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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
May 22, 2016
I believe that our five month excursion into the subjects of the purpose of the church and the proper worship of God has been good for this church. It is needful to have periodic reminders that our primary purpose is to Glorify God by Making Disciples of Jesus Christ which is what we have been commanded to do by our Lord in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20. We carry that out here at Grace Bible Church by four means. Communicating New Life in Christ – Evangelism. Cultivating New Life in Christ – Edification. Caring for New Life in Christ – Fellowship. Celebrating New Life in Christ – Worship.
It is also important that we are periodically challenged to think deeply about the nature of true worship of God which must be in spirit and in truth. There is too much in too many churches that are substitutes. We dare not fall into those traps which result in the various forms of false worship that have become so common.
This morning we return to our study of the Life of Christ in which we are examining all four gospel accounts with Luke giving us the outline. In the last sermon in this series we had examined Matthew 16:13-20, Mark 8:27-30 and Luke 9:18-21 in which Peter makes his declaration on behalf of the other disciples that they believe that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus responded to him saying, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (See: The Church that Jesus Builds)
This would have to be a high point in Peter’s life up to then. Jesus had revealed that not only had Peter been given special revelation by God to know the truth, but Peter would also be a central figure that Christ would use in building His church, a promise that would be fulfilled in the early chapters of Acts. Yet, today we will find in our study that only a very brief time later, Peter utterly and miserably fails, so much so. that Jesus even calls him “Satan.” It is not enough to know that God has gifted you and that He will use you to serve Him. Your mind also has to be set correctly and must remain set correctly. Your mind must be on the things of God rather than the things of man. Turn to Matthew 16:21-28 which gives the fullest account, but put a marker in Mark 8:31 and Luke 9:22 for I will also refer to them also.
Jesus had just warned the disciples in verse 20 not to tell anyone else that He was the Christ. Jesus would announce that Himself in His own timing and now was not the time or place. Jesus did not want the multitudes stirred up more than they already were, and remember that some had already tried to force Jesus into being king. The disciples understood that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Christ, but they did not understand what that meant for the immediate future. They, like the rest of the populace, were still thinking that Messiah would set up a military – political kingdom like had existed under David and Solomon. But that was not the immediate plan of God. Jesus must accomplish something else first. He must redeem man from sin. We find in verse 21 that Jesus begins to tell the disciples about this.
“From that time Jesus Christ began to show 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 up on the third day.” Mark 8:32 adds, “And He was stating the matter plainly.”
The phrase, “from that time,” marks a change in Jesus’ ministry. Jesus had alluded to His coming death before (Matthew 12:13; 16:4), but now Jesus speaks of it clearly, and He does not just tell the disciples once, but many times. Matthew records Jesus speaking of His coming suffering, death and resurrection here and four more times before He even reaches Jerusalem (Matthew 17:12, 22-23; 20:18-19, 28). Jesus’ declaration of what the immediate future would bring has four parts. 1) He must go to Jerusalem; 2) He must suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and scribes; 3) He must be killed; and 4) He must be raised from the dead on the third day.
Go to Jerusalem: Just prior to this, Jesus had been traveling extensively throughout the region of Galilee and even into the Gentile regions of Tyre & Sidon and over into Decapolis. Jesus is now in the far north in the region of Caesarea Philippi, but from this point on Jesus begins His journey south with His face set on Jerusalem.
But why go to Jerusalem? Wasn’t that the source of most of Jesus’ opposition? Since Jesus’ public ministry began, His trips to Jerusalem resulted in conflict with the religious leaders. On the first Passover of His ministry, Jesus drove the money changers and merchants from the temple (John 2:13-16). While in Jerusalem for a Feast of the Jews (either Passover or Tabernacles), severe conflict arises when Jesus heals people on the Sabbath in violation of the Pharisees’ traditions, and they want to kill Him for it (John 5:1,16-18). The next time Jesus is in Jerusalem conflict breaks out during the Feast of Booths which immediately follows the Passover. The chief priests and Pharisees tried to arrest Jesus and have Him put to death (John 7:1-19, 44,45). Even when Jesus was in Galilee, it was the religious leaders who traveled up from Jerusalem that gave Jesus the greatest opposition (Matthew 15:1). To go to Jerusalem meant opposition and possibly even death. Why then go? That was a key question on the minds of the disciples. They could not figure out how going there could possibly further God’s kingdom at the present time. They could only see how it would hinder and maybe even destroy their hopes.
