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The Way of the Cross

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
March 29, 2021 8:00 am

The Way of the Cross

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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March 29, 2021 8:00 am

What is a disciple? Dr. Boice will teach us the answer to this question on this broadcast of The Bible Study Hour. Listen in as we’ll discover that discipleship is more than a trending buzzword and more than a one-time event. It’s a journey of self-denialand when it comes down to it, it’s not an idea that fits nicely with what Dr. Boice refers to as our domesticated view of Jesus.

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What is a disciple. Dr. James Boyce will show us the answer to that question on this broadcast of the Bible study our listeners will discover that discipleship is more than a trending buzzword and more than a one time event. It's a journey of self-denial when it comes down to it, it's not an idea that fits nicely with our domesticated view of Jesus. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act quickly.

So often we miss the opportunity to be true disciples of Christ because we are consumed with busy lives full of activity done in his name. Let's listen and learn what it really means to take up our cross about two hours ago.

This morning I was in Sunday school.

One of our departments to talk about sermon this morning pastor who is preaching does that every Sunday we think it's one way we can better prepare young people of the church for the worship services. But while I was waiting to do that. The Proctor was introducing the new children of the department. Last week was a rally day so they moved up to the new department were about half a dozen new students and they were being introduced by their names on them a little bit about them.

I pointed out in the time I had to speak, of course, that is how an introduction should be done and is what Matthew does in the 16th chapter in introducing Jesus Christ. Years ago I read an etiquette book when you're introducing to people you always tell the name and then you tell something about them like this area like you to meet Sally. Sally is a doctor, Sally. I like you to meet Harry works with computers for the plot that kind of thing I'll that's what Matthew is doing so sensibly. She's been introducing Jesus Christ all along. Of course that's what the gospel is all about. This comes to a great climax in chapter 16 and has two parts. First of all, his name is Lizzie may mean beaters one about that strange because when Jesus asked the disciples who do you say I am, it was Peter who spoke up and said you are the Christ, the son of the living God are so good. The next question is what does Jesus do or what they come to earth to do. I didn't know any thing about that. So Jesus went on then to give that answer himself and he began to explain. As the text said from this time that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

So I asked this question, how do you introduce someone to Jesus Christ toward something like this say I'd like to have you meet Jesus Christ. He is the Messiah son of God and what he did on earth was die on the cross for your sin and on the third day he was raised again. I was a lot more to it than that is the essence of who Jesus is and what he came to do.

You may have to save more than once cyber people understand that and one thing we notice in the gospel is that Jesus did it. More than one such the importance of that phrase which says from that time on.

For this, Jesus had alluded to his death indirectly only once into his resurrection indirectly only once and in different places at different times. But here at this point he begins actually to teach them so you flying from now on, again and again. Jesus explains that it's necessary for them to go up to Jerusalem and there be arrested and beaten, tried, and eventually crucified but he explains in every case, and on the third day is going to rise again. Now let me ask some questions. Aaron first question is this. Did the disciples understand on one since I didn't understand all of course because when it happened. Realize that it was a fulfillment of Jesus teaching. I just thought it was the collapse of all their ideas and ideals.

I began to scatter and go home require the resurrection appearance of Jesus Christ bring them back together. But on the other hand they understood it all too well.

Otherwise, why would Peter have tried to dissuade Jesus for what he regarded as a mistaken way of thinking. Jesus spoke of the necessity of his death, Peter rebuked him out right. Never Lord when he went on. He said this shall never happen to you.

The problem was in the understanding of the words they understood the words all right. The problem was that they were expecting a different kind of Messiah Jesus was saying, just didn't fit in. Everyone else in their day what they were looking for was a powerful political figure everybody thinks politically what they wanted was someone it would be strong enough to drive out the Romans were the occupying force in reestablish their kingdom, sitting upon the throne of his father David, which is what they thought the Messiah was to do none none of its surprising all it is really is saying that the disciples were people of their day and a long way to go. I wouldn't time what is surprising here is Peter's arrogance and drawing Jesus aside to rebuke him, and especially when you contrasted with the confession that is just make use of said who do you say I am Peter said you are the Christ, that is the Messiah that means anything at all, it meant that Jesus was Peter's Lord. And yet, here's Peter taking Jesus aside to tell them what he should do as if he knew what the Messiah should do more than the Messiah knew what he should do something else talking as well and that is the sharp way in which Jesus rebuked Peter recall that earlier when Peter had identified him as the Christ, the son of the living God. Jesus said that he was blessed, blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah because it wasn't revealed to you by man, but by my father in heaven. In other words he was saying that Peter was the recipient of the divine revelation. When Peter tries to dissuade him from going to the cross, Jesus rebukes them, saying, get behind me Satan you are a stumbling block to meet you do not have in mind the things of God with the things of man.

