St John UMC
FOUR BRIDGES CHARGE CONFERENCE -- Scenic South District
  • Be Thou My Vision (United Methodist Hymnal)
  • It Cost Everything

    but, the gain is infinitely greater than the cost!
    We live in a time where costs are at the forefront of all of our minds. The cost of gas. The cost of medications and groceries. There are rising home prices, rising interest rates, and utility costs to just name a few. This causes most of us to take a step back and make some assessments of our current budgets and then make adjustments accordingly. Counting the costs is nothing new to most if not all of us.
    But, how does this relate to our message this morning? I want us to focus for the next few minutes on the cost of discipleship and the cost of our salvation.
    1 Peter 1:3–25 ESV
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
    This passage, although it is technically not our key scripture this morning, is meant to provide us a foundation on which to build. In looking at the costs of both our salvation and discipleship we clearly see elements of our salvation and of our discipleship in this passage and I want to make an initial point about each one.
    We can not and do not save ourselves. Salvation is a free gift from God through faith in His son Jesus Christ. It is not an effort or a work of ourselves but a supernatural miracle by God through the hearing of His gospel message. Ephesians 2:8-9
    Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV
    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
    Being a true, obedient follower of Christ is a result of our salvation not the cause of it.
    2. Our discipleship, although not fully, is dependent on our own efforts. We are to make every effort not to be conformed to this world. We are to be sober-minded and thoughtful in all things.
    Luke 14:25–33 ESV
    25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 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? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
    Jesus is telling us what it costs to be one of His disciples.
    I hate to say it but there are many people in the world today, many even in a worship service at this very moment who are disciples of Christ in name only. Because of this, for some of us, there may even be a hesitation before we label our self a Christian. Why? Aren’t Christians set apart from the world? Jesus gives the answer in this passage. There are those who do not first count the cost of following Him. You may make it for a while but when things get tough we are in danger of falling away apart from Jesus.
    Example: Judas Iscariot
    So do not place your faith and hope in your discipleship and do not lean on your own understanding. Place your faith and hope in Christ and Christ alone first, then you are made a new creation that can fully count and comprehend the cost of following Jesus.
    Our main scripture this morning is from the book of Matthew and it just a single verse.
    Matthew 13:44 ESV
    44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
    Imagine your walking through a field. Or, you are working a field when you stub your toe on something. You think it’s a rock.
    You weren’t even looking for it you just stumbled upon it.
    It is a chest full of jewels and gold and silver. It is full of treasure that is infinitely greater than anything you have ever seen.
    You must buy the field to obtain ownership of the chest. But it cost you everything. So how much does it cost to follow Jesus. It Costs Everything!
    As this message is coming to a close, I want to start answering the question Daniel left us with last Sunday. How many of you remember the “to be continued?” Daniel asked, What did it cost? What did it cost Jesus Christ for the redemption and salvation of His church?
    Jesus Christ counted the cost and He paid it anyway and in full!
    1 Timothy 2:5–6 ESV
    5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
    Philippians 2:5–8 ESV
    5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
    What an amazing display of love. Sometimes we don’t truly understand what love is. We think we know but I want to remind you and I most certainly need to be reminded!
    1 Corinthians 13:1–8 ESV
    1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
    Love supersedes everything. It is not a feeling or butterflies. It is the very nature of God.
    1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV
    13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
    This love is best shown in
    John 3:16 ESV
    16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
    So Christ left His heavenly place, born of a virgin as a baby in a manger, lived a sinless life although He experienced all manner of temptation, pain, heartbreak, abandonment, and loss. He was rejected by His own. Mocked, ridiculed, spat upon, and beaten beyond recognition. He was nailed to a tree for you and for me. Our Lord and Saviour is truly a suffering God. A God who compelled by love, which is His very nature and character, offered up Himself for us. He is Emmanuel, God with us.
    And so,
    Romans 10:9 ESV
    9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
    So, what did our significance, our sufficiency, our security, and our salvation cost Christ?