Jesus was going to Jerusalem because it was in the divine plan that Messiah should die there. It was the city in which the lamb of God must be sacrificed. Jesus put it this way in Luke 13:33, “I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.” Jesus made it plain to the disciples that He must go to Jerusalem saying to them, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day” (Luke 9:22)
This was shocking to the disciples and no text records Jesus giving more detail beyond that He would suffer “many things” at the hands of the elders, chief priests and scribes. Who were these leaders?
The Elders were patterned after the ancient “elders” that were the heads of the various tribes and families of the Jewish nation. In later times as cities and towns were settled, each had their own “elders” to lead them. Some of the more distinguished local elders, along with chief priests and scribes, became members of the Sanhedrin, the council of seventy men that was the political ruling body and tribunal of the Jews. The Sanhedrin was subject to Roman authority, but it still held a lot of power in the daily lives of the people.
The Chief Priests were usually Sadducees. They were theologically liberal and very pragmatic politicians. They would compromise on almost anything to get what they wanted.
The Scribes were usually Pharisees. They were the conservative traditionalists that paid more attention to the customs of men than following God’s Word.
These three groups represented what should have been the best in Israel. They were the leaders of the nation both religiously and politically. They should have been the ones welcoming Jesus and proclaiming Him as the Messiah and leading in the worship of Him. Instead, because of their own sinful rejection of Him, they would cause Him to suffer many things including: humiliation, dishonor; mockery, physical injury and pain, and finally death.
The word for “be killed” here, ajpokteivnw / apokteino, includes the idea of being murdered by violent means without legal justification. Jesus would not be legally tried or proved guilty of any crime or sin. Instead, He would be sentenced to die on the basis of false charges, false witnesses, and a governor more interested in political expediency than in the truth. Pilate knew the truth, but He was not controlled by it. It was the plan of God that the Messiah would be murdered at the hands of godless men (Acts 2:23). This revelation must have shocked the disciples, so much so, that it does not appear that they payed any attention to the last must that would occur in Jerusalem.
Jesus made it plain there would be four events that must happen when He got to Jerusalem. 1) He must suffer many things. 2) He must be rejected by the elders, chief priests and scribes. 3) He must be killed. 4) He must be raised upon the third day.
This last event that must happen truth should have made the previous three bearable even if they were confused by it all. They should have understood that death was not going to be block the kingdom. Jesus had just told them that the “gates of Hades,” i.e., death, would not overpower it. Jesus would die, but He would not stay dead. He would be raised on the third day. He must go to Jerusalem, suffer many things, be rejected, be murdered and must rise again.
It is clear from Matthew 16:22 that Peter did not understand Jesus’ last point, for amazingly we find that he actually rebukes Jesus. “And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.”
Now before we criticize Peter too much here, let’s recognize that this rebuke signifies that Peter had a very close personal relationship with Jesus. This is a testimony to Jesus’ humanity. If Jesus had been the mystical and authoritarian ruler they expected the Messiah to be, Peter would never have done this. Let’s also recognize that in the midst of the closeness of their relationship, Peter forgot who He was really talking too even though He had just declared that he believed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. Each of us does the same thing every time we want to complain about our suffering and trials and ask, “Why me, Lord?”
The rebuke sprang out of Peter’s love and friendship with Jesus as well as his own confusion and pride. In fact, Jewish tradition held that rebuke was forbidden except as brotherly correction (TDNT). It just did not make sense to him that Jesus would have to suffer and die. Peter takes Jesus aside privately, which is the proper way to rebuke someone. He expresses both his own strong disapproval of what Jesus said, but also asserts himself that he would make sure that Jesus would not suffer and die.
The first part of his rebuke was “God forbid it, Lord.” This is the translation of a Hebrew colloquialism literally meaning, “mercy to you,” or an idiom, “may God in His mercy spare you this,” but in this context it has a negative force of, “God forbid it.” Peter’s addition of “Lord” rings hollow since in saying this he was putting his own will above Jesus’ divine will.
Peter then strengthens what he says by adding, “This shall never happen to You.” Peter could not understand how what Jesus was saying could possibly be necessary. He then promoted his own wisdom over that of God. Peter’s mind was on the interests of men, not those of God, and Jesus rebukes Peter for it.
