Key scripture Matthew 16
24 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.
Another version says
“Whoever wants to be my disciple?”
Jesus says if you want to be like me, loose yourself and find me.
Speaker last week mentioned being part of my team, believe in me means to follow, to pledge allegiance to.
Point 1 - Be part of my team.
25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
There are rewards that only come when we follow Christ.
We are not seeking treasure on earth but treasure in heaven, we are not seeking earthly reward. We are swapping what is temporary for what is eternal.
To work the works of Christ we give ourselves in His service.
Jesus said Signs follow those who believe and those who preach God’s word.
Jesus preached taught and healed and saved.
Doing good and healing all was a package deal where ever Jesus went.
The works Jesus did was a testimony to who he was.
Good works bring rewards.
Dead works get burned up.
Philippians 2 says
For the joy that was sent before despised the shame humbled himself, placed his life in his father’s hand and became the first born from the dead.
To follow me Jesus said you
Point 2 - Give it all.
Taken this scripture out of context can place more importance on self denial and put us on a road or self discipline, works and behaviour modification, which can lead us to feel condemned especially if and when we fail. All too often as Christians, we can start to judge others comparing ourselves and the amount of bible reading we do, how spiritual we are or aren’t.
Bible says that we are not to judge another man’s servant No-one has paid a higher price than another we all have paid the price to follow Christ. What price have you paid to follow Christ. Peter when told of the death he would have... asked Jesus what about john, Jesus said that is not you business perhaps would live until Christ returned.
The context of giving all is found in this chapter, starting a few verses back.
Matthew 6 says
13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” (key question) 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. 21 From that time (key point) Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” (suffering was not part of Peter’s vision for Christ) 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offence to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” 24 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. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Giving our all and being his disciple.
- Believe in Christ (Revelation of who he is starts us on the journey) (He has authority)
- We take his authority over Enemy
- Accept and learn what His death and resurrection done for us, we learn the price he paid, making the price we pay seem so small.
- Submit your will to His (authority over self)
- Never taste death (reward)
Is the price worth paying When The reward is eternal?
Mark 10 says
17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘honour your father and your mother.’” 20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, (interesting he calls them children) how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” 27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” 28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” 29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Point 3 - The rewards outweigh the cost.
The revelations of Christ, perhaps as the faith as a little child perhaps when we have given up our will we realise and fully appreciate what Christ has done.
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
37 They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptised with the baptism that I am baptised with?” 39 They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptised with you will be baptised; 40 but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”
41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.
Point 4 - Grace or sacrifice.
Does that mean you have to be poor to follow Christ? The rich young man was sad as he held money and possessions higher value than Christ
Peter himself says “see we have left all”
James and John – another version mom asked can we share your glory, while the boys were standing there – are they willing to drink that same cup
The conditions of discipleship given in the Gospels show that they are directed toward challenging believers to live lives of obedience, surrender, sacrifice, and self-denial.
Discipleship is indeed costly, but the cost can only be paid in response to the grace received at salvation.
As a believer understands the sacrifice of God for his redemption, he will want to respond to the grace given with a reciprocal commitment.
As he learns to also sacrifice, obey, and deny himself, he will become more like the Saviour who exemplifies these things.
Salvation is by grace; discipleship is costly.
There is only one kind of grace, and by definition it is absolutely free!
The only sense in which salvation is costly is in the fact that Jesus Christ paid the supreme price, His life, for the sinner’s redemption.
To the sinner, salvation is absolutely free. If it were costly to him in any sense, then it could no longer be of grace and Christianity would take its place alongside the rest of the world’s religions.
Mark’s gospel it was the faith of child that was a condition to inherit the kingdom in Matt it was the father!
Revealing who Christ was that they got the key to the kingdom
Are we starting to see a pattern
We must first believe
We must have faith first
No-one has paid a higher price than another we all have paid the price to follow Christ,
Peter was told of the death he would have john perhaps would live until Christ returned
Cost of following me
The rich young man was sad as he held money and possessions higher value than Christ, Does that mean you have to be poor to follow Christ no there is a simplicity that comes with following Christ. What value do we hold to our beliefs, the rich young ruler place more value in His possessions than that of following Christ.
Other stories to look up...
The Pearl of great price
The treasure in a field
We have a gospel that is really worth something
There is life, eternal life
What must we do to do the things that you do
Point 5 - True belief effects actions.
Why some get disillusioned with Christ is that they are not told the price it costs to succeed.
Illustration– if the costs to you to start up business is only £10 – successful business man, thinks any business that I can get into for such little cost will never make money.
Why- you may have all the enthusiasm but those whom you recruit put £10 in it would not be worth much effort- you put £500,000 into a MacDonald’s franchise you will work hard to make it work.
With our relationships too, it takes effort sometimes, it takes a degree of self sacrifice, to stay married for 40 years.
While we are dating nothing seems to hard why do us chaps get on our knee to propose to?
She ought to be worth sacrificing some pride and dignity for, why does an engagement ring cost you a month’s wages, to have a good marriage it should cost you something
Story of the Widow’s mite means we all pay the price, and what you give reflects what you have.
Making the right decisions at the right time puts you in God’s will Christianity is not an abdication where we let God do it all, not we make the decision to follow him and he helps us, people look at others who been married for 40 years and they want what they have but they have to be prepared to pay the price they have paid, but ask them about the price, they wont tell but ask them about the rewards. Our focus in life is to be on the rewards. What happens if I do this and discipline myself. Or the reverse what happens if I don’t.