Sermons

Summary: Three dimensions to His call on our lives: Jesus calls us to repent, Jesus calls us to follow, Jesus calls us to abandon.

I Am a Christ Follower

Matthew 4:17-22

Three dimensions to His call on our lives:

1. Jesus calls us to repent. v.17

? Ultimately repentance is an admission, an acceptance of what Jesus says about us: that our hearts are prideful, filthy, depraved, and yes, even wicked and deserving of God’s judgment. We are fatally flawed and broken and we cannot save ourselves, right ourselves, renovate ourselves, fix ourselves—so we must admit this and call out to Jesus to save us.

2. Jesus calls us to follow vv.18-20 ?

follow: imitate; obey; take the same path

3. Jesus calls us to abandon. vv.21-22?

Abandon=forsake; a careless disregard. ?

baptize (baptizo): to dunk, immerse, drown.

For the past 24 years, when someone wanted to join Rush Creek, we asked them to go through a membership course. In recent years we’ve called it Elements. We’ve done away with Elements. We’re going to start a new process January 1st. But during the month of September, and the month of September only, we’re going to allow you to join any of these 4 Sundays. We’re also changing the terminology. Instead of calling ourselves members, we’re going to begin to call ourselves partners. Membership kinda has the idea of a country club: come when you want, pay your dues, enjoy the benefits, but no real involvement. We like partnership: Partners own the vision; partners work together to achieve the mission. Partners have buy-in. The New Testament uses the term in Philippians 1:5 where Paul rejoices because of their “partnership in the gospel.”

This series will examine the four characteristics of what we believe it means to be a partner at Rush Creek. And right off the top we tackle the most important, basic, indispensable characteristic, and that is to be a Christ-follower. ? Turn to Matthew 4:17-22 Now let me be quick to say that I don’t believe everyone here is actually, factually a Christ-follower. You may be religious, you may be seeking a relationship with Christ; you may be here a lot of Sundays, but you’re not really a Christ-follower. It’s no accident you’re here today. This will be the day of salvation for you. At the end of the message today, you’ll have a chance to declare your faith in Jesus Christ as your boss and redeemer, and if you choose, to become a partner of Rush Creek.? So let’s dig in. Matthew 4:17-22 (on screen)?From this passage we find at least Three dimensions to His call on our lives:

1. Jesus calls us to repent. v.17 (on screen)

As Jesus went preaching, He called people to repentance. We talked about this last week: Repent(metanoia): change of mind; i.e., change of direction. Repentance is not feeling sorry for what you did. Repentance is not feeling guilty for what you did. Repentance is not an emotion. Repentance a decision. It is the decision that you are going to turn from the path you are on, pursuing what you desire, and turn to Jesus and pursue what He demands.? Ultimately repentance is an admission, an acceptance of what Jesus says about us: that our hearts are prideful, filthy, depraved, and yes, even wicked and deserving of God’s judgment. We are fatally flawed and broken and we cannot save ourselves, right ourselves, renovate ourselves, fix ourselves—so we must admit this and call out to Jesus to save us. That is repentance. And that is what Jesus came preaching. As long as you resist this admission, you are not near to the kingdom of heaven as Jesus said, you are far from the kingdom of heaven.

2. Jesus calls us to follow vv.18-20 (on screen)? Jesus’ call was clear: follow Me. To follow: imitate; obey; take the same path. This goes hand in hand with repentance. You stop following your own path and take the path of Jesus. This means so many things: to adopt the same moral code as Jesus, to walk in humility like Jesus, to love people like Jesus.? But in the text, Jesus isolates one activity that typifies His followers. What is it? To be fishers of men. What does that mean to be a fisher of men? It means to be involved in gospel living; to be involved in the mission of Jesus to share the gospel; to be a witness for Jesus where we live, work and play.? I dare say, if you claim to be a follower of Jesus but are not leading people to faith in Jesus then you might be kidding yourself about being a follower of Jesus.

3. Jesus calls us to abandon. vv.21-22 (on screen)? What did Peter and Andrew do when Jesus called them to follow Him? They abandoned their nets. What did James and John do when Jesus called them to follow Him? They left their boats.

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