Summary: The disciple is to utterly disown himself, to refuse to acknowledge the self of the old man.
Series: Demands of Christ
TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME
(John Hamby, Sermon: The Demands of Discipleship, Mt16:24-27,SermonCentral)
We live in a day of "casual Christianity." I heard someone recently say that the average church could drop one fourth of its members from the membership roll and neither the church nor the dropped members would notice any difference.
Casual Christians are those who want to be numbered among the Flock, but could care less about following the Shepherd. They want the forgiveness the cross of Christ brings but never intend to carry their own cross. They want warm, fuzzy moments on Sunday mornings but offer no commitment to Jesus on Monday mornings. In short, they want the crown without the cross.
--We are not allowed to come to God on our own terms we must come to Him on His terms.
---“Jesus, through His direct instruction during His earthly ministry and through His apostles in the rest of the New Testament, repeatedly makes clear that there must be a cross before the crown, suffering before glory, sacrifice before reward. The heart of Christian discipleship is giving before gaining, losing before winning.”
(The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, © Moody Press & John MacArthur, Jr., 1983-2005.)
I. DEMANDS OF DISCIPLESHIP
1) True Disciples are Called to Lay Something Down
“let him deny himself”
aparneomai: 1) to deny 1a) to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone (Thayer Definition)
(Gal 2:20) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
The disciple is to utterly disown himself, to
refuse to acknowledge the self of the old man.
•We are to count the old man as being dead, (Rom. 6:11).
•We are to make no provision for the flesh.
•To deny oneself means to follow the example set forth by the Lord Jesus Himself in coming to this world. (Phil. 2:5-8).
•We are to live our lives as one alive to God, but dead to sin and to the world, Gal. 2:20.
2) True Disciples are Called to Pick Something Up
“take up his cross”
To fully understand the power of Jesus’ words “take up thy cross” we must first examine what he is not saying. The cross is not just bearing the difficulties and pains of life. Our cross is not a cantankerous husband or nagging wife; it is not that wayward child or that arthritic hip. Folks, we all have problems. Those who are saved and unsaved. That is a part of life.
When Jesus spoke of the cross He spoke of death: dying to ourselves that we might follow Christ wherever He leads us. He is a picture of literally giving everything up for Him even our lives. Remember Jesus in the Garden saying, “not my will but thine will be done.?
The people of Jesus’ day were very concrete thinkers. When He spoke of the cross they knew exactly what he was speaking of as they had watched many poor soul marched to their death by Roman soldiers carrying their crosses.
3) True Disciples are Called to Live Something Out
akolotheo: (Pres/Active/Imp: keep on following after)
II. PRINCIPLES OF DISCIPLESHP
1) To Follow Christ Is To Join Him In the Path He Is Traveling
(Mar 10:45) For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
(John 12:23-33) And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. 27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. 29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. 31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.