Summary: This is a sermon that tells how the letters in the word cross can teach us to be disciples.

What Can The Cross Do For Me?

July 17 2005

Jesus tells us in Matthew 16: 24-26 24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life? How many times have we read that verse and never thought about what Jesus really meant. Did He mean that we are to literally take up a physical cross drape across our shoulders and follow Him? We sure would stand out in the crowd if we did that. People would with out a doubt be aware of us and know that something is going on with us. But Jesus was not talking about us taking up a physical cross and carrying it around wherever we go. The cross He is talking about here is spiritual in nature.

I once had a young man come to me and we were talking about God. And as we were discussing the crucifixion he made the comment that he did not understand what all the hoop la was about the cross it had never done anything for him. That people is what the world thinks about the cross and if they saw Christians hauling a cross around on their shoulders they would think that we had gone off the deep end and that we all needed to be committed. We would not be able to function in society and we could not be effective witnesses for Christ. People could not take us seriously if we walked around dragging a cross behind us. When this young man stated this to me is sat down next to Him and said the Cross has done a lot for you. And he replied show me what it has done it has done nothing for me.

Brother and sisters there are Christians today that don’t take seriously what happened on the cross. To them those events are not important but I want you to know that the cross is important and it can teach us many things about being a true disciple of God. As I said last Sunday Jesus does not call anyone to be pew sitters, bench warmers, nay sayers, Jesus has called everyone of us to a ministry. And He expects each of us to be faithful to that ministry and to bear fruit. I want you remember what happened to the fruit tree. Jesus walked under it to pick some fruit and it had none and Our Lord said “ never bear fruit again and the tree withered and died at that moment” Understand that Jesus reserved His harshest judgment for that which was not fruitful. But this morning I want to take a look at what the cross and teach us about being the best disciples we can be.

C first the letter c teaches us that before we can become disciples of Christ we first must be convicted by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit must convict us of our sins. We must come to realize that we are sinners in God’s eyes and that if were to die today we would bust Hell wide open with Jesus Christ. Only then can we come to Jesus and ask Him to forgive us that we are sinners and that the only way to salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ and nothing else. Once we have done that then we must have conviction to let the Holy Spirit lead every aspect of our life. We can not keep any part of our life separate from Jesus. Every waking moment must be filled with Jesus. The Holy Spirit must indwell every nook and cranny of our being. We must not hold anything back. John 8:9 says 8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

If we are truly being lead by the Holy Spirit we will be convicted when we do something wrong. And we will listen to that still small voice and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. Today it is not acceptable to us that we turn over the control of our lives to anyone or anything else. We want to be able to do things the way we want to do them, when we want to do them and where we want to do them. But to be a disciple we must give up our freedom and submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Brother David is not saying this but God is saying this. So once we are convicted than what happens what can the cross teach me now.

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