One moment Peter is God's mouthpiece next moment he is a mouthpiece for the devil and the reason for that sharp rebuke of courses that Jesus recognized in Peter's words exactly the temptation that had come to him from Satan himself.

Earlier in his ministry, namely the temptation to how the kingdoms of this world and their glory without the cross.

Other words avoid the suffering get the glory now. So when Jesus replied to Peter a reply to them exactly the way you replied to Satan earlier, Satan had said look all the kingdoms of the world and their glory are mine and I give them to you if you just bow down and worship me on. Jesus said get behind me Satan. Now Peter saying the same thing. Jesus replies exactly the same way because he recognizes Satan's voice Filled lessons are to up first of all Christianity without the cross is worthless Christianity without the cross is in Christianity at all because without the cross is no salvation without the cross is no savior is a great Bishop in England years ago named John Charles while he wrote about it in the rate this one a on matters of church government forms of worship may differ from us, and yet reach heaven and safety, but on the matter of Christ's atoning death is a way of peace, truth is only one ever wrong here were ruined forever. Aaron many points is only a skin disease error about Christ death is a disease of the heart here.

Let us take our stand. Let nothing move us from this ground.

The sum of all our hopes must be that Christ has died for us give up that doctrine we have given up all so I asked the question you understand my Jesus is the Savior currently died on the cross for you place your trust in him.

Without that you don't have Christianity there's a second lesson. It's easy for us to be exactly right.

One minute and terribly wrong.

The next one minute.

Peter is a prophet is a true spokesman for God.

The next minute he's advancing the agenda of the double realizing that in trying to dissuade Jesus from the cross was actually asking for his own damnation because he couldn't be saved from his sin unless his lord and master, died or something else. Peter got it in time was terribly wrong.

One moment, but he did get it. Once he got it. He never forgot it turned all the writers of the New Testament from one of the most outspoken about the necessity of the cross is the apostle Peter. He said before the Sanhedrin, the stone you builders rejected has become the capstone and the added salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be say wrote in his first letter. Speaking of Jesus, he himself bore our sins in his body on the tray so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness by his wounds you have been healed of you haven't got it right yet. Don't despair. Get it right now. Peter did once you got it you have it forever realize that Jesus died for you and your trust him and will never be shaken from that solid foundation. If you're going to get that it has to be from the Bible because that's where God speaks and has to come by revelation.

So if you come as you study the Bible to see the Jesus is exactly only claim to be in that he did what the Bible says he did the deed did it for you. You might be safer in your Senate passed from death to life. That's the work of God in your heart and God who begins work always carries it on to the end so you passed from death to life, as I do you believe that. Are you right now trusting Jesus Christ as your Savior.

Now there's another question I want to ask and it's this. How many lessons important lessons can a person learn one time. I'm not sure I know the answer to that. I suspect not very many get one lesson a decade were probably doing well here. You have Jesus as soon as she had begun to teach about the necessity of his death immediately going on to something else because what he does he receives the moments go on to teach his disciples that not only must he go to the cross.

There's a certain sense in which they must go to the cross to lying to themselves and their own plans so important Jesus that he repeated again and again you find it throughout the Gospels and usually in conjunction with a known suffering other words when he talked about the necessity of his death. He also spoke in a certain sense about the necessity of us dying to now we don't die for sinners.

Jesus died for us and he died in our place taking our punishment upon himself.

We can't do that for our own sin, let alone somebody else what he saying is that his way is the way of the cross, suffering, and are way if we follow him is got to be the way of the cross to the other words Christ's death is of value only to those who are willing to die to themselves and follow him as a great lack here in today's evangelical church because although there is a great deal of talk about discipleship, there's very little actual discipleship. Years ago I wrote a book called Christ call to discipleship where I began this way. This is the first paragraph there is a defect, even the fatal defect in the life of the church of Jesus Christ in the 20th century, a lack of true discipleship for the genuine Christian discipleship means forsaking everything to follow Christ. But for many of today's supposed Christian baby majority is a case of others much talk about Christ and even much furious activity supposed to be done in his name is actually very little following of Christ himself. That means that in some circles at least is very little genuine Christianity and he fervently called him Lord, Lord, are not Christians.

I wrote the acts published in 1986 with the situation isn't any better today as a matter fact is probably worse the problem the problem is we don't like this kind of teaching prosperity.

