Our text for this morning as we look together at the Word of God is Matthew 16, verses 24 through 28...Matthew 16, verses 24 through 28.
Then said Jesus to His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what does it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul, for the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels and then He shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, there are some standing here who shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom.
Now this passage strikes right at the heart of the matter of discipleship. We could entitle it, "Winning by losing: the paradox of discipleship."
It really strikes a death blow as well to the current trend that I see in Christianity. Much of contemporary Christianity and church life is bent on self‑centered, self‑circumferenced consumption. There are many people who wish to identify themselves with Jesus Christ. They wish to call themselves Christians and they're whole perspective toward it is that they are in it for what they can get out of it. Christianity has somehow been redefined as "get." And Jesus has been turned into a utilitarian genie, who must jump at our ever whim when we rub the magic lamp.