Mark 8:35-37, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul?“
In order for a sinful person to trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, Jesus said that a sinful person must be born again (John 3:3,7). This new birth comes about, not by our own efforts, but by the powerful working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Additionally, after causing us to be born again, the Spirit takes up residence in believers. So it is through his death on the cross that the penalty of our sins may be forgiven; it is through his Spirit making his home within us that the power of our sins may be overcome.
Yet, Jesus calls us to consider the cost of following Him. This call includes:
1. Allegiance to Jesus
2. A desire to learn from Jesus
3. A willingness to identify with Jesus.
This means that if anyone follows Jesus, there must be a turning from along with a turning to. This turning from involves the renunciation of sin. This involves repentance, but it also involves a commitment to walk in obedience to the Lord and His commandments.
Secondly, there must be a renunciation of self. This requires denial of self (Luke 9:23), taking up our cross (Mat. 16:24), and even losing our life (Luke 9:24). Because those who give up their life will find everlasting life, and those who cling to their life will lose their life, because they cling to the world and will eventually lose their soul.