Text: Luke 9: 23-25
Thesis: To prove that following Christ is conditional, universal, and possible.
1. Christ was speaking to His disciples in the context.
2. The word “disciple” is defined as “a learner, a pupil.” (Thayer’s, 386)
3. “If” denotes that this saying is conditional.
4. “Any” denotes that this saying is universal.
5. “Will” denotes that this saying is possible.
6. We will look at 2 requirements for one to follow Christ.
- A follower of Christ must have denial of self.
- A follower of Christ must live a life of daily sacrifice.
I. A disciple of Christ must have denial of self.
A. The requirements for self-denial will be noted.
1. First, the term will be defined.
a. The word “deny” in the text is from the Greek word “aparneomai.”
(1) Thayer defines it as “to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interest.” (Thayer’s, 54)
(2) Kittel’s defines it as: “I must not confess myself and my own being, nor cling to myself, but abandon myself in a radical renunciation of myself, and not merely of my sins. I must no longer seek to establish my life of myself but resolutely accept death and allow myself to be established by Christ in discipleship.” (Kittel’s 471)
b. Therefore, one must have his sight on the will of God.
2. Second, this lifestyle must be desired.
a. This lifestyle is one of choice.
b. Do you wish to live this type of life?
3. Third, this lifestyle must be displayed daily.
B. The reasons for self-denial will be examined.
1. It was commanded by Christ.
2. It is the only choice for eternal life.
3. It is the character of Christ.
C. The rewards for self-denial will be investigated.
1. This life will show the life of Christ to others.
a. One has an influence in his life, whether it is good or bad.
b. A Christian must exhibit in his life a continual following in the steps of Jesus.
2. One will be saved in the end.
a. The way that one lives his life has an eternal impact on his soul.
b. A life of self-denial will insure Heaven.
II. A disciple of Christ must live a life of daily sacrifice.
A. This life must be a constant lifestyle.
1. One must sacrifice daily.
a. It is not up to man to choose when and what he will sacrifice.
b. This type of life must become one’s mindset.
2. Sacrificing must be one’s determination.
3. This will require one’s complete dedication.
B. One must consider Jesus.
1. One must look to the Cross.
a. Christ gave up Heaven, for a time, to come to this earth for man’s benefit.
b. He sacrificed His life for everyone.
c. I asked Jesus how much he loved me, and He opened His arms and said this much, and then he died.
2. One must live according to Jesus example.
a. He was always willing to put the will of the Father first.
b. Are we willing to put the cause first?
3. By considering Jesus, one will come to love serving God at all costs.
a. Christ sacrificed because He had a purpose in mind.
b. His purpose was to please God, because He loved His Father.
C. This is a costly lifestyle.
1. Christ’s will must become our will.
a. He bore His cross in order to carry our God’s will.
b. Are you willing to bear your cross?
2. Our wish must be to please God.
a. This will require sacrifice on one’s part.
b. Are you willing to give up earthly gain for spiritual gain?
3. Our wants must be beyond this earth.
a. Earthly gain will not bring about salvation for one.
b. Charlemagne’s tomb was opened around AD 1000 by the emperor Otho. He found the skeleton of Charlemagne, dissolved and dismembered into various hideous postures. The skull was still wearing the crown, and the bony finger was pointing to the verse in scripture, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
1. We have looked at the requirements of both self-denial and daily sacrifice in order for one to follow Jesus.
2. Why does one endure all of life’s trials, tribulations, and temptations? Pain, persecutions, and problems? Hurt, hardships, and heartaches?
3. He does that because he has chosen to be a follower of Christ; therefore, he puts forth the cause, and he is willing to let go of his own selfish will, wishes, and wants.
4. Do you want to follow Jesus?