Am I A Solider of the Cross?

Luke 9:22-26


INTRODUCTION
Today, we want to talk about being a soldier. Ask anyone who has or is still serving a branch of one of our Armed Forces and it takes a lot to be a solider. It takes DISCIPLE, training and lot's of it to be proven to be that solider. As Christians, we are to be proven as soldiers of the Cross. This asked the question which is my subject, “AM I SOLIDER OF THE CROSS?”.

I.
The Christian Cross, seen as a representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, is the best-known religious symbol of Christianity. It is related to the crucifix (a cross that includes a usually three-dimensional representation of Jesus' body) and to the more general family of the cross symbols.

Disciple, what does it take? It takes more than a verbal affirmation but a DAILY sacrifice as well as commitment. Just like certain guidelines we must follow for discipleship and finding out in the end result it is far,far better than you could actually imagine. Someone once said, “without disciple true freedom cannot survive,” In other words, NO CROSS, NO CROWN!

II.
Here are the guidelines to follow on being a good disciple of Christ:

1. YOUR DESIRES TAKE A BACKSEAT TO HIS DESIRES FOR YOUR LIFE: as a disciple, you MUST recognize that God's plans, not your plans, are better for you in your life. One must sacrifices in our lives in order for God to direct your life. God can't be the co-pilot but must be the navigator of your life. Which mean spending more time in the Word than watching TV; we have to turn off Jerry Springer. We must give God out time but to “deny ourselves” meaning that we put the will and purposes of God above our own. Believe me discovering God's will for our very lives as we search study and obey God's Word.

2. TAKE UP YOUR CROSS DAILY: the Cross is a symbol of humility for others as you serve others. In order to follow Jesus you have to be REAL. If you want to be SELL OUT then be a SELL OUT for Jesus and when you sellout to Jesus, you will not be a loser but a winner every time! Jesus flat out told us in Luke 14:33, “So no one can become my disciple with giving up everything for me”. Jesus is simply saying to us we die daily; denying ourselves and crucifying the flesh. You are basically saying, “I want your more of your will Lord and less of me”. Once you take up that cross, you will experience the abundant life that Jesus promises to those who truly follow Him.

3. YOU MUST LOSE YOURSELF TO SAVE YOURSELF: “If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life” (Verse 24). “Finding Life” not seeking it but in coming proper alignment with God's plan for your life. “This Life” in which Jesus is talking about is not only includes “life after death” but also “Life after Life”. According to John 10:10, Jesus came into this world to “give life all its fullness.” But fear not to trust the unknown future to the unknown God who has plans just for you but we have to recognize that His plans are better than ours.

Paul once wrote in Galatians 2:20, “I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” We ought to remember what Greyhound's slogan is, “Go Greyhound and leave the driving to us” If we can remember to let Jesus be a pilot NOT our co-pilot, then He can leads us in the right direction. Let go and let God then we can the driving to Him. Also remember, that a surrendered life is a fulfilling walk in your Christian life. This walk will cost your life for Jesus went to the cross to laid down His life that we may live.

This Christian life is not a life of morbid or misery and hyper self-examination but a life with peace and joy as we walk in harmony with God, the one who made us. Also remember that that during this walk, there will be challenges we all must face during this Christian life.

The Cross is the symbol of VICTORY through death. Not a physical death but a Spiritual death. It is the sign of completeness from one victory to another to another VICTORY and then over to a greater VICTORY through Christ who strengthens us.

And it is through these victories, all men, women, boys and girls can be free from whatever sins you may have or struggles you may gone through or going through knowing Christ died for you on that Cross so you may be set free. If you are tired of being sick and tired of that thing that keeps you from living right then TRY JESUS! If you choose this life, so if you choose to accept it, then you must become a disciple of Jesus meaning obeying Jesus' every command and adopt an attitude of self-denial.

III.
Discipleship is a LIFESTYLE that one lives. It's requires of you to SELL OUT everything for the cause of Christ and turning on to a lifestyle that is more wholesome and more pleasing in God's sight. In other words, you just changed partners in this “Dance of Life” and you are dancing to a different tune of the beat of a different “drummer”.

Sir Issac Watts was instrumental in writing the hymn, “Am I A Solider of the Cross” in 1709. It was in conjunction with a sermon he was giving on 1 Corinthians 16:13, “watch ye, stand fast in faith, quit you like men, be strong.” Remember, do not be shaken by any heresy, especially the one that says there is no resurrection. The objective faith; referring to what we believe. Those who are strong in the faith and is firm in their standing, not like a child in understanding or like little children tossed by waves and carried about by the winds of teaching Ephesians 4:14. To be such men, growth in life and we're short of it.

Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept or share the use of the Cross as the symbol of Christianity. They claim there is NO Biblical support for doing so and regard it as idolatry. They believe that the cross was widely used by worshipers of Tammuz, a Babylonian god, as his symbol. They believe that Jesus died, not on a two-beam cross but on an an upright stake, in accordance with the interpretation of the Greek word statures.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believe that Jesus died on a cross, however "For us the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the living Christ... the lives of our people must become the only meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore, the symbol of our worship. "Latter Day Saints do not place the cross on their buildings because the Bible does not mention the cross as a symbol for Christianity. Most temples will usually decorate one spire of the temple with a symbol of the Angel Moroni as an expression that the heavens have been reopened to man on earth.

BUT, I believe in what the Cross means to me! If it wasn't for the Cross, I wouldn't be here. My challenge to you today is to cling to the Cross of Jesus who died for your sins and my sins.

Though it is true that it costs to be a disciple, it is also true that it costs a lot more not to be! The cost is great and so is being a disciple for Christ. Remember, Jesus paid it all and all to Him I owe for dying on the Cross for me.

Please be mindful that the cross is a sign of His death, and must not be taken lightly. This should cause us to examine what the cross means to us. It is a witness to our eternal hope in the saving death of Jesus on Calvary.

Some Christians make it a habit to wear a cross. It may be a necklace or lapel pin. It may be worn thoughtlessly to let people know of the wearer's personal faith. Be mindful while the cross may be a challenging mark of discipleship, far more challenging is our Lord's command that we “take up (our) cross daily” and learn what it means to follow in His footsteps (Luke 9:23). And that includes a willingness to practice costly discipleship this is the challenge I leave with you.

CONCLUSION
Jesus died on the Cross that we will yet live. He hung on the Cross for our hang ups; those sins we committed past, present and future. The hymn writer picked a pen and wrote these words:

Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His Name?

Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord.
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.

Thy saints in all this glorious war
Shall conquer, though they die;
They see the triumph from afar,
By faith’s discerning eye.

When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all Thy armies shine
In robes of victory through the skies,
The glory shall be Thine.

Amen

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