    It Cost Everything

    but, the gain WAS infinitely greater than the cost.
  • It Cost Everything

    but, the gain is infinitely greater than the cost!
    We live in a time where costs are at the forefront of all of our minds. The cost of gas. The cost of medications and groceries. There are rising home prices, rising interest rates, and utility costs to just name a few. This causes most of us to take a step back and make some assessments of our current budgets and then make adjustments accordingly. Counting the costs is nothing new to most if not all of us.
    But, how does this relate to our message this morning? I want us to focus for the next few minutes on the cost of discipleship and the cost of our salvation.
    1 Peter 1:3–25 ESV
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
    This passage, although it is technically not our key scripture this morning, is meant to provide us a foundation on which to build. In looking at the costs of both our salvation and discipleship we clearly see elements of our salvation and of our discipleship in this passage and I want to make an initial point about each one.
    We can not and do not save ourselves. Salvation is a free gift from God through faith in His son Jesus Christ. It is not an effort or a work of ourselves but a supernatural miracle by God through the hearing of His gospel message. Ephesians 2:8-9
    Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV
    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
    Being a true, obedient follower of Christ is a result of our salvation not the cause of it.
    2. Our discipleship, although not fully, is dependent on our own efforts. We are to make every effort not to be conformed to this world. We are to be sober-minded and thoughtful in all things.
    Luke 14:25–33 ESV
    25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 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? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
    Jesus is telling us what it costs to be one of His disciples.
    I hate to say it but there are many people in the world today, many even in a worship service at this very moment who are disciples of Christ in name only. Because of this, for some of us, there may even be a hesitation before we label our self a Christian. Why? Aren’t Christians set apart from the world? Jesus gives the answer in this passage. There are those who do not first count the cost of following Him. You may make it for a while but when things get tough we are in danger of falling away apart from Jesus.
    Example: Judas Iscariot
    So do not place your faith and hope in your discipleship and do not lean on your own understanding. Place your faith and hope in Christ and Christ alone first, then you are made a new creation that can fully count and comprehend the cost of following Jesus.
    Our main scripture this morning is from the book of Matthew and it just a single verse.
    Matthew 13:44 ESV
    44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
    Imagine your walking through a field. Or, you are working a field when you stub your toe on something. You think it’s a rock.
    You weren’t even looking for it you just stumbled upon it.
    It is a chest full of jewels and gold and silver. It is full of treasure that is infinitely greater than anything you have ever seen.
    You must buy the field to obtain ownership of the chest. But it cost you everything. So how much does it cost to follow Jesus. It Costs Everything!
    As this message is coming to a close, I want to start answering the question Daniel left us with last Sunday. How many of you remember the “to be continued?” Daniel asked, What did it cost? What did it cost Jesus Christ for the redemption and salvation of His church?
    Jesus Christ counted the cost and He paid it anyway and in full!
    1 Timothy 2:5–6 ESV
    5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
    Philippians 2:5–8 ESV
    5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
    What an amazing display of love. Sometimes we don’t truly understand what love is. We think we know but I want to remind you and I most certainly need to be reminded!
    1 Corinthians 13:1–8 ESV
    1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
    Love supersedes everything. It is not a feeling or butterflies. It is the very nature of God.
    1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV
    13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
    This love is best shown in
    John 3:16 ESV
    16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
    So Christ left His heavenly place, born of a virgin as a baby in a manger, lived a sinless life although He experienced all manner of temptation, pain, heartbreak, abandonment, and loss. He was rejected by His own. Mocked, ridiculed, spat upon, and beaten beyond recognition. He was nailed to a tree for you and for me. Our Lord and Saviour is truly a suffering God. A God who compelled by love, which is His very nature and character, offered up Himself for us. He is Emmanuel, God with us.
    And so,
    Romans 10:9 ESV
    9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
    So, what did our significance, our sufficiency, our security, and our salvation cost Christ?

    It Cost Everything

    but, the gain WAS infinitely greater than the cost.

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