Faithlife Sermons


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last week:
leper = new life (through him! the healer, the reconciler, the peacemaker)
centurion = access to Jesus is by faith in him…
peter’s mother was healed and rose to service.
Following Jesus.
“they” followed him… literally walked with him; dropped their lives and went where he went.
“we once regarded him in the flesh” But, “we regard him thus no longer”
changed their life’s focus… if they could.
“we once regarded him in the flesh” But, “we regard him thus no longer”
Focus: Call to follow him. (again: narrow gate/ good tree / wise builder)
From that day on he preached: Repent! kingdom of Heaven at hand.
Matthew 4:17 ESV
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
immediacy [immediate.]
Repent! kingdom of Heaven at hand.
Matthew 4:20 ESV
20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Matthew 4
Matthew 4:22 ESV
22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Matthew 4:22
Matthew 9:9 ESV
9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
He wants us to begin our lives “again at the beginning.” But this time it is a spiritual life that is our concern; a renewed life in the kingdom. And nothing is more important than that.
Paul, in:
2 Corinthians 6:2 ESV
2 For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
This after he’s identified himself as an ambassador for Christ and implores us, “be reconciled to God!”
Luke 5:27–28 ESV
27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.
Luke 5
1 Peter 2:21 ESV
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
immediacy, and also the comment, “leaving everything.”
2 Corinthians 6:2 ESV
2 For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
difficulty [difficult] that implies reluctance to give up wholly, desires rooted in the world (pleasure and fame and success, maybe best related to as we think about relationship to the like button on facebook or youtube or instagram.) Endorphines are powerful.
Sri Ramakrishna asked,
“How does a man come to have dispassion?
A wife once said to her husband, ‘Dear, I am very anxious about my brother. For the past one week he has been thinking of becoming an ascetic, and is making preparations for it. He is trying to reduce gradually all his desires and needs.’ The husband replied, ‘Dear, be not at all anxious about your brother. He will never become a sannyasin [renunciate]. No one can become a sannyasinin that way.’ ‘How does one become a sannyasin, then?’ asked the wife. ‘It is done in this way!’ the husband exclaimed. So saying, he tore into pieces his flowing garment, took a piece out of it, tied it round his loins, and told his wife that she and all others of her sex were thenceforth mothers to him. He left the house and never more returned.”
Most vividly recounted by Luke:
Luke 14:26 ESV
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.
“hate” is a Hebrew idiom that describe the strength of Love for God in comparison to all else. should be interpreted here as subordination to the greatest commandment… Love God first in your life. Others come second to that. So, if anyone comes to me, not ready to give me everything, it won’t work.
Luke 14:27 ESV
27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Strong imagery: the crowds had seen criminals forced by Roman soldiers to carry the cross on which they would die.
Walking after Jesus, living by Faith.
Dying to our selves.
Walking after Jesus, living by Faith.
Consider it joy when we face trials of many kind. It produces in us steadfastness to Christ, and through him we show ourselves full of the abundant Love of God. True citizens of the Kingdom. Sons and daughters, reflecting the image of God.
Luke 14:33 ESV
33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
confusing middle part: about the difficult
Luke 14:28–32 ESV
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.
Luke 28
this passage poses an honest question. We read in the Bible that God gave His Son to be crucified and whoever believes in Him has eternal life. And we’ve just now read Jesus saying that we cannot be His disciples, we cannot follow Him, unless we lose everything, including our own life. How can it be?
Paul says plainly in that the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Salvation (as Grace) is a free gift from God. So, How can salvation be free and still cost you everything? That is the question.
What adds to the confusion is that salvation is sometimes preached as though it is like receiving goodies. And faith is just a matter of stretching out your hand to get those goodies, the free gift. It is that simple. I would call that ‘salvation by fancy.’ To fancy something means to have a desire for something. You use it for a desire that does not last long. For example, you can say that you fancy BBQ chicken today. You suddenly have the feeling that you want to eat that kind of food. So you go and get it. In the spiritual context, you hear this preacher speaking about the beauty of salvation and the benefits you can get from it. It is so wonderful! And you are told that it is being offered to you as a free gift. So you fancy it at that moment. You want it. Then you make a decision to trust Christ for salvation without thinking too much about the repercussions of such a decision. Too many people have come to Christianity in that way, with little idea of the sacrifice their commitment will involve. And very often, it is because they were not told.
We can reconcile the teaching of free salvation with salvation that costs you everything if we have a right understanding of faith. The definition of faith as stretching out your hand to get a free gift is not found in the Scriptures. In the Bible, faith is always in somebody. I stress the word ‘in’, in somebody. The emphasis is on the relationship that faith implies.
Faith in Christ means that you have a special relationship to Him, to the gift. And it is not just any kind of relationship. The relationship that is defined is that of a disciple to a master.
Look at Jesus’ opening words in this passage. ‘If anyone comes to Me…’ That’s another idiom. ‘come to Me’ refers to the entering into a relationship of trust. This is what faith is about, trust in another and entry into relationship with that person. And here, we are talking about a relational discipleship, a relationship that involves a disciple and his master.
Jesus is the free gift. The renewal of your mind to relate to him as Lord and Master of your life will cost you everything.
Matthew 8:19–20 ESV
19 And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
not of this world… where is his rest? [paradox: engaged in the world, but withdrawn also to God for rest.]
Matthew 8:21–22 ESV
21 Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 22 And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”
difficulty shown in scribe and disciple’s relationship to the world’s way of thinking:
1) where are we going (a place)? I go where the father wants me to; where the Spirit leads.
2) And, let me make preparations… but Jesus reframes the argument as a choice (again) of continuing in a world marked by deadness, or following him in a kingdom of Life. Why look back? Like Lot’s wife discovered, there is only deadness behind.
How do we follow? (narrow gate)
2 Corinthians 5:16–17 ESV
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
“beginning again at the beginning, with a renewing of our mind (rom 12).
1 Peter 2:21 ESV
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
We are a New Creation, called to walk where he walked:
Close the with the words of David:
Psalm 25:4–5 ESV
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. 5 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
Psalm 25:4
Psalm 25:8–9 ESV
8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
Psalm 25:8
Psalm 25:15 ESV
15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Psalm 25
What do we encounter?
Matthew 8:26 ESV
26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
fear vs faith.
our wilderness.
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