Due to not having the powerpoint presentation available on Sunday, I promised to post my sermon notes here on my blog today
Discipleship – we too often come to the conclusion that it is a program, a class to be completed.
Matthew 28:19 – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
We have been commissioned by God to make disciples.
1. What is a disciple?
Wikipedia: a follower & student of a mentor, teacher, or other wise figure
Merriam-Webster: one who accepts & assists in spreading the doctrines of another: a convinced adherent of a school or individual
A disciple is not someone who has graduated a program or completed a class. A disciple is not someone who has a certain look, certain degree, certain title, certain talent, or certain way of speaking.
Merriam Webster hits it with the latter definition “a convinced adherent”
A disciple is convinced.
Jesus tells us a few things about a disciple:
– Matthew 10:42. a disciple is compassionate
– Matthew 16:24. a disciple is selfless
– Luke 9:26. a disciple is unashamed
– Luke 9:62. a disciple is committed and focused
– John 2:11. a disciple puts faith in God
– John 4:23. a disciple worships God in Spirit and in Truth
– John 8:31. a disciple holds to the Word of God
– John 15:8. a disciple produces fruit
Simply put, discipleship is a lifestyle. A life long commitment to Jesus, the things of God, and living out His purposes.
A disciple is defined as one who has experienced the life change of God and is striving to know Him more while making Him known to others.
2. How do I become one?
The simple answer is you decide to.
There are steps to take.
– We must first have an encounter with God. Seek Him. Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
– We must learn His Word. John 8:31. “Jesus said, ‘If you hold to My teaching, you are really my disciples.'”
– We must serve God and serve people. In Luke 9:14 when Jesus fed the 5000 He had the disciples serve the people. Jesus taught His disciples to serve before He sent them out to preach. Matthew 20:26. “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”
– We must live faithfully. John 6:66. “From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.” Luke 9:62. “Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.'”
– We must learn and grow. John 4:37. “Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.”
It really is the simple things we are known for saying. Pray, read your Bible, serve.
We do need to understand it is not easy.
Matthew 24:9. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”
He also promises us that we will face tribulation and trouble in John 16.
Following Christ has never been easy. Every one of the original disciples were imprisoned and killed for the sake of the Gospel.
We are to grow as His disciples, but we are also to make disciples.
3. How do I lead others to become one?
Last week we looked at the first step. Tell others the story of God in and with your life.
The next step is equally simple. We live out the story of God with them.
This is the pattern Christ Himself set. Matthew 4:19. “Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.””
Classes are good. Programs are important. Study and formal training are necessary. None of these are discipleship on their own.
Discipleship happens when people live life together and help each other grow in Christ in the process. “Iron sharpens iron” as Proverbs tells us. John 15:12. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
Discipleship, mentoring, it is something that everyone on of us needs to be engaged in as we are being discipled and as we are making disciples of others. It is a constant on-going process that we each grow in and through.