Sunday, October 11, 2009

ROMANS: Part 7 ~ to Follow or be a Follower

ROMANS ~ Part 7

Sin : To Follow or be a Follower

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

Monday 5:00PM Bible Study

Tuesday Women’s at Lori’s 5:00PM


Maturing in Christ

Understanding in Christ

Love of God

God’s Spiritual Fruit

This Series: The Book of Romans

Previously: Apostasy, Judgment, Sin


Mark 2:15-17

13Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

15While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

17On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."


Follow: to travel behind, go after, come after

Follower: a person who accepts the leadership of another

There is a distinct difference between the two terms we are looking at today. Although they sometimes are used generically in our everyday semantics, when we look closer, we see that the two terms are entirely different.

We will look at the scriptures today, and examine some examples of the difference between these two terms, and hopefully come to the conclusion that we need to examine ourselves, and ask the question, “Am I just following, or am I a follower?”

Jesus’ ministry lasted approximately 3 ½ years. In that time He had become very famous, and quite popular, and rightly so. Forgiveness, healings, He was restoring the relationship between man and God!

Some people followed Jesus because they could get free bread and wine at the communion.

Some people followed Jesus because those in His presence were always fed.

Some followed because He was the fad for the season, like a new thing everyone wanted.

Some jumped on the bandwagon, to be with the “it” crowd everyone was talking about.

Some followed for financial gain, hearing people were giving things to those in need, including land and money.

And a few, a remnant, a small group, who believed Jesus was the Messiah, who they trusted with their lives, submitted to Him, and were forgiven of their sin, and became followers of Jesus Christ.

How do we know that there were only a few in each crowd who were sincere in being a follower of Jesus, and not just following?

Matthew 7:13-14

13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life…and only a few find it.

Not only is the gate small and the path narrow, but that door will not be open forever!

Luke 13:23-25

23Someone asked him (Jesus), "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?"

He said to them, 24"Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.'
"But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.'

The time is coming, when salvation will no longer be available.


We see many scriptures where we are told that the crowds surrounded Jesus, everywhere He went, they appeared. Everywhere He went, they followed Him.

1. Many follow Him

i. Matthew 4:25 - Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

ii. Matthew 5:1 - Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down.

iii. Matthew 8:1 - When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him.

We see scripture after scripture about crowds gathering wherever Jesus was.

2. He was famous in all the towns

i. Matthew 14:1 - At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus

ii. Mark 2:1 - A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.

iii. Mark 5:27 - When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,

We see that news of Jesus traveled fast, and many knew He was coming, or in their town as soon as He got there.

3. He always had a following

i. In fact, it was hard for Him to get away, even to pray or be alone!

1. Gethsemane – to pray

2. To the mountains to pray after John the Baptist was martyred

Although we see Jesus had compassion on the crowds, we also see that He had a need to be away from them periodically to be alone with the Father.


Jesus was surrounded with all types of men according to the scriptures.

1. The Crowd was many

i. Tax collectors and sinners (listed together – not saved)

ii. Sadducees and Pharisees (some right with God, others not)

iii. Disciples (Followers of Jesus Christ)

iv. In the crowd, a narrow path with followers, and a broad road with many lost who could not find the way.

2. Ananias and Sapphira

i. They did follow the trend of the day

1. Selling their land

2. Giving to the ministry

ii. But they were not Followers of Christ

1. They lied about giving

2. They lied to the Holy Spirit and the Elders of the Church

They paid the ultimate price for just following, walking the broad path which leads to destruction…

This still goes on today!

The scriptures tell us that in every church, there will be tares among the wheat.

Matthew 13:24-26

24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

A tare is a worthless weed, that appears from a distance to be wheat, but has no value.

Many in the churches today, can on the outside appear to be followers of Jesus Christ, but in actuality, they are here, just to follow.

Why do you attend church?

Is it because you believe if you give, you’ll get? If so, you are following money…

Matthew 6:24

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Is it because your spouse makes you? If so, you are following them…

John 12:26

26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

Is it because you like the Pastor? If so, your following him…

I Corinthians 1:12-13

One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ."

13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?

Make no mistake, if you come for any other reason than to worship and serve Jesus Christ, you may as well not come at all.

How can you be sure you are a follower and not just following?


1. It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick

i. Are you sick with sin in your life?

ii. Is there a road block of sin between you and God?

iii. Are you out of relationship with the Lord today?

Forgiveness will remove sin and wash you clean!

Forgiveness is a prayer away!

The Lord is quick to forgive!

2. Sinners must repent to receive forgiveness

i. To receive forgiveness, confess to the Lord!

ii. To receive forgiveness, repent of that sin!

3. Once forgiven, you can become a true follower of Christ


Therefore it is better to be a follower of Jesus Christ, than to just follow Him.