COMMAND #3- BEAR YOUR CROSS AND COME AFTER JESUS.
Luke 14:27 ESV Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
TWO PRE-REQUISITES TO BEING A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST:
1. BEAR YOUR OWN CROSS.
2. A WILLINGNESS TO LEAVE EVERYTHING TO FOLLOW JESUS. (“Come After me”. . )
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BEAR YOUR OWN CROSS ?
Note: Bearing our own cross signifies a willingness to sacrifice anything that gets in the way of our relationship with God and being an effective witness.
Question: What are some things that can get in the way of bearing your own cross and being an effective witness?
Emotion that you need to die to
Lack of Repentance
Unforgiveness / Resentment / Offense Fear
Love of Money, Things
Pleasures of this world
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE- SELF-SACRIFICE IS A PREREQUISITE TO DEVELOPING INTO AN EFFECTIVE LEADER. (We will never be a great leader if we are not leadable. Jesus was saying that in-order to be a disciple we would have to crucify everything that has been leading us so we could follow Him.)
When we’re “crucifying everything that has been leading us,” we’re saying “that can no longer lead me anymore.”
Ex. We need to crucify our old habits, thought patterns, way of talking, sin, schedules, comforts, attitudes, be willing to go through persecutions etc. . .
Until you crucify your old ways, you are not following Jesus.
There are a lot of people that are following principles, a ministry, people, a prophetic word, but not following Jesus.
1. BEARING OUR CROSS MEANS PRACTICING DAILY SELF DENIAL.
Luke 9:23ESV And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Jesus did not say “if anyone wants a perfect life, to be happy, for everything to be okay, etc”
He said “if anyone come after me.” FOLLOWING JESUS IS THE GOAL!
The results of following Jesus are not the goal, but following Jesus is the goal! This is idolatry. You make the results your god.
Following Jesus results in your joy, peace, and strength. It’s all found in JESUS!
“Taking up your cross” is a daily decision! It’s not just a one time decision.
You could have done well on Sunday, but today you wake up in your flesh again.
2. BEARING OUR CROSS MEANS CRUCIFYING THE PASSIONS AND DESIRES OF OUR SINFUL NATURE.
Galatians 5:19-25 (NLT) 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
We have passions/desires that are sinful and contrary to God’s desires. There must be a decision that you are done with your old lifestyle.
WHY DO WE BEAR OUR CROSS AND PRACTICE SELF-DENIAL?
1. TO WALK IN THE SPIRIT.
Purpose: purpose of bearing our Cross and crucifying our sinful nature is so that we can live by the Spirit and follow His lead. We can’t be lead by the Spirit and Flesh at same time.
Galatians 5:16 (ESV) 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
2. SO WE CAN LIVE AND NOT DIE SPIRITUALLY. (Our quality of life will be determined by who we allow to lead our lives.)
Romans 8:12-14 (NLT) 12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
Why don’t you have any obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do?
We have the power to say no to the flesh because Jesus has overcome sin and death!
Before we were saved, we had no power over sin and death, so we had no power.
Die: of trees which dry up, of seeds which rot when planted, to die off (literally or figuratively)
Dried up Christian = no fruit
Live: to enjoy real life, to have true life and worthy of the name, blessed, endless in the kingdom of God. To be in full vigor, to be fresh, strong, efficient, active, powerful, effective.
You won’t be burned out. (Christians are burned out when you seek God in public and not in private. Depending on religion to do ministry.)
If we are not being led by the Spirit, we are not children of God.
If you’re following your sinful nature, you’re proving that you’re not led by the Spirit.
If you’re not being led by the Spirit, you’re being led by the devil.
If you just admit that you’ve been walking in your sinful nature, He will forgive you and deliver you.
1 John 1:9 AMP If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose].
Many times, confessing our sins just to God is not enough. We need to confess our sins to one another for honesty and accountability.
James 5:16a NLT Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
3. TO BE GODLY. (Either we are controlled by the power of the Spirit or the power of the flesh. Either we will deny our flesh or deny the Spirit of God.)
2 Timothy 3:5 (NLT) 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!