TITLE: The Extreme Jesus
PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will examine the Extreme Jesus. When we look at the Extreme Jesus, we find 1) Extreme measure to deal with sin, 2) Extreme dedication required of his disciples, 3) Extreme righteousness, and 4) Extreme love.
OBJECTIVE: That each individual Christian would get to know the extreme Jesus in their life.
AIM: To teach that our faith is not some watered down system of cheap grace.
1. Read: Philippians 3:7-11
1) Paul was a Hebrew of Hebrews.
2) But he gave all of that up to know Jesus.
3) Paul went to the extreme to follow Jesus.
2. About being extreme.
1) We hear the word "extreme" used so often in our world today.
2) Usually the word is applied to sports.
3) Generation X has made the "extreme" popular.
3. The Extreme Jesus
1) We sing a song, "Jesus, let us come to know you. Let us see you, face to face."
2) Do we really desire to know Jesus?
3) I think that many times we are in love with the idea of knowing Jesus as opposed to actually knowing Jesus.
4) Many people construct the Jesus that they want to see and then say, "You must know that Jesus."
5) There is a side to Jesus, however, that many people simply do not want to see.
6) So this morning, let's get to know, "The Extreme Jesus."
4. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: When we look at the extreme Jesus we find
I. Extreme measures to deal with sin.
1. Repent or perish, an extreme demand with extreme consequences.
1) Repentance is the change of mind that results in reformation of life.
2) Jesus didn't just suggest that we repent, he commanded and demanded it.
3) "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3, 5)
4) The demand to repent is extreme, as well as the consequences if we fail to do so.
5) 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promises…."
2. Pluck out your eye and cut off your hand, extreme measures to deal with sin.
1) Jesus said in Matthew 5:29, 30 "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell."
2) Was Jesus literally advocating self mutilation?
3) Not necessarily. He was saying that you must go to the ultimate extreme to get rid of sin in your life.
4) If one fails to remove sin from one's life one would wish that they had taken whatever measures necessary to remove that sin from their life.
3. Jesus died awfully for our sins, an extreme death.
1) Crucifixion was not a merciful death.
2) It was an instrument of punishment and torture designed to dissuade criminals from their evil deeds.
3) Romans 5:8 says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
II. Extreme dedication in His disciples.
1. Take up the cross, an extreme commitment.
1) Jesus said, " Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:24-26)
2) We just discussed what the cross was. That is the kind of commitment that Jesus expects out of his disciples.
3) Paul discusses this further in Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
2. Follow me and leave the dead to bury the dead, extreme discipleship.
1) Matthew 8:21, 22 "And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead."
2) Jesus does not allow us to place our loyalties to anyone or anything above Him.
3) Luke 14:26 "If 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." Hate=Love less.
3. Seek first God's kingdom, extreme service.
1) Matthew 6:33
2) First is an extreme. We must seek Jesus and His kingdom first.
3) Rom.12:1, 2 " I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
III. Extreme Love
1. We must love our enemies.
1) Matthew 5:43-48 " Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
2) Romans 12:17-21 "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
2. The true test of our love comes not when things are going well, but when things are not going well.
1) Peter discusses what the Christians attitude should be when others are oppressing the Christian wrongfully in 1 Peter 3:17, 18. "For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:"
2) But what happens when a brother treats me wrong? 1 Peter 3:8, 9 "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing."
3) Remember the parable of the tares? (Matthew 13:24-30).
a. It is easy to desire to want to "root out" that which is evil without regard for that which is good.
b. It is more difficult and requires more love for both the good and the bad to let the Lord take care of some matters himself.
3. We also must love to the extent that we would give all.
1) 1 John 3:16-18 "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."
2) Hebrews 13:16 "But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God" (ESV).
1. If we imitate the Extreme Jesus in our life, then we will have Extreme results.
1) When the early Christians followed Jesus in their life it was said of them that they turned the world upside down. Acts 17:6
2) Are we this zealous for Jesus?
2. Do we know this Jesus, the extreme Jesus?
1) Do we take extreme measures to deal with sin?
2) Have we made an extreme dedication for Jesus?
3) Do we show extreme love to others?
1) If you are a Christian, but have not been following Jesus in your life.
a. You need to take extreme measures to change your life today.
b. Or you will face an extreme future consequence.
2) If you are not a Christian this morning . . .
a. Jesus calls for you to make that extreme commitment to him today.
b. To become his disciple, one must . . .
a) Hear the word; Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing . . .”
b) Believe with all your heart; Hebrews 11:6 “For without faith it is impossible….”
c) Repent of your sins (Acts 17:30).
d) Confess Jesus as the Son of God (Matt.16:16).
e) Be Baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15,16).