Take up Your Cross

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake.
Take up Your Cross
We need to have a definition of what "taking up one's cross" is. "Taking up one's cross" is willingly taking on and bearing the hatred of the devil, the world, the flesh, sin, death, etc., for the sake of the Word and faith. Here there is no need to choose the cross. Just begin with the first part of [this] life and deny yourself, that is, denounce the righteousness of your works and confess the righteousness of faith, and the second part will straightaway be present, that is, the cross, which you are then to accept, just as Christ accepted His own. But since the hypocrites condemn the first part and defend their own righteousness, they not only do not take the cross upon themselves, but they even become the crucifiers and killers of the godly—those who are bearing the cross.

From Annotations on Matthew (Luther's Works 67:293)
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