Summary: The sermons that I have listed are 30 to 40 minute sermons. I have only listed the points and a couple of comments under each point of each sermon to give the preacher a remembrance which the Holy Spirit can lead on and speak through the man of God.
Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Here in the book of Matthew we see the Master giving out valuable spiritual instructions and marching orders to His servants. In the Old testament God has always led His people, and in the New Testament we see Jesus leading His disciples. Today, those who belong to Jesus are led by the Holy Spirit of God.
1. The ones who qualify. V:24b
First, we see who is qualified to follow Jesus. Jesus states if “any man will come” meaning anyone who would like to follow Jesus may follow Him. Romans 10:13 states “ For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved”. This goes out to the lowest to the highest, to the richest to the poorest, all can follow Jesus. Jesus said there are some conditions of being a disciple because you cannot continue to do whatever you want to do in this life. Jesus will accept you as you are when you come to Him, but He does not expect you to stay in the condition you came in because He is in the transformation business.
2. The Laying down of the old man. V:24c
Second, we see the first condition, to “deny yourself”. We are to lay the old man down meaning the flesh. There are some things we will have to give up, and some ways we will have to change, and sometimes there are some people that we have to let go in our life in order for us to be able to change the course that we are now going. The old flesh is hard to lay down because some of us have been obeying it all of our lives.
3. The Lifting up of the new man. V:24d
Third, Jesus states we are to take up our cross, meaning to lift up the new man as to walking in the spirit. In the Book of Luke it states to take up your cross daily, not when you feel like it, or only at church worship, or when you are only around other church folks, but it says every day nonstop. The cross represents duty, service, work, sacrifice, a great cost, and sometimes even your life. Jesus wants us to roll up our sleeves and go to work because He said the harvest is great, and the workers are few. Today we as Christian leaders and Christians are doing too much patting ourselves on our own backs. We as Christians have so many conferences, getaways. Clubs, and meeting that we don’t spend enough time or no time reaching the lost. We should be able to get everything we need through the worship service at our local Bible teaching Spirit led preaching church by a pastor who is called by God.
4. The instructions. V:24e
Fourth, we see Jesus giving us simple instructions, “follow Me”. When I follow Jesus I now understand that I represent Jesus, and I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20, Eph. 6:20) This doesn’t make me perfect, it doesn’t keep me from falling, but it does give me God’s mercy and God’s grace to get back up in forgiveness and continue to follow Jesus. One of the biggest Christian downfalls is Christians putting on the mask of perfection, pretending to be sinless when in all actuality they are only sinners saved by God’s unmerited grace. I pray that God will give us all the mercy and grace we need to follow and obey Jesus as we do His great commission to go and tell everyone around us throughout the world about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.