"Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." I Peter 1:8
The Cost of Discipleship - "Sit Down First and Count the Cost"
What is the cost of discipleship? Jesus said, "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it - lest, after he has laid the foundation, and 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 to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:28-33). "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:25-26)
HAVE YOU COUNTED THE COST?
The cost of discipleship is this: We must each give up our old selves in order to embrace and become the person Christ has created us to be.
Therefore "put off the old man with his deeds" (Colossians 3:9-10), for "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
"The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 2:14), rather, "the carnal mind is enmity against God" (Romans 8:7). But even though "we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3), "…you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight" (Colossians 1:21-22).
. Therefore, "do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world" (1 John 2:15-16). "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4). "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor" (John 12:25-26).
The Apostle Paul understood the cost of discipleship! He was a man who enjoyed great prominence among the Jewish elite, but forsook all for the love of Christ! Paul declared, "What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith." (Philippians 3:7-9)
This Is Our Program Suggested Study Guide
Seventh Study -Counting the Cost
If a person is near to making a decision to become a Christian, they should be exposed to Jesus' teaching about following Him presented in Luke 14. A person in this position should have completed a thorough study, and be aware of what God will expect of them. They need to know what they are doing.
Attitudes of a disciple
1. Jesus here demands that He have unrivaled priority in our lives. Is the person ready to do what Jesus want rather than what other people want (father, mother, husband, wife, sister, brother, boyfriend, girlfriend, friends, etc)
2. Jesus also demand unrivaled priority over self "even his own life". Is the person ready to do Jesus' will over their own selfishness?
3. In verse 33, Jesus demand unrivaled priority over everything we have. We must view everything we have as His: Our time, money, cars, bodies , etc.
Actions of a disciple
1. The Bible must be our standard for life and belief. Are you committed to it as such and striving on a daily basis to study it?
2. Loving other disciples in the way that Jesus loved His disciples must be part of the life of a a disciple. Are you ready to be deeply involved in the body (church)? selfishness?
3. Striving to bear fruit must be part of the life of a disciple. Are you ready to strive to bear fruit, including evangelism?
Do you understand what the Lord is requiring of you to follow Him?
Often when a person is ready to obey the gospel some opposition arises. Who would potentially would have a problem with you making the decision to follow Christ? Can they convince you not to? Are their any political, racial or social views that you need to discuss that may be a potential problem with getting in the way of you following Christ?