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Three Dilemmas of Discipleship

Mark 8:34-38

You are invited to share with us on Sunday morning at 9:30 as we worship our Savior. Discipleship is offered to Christians in a wide variety of ways. Jesus teaches the best way. In the simplest terms a local New Testament church grows, first, spiritually, and then it grows physically. The NT makes it clear a local church grows through the witness of its members as they disciple those who accept God’s offer of forgiveness of sins through Christ as Savior. Since every Christian is called to be a witness, disciple, and teacher why don’t many actually do it? Jesus gives us a clear understanding in this passage.

    1. A DISCIPLE’S DECISION.  Is the time you made a once for all decision to follow Christ as clear and fixed in your mind as your birthday or perhaps your wedding day? Be very careful how you answer that because the real answer is the reason many Christians struggle with discipleship. One of the major problems with many Christians is that they are trying to do “Christian stuff” without ever working from a definite starting point of commitment to Christ as a follower. Our culture marks almost every significant event in our lives by a definite date. Birth, starting and graduating school, college, career, weddings and so on. What a shame that many Christians never have a definite date they can mark as the beginning of “following Christ.” Most Christians don’t give their entire lives to Christ all at once, they piecemeal it to Him after He begs them for it. Before you can become a disciple, you must decide once and for all that you are going to follow Christ. When God prompts you to give Him another part of your life, you do it immediately and move on!
    2. A DISCIPLE’S DENIAL. The second dilemma of discipleship is that of self denial. This is why most people never make a decision to follow Christ. Far too many Christians say, “I’ll follow Christ as long as it’s convenient or comfortable or within reason (my reason)! To live with that philosophy is to live a contradiction. Jesus says, “no man can serve two masters.” Another way to say that is no man can serve God and self – which Jesus says we must deny! Christians try to live life being two people, and that’s impossible. Self says I’m in control of Me. Jesus says to be His disciple HE must be in control of Me! When we deny the person of Christ and choose the person of ME we are eliminating ourselves from true Biblical discipleship. Notice there is a
    3. DISCIPLE’S DECLARATION! The third reason most people won’t be true disciples is because it must be a public declaration that that person’s life belongs to Christ. When Jesus said a disciple must “take up his cross” it meant that person would be living under the condemnation of the entire world for the rest of their earthly life. No wonder the disciples said, “That’s hard, who can do this?” To which Jesus replied, “With God nothing is impossible.” True Biblical discipleship is hard. Perhaps that’s why many are called, but few are chosen. However, if you are saved, you have been chosen. The only way to be a true disciple for the Lord Jesus is to immediately leave everything about this world and its desires. Abandon all of them for the wonderful grace of Jesus and let Him replace all that’s worldly with all that’s heavenly. Make a concrete decision once for all and let Christ teach you how to become a true disciple. If we can help you with this or any other spiritual matter call us at (574) 643-9419.

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