INTRO: Do you wonder sometimes just what is expected of you as a Christian? Or, for the non-Christian, what you must do after you become a Christian? In the verse we just read, Jesus was telling his Apostles what is expected of everyone who is to be His disciple.
I. CHRIST OUR SHEPHERD.
A. We are called to follow Christ.
1. A true disciple is one that follows HIM in duty.
2. We cannot tell Christ to follow US.
3. It seems like people today have reversed the calling and expect Christ to be the one who follows.
B. Be willing to come.
1. This requires a choice on our part.
2. Many Christians are followers by chance, or because others desire them to follow.
3. The true disciples of Christ are volunteers.
II. LET HIM DENY HIMSELF.
A All of Christ’s followers must deny themselves.
1. Peter wanted Jesus to spare himself.
2. Our live must be a continued act of self-denial, from our new birth to death.
B. It is the straight gate and narrow way that leads to heaven.
1. Deny ourselves of the lusts of the flesh, of greed, of selfishness.
2. We are not to be self-centered. We are to be Christ-centered.
III. LET HIM TAKE UP HIS CROSS.
A. The troubles of Christians are fitly called their crosses.
1. Every disciple of Christ has his own cross, and must bear it.
a. We have special duties to perform.
b. We also have special trouble to bear.
2. Every disciple must take up that cross and bear it.
a. The Romans had the requirement that everyone who was crucified must carry his own cross.
b. We must bear our own cross.
(1) We must bear it.
(2) We must be silent under it.
(3) We must take it up and improve it to some good advantage.
IV. LET HIM FOLLOW ME.
A. We follow Christ when we bear our cross.
B. We can look to Him for help in bearing our crosses and in our suffering and needs.