In Matthew 16:24, Jesus speaks of the cost (requirements) of Christian discipleship. It says, “. . . If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Salvation is free to us. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” However, to be a Christ follower will cost you. Cost is defined as a price paid to acquire, accomplish or maintain anything. Jesus said to be His disciple (student, follower), there are three requirements: deny self; take up your cross; and follow Christ.
- To deny self means to “say no” to selfishness and stop worshipping self. It also means to exercise discipline; to re-evaluate desires. It is okay to deprive yourself of self- gratification that can be harmful.
- Next, Jesus says “to take up your cross.” The cross signified sacrifice, suffering and death. This is a dying to sin’s control, spiritual bondage and influence. Because of Christ’s payment, we have been delivered from the penalty and power of sin. Sin is no longer our master. Romans 6:6-7 says, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”
- Then Jesus says “follow me.” This means to submit; to surrender to God’s will; to yield to God’s direction; to follow Christ’s example. We need to stay focused and be faithful as a “Christ follower.”
In Luke 14:28 Jesus says to calculate (consider) the cost of discipleship. Are you willing to pay the price to follow Christ?
Celebrating 27 Years of Service as Exec. Director, Jimmie Hale Mission