Discipleship (Matthew 16:24-26)

Introduction:

  1. There are multiple millions of people who claim to be disciples of Christ.
  1. However, a disciple is one who follows the teaching of another.
  1. There are certain qualities that a true disciple of the Lord must possess.
  1. The only way to be truly pleasing to Him is for us to be in possession of those essential qualities.
  1. Let us now examine Matthew 16:24-26 in order to learn those essential qualities of discipleship.

Discussion:

I.                   “IF ANY MAN.”

A.    God desires ALL men to follow Him.

I Tim. 2:4, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

1. The doctrine of Unconditional Election is false.

II Pet. 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”              

B.    Jesus gave the invitation to all who were weary and heavy laden.

Matt. 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

1.      Since all who are accountable have sinned, all are weary and heavy laden with sin (Rom. 3:10, 23).

C.    Jesus invites us today through His gospel.

II Thes. 2:14, “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

                                 1. For example, the eunuch was converted after he heard the Word     preached (Acts 8:35-39).

II.                CHARACTERISTICS OF A TRUE DISCIPLE.

A.    “Let him deny himself.”

Matt. 16:25, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:  and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”

 Acts 16:25, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God:  and the prisoners heard them.”

Phil. 2:2—4, “Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

1.      This is not talking about being materialistic or selfish.

2.      This is talking about not loving ourselves supremely.

3.      It is talking about humility.

4.      Great examples for us to follow:

a.       Moses.  Heb. 11:23-24, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.  By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;”

b.      Paul.  Phil. 3:4-8, “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh.  If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:  Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:  for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,”

c.       Jesus.  Phil. 2:5-8, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

5.      Ill examples:  Achan, Ananias and Sapphira, Judas, & Diotrephes.

B.    “Take up his cross…”

1.      This is not simply talking about everyday trials.  Everyone endures these.

2.      He is talking about being willing to endure hardships for Him.

a.       These are voluntary trials.

3.      First century Christians faced these trials willingly.

4.      Today, we face trials of standing for the truth.

Gal. 4:16, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”

III.             AS DISCIPLES WE MUST LOOK TO THE LORD FOR GUIDANCE.  HE SAID, “FOLLOW ME!”

A.    We must look only to the Godhead for spiritual guidance by way of the inspired Word.

 Jer. 10:23, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself:  it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Matt. 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

Col. 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

                  B. We must not look unto:   Horoscopes, fortunetellers, Buddha, Mohammed, Psychics, etc.

IV.     REWARD FOR FAITHFULLY FOLLOWING CHRIST:

Matt. 16:26-27, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

B.    Our souls are worth more than the whole world.

C.    If you are a faithful disciple, then you will be rewarded according to your works.

II Cor. 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

Conclusion:  Emphasize the importance of obeying the gospel and remaining faithful.

--Dub Mowery

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