Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Looking at Simon being forced to carry the cross, we consider the call of each Christian to carry a cross as part of the life of faith.

SIMON'S TASK: Simon was called on to carry the cross.

- Mark 15:21.

OUR TASK: We are called on to carry our cross.

- Mark 8:34.

- It’s not just Simon who was called on to carry the cross. As part of the Christian life, we are called to carry our cross as well.

- This is confusing to many people, even many Christians. I want to spend the rest of the sermon unpacking the basics of this idea to try to clarify it.


1. The Christian path is not one of self-fulfillment but self-denial.

- Mark 8:34 – “must deny himself.”

- Self-denial means that I put God’s plans and ideas first. I believe that when my wants and His call are in tension, my wants must die.

2. Taking up your cross includes the idea of sacrifice.

- Mark 8:34.

- I don’t always get what I want. There is a larger mission to think about. There are people who need reached, even if it inconveniences me.

3. Taking up your cross includes the idea of killing off the old self and our personal sin.

- Mark 8:34.

- We have a new nature in Christ. As we war with the old self, we need to do all we can to defeat that part of us. Instead of accommodating our sinfulness, we should want it dead and gone as quickly as possible.

4. The Christian path is not one of empty belief but active obedience.

- Mark 8:34 – “follow me.”

- Today too many Christians have come to define their faith by a nebulous “belief” that has no impact on their daily lives. In contrast, Jesus calls us to follow Him. That includes taking seriously the commands that He left us in His Word and living them out to the best of our efforts.

5. Declining this path will lead to the loss of your life.

- Mark 8:35.

- These are hard truths. Some of you are sitting there thinking, “What in the world is this preacher talking about?!? I’ve never heard of this stuff before.” Certainly there are many Christians who have ignored these passages or never been taught them. But they are fundamental to Christian belief and practice. This is what Jesus calls us to.

- Verse 35 gives us the stark fact about our choices. We can continue to live the way the world tells us to and the result will be that we lose our lives. Or we can embrace Jesus and taking up our cross and find that we have saved our lives.

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