Bible Reading: 1 John 4:2-3
If one considers the words of Christ in Mark 8:38 in their context, it becomes obvious that Christ is distinguishing those ashamed of Him from those who truly believe in Him. In Mark 8:34-38, Christ separates sinners from saints by differentiating between those who are willing and unwilling to: (1) come to Him (2) deny themselves (3) take up their cross (4) follow Him, and (5) lose their lives for His sake and the gospel’s. In verse 38, Christ is simple making a final distinction between the sinner and the saint. Whereas the saint is one who unashamedly confesses Christ (Romans 10:9-10) and preaches His
Gospel (Romans 1:16), the sinner is too ashamed to do either.
Hypocrites are easily detected by their refusal to publicly profess Christ and to preach His Gospel. They not only fear suffering this world’s persecution, but also hope to secure its praise. Therefore, they will never be found publicly professing Christ or preaching the cross, knowing how offensive the cross of Christ is to this Christ-rejecting world (Galatians 5:11).
On the other hand, the true saint is easily detected by his or her public profession of Christ and bold preaching of the Gospel. Far from being ashamed of Christ or His cross, they will proudly proclaim both to the world regardless of cost or consequence to themselves (Acts 4:20; 1 Corinthians 9:16).