Disciples Of The Risen King


Sermon: Disciples Of The Risen King Date: March 31, 2024, Morning Text: Luke 14:25–35 Series: Luke Preacher: Brian Garcia Audio: https://storage.googleapis.com/pbc-ca-sermons/2024/240331-DisciplesOfTheRisenKing.aac


Well, good morning, saints, first order of business, friends, and members of Silicon Valley Reformed Baptist Church, as many of you are aware, this is my last message to you on a
Sunday morning as your pastor. It may not be my last message to you ever, but by the grace of God, I will see you all again.
It's my last message to you as your pastor in this context, and I just want to say from myself, and from my family, we greatly love and appreciate all of you.
It has been the privilege of my life to have been your pastor, that you, as stubborn sheep as you may be, are loved by Christ, and you've been loved by me and these two other fine pastors.
When I was a kid, as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I remember one of the earliest memories
I have is of my mom conducting a Bible study at the house of an elder woman, and the woman would call me the little preacher because even at the age of three and four,
I was there talking her ear off about Bible stories. It has been the absolute privilege of my life to have been called to this great ministry and to be a pastor and a minister of the gospel.
And so church, this morning, I say and declare unto you, He is risen.
He is risen indeed. Church, if you have a Bible, please turn to Luke chapter 14.
In Luke chapter 14, starting verse 25, when you have that, please do stand for the reading of God's word.
Hear ye this morning the word of the Lord. Now great crowds accompanied him.
He turned and said to them, if anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
For which of you desiring to build a tower does not first sit down and count the cost whether he has enough to complete it?
Otherwise when he has laid a foundation, is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him saying, this man began to build and was not able to finish.
Or what king going out to encounter another king in war will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with 10 ,000 to meet him who comes against him with 20 ,000?
If not, and if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation to ask for terms of peace.
So therefore, any of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste. How shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile, it is thrown away.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear. This is the word of the Lord. You may be seated. Join me in prayer.
Our gracious, most exalted sovereign Lord, we do come before you this morning beseeching you through the throne of mercy and grace opened by the new and the better way of Jesus Christ that by his shed blood and his pierced body, he has opened a way for us to have communion with the one true and triumphant God, the
Father, Son, and Spirit. And that through this new and the better way, we do ask of you today, our
Lord and God, our King and Redeemer, that you would move in us in such a way,
Lord, that you would be glorified as your people count the cost of being disciples of the risen
King. Lord, Jesus, what an immense call is before us in this text.
What a great call it was when you called those original disciples. Lord, help us to be called in such a way that we would be worthy of the calling.
Amen. To you belongs all the glory in Jesus' name. Amen. We've been going through the book of Luke for the last several months and about year, almost a year and a half, we've been going through the book of Luke and we've come to this point, which
I think is one of the most consequential verses in this gospel. Part of what we've been teaching you is that there's a central theme to this book, to this gospel, and it's the theme about the kingdom of God breaking into the world.
But I believe there's a sub -theme along with that theme, that thematic storytelling of the kingdom of God, and it's this, that this kingdom is made up of disciples.
Last week we examined the great parable of the great banquet, demonstrating that our Lord Jesus Christ is a phenomenal host, and that his kingdom is indeed like a great banquet where many are gathered to and welcomed at the table, and in fact are not only just welcomed at the table, but they're transformed at the table.
That's the call of the kingdom, is to come, to come to Christ, to be changed and transformed inwardly and outwardly.
Here in this text, it says in verse 25, now great crowds accompanied him, and he said to them.
Now I love it when the gospels gives us that context, that pretext where it says, and many great crowds followed him, and you know
Jesus is about to drop some fire, right? He's going to drop something that's going to just land super hard.
He's the opposite of a seeker -sensitive preacher.
If you had all the great crowds in front of you, you would likely want to speak of something that would be palatable to the ears of the listener.
So of course having these great crowds, Jesus sees them, and he instead of saying something to the effect,
God loves you just the way you are, or come to me and I'll make your life easy breezy, instead he says this to the crowds that gather.
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, cannot be my disciple.
How do you square that message of the risen King Jesus saying to his people, you must hate in order to be my disciple?
Isn't Jesus all about love? Isn't Easter all about love? Isn't it about bunnies?
Isn't it about eggs? No. Following Jesus comes at a great cost.
Yes, the kingdom of God is a great banquet. Yes, it is inviting in that God has called all nations to come and feast at the banquet of Jehovah.
And yet, though the Lord of hosts is a great host, entrance into that banquet is no easy task.
