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The Cost of Discipleship

Discipleship  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A person must pay the ultimate price to follow Jesus Christ

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Scriptural Text :

Illustration
A hen and a pig approached a church and read the advertised sermon topic: “What can we do to help the poor?” Immediately the hen suggested they feed them bacon and eggs. The pig thought for a moment and said, “There is only one thing wrong with feeding bacon and eggs to the poor. For you it requires only a contribution, but for me it requires total commitment!”

A hen and a pig approached a church and read the advertised sermon topic: “What can we do to help the poor?” Immediately the hen suggested they feed them bacon and eggs. The pig thought for a moment and said, “There is only one thing wrong with feeding bacon and eggs to the poor. For you it requires only a contribution, but for me it requires total commitment!”

Our message from we determine that discipleship is best understood as

Discipleship is best understood as a journey, a direction, an orientation of one’s life toward becoming like Christ. This can only be accomplished by following Christ.

The term “cheap grace” can be traced back to a book written by German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, called The Cost of Discipleship, published in 1937. In that book, Bonhoeffer defined “cheap grace” as “the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.” Notice what is emphasized in Bonhoeffer’s definition of cheap grace and what is de-emphasized. The emphasis is on the benefits of Christianity without the costs involved; hence, the adjective cheap to describe it.

The term “cheap grace” can be traced back to a book written by German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, called The Cost of Discipleship, published in 1937.

What Is Cheap Grace?

In that book, Bonhoeffer defined “cheap grace” as “the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline.

What Is Cheap Grace?

Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”

What Is Cheap Grace?

Notice what is emphasized in Bonhoeffer’s definition of cheap grace and what is de-emphasized.

What Is Cheap Grace?

The emphasis is on the benefits of Christianity without the costs involved; hence, the adjective cheap to describe it.

The term “cheap grace” can be traced back to a book written by German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, called The Cost of Discipleship, published in 1937. In that book, Bonhoeffer defined “cheap grace” as “the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.” Notice what is emphasized in Bonhoeffer’s definition of cheap grace and what is de-emphasized. The emphasis is on the benefits of Christianity without the costs involved; hence, the adjective cheap to describe it.
Got Questions Ministries, Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2002–2013).
The cost or conditions of discipleship might be outlined as follows. Huge crowds followed Jesus and He challenged them (v.25).
The cost or conditions of discipleship might be outlined as follows.

1. Renunciation (v.26). [, Phil.3:8]

1. Renunciation (v.26).

A man must put Christ first: before family, even before self (v.26).
"And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting" ().

2. Self-denial (v.27).

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ" ().

2. Self-denial (v.27). [; ; Romans 12:1]

A man must bear the cross of death: death to self (v.27).
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 I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” ().
“That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” ().
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

3. Thoughtfulness—counting the cost (v.28-32). [; ; Cor. 6:17-18]

A man must give thought to discipleship: count the cost and the consequences (v.28-33).
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” ().
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Cor.6:19-20).
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor.6:17-18).

4. Forsaking all (v.33-35). [; Matt. 8:12]

A man must have the salt of discipleship: the salt of self-denial (v.34-35).

1. A half-hearted choice is worthless. It cannot season or penetrate; it cannot help anything or anyone. "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" ().
2. A half-hearted choice is to be cast out. Salt that is worthless and useless is always cast out, for it is good for nothing. "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" ().
A man with ears needs to hear the invitation. Hearing spiritual truth is a choice which a man must make. He chooses whether to hear or not to hear the truth.
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it" ().
But wait a moment!!! There are three other conditions for discipleship given by Christ elsewhere.
There are three other conditions for discipleship given by Christ elsewhere. 1. Love to others: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (; cp. ). 2. Stedfastness: "If ye continue in my word then are ye my disciples indeed" (). 3. Fruitfulness: "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples" (). Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible - Commentary - The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible – Luke.
1. Love to others: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (; cp. ).
2. Stedfastness: "If ye continue in my word then are ye my disciples indeed" ().
3. Fruitfulness: "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples" ().
Although Jesus is the long-anticipated Messiah, following Him is never going to bring a life of glory and fame. Jesus is ushering in a kingdom like a mustard seed () or yeast (). It will grow and swell through perseverance rather than praise.

Following Jesus means sacrifice and service.

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