Followers of Christ
Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.
a. How many followers of Christ do we have here? (I hope everyone can raise their hand)
b. Once we become Christ’s followers, we become his disciples
c. Definition of disciple
Someone who follows another person or another way of life and who submits himself to the discipline (teaching) of that leader or way.
i. Give up your own way
ii. Take up your cross
iii. Follow Him
2. Give up your own way
a. You are not your own
b. You have been bought at a great price
c. You no longer make your own decisions
3. Take up your cross
Jesus Himself established the primary figurative interpretation of the cross as a call to complete surrender to God. He used it five times as a symbol of true discipleship in terms of self-denial, taking up one’s cross, and following Jesus (; ; ; ; ). Building upon the Roman practice of bearing the crossbeam to the place of execution, Jesus intended this in two directions: the death of self, involving the sacrifice of one’s individuality for the purpose of following Jesus completely; and a willingness to imitate Jesus completely, even to the extent of martyrdom.
It also became a symbol for the sacrifice of self in discipleship () and for the death of self to the world ().
a. - The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God
b. Foolishness to those who do not understand
d. Crucified with Christ
4. Follow me
“To follow” in the Gospels and “to imitate” in the Epistles capture the essence of discipleship as submission to Christ’s authority as Lord, as identification with the way of his cross, and as intimate sharing in his kingdom work and its final reward: eternal life ().
a. We are under the authority of Christ
b. We do His will not ours
i. What is His will?
c. We are to make other disciples (It is a command!)
i. We become the teachers
1. Paul says on two separate occasions in
2. - So I urge you to imitate me.
3. - And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.
ii. As we make disciples they will become like us
1. Are we ready to have people imitate us?
2. Do we cringe at the idea there might be other Christians like us walking around?
a. Give up ourselves
b. Endure the joys as well as the sufferings the cross brings
c. Follow Christ, become His disciples
d. Most importantly are we ready to make other disciples as we are called to make?
e. Can we say as Paul, “Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ”
 Helm, P. (1988). Disciple. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 1, p. 629). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
 Osborne, G. (2003). Cross, Crucifixion. In C. Brand, C. Draper, A. England, S. Bond, E. R. Clendenen, & T. C. Butler (Eds.), Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 370). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
 Osborne, G. (2003). Cross, Crucifixion. In C. Brand, C. Draper, A. England, S. Bond, E. R. Clendenen, & T. C. Butler (Eds.), Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 368). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
 Keefer, L. L., Jr. (1996). Follow, Follower. In Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed., p. 264). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.