Summary: The Stream of God’s Promises. Our Heavenly Father has many wonderful Promises for each of us, His children. I want us to consider our promises to God as His children, as His disciples.
Our Promise as Disciples
It is at the Cross of Christ where we discover the way to our Eternal home.
It is at the Cross where Salvation and Forgiveness of Sin are guaranteed to all who accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
Last week we took time to remember the Events of Easter, all that Jesus endured for you and for me.
The unfolding of God’s plan of Salvation for sinners that resulted in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
We remembered how Jesus was subjected to six illegal trials, spat upon, whipped, slapped, and mocked with a crown of thorns pressed into His head.
He even had to carry the wooden cross that He would be crucified on to the place of crucifixion.
The cross was laid on the ground, and Jesus feet and hands were nailed to it.
Then the cross was lifted up and dropped into a hole.
Christ hung there between two thieves from early morning until midday. Then finally, he died.
He paid the penalty for our sin. Past, present and future. Jesus took the punishment that you and I deserve.
He was perfect, the spotless lamb of God, and He died for you and me and all who believe in Him.
Praise God Christ was willing to do that for us!
This month in our series on Supernatural Streams, we are considering together the Stream of God’s Promises.
And Our Heavenly Father has many wonderful Promises for each of us, His children.
But this morning I want to spin things around a little. I want us to consider our promises to God as His children, as His disciples.
Our promise to Deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus.
There is more to the cross than the crucifixion of Jesus - there is also the crucifixion of self in our lives as Christians.
Let me put this verse into context for you. It was at Caesarea in Philippi that Jesus spoke these words.
He had begun to to prepare His disciples for the crucifixion He knew would soon take place.
But the disciples really didn’t understand, they could not reconcile the cross with a king.
Jesus told them that they, too, must willing go to the cross. Listen to Mark 8:34 – 38:
Jesus said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. 36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? 37 Is anything worth more than your soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when He returns in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Mark 8:34 – 38
Powerful words, perhaps painful words, but they are words that demand our full promise of commitment.
All of our sins can be traced to a love for self.
Sins of the flesh, sins of the spirit, sins of omission and sins of commission.
We sin because, by our very nature, we care more about our wants, our needs, our desires, than being obedient to God’s will and commands for our life.
The world we live in proclaims, you have rights,
you should have what you want - when you want it,
it’s all about self-gratification, its about feeding our desires, our ego, our love of self.
We live in a sinful and adulterous world.
Yet Jesus says, don’t be selfish.
You could gain the whole world and destroy your soul in the process.
Nothing is more important than your eternal soul.
Except perhaps where a soul will spend eternity, in Heaven or in Hell.
The Good News is that Jesus has paid the price for our sin, for all who believe in Him there is the free offer of salvation for eternity.
We can be saved, we can be set free, we can be redeemed and we can be assured of a place in Heaven because of what Christ has done.
But when we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour we can no longer live however we want.
We can no longer behave however we want.
In Galatians 2:20-21 the Apostle Paul said
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless.”