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Surrendering to Christ: The True Cost of Discipleship

posted Nov 10, 2013, 8:09 AM by Website Administrator   [ updated Nov 10, 2013, 8:09 AM ]

November 10, 2013 
Key Passage: Luke 14:25-35 

“Surrendering to Christ: The True Cost of Discipleship”

Let’s be serious – do we really think that Christ came to this earth voluntarily, lived for 33 years, suffered the indignities he went through and died a horrible death on a cross so we could come to church once in a while, throw a $20 bill in the plate and then squeak into heaven when we die? That commitment level wasn’t what he expected 2,000 years ago and it’s not what he expects today. As the old saying goes, “salvation is free, but it ain’t cheap!” It requires a heavy cost – total surrender. Face it, everybody surrenders to something or someone. If not to Christ, we’ll surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to fear, or to our own pride, lusts, and ego. We’re free to choose what we surrender to, but we’re not free from the consequences of those choices. Someone once said, “If you don’t surrender to Christ, you’ll surrender to chaos!” So the question for us today is, who or what will we surrender to on a daily basis?

* Perspective check – the term “disciples” occurs 269 times in the New Testament, while the term “Christian” only occurs 3 times. So what, you ask? Well, the simple truth of the matter is you can’t be a Christian without being a disciple. Jesus made it plain that the terms are inter-changeable.

“Beginning With The End in Mind”: Luke 18:29

5 True Marks of a Disciple (Christian):

1. Surrender to your family (relationships) – Love Jesus supremely!      Luke 14:25-26

It’s tempting to say, “I’m a good spouse, parent, friend, and worker because I place a premium on relationships.” Here’s the paradox: when we love Jesus supremely and place him first in everything, we become better spouses, parents, friends, and workers.

2. Surrender to the cross – Live like a dead person      Luke 14:27

The cost of discipleship is persecution. A disciple (Christian) must be willing and able to endure suffering for his Teacher. We won’t be truly liberated until we understand what is means to be crucified with Christ. A true Christian bears his cross during hardships, persecution, and temptation.

3. Surrender to finishing strong      Luke 14:28-30

Here, Jesus basically asks us, “are you in it for the long haul – to the very bitter end?” He doesn’t want people to make a commitment to him without understanding the consequences, what is being asked. Jesus doesn’t want half-hearted, blind commitments that only expect blessings.

4. Surrender to the stronger King – be prepared to give up all your possessions     Luke 14:31-33

The simple fact of the matter is this: it cost Jesus everything to give us what we don’t deserve and the privilege to follow Him. Jesus asks that we surrender everything in return – namely, our hearts.

5. Surrender to purity      Luke 14: 34-35

Like salt, we must come into contact with our corrupting culture to slow its decay. We must speak out against moral evil – if not, we’ve lost our “saltiness.” Have you ever noticed how salt stings when it gets in a wound? It irritates, but it’s also an antiseptic.

Q: What has it cost you to follow Christ? Cite specific examples.
Q: Why do only 15-20% of “Christians” truly surrender to Christ? How can you fully surrender? 
Q: According to these passages, what are the dangers of not fully surrendering to Christ? 

Bottom Line: Surrendering to Christ is a daily, moment-by-moment experience. As someone once said, “the problem with living sacrifices is they crawl off the alter.” Surrendering to Christ is not the best way to live; it’s the only way to live. Remember Jesus’ words … “If you love me, you’ll obey me.”