“But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.’”
Jesus had just given Simon the name Peter and was called the “rock” on which Jesus would build His church. Now, only a short time later, this same Peter is being rebuked in the strongest of terms – “Get behind Me, Satan!” The term Satan is a transliteration of a term taken from Hebrew meaning “adversary” and often used as a proper name of the devil. Peter was being used as an instrument of Satan in much the same way he used the serpent in Genesis 3. Peter had become a spokesman for the devil. Understand the bone chilling reality of this. If that could happen to Peter, it can happen to any of us. When a person follows His own wisdom instead of that of the Holy Spirit, they can believe wholeheartedly they are on the side of God and saying and doing God’s will, but they are instead actually taking the side of Satan.
Because Peter was being used by Satan, he had become a stumbling block to Jesus. How so? “Stumbling block” comes from a word (skavndalon / skandalon) that originally was used for an animal trap and in particular the bait and trip of that trap. Satan was using Peter to set a trap for Jesus in an effort to lure Him away from the cross. This was a real temptation for Jesus because Jesus knew that going to Jerusalem meant great personal suffering. There would be the pain of being physically abused and dying on a cross, but there would also be the agony of taking upon Himself man’s sin. If there was another way Jesus would have taken it, for that is how He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His death. But Jesus’ put God’s interests first and wanted His will to be done. That was not the case for Peter at this point, and Jesus points that out directly.
“You are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” This is not an unreasonable rebuke because Jesus had just informed the disciples about God’s plan. Jesus was going to Jerusalem where he would suffer, be rejected, die, then rise up on the third day. If Peter’s mind had been attuned to the things of God, he would have listened carefully to what Jesus had said and would have sought to encourage Jesus in it though he neither liked it nor would have understood at that time how it would come about or all work together for God’s glory.
Peter’s mind was set on man’s interests instead of God’s which is why he responded according to his own emotions, desires, and wisdom, and in so doing, he became the adversary of God’s plan. We are subject to the same failure when we allow our emotions and desires to control us. Our wisdom is very limited. We must humbly trust in the Lord, not ourselves; commit our ways to Him, not our own abilities; seek His kingdom and righteousness, not our own. We must set our minds on His interests, not on our own.
But how can you do that? How can you keep human emotion, desire and wisdom from becoming foolish and adversarial to God’s will? How can you get back on track if you have fallen prey to be used by the devil? Jesus gives the answer in verse 24.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If any man wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’”
Mark 8:34 adds an important detail. Peter had talked with Jesus privately and Jesus had rebuked Peter privately, but now “he summoned the crowd with His disciples.” The lesson Jesus will teach would be for everyone and not just Peter.
Several ideas come out of this passage. The first I want to point out is that God gives man a choice – “if any man wishes . . .” God did not make us as robots and He does not coerce us into following His plan for our lives. He lovingly sets out the reasons why we should follow Him and patiently draws us to Himself. But God is not a good salesman by the standard of modern marketing techniques for He tells people what it will cost up front, and if you desire to follow Jesus, if you want to be His disciple, the cost is extremely high.
Self-denial is the first cost. This is from a word (ajparnevomai / aparneomai) that means “to “completely disown, to utterly separate oneself from someone, something,” it is “to deny, to reject.” This is the word used to describe Peter’s denial of Christ when he swore that he did not know Jesus. This is the kind of separation every believer is to have in regard to his or her natural, selfish, sinful, rebellious self. This self denial is to agree with Paul that “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh” (Romans 8:23).
To deny self in this sense demands that you are first “poor in spirit” as described in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3). This is to know, agree and live according to the fact that you are spiritually destitute and have no means by which to gain spiritual favor with God except to beg for His mercy. Self denial requires humility, a heart broken over its sin, and a hunger and thirst for righteousness. This would be the first step of salvation and a mark of every true believer.
Self denial is opposite of man’s natural, sinful nature. Man is proud and desires to be self reliant. Man sees himself as good enough and makes excuses for his sin rather than confessing it and asking for forgiveness. He wants to earn his own righteousness rather than be obligated to a gracious God. That is why though God gives man a choice, man will absolutely not choose Christ unless God first intervenes and enables Him to do so by the working of His Spirit.
