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-Last week I set forth the mission of Harvest Baptist Church. The short-short version is that we are called to SHARE the Good News…GROW in Christ-likeness…(and) LOVE God and Others----{and if you were not able to be here, please go see it on our Youtube page}
-In it I had called on members to commit themselves to fulfilling this mission. If you as a member were not here last Sunday, on the Welcome Center are commitment forms that you can fill out and place in the box that is there
-But for a church to fulfill such a big calling it takes reliance on the Holy Spirit, and it takes the members within the church to get Radical. I don’t mean that in the crazy political sense, but in the sense that you make the hard, biblical choices to live out Christ’s demands on His disciples, even when they’re difficult and even when they don’t make human sense.
-Such a choice of living out a true discipleship life is considered radical in our day and age because we are used to a Western church that makes no demands on its members along with the idea that a church only exists to fulfill our needs.
-But that is not biblical. While the American church might be used to a Christ who makes not demands of church members, the Scriptural Christ makes strong demands on the life of disciples—and there ought not be a difference between the two.
-And today we see a call to surrender to Christ’s ways and will. The question is: are you going to live the unbiblical, live-for-comfort-and-ease type of Christianity that is typical of American churches, or are you ready to get radical?
-This church will not be able to fulfill its mission if it doesn’t get radical, and do so quickly.
Luke 9:18–27 ESV
18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
-Let’s consider what it is that Jesus is asking of those who follow Him:

I) Jesus requires a personal response (vv. 18-20)

-In these initial verses Jesus initiates a conversation with his disciples that requires them to make a decision about Jesus’ identity and then respond to that fact.
-In asking the disciples about what the latest gossip was about Him, they indicate people think He’s John the Baptist back from the dead or Elijah or another prophet. All of these things completely miss the mark.
-It’s like asking people who I am, and they start saying: Al is an alien {that might be debatable}, Al is a ghost, Al is robot. I mean, nowhere near the ball park.
-But what the disciples were referring to was the latest hubbub on the street. But then Jesus makes it personal: who do YOU say that I am? Do you actually know this Jesus whom you’ve walked with for some time?
-Peter answers for all of them: YOU ARE CHRIST/MESSIAH, and with that is a recognition that He is the Anointed One of God who is Savior and Lord.
-And this is the question that everyone has to face: WHO DO YOU SAY JESUS IS?
-If He is anything less to you than God-incarnate, who died on the cross to pay for sins, who rose again, who ascended to heaven, who is seated in the throne of heaven, and will return again someday, then you don’t know Him at all
-But even if you get all the doctrine correct, then the next logical question is: HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOUR LIFE?----You can say that Jesus is this, that, or the other thing, but if your life does not align with those statements, then you’re blowing hot air.
-You sit in the pew and think or say or proclaim: I’m a conservative, evangelical Baptist and Jesus is Savior and Lord!!! Then why doesn’t your life reflect that?
-If you say He is Lord, that means that He is in charge of everything—why then are you making all the decisions in your life for your own comfort and ease?
-Jesus requires that you make a personal response to Him, not only recognizing in your mind and mouth who He is, but also in your actions and choices. If Jesus is Lord, then live like He is!!!
-And since Jesus is Lord, if you respond to Him that way (and you cannot really know Him if you don’t), then we see:

II) Jesus demands a complete devotion (v. 23)

-Look at v. 23:
And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Lk. 9:23 ESV)
-If anyone wants to be Jesus’ disciple, He doesn’t call for part-way devotion, halfway devotion, or even most-of-the-way devotion—He demands complete devotion
-Jesus is saying that if you want to belong to Him as one of His people, this is what is expected—not that this saves you, but if you are saved, if you’ve really believed in Jesus, then this is what happens and what is expected
1) Deny yourself—that doesn’t mean deny yourself dessert after lunch. It means deny your authority over your own life. You think that you have control over your own life—the disciple of Christ has none whatsoever.
-You don’t determine your steps, your reactions, your choices, your words—none of it. Jesus does.
2) Take up your cross—the cross was a means of execution—a means of death. It means you are dead to self. You are dead to self-determination. You are dead to self-will. You are dead to self-centeredness. You are dead, dead, dead.
-And Paul fills in the gap in Galatians 2:20—I’m dead, but it is Christ who lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God
3) Follow Me—Jesus is calling disciples to follow His life, His example, His calling, His will, even if it means suffering on this earth.
-That’s the problem—we don’t want to sacrifice, and we don’t want to suffer. We want a nice clean Jesus who will give us a nice clean life. We want a Jesus that is more concerned about our happiness than He is His own glory. But that ain’t the Jesus of the Bible.
-The Jesus of the Bible demands (not suggests, not recommends, not implies, not hints) but DEMANDS a complete devotion to Him and Him alone.
-That means we have to turn away from the devotion that each and every one of us clings so tightly to—we have to turn away from our devotion to our own selves. Devotion to Jesus means 100% committed to Him.

III) Jesus challenges us to choose (vv. 24-27)

-Jesus requires a response from you, and He demands devotion from you, but now the things is: YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE
-Jesus is not going to force you to do anything—you either choose to be a disciple surrendered to Him, or you don’t. There is no room for being lukewarm because He is just going to vomit you out of His mouth. There is no room for being on the fence—if Jesus is Lord then follow Him, but if Satan is Lord then follow your own heart and your own dreams and your own desires.
-Jesus ends our passages with choices:
If you want to save your eternal life, then you need to lose it here on this earth to the Lordship of Christ
-But if you want to lose your eternal soul, then live a self-fulfilling life in the here and now
-If you want to lose your soul, then live so as to gain the world. But if you want to save your soul, live as if you were dead to the world.
-If you want Jesus to be ashamed of you, then try to hide any semblance of His lordship in your life. But if you don’t want Him to be ashamed of you, then live as if He is your Lord even if it makes you uncomfortable.
-The days of wimpy, mamby-pamby, sissified Christianity is over. If Jesus is LORD, then follow Him. If you are lord, then follow your own desires. Stop living like a double-agent.


-That means for the unbeliever, the one who has not come to faith in Jesus—stop waiting and stop sitting on the fence. Believe in Jesus and be saved.
-That means for the mamby-pamby Christian to make the choice—stop playing church; stop playing Christian; if Jesus is Lord, act like it—if not, stop pretending. Maybe you need to come to the altar to get that straightened out.
-This also means that if you are looking for a church that is going to preach Jesus, follow Jesus, and grow in Jesus in a radical way—then consider joining with this church family. You won’t be sorry.
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