Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24)
To proclaim the person of Christ is to accept the work of Christ; they cannot be separated. To think, as believers, that we can walk through this life without having been crucified with Christ is a great misconception. (1) To say that we are followers of Christ without experiencing His sufferings is being an observer, not a follower. To experience Calvary, we will have to experience Gethsemane. Through these His sufferings we can experience the resurrection. But no, it is not our works, but the work of Christ alone.
Nevertheless, to follow Christ, one must live the crucified life. This we do by denying ourselves and placing all of our faith and trust in Christ. We must realize that there is nothing in me other than Christ that can save me and make me the kind of person He would have me to be. There can be no Calvary without a Gethsemane and without these there can be no resurrection. Therefore, remember that if we suffer with Him, we will also be glorified with Him. (2)