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Scripture Reading: Luke 9:21-26
"If Anyone Desires"
1. Jesus and his apostles were preaching the gospel of the kingdom in Galilee, Lk 8:1; 9:2, 6, 11.
2. His preaching and His works caused Peter and the other apostles to believe He is “the Christ of God”, Lk 9:18-20.
3. This belief demands a response: Desire to follow Him (Lk 9:23).
4. Desire (thelo, ethelo): “to will, have in mind, intend, to be resolved or determined, to purpose, to desire, to wish, to take delight in, have pleasure” (Thayer); to determine (Strong).
5. Do you “desire” to follow Jesus? What does that mean you are committing yourself to be and do? Are you willing to pay the price of discipleship? (Lk 14:27-33)
I. IF ANYONE DESIRES TO COME AFTER ME… Lk 9:23
A. Let Him Deny Himself. (Offer yourself to God, Rom 12:1-2.)
1. Self-denial is the essence of humble surrender, Lk 9:46-48; Matt 26:39.
2. Self (ego, pride) is a strong force that must be brought under the control of truth and faith, 1 Cor 9:24-27.
3. Ex. Felix, Acts 24:24-25 (self-control to repent and abstain from sin), cf. 1 Ths 5:21-22.
4. We must align our desires (intentions, resolve, purposes and determination) with the will of God and put away everything that hinders following Jesus, 1 Pet 4:1-4.
a. The lusts (desires) of the flesh and eyes, 1 Jno 2:15-16.
b. Sexual sins, sinful pleasures (Heb 10:25), immodest clothing (excites evil desire and pride, 1 Tim 2:9-10; Matt 5:28), accommodations with the world (drinking, dancing, lewdness, 1 Pet 4:3-4).
c. The deception of worldly influences from those who do not recognize sin (1 Cor 15:33-34).
B. Take up His Cross Daily, Lk 9:23. (Lose his life for Christ, Lk 9:24)
1. The cross rose above the horizon of Jesus’ future, Lk 9:21-22
2. Cross symbolizes suffering and shame, surrender and death.
3. Every follower of Christ must die to sin, Rom 6:1-2; Col 3:5.
4. Every follower of Christ must daily crucify himself and live for Christ by faith, Gal 2:20; 2 Cor 5:14-15.
5. Willingly accept the ridicule of the world, 1 Pet 4:12-19.
a. When you refuse to join them in sin, 1 Pet 4:4.
b. When your faith exposes their faithlessness, Eph 5:5-7, 11.
6. We have been granted to suffer for Christ! Phil 1:27-30
C. And Follow Me, Lk 9:23.
1. Follow Jesus into a life of sacrifice, Lk 9:57-58 (Heb 13:5).
2. Follow Jesus with priority, Lk 9:59-60 (Matt 6:33).
3. Follow Jesus with commitment, Lk 9:61-62 (Col 3:1-4).
4. By trusting and obeying His word, Jno 14:21-24.
5. Put Christ’s word in richly in your heart in order to follow Him, Col 3:16-17.
II. WHOEVER DESIRES TO SAVE HIS LIFE, Lk 9:24.
A. Living for Yourself will not Save your Life, 9:23; Prov 14:12.
-Refusing God is destructive and foolish, Rom 1:28-32.
B. Living for Materialism will not Save your Life, 9:25; cf. Lk 12:15-21. Be rich toward God, 1 Tim 6:17-19.
1. Judas perished for 30 pieces of silver.
2. We will lose our souls if we value things more that Christ.
C. Living to Please Others will not Save your Life, 9:26.
1. The peer pressure to conform to the world is strong, but our will to follow Christ must be stronger, Matt 10:28, 32-33; 1 Tim 6:12-14.
a. Pressure to conform to the world: go to dances or arrange dances, smoke and drink, look at pornography, gamble, etc.
b. Pressure to accept or accommodate false doctrine and false teachers (Eph 5:11; 2 Jno 10-11).
D. Live to Please God, Jno 8:29; 2 Cor 5:9.
1. We must not be ashamed of the gospel, Rom 1:16.
2. Obey the gospel and follow Jesus by obeying Him, 1 Jno 2:3.
1. Matt 7:21-23: This comes into bold relief when set in the context of self-denial and what we believe will save us.
2. Luke 9:23: No one is exempt – all must follow Jesus as He has said.