The second cost of following Jesus is that you must take up your cross. It is common for Christians to talk about the “cross” they are bearing, but nearly always they are misapplying the metaphor. Taking up your cross is not any of the common trials and hardships of life whether they are physical, emotional, mental, medical or financial. Taking up your cross is not having a difficult relationship with someone nor is it some means by which you move to mystical levels of a selfless “deeper spiritual life.” The people hearing Jesus knew exactly what He was talking about for they often saw it in Roman justice. Taking up your cross was the act of a condemned man bearing upon his own back the wooden beam upon which he would soon be crucified and die. The cross behind me is not a nice decoration. It is a reminder of what Jesus suffered on our behalf – death. It is also a reminder of what you should do on His behalf – count yourself dead to yourself and alive only for His sake.
That is what Paul means in Romans 12:1 where he calls upon every believer to be a “living sacrifice.” It is what he means in Colossians 3:5 were he tells us to “consider the members of your earthly body as dead to impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed . . .” That is what Paul means in Galatians 2:20 that “I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”
Self-denial and taking up your cross are required in order to follow Jesus, and following Jesus is not an option for those who would be saved. Salvation is not fire insurance from Hell. That is only a side benefit. It is salvation from sin to righteousness, from yourself unto Christ. The purpose of salvation from sin is to be conformed into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), and to become like Christ you must obey Him. Paul even speaks of salvation as the “obedience of faith” in Romans 1:5 & 16:26. You cannot earn salvation through obedience since we cannot be saved by our own works of righteousness (Isaiah 64:6; Titus 3:5) and no human will obey apart from the working of the Holy Spirit first (1 Peter 1:2), but obedience is the fruit of being saved. A person who has been transformed from condemned sinner to maturing saint will desire and strive to be obedient to Christ. Those who are saved deny themselves, pick up their cross and follow Jesus. In truth, this is only logical because it is foolish to purse after man’s interests instead of God’s.
“For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Jesus begins with a direct statement of opposite consequences. If you try to make something worthwhile out of your own life by doing it your own way, the end result will be the emptiness and vanity Solomon talks about in Ecclesiastes. When you get to the end of your life and stand on the threshold of eternity, you will find that your life was a waste. The rising nihilism in our own nation is a result of people figuring out that the materialistic view of life makes it meaningless. Life apart from God is ultimately without purpose. On the other hand, if you count your own life here as nothing and instead strive to live for God alone, you will find your life has meaning for both the present and for eternity. If you save your life for yourself in the present, you will lose it for eternity. If you lose your life for yourself in the present, you will gain it now and in eternity. Or to look at it from another angle.
What is the value of your soul? Is there anything this world has to offer that compares to the value of your soul? If you get for yourself everything you ever dreamed of and then some, would it be anything compared to the value of your soul? The material things you own are only under your control the few fleeting years of your life. The reality is that you do not own anything – you only borrow it while you’re alive. In addition, whatever experiences you have on this earth, no matter how pleasurable, are only momentary. Your life on this planet is but a vapor that dissipates (James 4:14). It is like grass that grows, withers and dies in just a season (James 1:24). But your soul is everlasting and will continue on throughout eternity. Simple logic then dictates that your soul is more valuable than all the riches of this world or anything you might experience within it.
Jesus continues on with an additional warning about following man’s wisdom instead of God’s. Mark 8:38 gives the most detail. “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Matthew 16:27 adds, “And will then repay every man according to His deeds.”
Following Christ at minimum means that you are not ashamed of Him or what He teaches. We also live in an adulterous and sinful generation and it is not always easy to stand up for Jesus when it means you will be disdained, mocked, ridiculed and perhaps also slandered and persecuted by casual friends, co-workers and relatives, yet that is exactly what you must do if you are a true Christian, or Jesus will be ashamed of you when He returns in glory with His angels to bring judgment on those who disobey His commandments. Even though the ungodly can be intimidating, it should not be that hard to be like the apostles and rejoice when you suffer for the sake of Christ, and it will not be hard if you are denying yourself and taking up your cross daily to follow Him.
