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Sermon Notes 9/24/23: A Call To Completely Surrender

The Call To Completely Surrender

The call to follow Jesus is one of surrender

I believe many today may not fully understand this

Many may simply view their relationship with Jesus as simply part of their life

It is simply an add on to them in their minds

But is this what Jesus has truly called us to

Has Jesus called us to simply check off boxes for church attendance on Sunday morning or has He called us to something deeper

Jesus said this in Mark 8:34: 34 Calling the crowd along with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.

But for us to truly understand this I believe we have to look at what took place before this statement and what comes after it

It begins with a question

Mark 8:27-30 27 Jesus went out with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the road he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”

28 They answered him, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, one of the prophets.”

29 “But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?”

Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30 And he strictly warned them to tell no one about him.

Jesus asks the questions who do people say I am?

This is an important question to answer

A variety of answers are given John the Baptist, Elijah, One of the prophets

Many of the people simply saw Jesus as another one of the prophets

But now the question is turned to the disciples

Jesus asks them Who do you say that I am

These men have traveled with Jesus

They have spent intimate moments with Him

Peter always the spokesmen for the group of disciples answers You are the Messiah

It is only the Holy Spirit who could reveal this to Peter

In their minds the Messiah was a conquering figure

From the line of King David

He would come establish His kingdom, overthrow Rome and they would rule and reign with Him

But they didn’t fully or rightly understand the plan of God

Jesus now says in Mark 8:31-33 31 Then he began to teach them that it was necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and rise after three days. 32 He spoke openly about this. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning around and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are not thinking about God’s concerns[d] but human concerns.

To say that Jesus shocked them was an understatement

This is the first time in the gospel of Mark that Jesus begins to speak of His suffering

Jesus states that He would be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes

Jesus would be rejected by the religious leaders

But not only would He be rejected, He would be killed

But Jesus makes it clear that three days later He would rise again

For when we look at Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Behold, My Servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and [h]greatly exalted. 14 Just as many were appalled at you, My people, So His appearance was marred beyond that of a man, And His form beyond the sons of mankind. 15 So [i]He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what they had not been told, they will see, And what they had not heard, they will understand.

The Suffering Servant

53 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender [j]shoot, And like a root out of dry ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we would look at Him, Nor an appearance that we would take pleasure in Him. 3 He was despised and abandoned by men, A man of [k]great pain and familiar with sickness; And like one from whom people hide their faces, He was despised, and we had no regard for Him.

4 However, it was our sicknesses that He Himself bore, And our pains that He carried; Yet we ourselves assumed that He had been afflicted, Struck down by God, and humiliated. 5 But He was [l]pierced for our offenses, He was crushed for our wrongdoings; The punishment for our [m]well-being was laid upon Him, And by His wounds we are healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the wrongdoing of us all To [n]fall on Him.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off from the land of the [o]living For the wrongdoing of my people, to whom the blow was due? 9 And His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

10 But the Lord desired To crush Him, [p]causing Him grief; If He renders [q]Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His [r]offspring, He will prolong His days, And the [s]good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. 11 As a result of the [t]anguish of His soul, He will [u]see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, For He will bear their wrongdoings. 12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the plunder with the strong, Because He poured out His [v]life unto death, And was counted with wrongdoers; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the wrongdoers.

This lays out for us the suffering that the Messiah would endure

We who stand on this side of the cross and have had our eyes open to who Jesus is understand that this speaks and reveals the suffering the Messiah would endure

It would be because of our sin

Because of our sin He was marred beyond recognition, He came humbly as a servant, He was dispised and abandoned, He was crushed and pierced, He was oppressed and afflicted

Everything Jesus endured at Calvary was because of our sin

But Peter in his arrogance takes Jesus aside and begins to rebuke him

Peter believes Jesus has it all wrong

If Jesus truly is the Messiah than He wouldn’t have to suffer

He has simply come to establish His kingdom and conquer Rome and the world

But Jesus rebukes Peter in front of the disciples

Saying get behind me Satan

Satan before had tried to get Jesus to forgo the cross

Matthew 4:8-9 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 And he said to him, “I will give you all these things if you will fall down and worship me.”

The cross was essential to God’s plan, that is why Jesus came

Without the cross there isn’t resurrection

Without the cross there isn’t victory

Without the cross there isn’t forgiveness, reconciliation, restoration, abundant life

The cross is essential in our lives

Jesus now explains the call of discipleship

Mark 8:34-38

34 Calling the crowd along with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me and the gospel will save it. 36 For what does it benefit someone to gain the whole world and yet lose his life? 37 What can anyone give in exchange for his life? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Jesus now says if anyone wants to follow me

This is a call to discipleship

This is a call to complete surrender

Jesus is making sure that the disciples understand what this whole call is all about

It isn’t about becoming Lord’s and King’s at this moment in time

Jesus says let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me

Criminals at this time who would be crucified would carry the cross beam

It showed they came under Roman authority and often their crucifixion was a result of rebellion against Rome

The carrying of one’s cross shows we are under the authority of Jesus Christ

Before knowing Him we live in rebellion to Him and His Lordship

It is Jesus who steps in and saves us

It is God who opens our eyes by His grace

It is the Holy Spirit who brings us to the place of salvation

We are called to deny ourselves

Our will must become surrendered to His

Our lives no longer belong to us, they belong to Him

We are called to be Living Sacrifices

We are no longer driven and motivated by selfish sinful desire

We have now become slaves of righteousness, brand new creations, born again

The old has died and the new has come

Jesus says For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me and the gospel will save it.

When Jesus speaks here of wanting to save one’s life it speaks of eternal salvation

We are not saved by our works

But we must be willing to surrender

For us to follow Jesus as the word of God tells us we must lay down everything

To lose one’s life doesn’t necessarily mean we will die as a martyr, but it does mean that our will is surrendered

That Jesus not only becomes Savior, but He becomes Lord

Jesus continues in verse 36 and 37 36 For what does it benefit someone to gain the whole world and yet lose his life? 37 What can anyone give in exchange for his life?

If we gain everything the world has to offer we have nothing

We can have everything and not have Jesus and we have nothing

But if we have Jesus and nothing else we have everything

There is nothing we can give to save ourselves

Jesus asks what can anyone give in exchange for his life?

Good works will not save us

Following the law will not save us

The only thing that will save us is faith in Jesus Christ

He stepped and took our place

The great exchange

2 Corinthians 5:21 21 He made the one who did not know sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Jesus finishes in verse 38 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

There is a day when Jesus is returning

Those who receive Jesus as Lord and Savior will rule and reign with Him

They are saved and no longer are under the dominion of the devil

But for those who are ashamed of Jesus and His words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them

Ultimately those who are ashamed of Jesus have rejected Him

They have rejected His precious gift of salvation

They have rejected forgiveness

They would rather live in their sin and for themselves instead of surrendering their lives to Almighty God



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