There is a cost associated with it. Not that we can earn or purchase our salvation in any way, for by grace we've been saved, by faith so that no man may boast, because salvation is indeed the gift of Almighty God to sinners who've repented of sin and have trusted in Jesus.
But notice the crowds again following Jesus as he begins his discourse. Jesus up to this point has faithfully been proclaiming the gospel of God's kingdom, which again is the main theme of Luke's gospel.
But if there's a sub -theme to this kingdom narrative, it would be his focus on discipleship.
Jesus before the crowds begins to preach a radical message of discipleship.
So if you're following along the notes, again, the central theme of Luke is the kingdom of God, then the sub -theme is being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
God's kingdom is the big picture of Luke's narrative. But underneath the surface of that narrative is what that kingdom is made up of.
It is made up of disciples, Christians who've counted the cost of following Jesus.
And discipleship is so radical that the Lord calls us to hate.
Let me explain what I believe the Lord means by that. The Greek word here used for hate is the
Greek word mysio. Mysio means to strongly dislike or have an aversion towards someone or something that usually results in separation between the one who hates and the thing hated.
Now obviously our Lord is not calling us to despise our loved ones, but to have such a love and a devotion for him, for his kingdom, that in comparison, we are willing to even separate from such loved ones for the advancement of God's kingdom.
In the context of this hate, it's not to, again, bring forward a sinful feeling of hatred, or that is in this regard, as having such aversion, rather than in comparison to the love that we have for Christ, every other love, every other relationship almost looks like hatred in comparison to the love that we have for the
Savior. That's the kind of discipleship, that's the kind of radical Christianity that we're called to.
What does that look like? Well, again, Jesus said it, not me. He says, if anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father, mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
That is to say, we must put
Christ as preeminent over everything in life, including my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, my wife, my children, and even my own life.
Everything goes on the altar because Jesus is worthy.
We studied a little bit of Revelation this morning in our Sunday school. The overarching theme of the book of Revelation, as is really the story of the
Bible, is the rule of Christ, that Christ reigns.
Upon his enthronement in heaven, the scene that is set for us in Revelation chapter 5, is that there's these scrolls of judgment that are presented in heaven.
Heaven weeps, and then it's silent, because no one was found worthy to open the scrolls of judgment.
And yet, in the midst of the silence, breaks forth heaven, and the one who comes shining forth is the lamb, but this lamb is no regular lamb.
You see, this lamb is clothed in blood, his wool no longer white, but now blemished with his own blood.
And this lamb comes forth into the throne room scene, and heaven begins to break out and worship, saying, worthy are you, the lamb, who was slain from the foundation of the earth to receive honor, wisdom, power, and glory, and might forever and ever.
Jesus, due to his obedience and his incarnation, his self -humiliation, by means of his perfect obedience, and by means of his death on the cross, and yes, his eventual resurrection from the dead on the third day,
God has granted him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, every tongue confess that he is indeed
Lord, to the glory of God the Father. We are not talking about a sissy or hippie
Jesus. We are talking about the Lord of history, who was seemingly defeated by death, but no, death could not hold him down.
He was raised from the dead by his own power, by the power of the Father, and the power of the
Spirit. The Trinity at work in this holy mystery and union of raising the
God -man from the grave. And it is this Jesus who calls us to himself to be his disciples.
In fact, one of the principal calls of a disciple is to be holy.
To be holy means to be cut and separate from that which is unholy. Therefore, you begin to see the degree of separation that God is calling us to when he says you must hate, that is to separate if need be, so that Christ may be all in all.
So that Christ may truly be Lord, not that you make him Lord, but that you recognize him as Lord.
That's the call in the life of a disciple. It is one who is called to be holy.
This is what the Lord is conjuring to the minds of his disciples, that a radical life of discipleship is one that is willing to be different, set apart from the crowds, sometimes even in your own family.
It is when I consider these texts of scriptures, and I consider my own testimony, my own life, how
God called me out of the Jehovah Witness religion, and the degree of separation that I felt immediately, and still to this day, 16 years later, feel the degrees of separation between me and my family.
What will it cost you to be a disciple? Everything.
Everything. Discipleship is again so radical, I want you to write some notes, that the
Lord calls us to hate, that is to be willing to separate from loved ones, to do the work of the kingdom.
Excuse my allergies this morning, of course on my last Sunday, it's acting up.
Church, notice what it goes on to say in verse 27, whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
A Christian, a disciple, must bear his cross,
I want you to write this in the notes. This is a powerful statement, and it evokes a radical call of discipleship, in that Jesus is spelling out for the crowds, that following him involves cruel suffering at the hand of God's enemies.
Notice what crucifixion meant in that context. If you were to carry your own cross, that was a imagery of a defeated people.
