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Summary: It is important to understand that God has freely given us salvation. It was paid for by the cross of Christ. Along with this salvation comes discipleship. Jesus said if you are going to be His disciple, you have to bear your cross.

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Discipleship: The Call Of The Cross

(Note: This message was preached at a special School of Ministry/Congress on Leadership convened in Panama City, Republic of Panama)

I consider it a great privilege to be invited to be part of this School of Ministry and Congress on Leadership. I want to thank Dr. T. L. Lowery for his invitation to this life changing event. I would also like to express my appreciation to your national overseer, Brother Munoz and the leadership team in Panama for the excellent work they are doing for the cause of Christ. It is our sincere prayer that God will rain His manifold blessings down upon His church in Panama.

I have been assigned the subject of Discipleship. I have entitled the study ¡§Discipleship: The Call of the Cross¡¨. I will use Luke 9:23 as a text:

And he [Jesus] said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. [Luke 9:23]

Disciple - A Definition: A disciple is one who learns and puts into practice what is learned. He is one who imitates his master. Matthew 10:25 states "It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord."

The disciple’s conduct is patterned after that of his master. A disciple of Christ is one who has determined to become Christ-like.

The Cross: It is important to understand that God has freely given us salvation. It was paid for by the cross of Christ. Along with this salvation comes discipleship. Jesus said if you are going to be His disciple, you have to bear your cross. The call of Christ will always include the call of the cross! Let¡¦s talk about that call of the cross for a few moments today. First notice . . .

The Clear Call of the Cross.

Look again at our text.

And he [Jesus] said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. [Luke 9:23]

Notice particularly the words: "And he [Jesus] said to them all.."

Jesus was always very clear regarding His call, and as we read scripture we find that the call is as clear today as it was 2,000 years ago. The call has not changed. The requirements for discipleship have not changed. It is important for us to notice that . . .

Jesus never recruits followers under false pretenses.

He never promised His followers a life of ease and comfort. He wanted those who would follow Him to clearly understand what they were getting into. The clear call of discipleship is that you will be required to live a life of self-denial and sacrifice.

The modern trend in church growth is: "Don’t speak of the ’tougher’ teachings of Jesus when attempting to win someone to the Lord."

However, this may very well lead to defections from the faith when difficult times arise. It is neither ethical nor scriptural to tell people if they accept Christ as Savior they will have no further problems in life.

Throughout scripture you find Jesus dealing openly and honestly with people that came to Him. He told the rich young ruler the truth, and it caused the young man to go away from Christ.


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J. R. Meedar

commented on Oct 31, 2006

As a minister, this message pierced my heart. Discipleship is indeed "The Call of the Cross."

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