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