The Price of Discipleship

This message was brought by Eddie Foster.

II Timothy 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

Our mind automatically goes to the 12 original disciples when we hear the word disciple.  However, each of us who are saved are disciples, followers of Jesus Christ. In this portion of scripture there are four “if” clauses; each is followed by a conclusion. The first two are positive; the last two are negative.  God is faithful to his children. Whatever we go through is a drop in the bucket compared to what awaits us. Luke 9:23 tells us to daily take up the cross and follow Jesus. This is not taking up a wooden cross and rolling it across the country. This is taking it up by following Jesus in our daily lives remembering that what we give up now will be worth it in the world to come.

Galatians 2:20 says I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Paul says we are dead yet alive. You can’t be almost dead. You’re either dead or alive. How can this be? Jesus literally died. We are to die to self in and through Christ. He lives in us. At the cross we see a man. God saw a spiritual body composed of every saved person. If you’re saved you are part of THE CHURCH.  Jesus is head of THE CHURCH. Because Christ is alive, I’m alive. Unless you accept Jesus Christ you’ll never live with him eternally. He’s not to only be our Savior, he’s to be Lord of our life. We must crucify ourselves. In First Corinthians 15:31 Paul said I die daily. Self gets in the way if we’re not on top of it. You and I have to die out to ourselves everyday and let Christ reign supremely.

Look back at verse 12. We need to stay with it. It’s not a pain-free religion. Are you willing to suffer for the Lord?  The Bible tells us in Romans that our reasonable service is to present our bodies a living sacrifice. Disciple comes from the word discipline. Peter gave us his livelihood to follow Jesus. Have we given it up?  Second Corinthians 4:8-10 says We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. Persecution. Distress. Cast down. Paul didn’t have a pain-free life. He could honestly say he bore in his body the marks of the gospel.  Do you stay in the Book–the Bible?  You won’t be liked if you do. Do you believe the only way to get rid of sin is to confess it and forsake it? That’s what the Bible says. Paul tells us to withdraw from a brother who is disorderly in his living. The “professors” of religion often teach false ideas and doctrine. We must guard what and who teaches in the church. We are to mark and avoid them.

The verse also says if we deny him he’ll deny us. We cannot reject Christ without in turn being rejected by him. We can deny him as Peter did–with our words. Three times he spoke in denial of knowing the Lord.  Or in the reverse we can deny him by saying nothing. The door opens for us to speak about Christ or the truth of the Word and we say nothing. We have denied him. Don’t sit around and say nothing. I’m afraid that many churches are filled with people who deny the deity of Christ. They deny the virgin birth and the resurrection. We cannot deny these things.

Verse 13 says that even if people are faithless, even if they live in a state of refusing to believe and obey the Lord–whatever people choose to do–GOD REMAINS FAITHFUL.  Praise the Lord!  We serve a faithful God. He will be faithful to the end. 

There is a price of discipleship.  Be willing to pay it. It will be worth it in eternity.

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