Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:34-38
It is interesting to note that the word “disciple” was used 269 times in the New Testament. While the term “Christian” is used 3 times. The word disciple was used even before the early church was born after the Pentecost. By about fifteen years after the day of Pentecost, the word “Christians” was used as the term coined by those calling the people that identified themselves with Christ. "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch" (Acts 11:26).
The true life in Jesus Christ should be lived out in total surrender and commitment to discipleship. This is done by having faith in Christ completely abandoning all claims and entrusting oneself to Christ. Christ takes your surrendered life and transforms it manifesting His kingdom and glory. During the time of the early church, there is a large crowd of people that travel with Jesus and His disciples. They listened to Christ preach and teach, they have seen Him healed and did miracles, yet they were not willing to surrender their lives to His control. “The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But some of you do not believe me” (John 6:63-64). The society around has little knowledge about self-denial. All it promotes as described by the Lord Jesus Christ is to have insatiable desire for wealth, power, pleasure, achievement and self-glory. Yet when all these are weighed against to what matters to God, all these worldly pursuits failed in comparison to the joy and peace that comes alone from having Christ in life. “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:11). This is why it is important for your soul to be saved. Soul is saved when lost for the sake of Christ. This is what denying to oneself look like—saying no to selfish desires, then taking up the cross—that is the dying to old self and letting Christ’s life shine. When you daily surrender your life to Christ you will grow in faith thus completely entrusting all that you are to God.