Faithlife Sermons

No Cross No Crown

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Matthew 16:21–28 NKJV
21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

To Follow Jesus I Must...

If your identity is not in Christ then you have not denied yourself
To Follow Jesus I must:

Be willing to deny myself

This is not self-denial but rather a denial of your own identity.
Paul: It is not I who Live but Christ who lives through me
If your identity is not in Christ then you have not denied yourself
Luke 14:26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:25–33 NLT
25 A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. 28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ 31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

Be willing to take up my cross

To take up the cross was a vivid illustration of the humility and submission that Jesus was asking of his followers. When Jesus used this example of his followers taking up their crosses to follow him, the disciples got the picture. Death on a cross was a form of execution used by Rome for what they considered dangerous criminals. A prisoner carried his own cross to the place of execution, signifying submission to Rome’s power. Following Jesus, therefore, meant identifying with Jesus and his followers, facing social and political oppression and ostracism, and no turning back. For some, taking up the cross might indeed mean death. But Jesus’ words meant that his followers had to be prepared to obey God’s Word and to follow his will no matter what the consequences. We must count the cost and be prepared to pay it. Soon after this, Jesus would take up his own cross. Jesus was speaking prophetically here as well.
1 John 2:6 MEV
6 Whoever says he remains in Him ought to walk as He walked.
1 John 2:6 NLT
6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
1 John 2:6

Be willing to follow

To follow Christ is also a moment-by-moment decision, requiring compassion and service. Following Jesus doesn’t mean walking behind him, but taking the same road of sacrifice and service that he took.
Follow Jesus by following the Holy Spirit
Galatians 5:25 NKJV
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Ga 5:25
Romans 8:4 NKJV
4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
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