Summary: Part 6 of our Finding Purpose Series will look at what God expects from us as ddisciples and how Jesus put those following Him in their place.
FINDING PURPOSE SERIES
Part 6 – Discipleship God’s Way
Rev. Bruce A. Shields DD
First Baptist Church East Tawas Michigan
Watch this sermon online @ www.tawasbaptist.org
Introduction - “Good morning and welcome to the First Baptist Church of Tawas City. Today we will be looking at part 6 of our Finding Purpose series which deals with Discipleship God’s way.”
† Luke 14:25 – 35 The Cost of being a disciple
“25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
31“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
34“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
I would like to begin with a little story for illustration.
When I was about 16, my friends and I wanted to live in the wilderness for a weekend like real mountain men.
We packed our tents and knives and essential things that every mountain man needs, like cans of baked beans and spam.
We packed matches, flashlights and such.
We picked a camping spot about 100 feet into my mother’s backyard woods.
We pitched our tent and built a fire.
We thought we were Grizzly Adams.
Although we had this impression of ourselves, we were anything BUT Mountain Men.
Our perception made us believe we were in the wild living like Grizzly Adams, but the reality was we were 4 sixteen year olds in a tent in the backyard.
But that wasn’t how we saw ourselves.
Needless to say, after some time in the woods we discovered some of the things we had forgot in our haste to be mountain men.
Important things such as a can opener, an axe and the most coveted of all, toilet paper.
In a similar way, many people today do not understand what it means to be a genuine Christian. There are often many who follow Jesus or claim to be a Christian but they do so on their terms and not His. They do not truly understand the biblical definition of discipleship.
In just as my friends and I discovered after actually getting out there in the woods, we lacked a lot of the essential tools it takes to be what we set out to be.
Because of this self perception, there are many who consider themselves to be followers of Jesus who are not, even though in many ways they may look the part.
In some ways we looked like mountain men.
In some ways you can look like a Christian.
You can go to church, profess your faith, read your Bible, pray, even give in the offering, but are you living and thinking like Christians?
Jesus confronts this problem in the scripture we read today.
He makes it clear, what it means to be a Christian.
Let’s look at how Jesus defines discipleship, but first I would like to explain the word disciple which is repeated several times in these few verses.
A disciple is a true follower of Jesus Christ.
In other words, like we talked about last week, a disciple is what we call a Christian.
If you are a Christian, you are a disciple.
If you are not a disciple as Jesus defines it then you are not a Christian.
Disciple and Christian mean the same thing.
In the same way I mean the same thing when I say “spouse” or “wife”.
The term “disciple” occurs 266 times in the New Testament.
The term “Christian” occurs 4 times.
It is important that we understand what the word means.
For instance, Jesus words in verse 27, “27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple”