Summary: Wearing a cross should symbolize the fact that we are wrong, that Christ Jesus is right and we are in submission to Him.
Matthew 16: 21-28 / Faith To Follow
Intro: A physician told this about her 4-year-old daughter. One day on the way to preschool, the doctor left her stethoscope on the car seat. He little girl picket is up and began playing with it. The mom tried to remain calm although she was extremely excited that it seemed her daughter was expressing an interest in following in her mom’s footsteps. Then the child spoke into the instrument. “Welcome to McDonalds, may I take your order?”
I. Peter has been called PETRA – the foundation stone by Jesus and now Jesus calls him a different kind of stone, a STUMBLING BLOCK.
A. “Get behind me Satan.” / not in anger with a snarl; but as a man with a broken heart and poignant grief.
B. Peter, I thought you had it there for a minute; but, you don’t! Jesus is telling Peter his place is behind Jesus, not in front of him. He must follow in the way Jesus chooses not the way PETER wants to go.
C. Jesus is trying to get Peter, the rest of the disciples and us to understand that in order for us to be a disciple of Christ Jesus, we must be committed to following! --- How many of you here know without a doubt what Jesus wants us to do? We need to know where Jesus is leading a focus our energies on that.
II. Where is it that Jesus wants Peter and us to go? Jesus says three things are necessary in order to be Christ’s disciple:
A. Deny self – we think that means doing without something or giving up something. – Giving up things will not make you a disciple; it will only make you empty. You must be willing to DETHRONE SELF and ENTHRONE GOD.
B. Take up your cross – that doesn’t mean living with a difficult spouse or problem – live a life of sacrificial service – being more concerned about others than self.
C. Follow Christ Jesus – display perfect and complete obedience even when we question or doubt. In ever situation we just learn to FOLLOW. --- When you dance with a partner, someone has to leave. It is Christ who must lead in the dance of life.
III. VSS. 24 – 28 5 sayings that are a recipe for living as opposed to existing.
A. The person who plays it safe looses life --- if we meet life looking for the safe ting to do, seeking ease and comfort, we loose all that makes life worthwhile.
B. The person who is will to risk ALL for the sake of Christ and the gospel, finds life.
C. The person who gains everything by they have set their heart on will awaken one day to find they have missed the most important things.
Conclu: Taking up your cross does not mean pinning a pice of jewelry on our clothes, or wearing a necklace or earrings. Out cross is not the boss on our job who gives us a hard time, a child that’s involved with drugs, a prison sentence that we are living out, an incurable disease that we have, or even a problem in our lives that we would like to get rid of.
Carrying a cross at the time of Jesus was a public admission that you were wrong, Rome was right and now you are in submission to the government.
Every time you put on a cross, remember that it is an admission that you are wrong and Christ Jesus was right and you are in submission to Him! It isn’t just a piece of jewelry. It means that you have the faith to follow!