12/14/14 – A Backwards Gospel

Matthew 16:21-28 ESV

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

A. For the first time, Jesus plainly discusses death & resurrection.
B. Peter tries to help Jesus by telling Him not to talk about things like suffering and His death.
C. Jesus will not lie or trick people. Only Satan preaches a gospel void of some suffering.
D. The true Gospel is backwards. Living comes by dying and not just for Jesus, but for all those who belong to Him, too.

II. DENYING AND DYING TO OURSELVES (24) What does it mean to deny ourselves?
A. In terms of salvation it means admitting you bring nothing to the table that would make God pleased with you.
B. In sanctification, it means calling sin a liar in its promises to make us happy apart from Jesus.

A. It also means choosing to believe God and not our cultural values.
B. 2 Examples: The war on marriage and kids.
C. Denying ourselves means believing God about everything no matter how against the grain of our culture it might be to do so.

IV. BEARING A CROSS DAILY (24-26) What does it mean to bear your cross daily?
A. It means daily embracing anew that who you were is dead and that Jesus has made you a new creation.
B. It means to die to the idea that life is about you & your glory.

1. Make your life count. Follow Jesus. Give up what you want for yourself so others can have what they don’t deserve.
2. Don’t give into the fear that you are insignificant of you live for others. Jesus sees and will reward it.
3. Embrace that real Gospel impact comes by making others more important than yourself.