Oh yes we like that victory like that suffering the cross. Self-denial, like those things. Yet what we have to learn is without them there is no true Christianity.

Jesus puts those three things together.

Self-denial, taking up the cross and following him. It's not a sequence that you master one and then you go on to the others all go together but being his disciple means you have to think about each one. Self-denial first week think of self-denial were brought up against the radical distinction between God's way of wanting God's way and are way and wanting our way, which is the very essence of sin back to what we know, the fall of Satan when sin entered the universe for the first time you find it all had to do with Satan's willfulness described in Isaiah, Satan says there I want to take over how what I want to be like God, I I want everybody to worship me by the all-powerful as well as the all wise pronounces a judgment on Satan's that you want to go up if you're going to be brought down the shield of the sides of the pitch is our way. We want our way. Then Jesus comes. Jesus says no I want the will of the father father wants me to go down in order to die on the cross be made sin for my brother and that they might be lifted up to glory. The does not in God replies. Therefore, you'll be lifted up, and all men will bow before you and you will be given the name above every name, everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and that's what self-denial is all about is Jesus way the way of the devil, and the second thing is taking up the cross. It's not only that we have to say no to self and our desires we have to say yes to God and God's desire. Sometimes people talk about the cross is something that the Bible certainly doesn't mean as if it's sort of enduring the invisible the inevitable times, somebody has a difficult job situation. I can't seem to get a change have a physical handicap, or there's a profligate wife or a drunken husband or something like that and that say well you know I get this. I just have to bear my cross. That's not it at all. Houses are not things that are inevitable that you just have to put up with the cross is something you take up words. It involves well it really means saying yes to something difficult for Jesus sake give you a suggestion of what some of those things might be one thing it involves is prayer and Bible study.

These are means of grace necessary means of grace, but they take time they take discipline they must be voluntarily pursued rather than pastimes, we might humanly prefer cross bearing involves the items a Jesus list in Matthew 25 feeding the hungry, giving drink to the first day receiving the stranger clothing the naked, caring for the sick, visiting the one who is in prison. These things are easy to do involves denying oneself time, money, and convenience times they seem useless because often the one only on effort is expended doesn't appreciate it sometimes is a been critical of the one it was helping they should be done because we're told to do them by Jesus Christ is what it means to say yes, taking up our cross involves witnessing. It means putting ourselves out for the sake of those God is ringing into our path. Essentially taking up our cross means accepting whatever God has given us an offering it back to him as our reasonable service, which is why Paul puts it in Romans 12 one is an image of that passage is referring to Christians as priests on the fact the priests offer sacrifices priests offer sacrifices that were given to them and then they offer them up to God.

Anything that's what Christians do everything you have, whether it's money, time, convenience, whatever it maybe has been given to you by God.

Now you offer that up to him and reasonable service at service of God and is reasonable because it's the wisest of all things to do. That's what taking up the cross means. How about 1/3 of the 3 Terms Following Jesus Way of saying that discipleship isn't just a door to be entered but it's a path to be pursued and the disciple proves the nature of his discipleship, whether real or not. By following Jesus Christ of the end. This is what David said in one of the Psalms.

Psalm has this verse, beginning your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path ends by saying my heart is set on keeping your decrees to the Barriere.

That's it. You say to the very end.

The true disciple is one who follows Jesus Christ to the end command follow me occurs 13 times in the Gospels and there are many other instances where someone is said to follow Jesus Christ as a very basic concept out when the cost of being a Christian is put in these terms, as it has to be since this is the way Jesus himself talked about it we come to another question, and it is this whether any sane person should consider this a good investment for all cost is high so we say is it really worth it. I think Jesus was aware of that question because this passage begins to talk about the way of the cross has what I would call three strong incentives for doing exactly that. There are obvious in the Greek text and a little less so in the English but they there are because versus 2526 and 27 will begin with a word for now in the NIV they don't translate for four and the second of the three may be for variety sake is all there in the Greek that's really the equivalent of the word because why should we do it well. Three reasons. First of all, because doing it means saving your soul and not doing it means losing your soul were talking about here is worldly influence, wealth or possessions will then the doubles offer might be a good one. All you have to worry about is this like get as much as you can up the price to get it is to worship Satan, why not do it. Nothing to be feared beyond what you see, Jesus says, is that the soul is involved in that while the devil can give you an imitation of heaven here.

Heaven on earth.

You will experience hell, hereafter because Arisa hereafter and follow Jesus.

