Summary: Jesus saves people to change them, to make them different than they were before.
How to Get God Out of the Trunk & Into the Driver’s Seat
July 16, 2006 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A "The closest contemporary word to "discipleship" is probably "apprentice". A disciple is more than a student who learns lessons by means of lecture and books. He is one who learns by living and working with his teacher in a daily "hands on" experience. Too many Christians today are content to be listeners who gain a lot of knowledge but who have never put that knowledge into practice." (Wiersbe)
1 "We are not saved from our sins because we take up a cross and follow Jesus, but because we trust the Saviour who died on the cross for our sins. After we become children of God, then we become disciples." (Wiersbe)
2 saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day." 23 And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. Luke 9:22-24 (NASB)
B Jesus never envisioned the faith of His followers to be a "one-step" experience. (Essence of the Text in a Sentence)
1 Jesus saves people to change them, to make them different than they were before they came to Him. (Essence of a Sermon in a Sentence)
2 I pray you’ll commit (or recommit) to daily carrying your cross in an effort to follow after Jesus. (Objective)
3 What part of your discipleship journey is in greatest need of attention this morning? (Probing Question)
Transitional Sentence: Let’s look at 3 callings of discipleship that can help us to daily carry our crosses in an effort to follow after Jesus.
I Jesus called for His disciples to "deny himself."
A "Deny" in Greek can mean various things.
1 First, deny yourself, say "no" to something, give up yourself.
2 "Deny" can also be a negative (false) denial. (Peter denied 3 x’s)
B The opposite of confession is denial.
1 Countless souls have/will confess(ed) Jesus, yet never deny themselves.
2 Denying yourself is not simply saying "no" to simple pleasures/possessions.
a I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Gal 2:20 (NASB)
b But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Gal 6:14 (NASB)
C Denying can mean different things in different contexts.
1 Spouse, parent, colleague at work, student...all different!
2 "They act for Him, live for Him, transact business for Him, eat and drink for His glory, live and die to please Him." (Charles Finney)
"This self-denial is very extensive, and implies that we ought to give up our natural inclinations, and part with all affections of the flesh, and thus give our consent to be reduced to nothing, provided that God lives and reigns in us." (Calvin)
a Eli showed it. So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, "It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to Him." 1 Sam 3:18 (NASB)
b Jesus showed it. saying, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." Luke 22:42 (NASB)
4 For us?
a Seeking His will, not ours, "Thy will be done..."
b Spending time with Him (fasting)
c Letting Him guide us in the way we should go. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Gal 5:16 (NASB)
d Giving Him glory with our lives. Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor 10:31 (NASB)
II Jesus called for His disciples to "bear their cross daily"
A In the Ancient Near East mind/Roman world, the cross was an emblem of guilt, shame, suffering, and rejection.
1 The criminal would carry ½ his cross to the place of his execution (this was a one-way trip, he wasn’t coming back!)
2 He didn’t crucify himself...no one has ever killed themselves by crucifixion.
B Jesus is calling disciples to bear a cross.
1 2,000 years later, we still can’t crucify ourselves!
a Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 (NASB)