Living for Eternity
What does it mean to live a life in which you deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus? It means your life is lived for Christ, not yourself. You are obedient to His commands and willing to do anything He may ask – including die for the cause of His kingdom. The story of Jim Elliot has been told for 60 years, but bears repeating. Jim Elliot was saved when he was fairly young and he committed himself to Bible Training. While in college, he was well known and well liked. He was a good student, school champion wrestler, member of the student council, and president of the Foreign Missions Fellowship. Jim Elliot could have fit into a pastorate anywhere in the United States, but God put a different burden on Jim’s heart. There were those even then that thought it somewhat foolish to serve God in such a radical manner. Jim thought differently. In his diary he wrote, “He makes His ministers a flame of fire.’ Am I ignitible? God deliver me from the dread asbestos of ‘other things.’ Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be a flame. But flame is transient, often short-lived. Canst thou bear this, my soul – short life? In me there dwells the Spirit of the Great Short-Lived, whose zeal for God’s house consumed Him. ‘Make me Thy Fuel, Flame of God.” In another place he wrote these famous words, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
God used Jim Elliot in this manner. Jim was no fool. He gave up what he could not keep to gain what he could not lose. Jim put off marriage for a few years as he started his work as a missionary. Later he did marry and brought his wife down to Ecuador to the work that was going on with the Quichua Indians. But Jim wanted to reach another tribe where there was not gospel work going on. It was a fierce and dangerous tribe – the Auca’s, now called the Huaronai. Jim along with four other men prayed and planned and finally began the work. There was initial success. They seemed to welcome the gifts dropped to them from a plane. More prayer, more planning, more gifts, and finally they were ready to try to make contact. A base was set up on a sandbar on the bank of the river close to where the Auca village was located. After a couple of days, three Auca’s – two women and one man ventured to meet them – and they responded positively. But could the missionaries contact the whole village? More prayer, more planning, and finally one morning, after the plane flew over the village to try to encourage them to come to the camp on the sandbar, a group of 10 men were seen going toward the missionary camp. Pilot Pete Fleming radioed the base station, “Looks like they’ll be here for the early afternoon service. Pray for us. This is the Day! Will contact you next at 4:30.”
That contact never came. Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian and Ed McCully had set their minds on the things of God, not on the things of men, and on that Sunday afternoon, January 8, 1956 they gave up what they could not keep to gain what they could not lose. Five days later, a rescue party found their bodies in the river with Auca spears in them. They gave their lives in their efforts to reach those ignorant people with the Gospel.
The world would say that was foolish, maybe you would too, that God allowed 5 men to die, allowed 5 women to be widowed, and allowed their children to lose their dads – one child born a few weeks after her father’s death. But Jim Elliot’s words are still true, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot also said, “When it comes time to die, make sure that all you have to do is die.”
God used the death of these five men to call a multitude of other people to foreign missions. Even more amazing, in less than three years contact was made with this same tribe, and Elizabeth Elliot, Jim’s widow, along with their baby daughter Valerie, were living in the Auca village, and they were friends with the men who had killed Jim. “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” – 1 Corinthians 1:25.
They denied themselves, took up their crosses and followed Christ. Jesus is asking all those that would follow Him to do the same. He may not be asking you to die as a martyr in some foreign land as these men did, but He is asking you to live with the same mind set as they had. He is asking you to live your life daily in which you deny yourself, take up your cross and live for Him no matter where you live or what you do to earn a living. Are you willing to do it?
After Jesus charge and warning, He concludes with a hope for the present and future. Jesus had explained to His disciples that He had come to suffer and die in Jerusalem, but would rise again. Now he points out a personal hope of what some of them would personally experience while affirming that their expectations of Messiah coming as a glorious king, conquering ruler and the righteous judge of all the earth would be fulfilled.
“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Matthew 16:28). Next week we will pick up from this verse and talk about the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Jesus’ challenge is before you. Are you willing to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him? The way you live your life will declare to everyone your decision and your dedication to do so. A day will come in which you will stand before Him and give an account of your life. I pray you will have the joy of hearing, “Well done, thou good and faithful slave,” and not that Jesus is ashamed of you, or even worse, “I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” If you have any question about what you will hear, then talk with me or any of our church leaders today and let us help you get right with God.
