Summary: This sermon will discuss how one becomes a disciple of Jesus Christ by examining Paul's words in Romans 12:1-2.
BEING A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST
Live Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
Following Jesus Christ really means changing our story. Even though we have been created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) Scriptures states that we all have sinned and fallen short of His glory (Romans 3:23). I can’t help but wonder if we were in the garden of Eden walking and talking with God would we not defiantly partake of the same tree because of our overwhelming desire to be like God, knowing both good and evil (Genesis 3:5)? Truthfully we are Adam and Eve’s children especially when it comes to our desire to sin! If the Biblical story ended with Eden, humanity would have been left with no hope, just a mere memory of what it was like to know God intimately. As it is there is hope for God has provided the means for us to truly know Him by following His Son Jesus Christ.
For us to truly want to follow Jesus we must first be passionate about what it cost God to have us included in His redemption story. Despite our love for the world (1 John 2:15) and our continued desire to do as the pagans (1 Peter 4:3), God still loved us. The cost of us being His disciple was the death of God’s one and only Son. The cost for God was enormous but there are costs for us as well. By letting self die, taking up our crosses and follow Jesus Christ, we as His ambassadors are invited into His redemption story as royal priests (1 Peter 2:9)! While the command to be holy seems impossible (1 Peter 1:16), the Advocate teaches and empowers us to be genuine disciples of Christ.
What it Cost God for an Opportunity to be a Disciple
There are many passages that talk about becoming a disciple of the Lord, Jesus Christ. For the purpose of this sermon we are going to focus on one key passage: Romans 12:1-2. If you have spent any time inside of the church, then this passage will be quite familiar to you. Sometimes when passages are learned and repeated frequently they tend to loose some of their deep meaning. Before I show this passage I want you to listen for key words that Paul emphasis such as transformed, sacrifice, conformed, renewal, discernment, mercy and holiness. God has revealed to Paul how a sinner can become holy so please don’t turn a deaf ear or let your mind wander away. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax. Open your heart and listen as if this is the first time you have ever heard these words.
Paul starts out his passage on discipleship by asking each of us to first remember the mercy that God has shown us. Let’s be honest while our minds are capable of knowing and understanding commands, we rarely approach God with a genuine thirst to follow Jesus Christ. For us to truly understand the depths of God’s mercy we merely need to look in a mirror, examine ourselves to find out that most time the Lord of our lives is ourselves.
We want to be called His children, ambassadors and priests, and even appear that way inside of the church and maybe even once in a while in the world; but the rest of the time we keep oscillating back and forth like a pendulum between Satan and God’s kingdoms. When Jesus stands at the door or our lives, knocks and wants to spend time with us we instantly turn a deaf ear or run frantically in the opposite direction. There are times when our life for Christ can be very cold. We want to have the benefits of believing in God without obeying any of His commands. While we state that we want to always be drinking from the fountains of living waters, like this ice cube our good intentions to be holy merely melt away in a sea of life concerns. The image the world sees of us is a distorted one that has allegiance to neither God nor Satan but ultimately to the greatest God of all SELF!
After having been betrayed, overwhelmed with despair, loneliness, sadness and heartbreak; don’t you think it is time to get on fire for Christ? Is it not time to stop deceiving ourselves (James 1:22) that we are already holy when in fact we need to clean the inside of the cup (Matthew 23:26) and show this world how much you love Jesus by making our deeds match the holiness of God (Luke 11:28)? It is certainly time but how does one ignite real passion and desire to follow Jesus inside of one’s heart strong enough to break the mountains of our stubborn hearts? To be passionate about God we must first understand how depraved we have become and how much mercy God has been showing us sinners every day. To ignite the passion to want to be more like Jesus we must that mercy means the sinner does not receive God’s wrath that is deserved but instead His love. Let’s look at His wrath for a moment to see how much God is holding back with it comes to punishing us.