Salvation is undoubtedly all of grace. It is offered freely in the Gospel to the chief of sinners, without money and without price. “By grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God–not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9) But all who accept this great salvation, must prove the reality of their faith by carrying the cross after Christ. They must not think to enter heaven without trouble, pain, suffering, and conflict on earth. They must be content to take up the cross of DOCTRINE – holding a faith which the world despises, and the cross of PRACTICE – the cross of living a life which the world ridicules as too strict, and righteous over much.
They must be willing to crucify the flesh, to mortify the deeds of the body, to fight daily with the devil, to come out from the world and to lose their lives, if needful, for Christ’s sake and the Gospel’s. These are hard sayings, but they admit of no evasion. The words of our Lord are plain and unmistakable. If we will not carry the cross, we shall never wear the crown.