The pursuit of ______worship will prevent falling into the common traps that have resulted in false worship
God revealed to Peter Jesus’ identity, & Jesus confirmed Peter’s future role, but he soon ________miserably
Continued success requires not only that your mind is set correctly, but that it ________set the things of God
Jesus told His disciples not to tell others that He is the Messiah for it was not yet time to set up that _______
Jesus is north of Galilee in the region of Caesarea Philippi, and He now turns south to journey to _________
Jesus had consistently had ____________with the religious leaders in Jerusalem, so why then go there?
Jesus must fulfill the ____________plan, for as a prophet He must perish in Jerusalem – Luke 13:33
The Elders were chosen from among distinguished _________of cities and towns to be part of the Sanhedrin
The Chief Priests were usually _______________- theologically liberal and very pragmatic politicians
The Scribes were usually __________- conservative traditionalists committed more to custom that Scripture
These leaders should have been _____________Jesus as Messiah, instead they were the sources of suffering
Jesus was killed without legal trial or ______________of crime or sin – according to God’s plan – Acts 2:23
Jesus’ prediction of His __________should have encouraged the disciples, but they appear to have missed it
Peter’s rebuke reveals the closeness of their relationship and is testimony to the ______________of Jesus
The rebuke sprang out of Peter’s love and _____________with Jesus as well as his own confusion and pride
Peter expresses strong disapproval of Jesus suffering and dying, and commits himself to _____________it
Jesus had called Simon, “Peter” – the rock. Now He calls him ______- adversary, personal name of the devil
The devil was using Peter as a stumbling block – a __________, to lure Jesus away from the cross
Jesus set His interest on ____________________and so was going to Jerusalem
Peter’s interests were ________desires, emotions and wisdom and so he became an adversary to God’s plan
Every Christian can ____the same way unless you humbly trust the Lord seeking His interests, not your own
Jesus gives man a ____________, and He tells up front the high cost of following Him
Self-denial: you must ____________your natural bent toward selfishness, sin and rebellion – Romans 8:23
Self-denial requires the _________of being poor in spirit which leads to the rest of the Beatitudes (Matt. 5).
Man ___________ choose Christ unless the Holy Spirit intervenes because man is naturally proud and sinful
Take up your cross is not any of the various _____of life, but counting yourself dead to self & alive to Christ
Self-denial and taking up your cross are ___________to follow Jesus – and salvation requires following Him
Obedience to God cannot earn you salvation, but it is the __________of Holy Spirit’s work of conversion
Living life by your own means, methods and wisdom will result in the _________described in Ecclesiastes
Life apart from God is ultimately without ______________resulting in nihilism –
Which is more valuable? Your brief life on this planet (James 4:14), or your ________that lasts for eternity?
Mark 8:38, Matt 16:27 – God will repay every man according to his deeds when Jesus returns in _________
Following Christ at a minimum mea ns ___________________ashamed of Him or what He teaches
The disdain, ridicule & persecution of the ungodly can be difficult, but we can rejoice to ________for Christ
Living for Eternity – The example of Jim Elliot
He is no __________who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose – Diary of Jim Elliot
When it comes time to die, make sure that all you have to do is _________- Jim Elliot
The foolishness of God is __________than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men – 1 Cor. 1:25
Messiah will _________His role as a glorious king, conquering ruler and the righteous judge of all the earth
Your _____________of life will show if you are denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following Jesus
What will you hear? “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” or “I never knew you, ________from Me”
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) List how many times references are made to Jesus. Talk with your parents about what it means to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why did Jesus give Simon the name, Peter, in Matthew 16:18? What did Jesus tell the disciples would happen when He got to Jerusalem? Who were the elders, the chief priests and the scribes? Why did Peter apparently miss Jesus’ prophecy about His resurrection? What does Peter’s rebuke of Jesus reveal about their relationship and Jesus? Why does Jesus call Peter, Satan, as part of His rebuke? How was Peter being a stumbling block? How easy is it for you to follow man’s interests instead of God’s interests? Why won’t man choose to follow Jesus without the intervention of the Holy Spirit? What does it mean to deny yourself and take up your cross? You cannot earn your salvation, so why is following Jesus a necessary part of salvation? Why will life apart from God ultimately end up in vanity? What does Jesus mean that those who lose their life for His sake will save find it? What is the value of your soul? What reaction can you expect from society if you stand up for Jesus and what He has taught? Can you rejoice like the apostles did if you suffer for Jesus’ sake? What did you think of the story of Jim Elliot? Was he wise or a fool?
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