Denying Self in Christian Life

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Ministerial Leadership (MAML)


College of Christian Ministries and Religion


Department of Christian Ministries and Religion

Primary Advisor

Margaret de Alminana, Ph.D.


The denial of self is vital to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Jesus invited His disciples to come closer to Him, but warned that it will cost them everything in Matthew 16:24 when He states, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." However, this concept of self-denial is often poorly understood and minimally applied in modern-day Christianity. Drawing from revelation from Matthew 16 and the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Andrew Murray, this paper argues that self-denial must be complete and total surrender to Jesus. Through this process, the Christian must completely renounce his former existence and embrace a new, Heavenly Kingdom where Christ is the Source of all. In this Kingdom of Heaven, there is no room for self-accomplishment, self-effort, and self-exultation. However, the result of embracing the Kingdom is intimacy with God and the nearness of His presence, which is the ultimate example of a blessed life.

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