Foundation Topic

Counting the Cost of Following Jesus

Before you embark on a long journey, you consider the cost, the supplies you will need, and the difficulty of the terrain. Jesus calls everyone to follow himbut also tells us to consider seriously the cost of surrendering our lives entirely to him. The life Jesus offers us is not an easier one, and it will include suffering. Yet, we hope you discover that life with Jesus is worth more than anything it could cost us.

Short Content

Three Costs of Being a Christian

What does it cost to be a Christian?

The term Christian is only used a few times in the Bible (Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28). It means “little Christ,” and adequately describes the wholistic nature of the Christian faith. Christians are those who follow Jesus and are becoming like him.

True Christians don’t just tune in their attention to Jesus at their leisure. Christians are those who have been convinced Jesus is the only Savior from sin who can reconcile us to God, the Lord of all, and thus worthy of our entire lives (Romans 5:10).

If you want to know what it costs to be a true Christ-follower, the best person to ask is Christ himself.

Let’s listen closely to his answer:

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24 ESV)

From Jesus, we learn that he extends the invitation to follow him to everyone. He says that anyone is welcome.

We don’t count the cost of following Jesus according to the currency of the world—Am I emotionally strong enough? Was I raised right? Am I religious enough? Have I done enough good? Am I socially apt? Do I belong to the right organization, or ethnic group, gender, class, or rank?

Jesus sweeps all our judgments and self-evaluations aside and says, “To anyone who wants to follow…” and then gives us his qualifications for any aspiring follower.

So what does it cost to be a Christian, according to Jesus?

Three things. First, you must deny yourself. Second, you must take up your cross daily. Third, you must follow Jesus.

Jesus says if you want to follow him, you hand over the keys, you get off the throne, you step down from first place. You hand over you to God—totally. That's denying yourself. 

Second, we must take up our cross. We each have a cross to bear. As we submit to Jesus’ authority, we must willingly take up whatever suffering he has ordained to enter our lives.

Finally, we follow him. Following means accepting someone’s leadership. And Jesus tells all his followers that a sincere devotion includes letting Jesus lead and leaving whatever you must to follow.

Is the cost worth it?

Yes! The more we know of Christ, the more we will want to follow him.

We do not follow Jesus because of what we can get from him. We follow him because, by his grace, we want to be where he is. Having come to know the love God has for us, we do not want to live a moment without him (1 John 4:16).

Do you want Jesus? Have you considered what it costs? If so, then come, and follow.



Theme Verse

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it."

LUKE 9:23-24 ESV

What Does It Cost to Follow Jesus?
Article: 6 Min

Four Costs of Being a True Christian

by J.C. Ryle, adapted by
Matthew 16:24 NIV

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  

Article: 7 Min

Jesus Is More
Than Your Savior

by David Mathis at Desiring God


"Living for Jesus"

We have made a graphic so you can keep the poem "Living for Jesus," by Thomas Chisholm, on your phone as your background or screensaver!


A true Christian
carries Christ
in his heart,
and the cross
on his shoulders.

Thomas Watson
Messages: 43 Min

Counting the
Cost to Follow Jesus

by Dustin Folden

Article: 7 Min

Count the Cost and
Follow Christ

by Billy Graham at Decision Magazine

Galatians 2:20 ESV

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 

Messages: 72 Min

It Will
Cost You

by Steven Lawson


When Christ
calls a man,
he bids him
come and die.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Article: 7 Min

Three Costs of Being a Christian



How to Start Following Jesus

Our discipleship to Christ begins when we hear those two words and obey them: “Follow me” (Mark 8:34). Friend, if you would become a Christian, regardless of how any other teacher you have heard puts it, listen to Jesus. He says that being a Christian involves denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following him. The fundamental response to God’s radical love for us is for us to radically love him. 

by Mark Dever | Source
Article: 5 Min

The Cost of Discipleship

by Adriel Sanchez at Tabletalk

Messages: 56 Min

Obeying Jesus:

Two Basic Instructions

by Mark Dever


The Cost of True Conversion

It costs something to be a real Christian, according to the standard of the Bible. There are enemies to be overcome, battles to be fought, sacrifices to be made, an Egypt to be forsaken, a wilderness to be passed through, a cross to be carried, a race to be run. Conversion is not putting a person in an arm-chair and taking them easily to heaven. It is the beginning of a mighty conflict, in which it costs much to win the victory. 

by J.C. Ryle
Article: 7 Min

The Danger of Not
Counting the Cost
of Following Jesus Christ

by J.C. Ryle, adapted by

Article: 7 Min

Why We Are Failing
to Fulfill the Great Commission

by Wes McAdams at Radically Christian

Luke 14:26 NIV

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.”  

Is Following Jesus Worth It?

He is no fool
who gives
what he cannot keep
to gain that
he cannot lose.

Jim Elliot
Matthew 13:44-46 ESV

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it! 

Messages: 40 Min

The Way of Jesus:
Expecting Recalibration

by Joe Jones


What Is the Christian Life About?

I have come to see clearly that life is more than self. It is more than doing what I want, striving for what will benefit me, dreaming of all I can be. Life is all about my relationship with God. There is no higher calling, no loftier dream, and no greater goal than to live, breathe, and be poured out for Jesus Christ. 

by Brother Andrew | Source

And the
were filled
with joy
and with
the Holy Spirit.

Acts 13:52 NIV
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NIV 

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 

Article: 7 Min

3 Marks of a
Follower of Jesus


Romans 8:18 ESV 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 


We don't pray for
a lighter cross,
but a stronger back.
It's not about the
comfort, good life,
and security.
You will feel pain but he's
breaking you for maturity.
Yeah, believe
he's for you.


Following Jesus Is the Way to Eternal Life

We have no reason to be discouraged and cast down, if the religion we profess is not popular, and few agree with us. We must remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ… “The gate is narrow.” Repentance, and faith in Christ, and holiness of life have never been fashionable. The true flock of Christ has always been small… This is “the narrow way.” Surely it is better to enter into life eternal with a few, than to go to “destruction” with a great company. 

by J.C. Ryle | Source