The Certainty Of Christ’s Rules For Discipleship
Book of Luke 14
What is a disciple?
A disciple is a follower of the doctrine of another.
We are to be followers of the doctrine of Jesus Christ to be His disciples.
There are some things we must do to be His disciples:
1) We are to believe the doctrine of Christ.
2) We are to rest on the sacrifice of Christ.
3) We are to absorb the Spirit of Jesus to think as He thinks.
4) We are to follow in the examples that Christ has given to us.
5) We must esteem Christ above all other things.
6) We are to deny our own desires and seek the desires of Christ!
7) We must realize that if we have any questions at all, the answer is always Jesus Christ!
No one can be a disciple of Jesus Christ unless his love for Christ is greater than that of another person they love.
No one can serve two masters:
Mat 6:24 “No man can serve two masters”: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
It is impossible that the love of God and the love of this world to be in the same heart!
To be a disciple of Jesus Christ, we must lay all our own desires at the feet of Jesus!
In fact we must be willing to lay down our own life at the feet of Jesus!
**We must show a love for all mankind!
Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
**We must cling to the Word of God!
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
**We must bear fruit!
Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Joh 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
If these things are not true, then there could be no Church.
You see God will have His Church in spite of the Devil!
God will have His Church in spite of wicked men!
Jesus Christ had certain rules for being His disciples and we should know them and allow them to rule in our own lives.
The Book of Revelation states that when Christ offers us the rewards for being His servants we will because of unworthiness place those rewards at the feet of Jesus.
Rev 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and “cast their crowns before the throne, saying”,
Rev 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
If we are not willing to lay our substance in this world at the feet of Jesus, then we are unworthy to be His disciples!
In fact we should be willing to lay down our lives at the feet of Jesus because that is what He did for us that believe!
Jesus Christ is not interested in cheap imitations!
*****Luk 14:25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
Huge crowds had been following Jesus for some time now.
The cross still lay ahead, but it would be only days before Jesus bore the cross of our salvation.
Jesus would pay an enormous cost to keep us all out of the Burning Lake of Fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.
Jesus needed disciples who would also sacrifice themselves if the message of salvation was to be carried throughout the world.
To be second best would not be good enough!
God will only occupy the first place in our lives!
Jesus decided that it was time to make this very clear to all those who were following Him this day of these Scriptures.
*****Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
This verse may sound harsh but we must consider how the word “hate” is used here.
The word hate can mean to detest, but it can also mean to “love less”, as it is used in this verse.
This can best be understood as showing preference to.
The truth is, we must put Christ Jesus first in our lives, we must show preference to the things of Christ Jesus!
Christ must be before our selves, we must deny our own flesh.
Christ must also be before our families, we must prefer the things of God more than the things of this world!
Christ was not saying we are to hate our families, in fact God says we are not to hate anyone.
We must remember the royal laws of King Jesus.
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
There is no one on this earth that we are to hate!
Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
We must never take the Word of God out of the context that He intends!
God will never go against His own word!
God is just saying that we must consider what it takes to be His disciples, God must come first in our lives before all things of this world.
*****Luk 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
We must die to ourselves and conform to the will of God that He has for our lives.
When Jesus Christ was nailed to His cross, He was completely naked, Even His garments were taken away from Him and divided among those that delivered Him to Golgotha.
If we cannot deny ourselves of the things of this world if God so demands it, then we are not worthy to bear our own cross, we are not worthy to named a Christian.
The cross means shame and reproach.
If we are not willing bear the shame and reproach of being a Christian (Christian means like Christ) then we cannot be His disciples!
We all have a tendency to fulfill our own desires but we must put them aside to fulfill the desires of the Lord Jesus Christ!
We must count the cost!
*****Luk 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Luk 14:29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
Luk 14:30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
These people that Jesus was preaching to this day knew exactly what He was talking about.
They had seen many a Jew crucified.
We should remember, Romans were never crucified. The Roman government felt that to be crucified was too harsh for the Roman people. They had no problem crucifying the Jews!
God just says for us to think about what He is asking us to do, this is why it is called “faith”.
If we cannot have “faith” that God will provide all our needs, physically and spiritually then we cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
We must count the cost!
We must understand the consequences of our decision!
For instance: If we decided to build a tower, we would first sit down and plan for that project and see if we had the resources to complete the work once we had started it.
Notice that the Lord chose a tower and not just some building because a tower is always reaching toward Heaven.
A tower more closely represents the spiritual building of the believer.
We should never forget our goal is to make it to Heaven!
A tower requires a sure foundation and the sure foundation of the Christian must be the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
When our “faith” is in the Lord Jesus we will build upon Him!
The difference being is that God will provide all the building materials and we provide only the vessel for those materials.
We should also consider that it can be very costly to build upon Jesus Christ.
We do not really know persecution here in America but there are those in our world that know if they accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior it will probably cost them their lives!
Their faith in the Lord will put most of us to shame.
In the least we must give up all our own desires.
We may have to lose everything that we once counted gain in this world.
In most cases we will have to part from our former companions and expect that they will mock us.
We will be under the consistent attack of the storms of Satan and we must count the damage from such storms.
BUT, if our strength remains in Christ we need not to fear any of these things!
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
A false profession of “faith” can always be readily seen by those who have already rejected the Word of God!
We also see many who have lost their zeal to serve the Lord or grow cold and fall away because they did not count the cost!
God says: Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
When we submit ourselves to the Devil we have submitted to a loser!
