Summary: Savation is free, discipleship costs everything. Following Christ will cost your favorite sins, favor of the world, and first place in your heart.
The Costs of Following Jesus
INTRODUCTION: Saint Telemachus Goes to Rome
ILL.- Telemachus had counted the costs of following Jesus…he dedicated his life to God, he listened and obeyed God even when he had no idea where God was leading him, and he willingly laid down his life to take a stand for God’s truth.
After we become believers, Jesus wants us to consider the costs of following Him. He wants each one of us to count the costs…have you counted the costs of following Jesus?
Billy Graham has said “Salvation is free, but discipleship costs everything.”
Many Christians accept God’s free gift of salvation but are not willing to live for God. Perhaps this is one of the biggest problems facing the Christian faith, especially in America. Our churches are filled with casual Christians instead of committed Christians.
I would like us to consider 3 COSTS of following CHRIST
#1 Following Christ Will Cost your Favorite Sins
ILL- Bringing Nora home from the hospital – My ongoing struggle with anxiety
There are things that hold us back and sins that entangle us (Heb. 12:1)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses (others are watching us!), let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1
Did you know that there are things that hinder us that are not necessarily sin?
ILL- Observation of Christians: A lot of Christians O.D. on fellowship, therefore neglecting the lost! I often refer to this as, remaining in a “holy huddle.”
There are two things we can do on earth that we can’t do in heaven: sin and witness.
There are sins that we knowingly tolerate
Psalm 19:13 says “Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.”
There are sins that keep us in bondage
Do you realize that our habitual sin grieves God? (Eph. 4:30)
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30
Let me say this about sin: SIN IS STUPID! Every time we sin against God, we slap Him in the face and say “My way is better than yours.” God wants the best for us and He knows the best for us, but we must submit to Him! The truth is we are all slaves…we can choose to be slaves to sin, or slaves to God.
Do you know why God wants us to give up our favorite sins? He wants to SET US FREE!
Galatians 5:1 says “If is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us FREE.”
John 8:31-32 says “To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you FREE.”
Let me ask you this: What sins do you keep secret from others? God knows them!
Psalm 90:8 “You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.”
James 5:16 says “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
ILL- Keith Kitchen and I meeting at the prayer towers at CIU.
Sum.: Following Jesus demands that we deal with our favorite and secret sins!
#2 Following Christ Will Cost you Favor of the World
1. The Bible tells us not to love the world (1 Jn. 2:15-16)
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world, the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world.”
“don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?” James 4:4
ILL- Finding contentment in worldly things – Brand new car (1994 Geo Prism) 2 days after I got it, the windshield cracked. The world can never satisfy our deepest needs..only God can.
Jesus once asked “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but looses his soul?
We must not forget that the world rejected Christ and His followers (Jn. 15:19-20)
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”