March 11, 2018 - Believe - Humility
Announcements: Trip to Creation Museum (interest)
So it’s here…We come today to the final sermon in this 30 week series called Believe.
As you know, we’ve walked through 3 main questions throughout this time...
What Do I Believe?
What Do I Do?
Who Am I Becoming?
The questions are important ones because the answers place us on a path...
A path that either leads to destruction...
…or a path that leads to life
And so we’ve walk thru many chapters...
We’ve talked about things like:
Chapter 1. God Chapter 2. Personal God Chapter 3. Salvation Chapter 4. The Bible Chapter 5. Identity in Christ Chapter 6. Church Chapter 7. Humanity Chapter 8. Compassion Chapter 9. Stewardship Chapter 10. Eternity
Chapter 11. Worship Chapter 12. Prayer Chapter 13. Bible Study Chapter 14. Single-Mindedness Chapter 15. Total Surrender Chapter 16. Biblical Community Chapter 17. Spiritual Gifts Chapter 18. Offering My Time Chapter 19. Giving My Resources Chapter 20. Sharing My Faith
Chapter 21. Love Chapter 22. Joy Chapter 23. Peace Chapter 24. Self-Control Chapter 25. Hope Chapter 26. Patience Chapter 27. Kindness/ Goodness Chapter 28. Faithfulness Chapter 29. Gentleness Chapter 30. Humility
And i KNOW that looking back at all of this TRUTH that we’ve just walked through...
that it will take absolute HUMILITY to now take hold of these truths...
....and move forward…embracing them in our lives.
And i think it STARTS by KNOWING what’s at stake!! What the point is!
God WANTS —> THEIR WORSHIP!
How are they going to come to KNOW God...
How are they going to come to know that He’s a PERSONAL GOD?
How are they going to find out about SALVATION?
That they can trust the BIBLE?
To really understand what the CHURCH is?
To know the plight of mankind before God?
To know that they have a WORSHIP problem?
That IN Christ they can HAVE GOD’s EAR in prayer?
That studying the Bible isn’t just for academics?
That their time ISN’T REALLY their time?
That their money ISN’T REALLY their money?
That their air they breathe is a GIFT?
HOW WILL THEY COME TO KNOW?
And it will TAKE YOU - humbling yourself...
And part of that humbling comes when you COUNT THE COST of the task at hand....
People would always come to Jesus - and He would respond by saying - ARE YOU SURE YOU WANNA FOLLOW ME?
It’s like He was always trying to convince people NOT to follow Him.
But what He was doing was DEFINING for people what FOLLOWING Him really meant...
25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. 34 “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 35 It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
What did it say back in verse 25?
25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them,
Now, why were there great crowds?
Why were they following Him... For a variety of reasons.
No doubt they had heard of His miracles.
They wanted to catch a glimpse of this guy who was very interesting to say the least.
Here's a guy who was feeding the hungry
... performing crazy miracles...
...could possibly overthrow Rome
... He was worth seeing...
BUT, instead of Jesus getting excited about this big crowd, what does He do? He gets skeptical...
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Is this anyway to treat people who are pursuing You Jesus?
Because as we talked about last week....our motives matter.
These people were not seeking Jesus in order to surrender to His will...
they were seeking Jesus in order to impose on Him, their will.
And so Jesus is saying...unless your love for your father, your mother, your wife, your children, your brothers, and sisters, looks like hate when compared to your love for ME, then you CANNOT be my disciple...
See if Jesus were here, He would walk out these doors, and He'd say - Ok, if you want to follow Me, if you want to come after Me, it could be that you never see your family again....still wanna come?
Have you counted this cost?
Pretty harsh words from Jesus, but He doesn't back off at this point...
He actually punches the gas even harder... And says...
Ok, if you want to follow Me, if you want to come after Me, it could be that if you come after me, you may lose your own life....still wanna come?
27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
He's saying: We're going to go out into this world,
and there's going to be some crosses out there for us,
and we're going to carry these crosses, and we're gonna get tortured together
...you still in?
He says - Because unless you're willing to [go the whole way], you cannot be my disciple.
Now, we know that Salvation is a free gift from God.
Why do we know that? Because the Bible says so:
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So yes, Salvation is free.
We are justified freely by God's grace, thru the redemption found in Christ...
But if a man is to be a Christian...it will cost him something!
“Consider a moment; here is a blind man sitting by the wayside begging; he asks to have his eyes opened. Will it cost him anything? No, the Savior would not accept all the gold in the world for the cure!
He will freely open his eyes, but when they are opened it will cost that blind man something! Obtaining his sight, he will be called upon to discharge the duties of one who has eyes; he will not be allowed, any longer, to sit there and beg, or, if he tries to do so, he will lose the sympathy which is bestowed upon blindness.
Now that his eyes are opened he must use them, and earn his own bread; it will cost him something, for he will now be conscious of the darkness of the night which he knew nothing of before!
And there are sad sights which now he must look upon which never grieved him before, for often what the eyes do not see, the heart does not know. A man cannot gain a faculty except at some expense; he that increases knowledge or the means of gaining it, increases both sorrow and duty!”
We are called to count the cost:
Unless we are willing to go all the way with Jesus, we cannot be His disciple.
And He makes this clear in the next set of verses...
28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
What's Jesus referring to here?
He's saying - Listen, all of you, before you begin building a tower (a house), you sit down and count the cost...
