Sermon Notes February 1, 2015 FBCam

What Is a Disciple?

The Story is told of all-time great coach Vince Lombardi. Trying to motivate a struggling team, Lombardi gathered them together: “We need to get back to the basics.” Holding up a football, “Gentleman, this is a football.”

To which team cut up Max McGee replied, “Can you slow down coach. You are going a little fast.”

We have been talking about DISCIPLESHIP.

Jesus commanded us to MAKE DISCIPLES.

But we need to get down to the basics, so let’s begin by answering the question, WHAT IS A DISCIPLE?

Jesus answered this question.

A Disciple is a Christian.

Aubrey Malphurs summarizes a common understanding among authors who write on discipleship. He writes, “I contend that the normative use of the term disciple is for one who is a convert to or a believer in Jesus Christ.” (Aubrey Malphurs, Strategic Disciple Making, 18).

So what does it mean to be a Christ? I believe that we can boil this down to FOUR NECESSARY COMPONENTS.

First, to be a Christian we must have Faith in Jesus Christ.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.(John 5:24, ESV)

yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.(Galatians 2:16, ESV)

The MEANING: You believe that Jesus Christ came to this world as God in the Flesh, that he died as a substitute for your sins and that he physically rose from the dead. You know that you stand condemned as a sinner and that without God’s grace you deserve hell as the just punishment for your sins. You believe in his accomplished work on your behalf and accept that as God’s free gift completely set apart from any religious effort or moral accomplishments that you have or can contribute.

If you carefully examine the above statement, you will discover that it includes a proper understanding fo the gospel, acceptance of your personal sinfulness, belief in the substitutionary work of Christ, and rejection of any personal effort on your part to gain favor with God.

The second major understanding of what it means to be a disciple involves Acting like a disciple. This means we must FOLLOW Jesus and LEARN from Jesus.

In the first Century, both Romans and Jews had an understanding of what it meant to be a disciple. Discipleship was a common academic and professional undertaking. BEING a DISCIPLE involved TWO PRIMARY ACTIONS: Follow and Learn

A Disciple is a FOLLOWER

The term “Follow Me” appears frequently in MATTHEW. This term is similarly found in Mark and Luke, but for simplicity of study we will look Synoptic Gospels)

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”” (Matthew 4:19, ESV)

And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”” (Matthew 8:22, ESV)

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.” (Matthew 9:9, ESV)

And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:38, ESV)

Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”” (Matthew 19:21, ESV)

Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19:28, ESV)

The term “Follow Me” appears frequently in John.

Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.” (John 1:38–40, ESV)

He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”” (John 1:23, ESV)

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”” (John 8:12, ESV)

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27, ESV)

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.(John 12:26, ESV)

(This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”” (John 21:19, ESV)

When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”” (John 21:21, ESV)

A Disciple is a LERNER. This involves obedience to the commands of Christ.

The Root of mathetes = manthano, “to learn”

Uses of mathetes in First Century Literature: Wrestling, music, hunting, astronomy, writing, medicine, etc.

Consider these examples:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.(Matt 11:29) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.(Matthew 7:21, ESV)

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46, ESV)

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36, ESV)

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24, ESV)

Finally, as we consider the question, “What is a disciple,” we must look at statements of Jesus that qualified discipleship. He said some very hard things about what it means to be a disciple. While in a general sense, all who have truly accepted Jesus by faith are his disciples, to be a faithful disciple one must act as Jesus told us to. It is very possible that many who believe that they are Christians have do not have true faith in Jesus. Again, look carefully at the description of faith that requires understanding of the facts of the gospel, understanding and remorse over your own personal sin, acceptance of the substitutionary work of Christ and belief in him alone apart from works. If your faith meets the biblical definition, then carefully consider whether you are faithful as a disciple based on what Jesus said about disicpleship.

Four Characteristics of Jesus’s Disciples

These are Four exclusive and dogmatic statements JESUS made concerning those who claim to be his disciples

A True Disciple puts Jesus First in his or her life. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.(Luke 14:26, ESV)

A True disciple loves and obeys the teachings of Jesus. So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,(John 8:31, ESV)

A True disciple loves other disciples. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”(John 13:35, ESV)

A True disciple bears fruit that is produced through the power of the indwelling Christ. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:8, ESV)

What is that fruit? It is involves a CHANGE IN YOUR ATTITUDES and ACTIONS

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23, ESV)

Questions for Me

The Number one question that you should ask in consideration of discipleship is “Am I a Disciple?”

TEST 1. Evaluate whether or not you believe that Jesus Christ came to this world as God in the Flesh, that he died as a substitute for your sins and that he physically rose from the dead. You know that you stand condemned as a sinner and that without God’s grace you deserve hell as the just punishment for your sins. You believe in his accomplished work on your behalf and accept that as God’s free gift completely set apart from any religious effort or moral accomplishments that you have or can contribute.

TEST 2. Are you FOLLOWING Jesus?

TEST 3. Are you LEARNING from Jesus?

TEST 4. Are you AUTHENTIC? Do you fulfill the CHARACTERISTICS that Jesus established for his disciples?

A True Disciple puts Jesus First in his or her life.

A True disciple loves and obeys the teachings of Jesus.

A True disciple loves other disciples.

A True disciple bears fruit that is produced through the power that comes from Christ dwelling in you.

The SECOND question we should ask is “Am I Making Disciples that are True Disciples?”

Really, this is a focus on why we are a church.

We are not called to make Church Attenders

We are not called to make Better Citizens

We are not called to help people overcome their addictions or problems.

We are called to MAKE DISCIPLES