Now you know it will mean self denial will have hard moments eventually leads to heaven and there's this point. Jesus doesn't even use the word soul, though you can translate it that way actually uses the word life is a way of saying, in my judgment that is not only that, hereafter, the concerns of me saying it's a good bargain, even here, you look for self-care you're gonna really lose your soul here deliver Jesus. Here you'll find your life enriched and it will be abundant in every way. There's a second reason verse 26. Your soul is more valuable than the world world is and without value does have its appeal.

God created it. After all, the world is transitory Jesus put it this way set heaven and earth will pass away. The argument goes like this is not foolish to exchange your eternal soul for what will one day be nothing all, there's 1/3 reason.

Verse 27. Those who follow Jesus will be rewarded by Jesus when he returns in glory with his holy angels and people think the idea of rewards is somehow unworthy. I think the following Jesus should be altruistic and idealistic. It may be. So Jesus knows our frailties and is aware that rewards really are a motivation and so he talks about them saying is this deep libations and sorrows here yes but rewards in heaven. Here across but there crown asked the question. Can anybody reasonably suppose that he or she will come out on the short end following a man who is actually the Lord of the entire universe. Even Jesus I said when I began his studies of this chapter that all this is one of the richest chapters in the Bible. It also has a lot of problems and there's hardly a line in it that hasn't been debated over by commentators and when we come to the very end of the chapter. We had another one because here Jesus talking about seeing the Son of Man coming in his kingdom looked at problems about Peter, how was he the rock we talked about the gates of Hades. What is that mean the keys of the kingdom. Here we have this verse I tell you the truth.

Some were standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom. The world is that me let me just give you for brief suggestions. First of all, some say that the disciples will see the kingdom. In this sense see it come with power either at the resurrection of Christ or Pentecost. Hendrickson is one of rights that weigh the references. In all probability to his glorious resurrection is returned in the spirit. On the day of Pentecost and his reign, from his position at his father's right hand Rinne bosses mother when this is the same thing. The beginnings of Christ coming in his kingdom would indeed be seen by summer listening to him they would see those beginnings in his resurrection and his ascension and in the kingly manifestations of the exalted Lord and followed one possibility.

Here's a second Jesus was referring to the fall of Jerusalem was the old kingdom of Fala now comes the new kingdom the church you will John Broadus was reasonable explanation, especially when we compare this with verse 24 is to understand it as a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem. 40 years after the third explanation Transfiguration of our divorce member of our own congregation takes this view prediction that some present would not die before they saw him coming in his kingdom is most naturally interpreted to refer to the three members of the inner circle shortly. They were to witness the glorified Christ of the Transfiguration, which was a foretaste of the coming of Christ is kingdom there's 1/4 possibility. Jesus expected the end of the world. Within a few years, but he was mistaken. That's a view of a lot of liberal writers of course but it's unacceptable to anyone who holds to the inerrancy of Christ in the Scriptures. I suppose there is not a great deal that hinges upon our interpretation of that particular verse. But as far as I'm concerned Howard boss. You're right, I Jesus was referring to the Transfiguration, and for several reasons. Because the account of the Transfiguration, and all three of the synoptic Gospels follows immediately after the prediction, some standing here will taste death until they see the Lord coming in his kingdom and then you get the Lord in his glory. That's the first reason the second reason is in verse 27 is very closely connected to verse 28 where the emphasis is on the Son of Man in his glory as opposed was humiliation. It's a glorying that was revealed to the disciples on the mountain. Let me return to the main point. We live in a day when a substantial portion of the evangelical world. Once a domesticated Jesus, we wanted Jesus blesses satisfies, fills, thrills and strengthens his followers, but does not insist upon the cross we need instead of the church is to regain any of its original vitality and stand against the secularism of our day is a Jesus who demands that his followers do die to self in order to follow him was a time when Peter and the others didn't understand this, although they came to understand eventually. But we do understand is been interpreted and preached and shared now for generations for hundreds and hundreds of years. We know what Jesus demands of us. Or we wouldn't be Christians. We know that we need to take up the cross and follow Jesus.

But the real question is do we do it I we taken it up and are we bearing it daily. We know the value of the soul. We act as if we really believed it know that Jesus is coming again one day and glory. But do we look forward to that. Coming joyfully, those who were blessed in the kingdom of God are those who answer yes to those questions. Yes yes yes the blessing of God rests upon them. Her father we ask for the blessing of your spirit upon these words that we have studied in order knowing what they mean we might be led by your grace actually to follow in Christ's way, knowing that he died for us. Therefore we should lay down our lives to service. We pray in Jesus.

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