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Conquering Your Greatest Enemy

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Learning to deny the god of "self" and follow Jesus in radical discipleship.

Text: Luke 9:23-27
Date: 02/05/2023, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 93

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After revealing the stunning news that the "Christ of God" must die at the hands of mortal men, Jesus tells His disciples that if they follow Him, they too will face hardships and suffer. He dispels the ideas, so prevalent in modern evangelicalism, that "grace is cheap" or that discipleship is without commitment, or that Christianity is a gospel of "health and wealth". In doing so, He draws a sharp distinction between a life lived for the Kingdom of God and its King, and a life lived for the god or goddess of "self". We will explore what it means to "come after" Him, and the dire eschatological consequences for those who choose not to because they are ashamed of Him and His Gospel. As a result, we will realize that a call to follow Jesus is a call to radical discipleship and ultimately to conquer our greatest enemy-- our "self".

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 9:23-27.
A. Context
B. The cost of radical discipleship.
1. Denying the god of "self", vs. 23.
a. A message for us all, Mark 8:34.
b. Following Jesus, John 10:4.
c. Denying the "old self".
i. Describing "self".
1) The "self" in general.
2) The "old self", John 3:3, 2Cor. 5:17, Eph. 4:22-24.
ii. A clean break.
1) A message for the modern church, James 4:4.
2) A lesson from the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 5:3,4.
iii. A different message.
d. The willingness to suffer.
i. Describing the image, John 19:17, Luke 23:26.
ii. What it does not mean.
iii. What it does mean.
1) The willingness to suffer.
2) A new identity.
e. Radical obedience, John 14:15, 21, 15:10.
f. No turning back.
2. Unacceptable behavior for disciples, vs. 24-26.
III. Application
A. A call for believers to renounce "self", John 18:37.
1. The Kingdom of Heaven is upon you, Matt. 6:33.
2. The King calls you, John 12:35-36.
3. Suffering is inevitable, Matt. 5:10-12, 2Cor. 4:16-18.
4. We are citizens of a better Kingdom, Matt. 6:19-21, 1Cor. 2:9.
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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