Do i have enough money?
Do i have enough material?
Do i have enough time?
Do i have enough help?
He's saying - you DO this before you build a tower...
you DO this before you build a house...
so why not when it comes to being my disciple?
He's saying - I SEE that you're following Me, but do you even know what it means to be a disciple?
Do you even know what it means to "follow Me"?
Columbia Station has a habit of starting ROAD projects, and not finishing them in a timely manner*
So what’s Jesus doing here?
He’s DEFINING for us what a Disciple looks like...
And the way He does it in these verses is to state WHO CANNOT be a disciple!
There are 3 instances in Scripture of the phrase “CANNOT be My disciple”…and they’re all found here...
But if we FLIP these verses around, and say them - in the POSITIVE sense…we’ll see what a Disciple is:
A Disciple of Jesus Christ:
…LOVES Jesus so much that his love for his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters...and even his own life - looks like hate.
bears his own cross and walks after Jesus.
renounces all that he has....(To renounce = to part with, te detach from)
So what are 3 main points we can pull from these verses about what a Disciple is:
Disciples have affections for Jesus that are preeminent (love for others looks like hate)
Disciples embrace suffering for Jesus (bearing our cross)
Disciples treasure (value) Jesus above all things (renouncing all that we have)
Jesus makes it clear these things are not optional... ...and so therefore, these things will necessarily impact how we live....as Christians...as Disciples.
And so as we come to the end of the Discipleship series…Jesus is saying - COUNT THE COST
AND you will....end up following Jesus...
IF - we HUMBLE ourselves.
And see the amazing thing about Christ is that He not ONLY tells us what a Disciple IS...
But He also provides us with an EXAMPLE of what it takes to become one...
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
SLIDE: The Humble Mind Thinks of Others, Not Self
The Humble Mind
The Humble Mind
We all can say pretty terrible, YET ACCURATE things about the Cleveland Browns, BUT you’d be hard pressed to find ANYBODY to say anything bad about the Browns left tackle - Joe Thomas
The guy played every snap for the past 10 years
Made the Pro-Bowl every year
…and last year, ended his year by getting hurt.
The question is - WILL HE COME BACK?
And some people can’t imagine him walking away from the $13M he’s set to make next year...
NOW - we know there have been many players in the past who have walked away from NFL money to stay healthy....or even join the military (Pat Tillman - quit NFL 2002).
And every time, we say - WOW, that’s really noble of that guy!
He walked away from $3.6 Million for the temporal freedom of others...
OK, well ...Jesus Christ, BEING God, needing NOTHING, walked away from (emptied Himself) and took on the form of man....for mankind's eternal freedom...in HIM.
AND SO -
• If Jesus Christ, being God, DID NOT count equality with God as something to selfishly hold onto, but instead emptied Himself, for the ultimate benefit of mankind to the glory of God...THEN
• ...SHOULDN'T we now, as Christians (redeemed people)...shouldn't this now lead us to NOT COUNT the FREE GIFT of eternal life in Christ, given to us by God, as something to selfishly hold onto, BUT INSTEAD cause us to joyfully tell the world (family, friends, neighbors, co-workers) about this Free Gift?
IF Christ is our ultimate example of humility, then where Christ emptied Himself for the ultimate benefit of mankind, we now must empty ourselves, and not selfishly hold onto this Free Gift we've been given.
We must think of others...why?
...Christ Thinks of Others, Not Himself
SLIDE: The Humble Mind Serves
The Humble Mind
The Humble Mind
7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
• Finish this statement - If you're gonna talk the talk, then walk the _ _ _ _.
• Because - talk is _ _ _ _ _.
• You know what else is cheap? - - - Sympathy is cheap...Conviction is cheap by itself. (Do you know how many people are actually satisfied with themselves when they come to church, get convicted, leave sad, and then come back the next week to do it all over again? Come in, hear the Word, leave sad and convicted, go do whatever they want, come back and repeat. Conviction, by itself is cheap. (I.e. the Rich Ruler)
15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?
• So if my "concern" for the poor, only takes me to the point of giving advice to them (go in peace, be warmed, be filled), then I am not in any way serving them.
• Talk is cheap, sympathy is cheap, conviction is cheap...by itself.
• Christ was continually doing things to show mankind (especially the disciples) that He was a servant.
And all of it culminating in the CROSS...
28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Christ came with the purpose of SERVING others...
And in THAT - we see the connection between Humility and Obedience!
8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Humbled Himself BY - becoming OBEDIENT!
Remember - It’s possible to DO things for Jesus…and yet not be OBEDIENT...
Obedience without Humility - is not Obedience!
Jesus Christ humbled Himself BY becoming obedient!
And so now - LOOK back at all that we HEARD...
How do you view it?
Will we count the cost?
The Humble Mind Thinks of Others
The Humble Mind Serves
As we look back at this series that we’ve walked through...
Will we look ahead now - and HUMBLE OURSELVES....by becoming obedient?
This brings us to the Lord’s Table…a time for each of us to reflect on our lives, to examine ourselves spiritually, and to remember the cost of our faith. We were bought with a price, and these elements remind us of this.
These elements are here....because of the HUMILITY of Christ...
Will we commit to taking up our cross and following Him?
The Bible says not to take this lightly. Scripture says – “ whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
Take time now and examine yourself before the Lord.
22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
“do this…in remembrance of me.”
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost