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Called to True Discipleship

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A Sermon on Luke 14:25-35

The Cost of Discipleship

Now great crowds accompanied him, and 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, and 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 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 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? And if not, while the other 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.

Salt Without Taste Is Worthless

“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.” (ESV)

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What does it mean to be a Christian? The Bible tells is that being a Christian is far more than going to church, being moral, and working to make society a better place. While all these things have a place in the Christians life, as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims from Luke 4:25-35, they are still not what Christianity is ultimately about. Many people pursue all these things, yet they do not know Christ Jesus as the perfect Son of God who has come to fulfill all that is spoken in the Old Testament. This is because they are not truly his disciples. They do the works of salvation without the repentance that brings salvation. There were many people like this in Jesus’ day who followed Jesus because they were going along with the crowd. Those who are truly disciples of Jesus Christ are willing to lose health, wealth, reputation, and family for the sake of the Kingdom of God. They count the cost and are prepared to surrender even their own lives for the sake of the Gospel. They follow Christ’s example and instruction in take up their cross daily. This is the heart of salvation. Only those who truly believe in the Gospel are able to do this, for they have been given strength through Christ and the Holy Spirit.


Additional Scripture Translations

Luke 14:25-35, New American Standard Bible

Discipleship Tested

25Now large crowds were going along with Him, and He turned and said to them, 26“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who are watching it will begin to ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This person began to build, and was not able to finish!’ 31Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to face the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32Otherwise, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and requests terms of peace. 33So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

34“Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? 35It is useless either for the soil or the manure pile, so it is thrown out. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Luke 14:25-35, King James Version

25¶ And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

34¶ Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.


About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.