Win Some; Lose Some

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Unsplash

Matthew 16:21–28; Mark 8:27–38; Luke 9:18–27

You are probably the most familiar with the translation in Mark saying, “What good is it for someone to the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” It has been made famous in a number of songs. It has been used in many sermons. What if, however, we lost the focus?

As you read Matthew’s and Luke’s understanding of the same scene, you’ll see self or (deping on translation). These along with soul are all correct.

Yet, the problem is that when we focus on soul, we jump to salvation and as Lord and Savior. That isn’t the point. The context of picking up one’s cross daily to deny self. In Mark’s larger context, it even comes with the denial of .

The danger in focusing on salvation is that it misses the whole point of . Salvation, ultimately, is what happens at the (yes, this is a simplification). The passages are talking about .

A person may perceive that they have not lost their “soul”, and yet do horrible things. One could say that then they don’t “know” . That could be true. However, the same people who often focus on the “soul” have a “turn or burn” theology that allows a -less to be judged as “d”.

The intent is to have a -filled . The self in question that needs to be laid aside is the worldly self. The self that is lost and tossed is the of somewhat who has n themselves to .

Sometimes, it seems, it would be easier to be a monk or a nun, separated from the world. When we hear from many of these cloistered people, it seems that many struggle just as we do it setting down the worldly self.

The full with is the of today, tomorrow, and forever. It is always “and”; it is never “or”.


, may the we seek be the one you want for us. Amen.

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.