That was the imagery of a thief, that was the imagery of a lawbreaker, someone who did evil or someone who went against Rome.
If you did wrong in the time of the Roman Empire, you would surely find the most cruel death to be that of a cross.
There was no death more crueler than the death upon a cross, and Jesus is conjuring up this imagery, that if you want to be my disciple, you must carry your cross, that is to be persecuted by the enemies of God.
This does not sound like a triumphant message, in fact, again the imagery that these people likely would have conjured up is a imagery of defeat, of a people being led by Gentiles into a cruel death.
Obviously, Jesus foreshadowing his own cross, foreshadowing his own sufferings that were yet to come by the hands of the
Jewish people in the Roman Empire, but he calls us to carry our own cross, to understand for a moment the political and the social climate of Jesus's day as he says this.
The Jews were a hotbed for rebellions and for uprisings against the
Jewish state. They were looking for a ruler who would march them to victory against the Roman Empire.
Yet Jesus has not fashioned discipleship in terms of a conquering army or a populous uprising, but rather that his followers would share in the same outcome as his, namely death by the state.
And this truth is exemplified in the teachings of Paul in Romans chapter 13 and in 2
Corinthians as well. And the call is clear here. Following Jesus means bearing the cross of burden, demonstrating that Jesus is preeminent over all things.
You see, this lifestyle only makes sense if Jesus has been raised from the dead.
For no one desires of their life a life of suffering unless there's a benefit on the other side of this life of suffering.
So truly, this call only makes sense if Jesus is truly raised from the dead.
If he's not been raised, then this call to discipleship, this call to a life of suffering, this call to a life of holding back our pleasures, our desires for his sake is in vain.
In fact, Paul writes as much in 1 Corinthians 15, where he says, if Christ has not been raised from the dead, then we have been the most pitied upon all people on the earth.
Because we are disciples of Jesus. We forego worldly pleasures.
We forego a life of riches. Why? Because we know that there's a better outcome on the other side of this earthly existence.
Because if Jesus has been raised, then we have the hope of a resurrection from the dead.
Many of you were here on Friday as we remembered our dear sister, Sue. And that message from Pastor Phillips, I got to speak to him afterwards and I shared this with him, to me was the best sermon
I've heard at a memorial service, which so just happened to be on Good Friday.
The hope of the resurrection is not a baseless hope.
It is a hope that has been testified by Christ's own resurrection from the dead.
And because Christ has truly been raised, this life of discipleship is not in vain, dear brother and sister.
It is hard. It's hard to be a disciple. It's hard to be a Christian.
It will only get harder as things progress in this wicked world. But friends, upon carrying your cross, upon reaching that mountain, where you're joined with Jesus in Calvary, and you crucify the flesh, you mortify the flesh, and you yield to the death of the old man and to the life of the new man in Christ, there is much blessing for the disciple who counts the cost.
Again, this lifestyle only makes sense if Jesus has been raised from the dead. And we believe and we confess that Jesus is infinitely worthy of living for and dying for.
For we confess him as raised from the dead and exalted to the Father's side where he lives and intercedes for us in glory today, and will at the end of the age raise our lowly bodies to be likened unto his glorious body, raising us from our lowliest state to life everlasting.
There's a shorter catechism that the
Lutherans use that summarizes the teachings of verse 25 to 35 as the essence of the first commandment, to fear, love, and trust
God above all things. That's the call of a disciple, to fear, love, and trust
God above all things. Have you counted the cost?
Verse 28, for which of you desiring to build a tower does not first sit down and count the cost whether he has enough to complete it?
Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is able to finish it, all those who see it begin to mock him saying, this man began to build and was not able to finish.
Or what king going out to encounter another king in a war will not sit down first and deliberate whether he's able with 10 ,000 to meet him who comes against him with 20 ,000?
And if not, while the others is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
I want you to write this in the notes. The Lord calls us to count the cost. Following Jesus is no trivial matter, beloved.
There's no room for mere Sunday religion in the kingdom of heaven. You're either all in or you will go down with the rest of the reprobate and the lost souls of history into the grave.
Christianity is no easy life. Christianity isn't a charm as many treat it to be.
Think of the charms of the world where they treat something as mystical, as helpful.
And you know, people of all types of ideology and lifestyles, they'll wear a cross, for instance, around their neck, thinking that that somehow is a charm of protection upon them.
Yet we're not called to wear a cross. We're called to carry a cross. We're called not to just wear a charm, but to abandon life and abandon our own self -pursuit and abandon all that we have for all that he is.
That's the call of the disciple of the risen King. And therefore, in this text, we're called to count the cost for the terms of peace.
I want you to write that in the notes as well, for the terms of peace. Excuse me.
Notice again what the text says. In verse 32, and if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
Among the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is this. You and I, as sons of Adam, sons of the original rebel, sons of our father, the devil, as Jesus identifies two people groups, those who are children of God and children of the devil, those who are in Adam in Christ, God has made terms of peace.
God has made a means and a ways for us to be made right with him. Where there is conflict, there can be peace.
Where there is war, there can be resolution. Where there is damnation and condemnation, there can now be no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
God has made a term of peace for you and I. But be careful.
Do not be misled. There is only one term of peace that God has made available for us today, and it is by means of his son,
Jesus Christ, who lived a holy and perfect life. He lived a life that you and I truly cannot live.
We sin daily, moment by moment. When all of our heart and affection is not towards the
Lord God, we sin and we fall short of the call to love the Lord, our God of our heart, soul, and mind and spirit.
We fall short of that mark every moment of life, and yet God in his gracious and mercy, he has given us a means and a way through Jesus Christ, through his perfect life, through his shed blood on the cross, through his resurrection from the dead and his exaltation to the right hand of God the
Father. He has made what the book of Hebrews says is a new and a better way.
It's a new and a better way. God has made a way for us to have peace with him today, now, in this moment.
You need peace. You will only find it in Jesus.
Count, then, the cost of following Jesus and not following Jesus. Following Jesus means it will cost you your life, but in exchange, what you receive is the life of Jesus and eternal life.
Count the cost of not following Jesus. Yes, in this world, you can do whatever you want.
You can do all that you please. You can live however you want. You can love whoever you want.
You can do whatever you want for a short time. You can live as a heathen.
You can live in a hedonistic lifestyle, and it'll feel good for a moment that is fleeting.
The Bible says, this of our lives, we are but a mist, a vapor, we're like the flowers of the fields.
We quickly sprout, and then we quickly wither away. We're that mist, that vapor that is here one moment and vanishes the next.
Your life is short. Therefore, count the cost of not following Jesus.
Yes, you'll do all that you please in this life, yet what you will find at the end is a bitter end.
It is a desolate end. It is an end that leads to eternal condemnation and eternal suffering in hellfire.
That is the end of all the reprobates and all the heathens that do not trust in Jesus.
Count the cost then. Great is the cost of gaining the whole world, yet forfeiting, losing your soul.
It is a gamble you do not want to play. Therefore, count the cost of following Jesus.
Yes, it will cost you. Yes, it will be burdensome. Yes, you will carry the cross, but on the other side of the cross, just like Jesus who bled and died on the cross, he did not stay dead, yet he was raised on the third day.
So then, all those disciples who gladly carry the burden of the cross will go upon that same mountain, spiritually speaking, will also be placed in a tomb.
But God has appointed a day in history when his son, Jesus Christ, will return, will come down from heaven riding on a white steed, wearing white, a sword protruding out of his mouth.
Upon his garments are names that no one knows except he himself, and dripped on those garments are the blood, not his own though, but the blood of his own enemies.
And he shall come as the conqueror, as the king of kings and lord of lords, and he shall bring everlasting salvation to all those who trust in him today.
Therefore, trust in the risen king now.
While it is still called today, while there is still hope, while there is still a chance, while there is still a day, choose today to follow him, to trust in him, to give everything over to him.
For as he says, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.
He goes on to say this in verse 34.
Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?
It is of no use either for the soil or the manure pile. It is thrown away.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear. So again,
God has given us a terms of peace, and if you haven't written this in the notes already, the
Lord calls us to count the cost for the terms of peace with God, which is everything. Truly it costs everything.
But salt, as Jesus uses this analogy, salt is good,
I love that, don't you? Don't you love some good salt? Any time
I eat tacos, salt, any time I eat chicken, salt, any time
I eat steak, salt, I like a good salty steak. Salt makes things taste better.
Salt makes things more pleasing. But there is a salt that if it loses its taste, is useless.
It's good for nothing, not for seasoning food, not for advancing the taste of something.
It is of no good, not even for the soil, not even as a mineral to bring nourishment to plants or flowers or fields.
It's not even good for the manure pile, will add no benefit whatsoever. Its only use is to be thrown away.
Salt that loses its saltiness, I want you to write this in the notes, is like a professor in Christian who is not truly a disciple.
It is easy to proclaim with your mouth that Jesus is
Lord. I think of the scripture in Romans chapter 10 verse 9, the great evangelist text, as I call it.
It says this, for if you confess of your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God have raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
There's two components there, to knowing, professing, believing, receiving, and being a disciple of Jesus.
The first is the easy part, if you confess of your mouth, boy, that gets a lot of people.
A lot of people can do that. Great evangelists through all the ages have had some sort of altar call where they'll bring people forward and they'll say, raise your hand, say these words, something to the effect that I accept
Jesus into my heart as Lord and Savior. That's easy to do. Anyone can do it.
I remember the great preacher, Paul Washer once preached that if he saw another sign from a
Southern Baptist church that read something to the effect, salvation, so easy a caveman can do it, that he would throw up.
Because so difficult was our salvation that only God could accomplish it.
So great is our salvation that only God in Christ could have made it happen.
It is easy to profess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. The difficulty in Romans chapter 10 verse 9 lies in the believing of the heart, because it's with the mouth that we proclaim our justified, but it's in the heart where we are then sanctified.
It's the heart that needs to be changed. It's the heart that needs to be transformed.
On this Easter morning, on this Lord's day, it is your heart that needs to be changed.
You need a new heart. And in Christian, if you were born again, regenerated by the
Holy Ghost, you need to continue to be renewed in your heart, in your mind, in your spirit, so that you not lose sight of this awesome and glorious Christ.
Because even for the Christian, the warning is there. Don't lose sight. Carrying that cross is heavy.
It's burdensome. It's painful. It's not easy.
It's like Paul likens the Christian life to a race. Some of us need to build endurance.
Well, really all of us need to build endurance. Some of us have more than others. When I was in high school,
I did two sports. I did wrestling, but before wrestling, I would do cross country.
Cross country started first in the school year, and then wrestling was later in the fall, into the spring.
And so in order to build my stamina for wrestling, I would do cross country.
Now I'm asthmatic, as you can probably tell. I'm asthmatic, and I don't have a great capacity for running or for a lot of strenuous activity for a long period of time.
I'm usually coughing and hacking and doing all sorts of things. And yet, the more
I disciplined myself as a young man, the further I was able to run.
Now cross country is not like track. Track is easy. That's the easy sport. Just exactly.
Anyone can do a couple of meters. How about a couple of miles? Seven, eight, 12 -mile runs.
In cross country, you have to discipline yourself, grow in your stamina, and you get accustomed to it.
And the Christian life is one of stamina. Slow and steady wins the race.
Slow and steady. Beloved, should you be a new Christian, grow steadily in your faith.
Don't worry about the Christian next to you who's been a Christian for 50 years and seems like an ultra -sanctified saint.
I assure you, they're not. But keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.
Run the race that is set before you with patient endurance. This was Christ's call to the seven churches in Asia Minor in Revelation 1, 2, and 3.
He called the churches to patient endurance in the face of persecution. The Lord Jesus beckons and calls you today as well to patient endurance, to run the race that is set before you.
Do not just confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, but believe in your heart that God has truly raised him from the dead.
And with a confession of mouth and heart that matches, the
Bible promises that person eternal life. So if you truly believe, you've truly confessed, the
Bible says you have passed from death to life. You are now a child of the Most High God.
Praise the Lord. But beware that you are not the salt that loses its saltiness.
Like a professing Christian who is not truly a disciple. For those who are professing but not believing will be thrown away into the fire, not even fit for the manure.
Here is the call of following Jesus. Lay down your life.
The Bible does not picture humanity as a cuddly, soft, nice sons and daughters of Adam who are just needing a little bit of help to get things on the right track.
But the Bible paints a different picture. All those in Adam are pictured not only as enemies of God, but hostile enemies of God.
With weapons, with sticks and stones hurling it at the windows of God's kingdom.
God's call to you today is to cease your rebellion. Come to him and submit to his terms of peace.
Lay down your arms, lay down your weapons, lay down your pride and lay down your life and come to Christ who has been raised from the dead and is exalted at the right hand of the
Father and be disciples of this risen and glorious and magnificent King whose name is
Jesus. Let us pray. Indeed, Lord Jesus, you are a great
King. You prepare a great banquet before us and you prepare even in the midst of our enemies a well -lit and a well -dressed table.
You indeed, even as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, even as we walk in that field of death as disciples carrying the cross, you anoint our heads with the oil gladness through the
Holy Ghost. You put before us a cup that is well -filled with the mercies and blood of Jesus.
Surely then, goodness and loving kindness shall follow us all the days of our lives.
And may we find solace as we, as disciples of Jesus, meet together regularly for worship that is pleasing to you and that the house of the
Lord would be our stay. Lord Jesus, bless this people with the knowledge and confession and proclamation of the risen, conquering
King, Jesus Christ. It is in his name that we do pray.