The builder of the tower might give up when he finds that he does not have the resources to complete the project.
The wise Christian builder will discover that he never had the resources to become a disciple of the Lord.
He will discover that the work far exceeds any resources at his command and he must forsake all that he has and proceed to build trusting in the Lord to provide.
A life for Christ far exceeds anything that this world can provide!
Remember when we pick up our own cross daily we become pilgrims on the road to Heaven!
All that we have belongs to God and He will provide what we need on a daily basis!
Remember Christ will never ask us to do anything that He has not already done Himself!
If we follow in the ways of Christ, be a true Christian, no one will ever say “he began to build but he was not able to finish”.
And Jesus gives us another example:
*****Luk 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Luk 14:32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
There have been great wars in our past but in reality there has been only one time when our world was at peace and that was before sin entered into the world.
In our Scripture one king had only 10,000 men in his army while the king that was coming to attack him had a 20,000 man army.
That king with the smaller army had to sit down and do some serious thinking.
We see immediately the importance of a strong army.
This king had to look at all his resources and he had to consider the loss of life and a possible defeat.
This king had to decide if it were better to fight or to surrender and make peace before the battle started.
This king had to decide if would forsake all in the name of peace or fight a battle that he would lose.
If we consider the invading king as being Jesus Christ and the defending king has being ourselves or some individual we can see the point that Jesus was making.
We can see that we must forsake all to be at peace with God!
When we choose to follow the Lord Jesus Christ we must be willing to forsake all we have.
What is the truth? We must die to ourselves before we will ever live again in Christ!
No one can fight against God and expect to win but a fool!
In fact the greatest battle we will ever face in this life is the war we have between our body of flesh and our eternal soul.
God requires devotion and commitment!
God requires us to choose what we will look at.
God requires us to be careful of what we listen to.
God requires to be careful of what we touch and what we pick up.
God requires us to watch where we go and what we do.
God requires us to watch what we eat and what we drink.
God requires us to control our desires.
God requires us to follow in the cause of Jesus Christ!
It’s not always easy to be a Christian!
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
If we are what we were then we are not what we need to be!
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
If we cannot pick up our own cross and die daily for the Lord then we are not saved!
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
To be at peace with God can cost us all we have!
We may be like the Jew or the Muslim who have to give up their own families.
We may have to give up friends we have known all our lives.
We may have to give up our homes and live in places that we never thought we would have to.
We may have to share what little we have with those that have even less than we do.
We must be willing to use all we have for the cause of Christ.
God may not ask for any of these things or He may ask for all these things, it is our willingness to obey Him that sets us apart from this world!
To reject the Lord Jesus Christ means we will never know true life!
We will never know a life of peace.
We will never feel we have a purpose in this life.
We will never be free from the reality of death.
We will never know the love of God!
Surrendering to God is an easy choice once we realize the benefits of serving a loving God!
Psa 116:12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
Psa 116:13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
Psa 116:14 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
Psa 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
We are worthless to the Lord unless we are committed to the Lord!
*****Luk 14:34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
Luk 14:35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
We do not give much thought to salt but salt is genuine!
Salt is an important commodity in our world today and salt preserves life.
Salt keeps our oceans from becoming polluted.
Salt adds buoyancy to the oceans making it easier for ships to travel.
In fact the Dead Sea has so much salt that even humans can float without flotation devices.
Salt aids in turning carbon dioxide back to breathable oxygen.
Salt is good for many things.
In the days of Rome, salt was even used to pay the soldiers because unlike some monies, salt was accepted in every land that soldier traveled.
But salt that has lost it’s savour is useless!
This salt represents our Christian character.
The disciples of Jesus Christ are destined to be in this moral world as salt is to the natural world.
It is the Church, the disciples of Jesus Christ, that is to keep in check the corruption of this world.
The disciples of Jesus Christ are the “good salt” in this evil world!
We see in our world today that there are many who bear the Christian name but they have lost the qualities of Christianity.
To be a Christian is to follow in the examples of Jesus Christ, those that detour from the ways of Christ have lost their saltiness and are as the sand that needs to be swept out the door and trampled upon!
Salt loses it’s savour when the Christian deviates from the truth of God and His Word.
Salt loses it’s savour when the Christian allows the world to influence his obedience to God.
Salt loses it’s savour when we have one foot in the Church and the other foot in the world.
Salt loses it’s savour when we refuse to repent of our ways before God and try to defend our character before men!
When we yield to Satan we have lost all our savour!
For the Christian it is the “Grace” of God that provides our salt and it is “Grace” that that fashions every Christian into something worth while and makes us salty!
Salt is one of the most abundant elements in our world today and so God intends for the Church.
When we have lost our saltiness, Jesus we are not even fit for the dunghill!
When we have lost our saltiness we are not fit for the land!
When we have lost our saltiness we are only fit to be trampled upon by the world!
We can see that the world is beginning to walk all over the Church and we seem not to understand why.
Maybe it’s because the Church has lost it’s saltiness!
Jesus says: “he that hath ears to hear, let him hear”.
The truth is salt this is exposed to the atmosphere will lose it’s savour and become tasteless.
The Church that allows the world inside it’s doors will also become tasteless and then useless!
We must always consider that God knows exactly what He is talking about because God always speaks the truth!
Joh 3:33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
Joh 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
Joh 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
We can either accept the truth of God or reject it there is nothing that lies between the truth but for the truth!