The Cost of Discipleship

The Cost of Discipleship
February 13, 2022
Passage: Mark 8:34-35
Service Type:

We're going to be studying from Mark 8:34-35. 

At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus called people to become His disciples such as Simon and Andrew.

  • Mark 1:16-18

Also, He called James and John.

  • Mark 1:19-20

At the conclusion of His ministry, Jesus sent His apostles to make more disciples. To make disciples of all the nations.

  • Matthew 28:19, 20

In the text for this lesson, we find Jesus discussing the issue of discipleship. Having just predicted His own suffering, death, and resurrection.

  • Mark 8:31

He is telling His disciples and others what is the cost of discipleship.

  • Mark 8:34-35

A disciple is a learner, a follower. Being a disciple of Jesus means that we follow Jesus. But as Jesus mentions in our text, such discipleship requires a cost, to be a true disciple of Jesus.

Disciples Must Deny Self

"To deny sinful self, ungodliness, and worldly lusts; and part with them, and his former sinful companions, which were as a part of himself." "To deny righteous self, and renounce all his own works of righteousness, in the business of justification and salvation."— Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

To deny self with its self-righteous pride and sinful lust from dominating you.

It is manifested in the denying of the sinful self. Peter expounds this as abstaining from fleshly lusts.

  • 1 Peter 2:11-12

We are t no longer live like the rest of the world.

  • 1 Peter 4:1-4

It is the denying righteous self, as exemplified by Paul. Who had much about which he could have boasted, but chose to put all his trust in Christ.

  • Philippians 3:4-6, 7-14

In precept and practice, the apostles tell us what it means to deny self.

A Disciple Must Take Up His Cross

What it means is to voluntarily and decisively accept the pain, shame, and persecution that is going to be one's particular lot. Notice, not someone else's lot but his own lot because of his loyalty to Christ.

  • Luke 22:42

The cross is to be born "daily", indicating Jesus was speaking metaphorically.

  • Luke 9:23

It is to gladly endure whatever hardship one may receive in service to Christ.

We see how it is manifested in the case of the apostles; they all endured persecution.

  • 1 Corinthians 4:9-13

We see especially that Paul in particular endured.

  • 2 Corinthians 11:23-29

In our case, it may involve:

  • being ridiculed, 1 Peter 4:4
  • reviled (spoken evil of, excluded), 1 Peter 4:4; Matthew 5:11; Luke 6:22
  • reproached, 1 Peter 4:14
  • all the while, rejoicing that one is honored to suffer for Christ, 1 Peter 4:16; Acts 5:40-42

A Disciple Must Follow Jesus

What it means to become His disciple is seeking to become like Him.

  • Luke 6:40
  • Romans 8:29; 13:14

It is to accept Him as Lord, doing what He says.

  • Luke 6:46
  • Colossians 3:17

It means walking in His footsteps, even at great cost.

  • 1 Peter 2:21-25

To become a Christian, to let Jesus be your Lord and mentor is manifested as

  • Obeying the gospel of Christ, Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 22:16.
  • Observing all He and His apostles commanded, Matthew 28:20; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 14:37.
  • Ever growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ, 2 Peter 3:18.
  • Putting Jesus on in baptism, and then living with Him, Galatians 3:27; 2:20.

The cost of discipleship may seem rather high.

  • One must deny self
  • One must take up one's cross
  • One must follow Jesus

But as Jesus explains, there are only two choices.

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it." — Mark 8:35

One can try to save his life himself but will end up losing it. Or, one can lose his life for Jesus' sake and the gospel's, and wind up saving it.

  • Revelation 2:10

He says, be faithful even if you must be put to death for your faith, and I will give you a crown of life. If we will deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus, even at the cost of our own life, eternal life in Heaven awaits. In view of eternity, there is only one true choice: endure the high cost of discipleship, and receive the blessings of eternal life.

If you have not put on Christ in baptism, you can have the opportunity to do so. If you are one who has obeyed the gospel but has not been living faithfully, you can pray and once again be restored to a right relationship with Him.

If we can assist you in coming to discipleship in Jesus Christ, please contact us.

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