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“Self-denial is one of the fundamental principles of the Christian life. It is Christianity 101,” writes author Ryan McGraw. Christians, regardless of personal cost, must believe and do whatever Christ teaches them and reject and flee from whatever He forbids them. McGraw helps readers develop an understanding of this essential principle of Christian living by providing an in-depth explanation of what self-denial is and why it is important, and then giving examples of what it looks like in practice.
What is Self-Denial, and Why Is It Important?
- The Grounds for Self-Denial
- The Pattern of Self-Denial
- The Reason for Self-Denial
- The Measure of Self-Denial
- The Principle of Self-Denial
What Does Self-Denial Look Like in Practice?
- A Negative Example
- The Sabbath
- Prayer Meetings
- Complaining and Contentment
- Look to Christ as Your Forerunner
- Draw Strength from Your Union with Christ
- Regard Self-Denial as the Path to True Blessing
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said that what the church needs to do most all is “to begin herself to live the Christian life. If she did that, men and women would be crowding into our buildings. They would say, ‘What is the secret of this?’” As Christians, one of our greatest needs is for the Spirit of God to cultivate biblical godliness in us in order to put the beauty of Christ on display through us, all to the glory of the triune God. With this goal in mind, this series of booklets treats matters vital to Christian experience at a basic level. Each booklet addresses a specific question in order to inform the mind, warm the affections, and transform the whole person by the Spirit’s grace, so that the church may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
RYAN M. MCGRAW is pastor of First Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Sunnyvale, California; research associate, University of the Free State; and adjunct professor of systematic theology, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
"‘Deny yourself.’ This is one of the hardest biblical commands for Christians to implement practically. Our selfish sinful nature wants and wants even more. Ryan McGraw’s pamphlet is a powerful call to the twenty-first-century church to be more like Jesus and less like the world; to be transformed by the Spirit rather than conformed to the world. We need this exhortation today, and I’m glad to commend this pamphlet for issuing that call.” — Daniel R. Hyde, pastor, Oceanside United Reformed Church, Carlsbad, California