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Scripture Reading: Luke 9:21-26
What it Means to Follow Jesus
1. The news of the approaching death of Jesus was not easily accepted by his apostles, Matt. 16:21-23. Satan would not prevent his redemptive work from being accomplished.
2. In Luke 9:21-26, Jesus used his suffering and death to teach what it means to follow him.
I. “He said to them all...” Lk. 9:23.
A. Jesus’ Words Apply to All Mankind, Mk. 16:15; Matt. 28:18-20.
1. “Anyone” – Rom. 1:16; Acts 10:34-35.
2. Sinners of all sorts, 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Lk. 5:31-32.
II. “If anyone desires to come after me...” Lk. 9:23.
A. You Must Desire to Come to Jesus, cf. Jno. 8:44; Gal. 5:24.
1. Time to make up your mind what desires drive you, cf. Lk. 9:24; 1 Jno. 2:15-17. Christians, too, Rom. 13:11-14
2. God chooses to save you in Christ, but you must choose to be saved, Acts 2:21, 37-41.
B. Come after Jesus: Must Acknowledge He is Lord, Rom. 10:9-10.
1. To “come after Christ” means full submission to the Lord, Lk. 9:57-62; 14:25-27, 33.
2. Jesus is the Trailblazer (pioneer) of our salvation, Heb. 2:10.
3. We must obey Him to be saved, Heb. 5:8-9; Matt. 7:21.
III. “...let him deny himself...” Lk. 9:23.
A. Self-Denial, cf. 2 Tim. 3:1-5.
1. Deny sin’s lusts and pleasures, Eph. 4:17; 1 Pet. 4:3.
2. Deny personal priorities and advantages, Phil. 3:7-8.
3. Deny acceptance and approval of others, Matt. 5:10-12.
4. A price many are unwilling to pay, cf. Mk. 10:22.
IV. “...and take up his cross daily...”
A. What does it mean to Bear Your Cross?
1. Look at Jesus, Lk. 9:22. It meant suffering many things…death.
2. Bearing your cross, will take you where you prefer not to go. It will require sacrifice, submission, steadfastness, Matt.26:39, 42.
3. Bearing your cross means suffering and bearing the reproach of Christ, Heb. 13:12-13.
4. Accept your cross by despising the shame, Heb. 12:2.
5. Bearing you cross means you must have daily endurance, Matt. 26:44; Heb. 12:3.
V. “...and follow Me.”
A. We Must Follow Jesus in His Way, not Ours, Jno. 14:6.
1. Just as we would not leave the light in the middle of darkness, we cannot leave the light of Christ’s truth to walk, stumble and fall in this dark world of sin and death, Jno. 8:12.
2. Darkness (of sin, doubt and death) overtakes us when we abandon the light of truth, Jno. 12:35.
VI. WHAT YOU DESIRE DETERMINES WHETHER YOU FOLLOW JESUS, Lk. 9:24-25 (Matt. 6:24).
A. Trying to “Save” Yourself without Christ means being Lost, Lk. 9:24.
1. Many think “finding” themselves and “celebrating” themselves (in spite of and often in their sins) is finding “salvation”! How wrong they are!
2. Others think escaping cross-bearing is the way to a fulfilling life. Wrong!
3. “By sparing himself this painful denial, this awful cross, he may enjoy every earthly delight and think himself safe, he has thereby really destroyed his very psyche (life, soul, jrp), in which his person dwells: he shall lose it, it is doomed.” (Lenski)
B. Losing Your Life for Christ and His Gospel Saves it, Mk. 8:35.
1. Choice: Temporary gain with eternal loss, or temporary pain with eternal gain.
2. Explanation, Lk. 9:25. (The value system we accept and live.)
C. Bearing Your Cross Demands Courageous Faith, not Shameful Shrinking, Lk. 9:26; 1 Cor. 16:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:7.
1. To be a disciple of Jesus demands:
b. Daily cross-bearing, and
c. Following Jesus.
2. With these traits you will not be ashamed of Christ and his words, and he will not be ashamed of you when he comes in his glory.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: May 15, 2014