Summary: Pentecost 16 (C) - Christians count the cost of the cross. This price takes sacrifice. Christ makes the sacrifice.
CHRISTIANS COUNT THE COST OF THE CROSS (Outline)
September 20, 2009 --
PENTECOST 16 --
INTRO: At the center of the life of a Christian is Christ. At the center of the life of Christ is the cross. Today the cross is still considered by some only an instrument of extreme torture and death. For the unbeliever and scoffers the cross holds no power or meaning. But you, every Christian, and I knows, believes, and confesses that without the cross of Christ we are lost and condemned creatures. "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (GALATIANS 6:14). Paul counted himself dead to the world and the world dead to him. In his new life for Christ Paul held firmly to the cross of Christ. Today’s verses speak to Christians in living faithful lives.
CHRISTIANS COUNT THE COST OF THE CROSS.
I. This price takes sacrifice.
II. Christ makes the sacrifice.
I. THIS PRICE TAKES SACRIFICE
A. Verse 25a. Jesus was at the height of his earthly ministry. His teachings and miracles were popular.
1. Many were followed Jesus for the wrong reasons. They sought only miracles and healings.
2. Verse 27. Jesus wanted everyone to understand that there was a cost for true disciples.
B. Verse 28. Towers were commonplace. It takes more than desire to build a tower.
1. Verse 29. Every building starts with a foundation. A solid foundation is important.
2. Verse 30. Stopping before finishing the building would lead to ridicule. Count the cost.
C. Verse 31. Jesus presents an example of a king going to war. Kings fought to expand kingdoms.
1. He will first sit down to count the cost of winning and/or losing. Whose army is stronger?
2. Verse 32. Unable to win he offers peace. This king sacrifices victory and its honor and glory.
D. “To sacrifice” and “count the cost” are terms that require commitment and dedication. Sadly, commitment and dedication are not high on the list of very many people today. The words that Jesus uses in our text today speak directly to those who are believers. Unbelievers do not care at all about the cross of Christ. Therefore they are not concerned about counting any cost in following Christ. Why are believers different? Like the tower builder we begin with a foundation, the only true and solid foundation. "So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed’"(ISAIAH 28:16). Believers do not dismay.
E. What is the sacrifice that God desires? We might think we have to give our treasures or time or talents to please the Lord and then our commitment is complete. The Lord looks for more. Our Lord expects more. Our Lord is concerned with our whole lives – our hearts. "You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise" (PSALM 51:16,17). David could have flooded God’s house with sacrifices and offerings. He did not. David knew that the Lord sought repentance. God’s law shows us our sins. We come before God with “broken and contrite (sorrow-filled) hearts”.
F. Satan would like to have us think that we have done our duty at Sunday worship. There is more to the life of a Christian than worship on Sunday. Sunday worship is only the beginning for our living worship. As we hear God’s word our faith is strengthened. We are reminded of the cost our Savior paid for our freedom from sin, death, and the devil. Our lives are changed because our eternity is changed. "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship" (ROMANS 12:1). Our lives are living worship services.
CHRISTIANS COUNT THE COST OF THE CROSS.
Following Christ takes sacrifice.
II. CHRIST MAKES THE SACRIFICE
A. Verse 25. Jesus is at the height of popularity. Jesus is also on his way to Jerusalem – for crucifixion.
1. The same crowds following Jesus will soon be shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
2. Jesus soon makes the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus will travel from the heights to the depths.
B. Jesus wants the crowds to truly understand the depth of his sacrifice. He wants each to count the cost.
1. Verse 26. Yes, in deciding between family and Christ, Christ is the only choice.
a. Jesus chose ministry over family. b. The apostles chose following Christ over family.