Gleans from Monday Bible Study with Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
DLBC Old Festac
11th November 2019
Study 32 – THE GREAT VALUE OF OUR MOST PRECIOUS POSSESSION
Text – Mark 8:34-38
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). In this central verse the Lord is talking to both saints and sinners about our most precious possession, which is our soul. He wants us to turn this verse over in our mind. Let what you hear at this Bible Study sink into your heart, apply it to your life, and ponder over this question, ‘What is your most precious possession?’ Think about your life and surrounding: what are the possessions that you have, temporal, some are eternal, the possession of earthly gain, material wealth or prosperity, worldly, political or academic position, or the personal desirable things that you hold on tightly to? they are temporary and temporal and will pass away. The possession of the whole world if it were possible will not compensate for the loss of your soul. This was why Jesus asked the question, ‘what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul’. The soul of man is our greatest possession. All the things we have in this world we shall leave behind when that final day comes, and the only thing that will never die and we will take with us is our soul. So, we need to ensure that it is well prepared and make it very valuable. How? It must be quickened, saved, restored and renewed, purged from all sin, iniquity and evil, secured and abiding in Christ until the final day. You need preparation and preservation and be ready so that when that day comes you will get to heaven. I pray you will get to heaven. Don’t throw away your most precious soul on the rubbish heap of the world. Don’t toss your heart, your life, your destiny to the devil and the world. Make sure you can answer the question Jesus is asking and you can say, I know that my greatest profit, possession and desire is to have my soul saved for that wonderful day. What shall it profit a man – every church goer, believer, disciple and sinner – if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man (you, your friend, any member of our church and any church in particular) give in exchange for his soul?
Point 1. HIS INCONTESTABLE WORD ON OUR ENDURING SALVATION
“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever 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; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” (Mark 8:34-35). He is talking about our salvation, that if we are following Him, we turn away from the world and turn to the Lord Jesus, you turn away from your sin and rely and believe on Him, and with the faith that got our souls saved, you become a new creation and you have enduring and abiding salvation. And then He gives us an incontestable and indisputable word concerning that salvation. When you get saved and you understand what salvation truly means – you are following the Lord, walking in His steps and following His word until you get to heaven – that salvation is enduring. You embrace and keep it and will not allow anything or anyone to take it away from you. To have an enduring salvation we deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Christ. This is the indisputable word of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Three lessons here:
(i) His Command to Deny Self – Mark 8:34; Matthew 16:24. “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself…” (Mark 8:34). Are there things that come to your life? What the Lord is expecting when that temptation, trial, persecution, challenge or difficulty that wants to stop your journey comes, is that you think of your salvation and deny yourself of anything that will take away your confidence in the Lord and that abiding nature of your salvation from you. That is what the Lord is saying here: “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself…” (Matthew 16:24). What does it mean to deny himself? Remember when Peter denied the Lord Jesus Christ, he indulged himself and denied Christ. What does it mean to deny Christ – I don’t know Him, I don’t belong to Him. It is to indulge self and deny Christ. What does it mean to deny self? It is to say ’NO’ to self when it wants you to do things that will get you into sin. Self wants you to act in a particular way that will show the nature of Satan and evil, you (a) Deny Self, (b) be Deaf to Self, (c) Disobey Self – Christ is Number One, (d) Discipline Self, no carelessness or self-will, (e) Dominate Self, (f) Diminish Self, cut down its power; and (g) Constantly and wholeheartedly Die to Self. You don’t recognise the authority of a dead personality nor recognize its authority.
(ii) The Carrying of our Cross Shamelessly – Mark 8:34; Hebrews 12:2. You know there are people who when they have any challenge to bear, persecution or need in their lives that is like a cross, before the Lord removes it they are ashamed of Christ and the cross, saying how can they as Christian be going through this and still attend church service; but for our salvation to abide, we must carry our cross shamelessly. “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross…” (Mark 8:34). Everyone has a cross to bear – the pastor, minister, member, we all have a cross to bear. As a minister, if you think that coming into the ministry will make people to honour, respect and recognise you, you will be disappointed. There are people who will disrespect and not recognise you. We are not to feel hurt as ministers because the Lord has already told us that there is a cross to bear. Even as a Christian, holy, righteous, gentle, meek, humble and lowly in heart, you will think because of that people will appreciate your life; But persecution will come because you have a cross to bear shamelessly. People will disagree with you. As husband and wife, there might be some challenges or disagreement at home, we are to bear the cross and not to divorce nor separate from one another. You will bear your cross and keep saved by (a) prayer, faith and grace. Grace, faith and prayer can endure anything and carry any load. You will bear your cross by the power of the Holy Ghost. (b) you will have boldness and courage. Timidity and fear will vanish in your life when you come to Christ. Don’t be a parasite, always calling on others to help you to carry your cross; they have their own cross to carry too. But from tonight, power, courage and boldness will come into you, and that cross you will carry without compromise; in His service – there will be difficulties, challenges and problems, but you will serve the Lord faithfully. You will carry and bear the cross, and never allow anything to make us disregard your salvation. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus endured the cross for our salvation and eternal life. If He endured for you, then you will endure your own cross for Him as well.
(iii) The Call to Follow His Step – Mark 8:34; 1 Peter 2:21; Luke 9:59-60; John 21:20-22; 10:5. “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34). In whatever condition you are, ask yourself: what will Jesus do in this condition? When people want you to disobey the word of God, you know Jesus will always obey His Father in heaven to please Him, and you do exactly that. You will follow the Lord. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). Here is our calling as believers for Christ also suffered for us to save us, and to leave an example for us to follow. Following the Lord sometimes will contradict what your relatives want because they may not have the full knowledge of the calling of the Lord upon your life. And when there is a decision to choose between Christ and our relations, we are to choose to follow Christ. “And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father” (Luke 9:59). Once you put whatever belongs to you humanly speaking first before the Lord, that is self right there. But if you are going to follow the Lord, you must deny self. “Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:60). This is what the people of the world will fight against you, when you put Christ first. We are following the Lord whatever the cost, and we will keep on following Him. We are to follow the Lord without any comparison with anyone (John 21:20-22). You will follow the Lord, and you will not follow a stranger nor a backslider, “And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers” (John 10:5).