Summary: Sermon simply asking "Are you a follower of Christ?"
Are you a Follower of Christ?
October 23, 2011 – AM Sermon – Hopewell
When things are going well for an individual or an athletic team, there are a million people who want to join in and hop on the “bandwagon” and be a “follower” of that team. The same principle applies to Christ. At the beginning of His ministry on earth, there were a ton of followers – a ton of folks learning what being “Christ-like” was all about. As we study God’s Word, we see that people dwindled away toward the end of His time on earth.
As a Christian, those who have trusted Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, it is imperative that you and I remember what it means to be a Christian. It has been said that C-H-R-I-S-T-ian – “Without Christ, I am nothing”
It simply means that you and I are becoming more like Christ on a daily basis – nothing that we have done or even can do – but all of what Christ has done for you and I – dying on the cross for our sins, defeating death, hell and the grave. We are being sanctified – changed – rearranged – all for the purpose of fulfilling God’s glory.
This morning, I submit to you from Scripture – a full description of what it means to be a Christian and an evaluation of whether you are a follower of Christ, or a follower of the world.
I. The Requirement of Following Christ
• “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children”
o There is a cost to following Christ
1. Deny ourselves
2. Trust by Faith in Christ Jesus
3. Live by Faith in Christ Jesus on a daily basis
• Humility – surrender of self
• Faith – trusting in something that we cannot see
• Living – a daily, disciplined approach to life
Matthew 8:18-22 - 18Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 19 And a scribe came up and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." 20And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." 21Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." 22And Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead."
Let’s put this in numerical terms:
Christ requires ALL of us, not a part of us.
Notice from the previous passage – “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
It is amazing as to how many of us would make that statement – but here’s where it gets interesting. One of the disciples said that he had to go bury his father, Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”
Christ requires 100% of our heart
Christ requires 100% of our minds
Christ requires 100% of our families
Christ requires 100% of our EVERYTHING
Paul said this to the church of Phillipi:
Philippians 3:7-12 - 7But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
So, the requirement is simple – as Christ spoke to Levi = “Follow me.”
II. The Response of Following Christ
• Walk in Love – as Christ also hath loved us
John 3:16-17 - 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
1 John 2:15-17 - 15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.