing to take up their cross on a daily basis. He was weighed down by earthly possessions and was incapable of following Christ. 

    1. Ryan — completely agree with you! 

      Not that possessions are bad in and of themselves, but if you are defined by them and are infatuated about them — then it is clearly visible who (or what) is your god. 

      If we are not denying ourselves daily, we are giving in to our sinful passions perpetually. 

      Every day we have a choice, to live by the spirit or be dominated by our flesh. 

      We will either harness our passions for the glory of God or our passions will harness us for the glory of man. 

      Thank you for the insight!

  2. […] on what it means to live a Gospel-Governed life. You can read the previous posts by clicking here, here and […]

  3. To answer your question about how we can die to self I will just use the line that most affected me in this post “We need to be consumed by fulfilling the will of God.” For me to truly die to myself and live for Christ I need to solely focus all my thoughts, desires, and actions on fulfilling the will of God not my own. wow, what a great reminder! thank you B!

    1. You are welcome! Thank you for your transparency!

  4. […] he stood up, like a mighty warrior of valor, with blood dripping from his robe, ready for the cross to die for our […]

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