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What is the Church Part 2

What is the Church Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Week 2: Help them grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ either at Hillcrest AG or get them planted in another church (discipleship)

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Week 2: Help them grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ either at Hillcrest AG or get them planted in another church (discipleship)
Scripture Reference: Acts 2:42-47; John 15:4-5; 1 Cor 12:12-26 (i.e., v.18)
Announcements:
Just wanted to continue to announce that we will be having our special business meeting on Sunday, Dec 11th after the morning service.
Church calendar is available (one per family).
Christmas program will be on Sunday, December 11th at 6PM.
Worship:
Waymaker
One Thing Remains (higher than the mountains/your love never fails)
Forever (give thanks to the Lord)
Introduction:
We are continuing our series on “What is the Church?”
Last week we talked about we aren’t just called to go but also to make disciples.
We also talked about how we can evangelize as a church by: our lifestyle (attitude towards others in store/waiter/waitress), presence in the community (festivals and other community events), places to love on people (homeless community, nursing homes, where people have been written off).
This week we will be talking about what discipleship is and what it looks like.
Hand off to Jordan
John 15:4-5
4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
What does a disciple of Jesus look like? We can’t make disciples if we are not disciples ourselves
It starts with us and our time with Jesus; if I’m not spending time with Jesus, then how am I supposed to teach someone else how to?
It’s equal to me trying to teach someone how to fix a car engine; I am by no means a mechanic and would not be able to effectively and efficiently teach someone else how to fix an engine because I don’t know how to do it myself
What is the fruit that is being produced? The fruit that we produce is a great representation of who or what we are living for.
We can claim to be disciples of Jesus, but the way we live will speak great volumes
Can I be blunt and open real quick? One of the biggest concerns in the Church and even more so in the Bible belt is being a Christian is more of a fad than anything. It’s the traditional “oh I grew up in church” or “yeah I know about God” but it only ever gets that far. That is not being a disciple of Jesus. It’s a relationship, not a title. We can go around saying “I’m a Christian” all we want, but the way we live will be a better indication of that
“It’s okay I go to church once, maybe twice, a week.” Okay cool, I don’t know about you, but I don’t only eat once or twice a week to maintain physical health, so why are we treating our spiritual health as if it’s less important?
Jesus tells us to “remain” in Him as He remains in us…it’s a daily thing
Acts 2:42-47
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
Leading up to this is the Day of Pentecost happens, and Peter preaches to the crowd. Fast forward, they become believers
As soon as this happens, they are being taught and taken under the wings of the disciples. It wasn’t simply “you’re a believer now, see you later;” that would make zero sense. We see Jesus gives us this concept of discipleship as He pours into the twelve.
To plant a seed and ignore the commission to teach (Matthew 28:20) is a lack of obedience
God calls us to witness to everyone, but then there are also those that are placed in our lives that we have the opportunity and privilege to walk side by side with. In doing so, opportunities arise to pour into their life and be someone they can talk to and learn from and vice versa
Jesus invested into the lives of the twelve disciples for three years! He never missed out on an opportunity to teach and walk alongside others. However, these were not cliques and were not exclusive. It wasn’t “this is our group you can’t join.” As the disciples were being discipled, they were discipling others.
We see a pattern in the discipleship cycle. There are four key factors that need to be in place in order to follow the biblical construct of disciple-making:
1. Close in proximity (v. 44 and 46; “all believers met together” “they worshipped together”)
a. Must be relational
b. If we aren’t building relationships, then what are we doing
i. We were created as social beings
2. Pin Ball Effect (Proverbs 27:17 “as iron sharpens iron”)
a. Encouraging each other
b. Challenging each other
3. Invest in the Few
a. For example, disciple 10 and they each disciple 10; now you are at 100 people discipled
b. You can’t effectively pour into a large number
i. You get a larger circle but lack depth
4. Immediately (v. 42)
a. Discipling isn’t a “wait and see” it’s a “here and now”
b. It starts right away
c. The disciples made no hesitation to begin discipling the new converts
Discipleship is in no way a short-term process…it’s long term
It’s also not a one-way street, both people are learning and walking the journey together
1 Corinthians 12:12-26
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. 14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? 18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
Shared vision and purpose brings unity What’s the shared vision and purpose? The Great Commission What’s the Great Commission? Go and make disciples If we cannot, as different parts of the same Body of Christ, get on the same page, then we will get nowhere My legs can’t go in opposite directions and make any progress We need to have great appreciation for the different parts of the Body Each has been given special talents, gifts, and abilities and has been called by God Why do we see some callings and talents and abilities as any lesser than others? It’s because we fail to see the greater mission at hand, making disciples When we’re not building the Kingdom of God, we’re building our own kingdom and then it becomes a “me vs you”, not a “me and you” It’s kind of hard to disciple someone when you see them as competition and not as God’s child For example, remember the “pin ball effect” encouraging and challenging to strengthen as part of what it takes to disciple? Football team vs team illustration We treat each other as if we are on different teams What’s the point in all of this? If we cannot unify ourselves under the same mission, then
How do we apply this?
___________________________________________End of Jordan’s Part_______________________________________
Application:
Why is discipleship necessary?
1. Discipleship is necessary because people need to know Jesus personally. Jesus commanded His disciples to make disciples of all nations so that others could know Him and live as He lived. Matthew 28:19-20; Rom 10:14-17
Romans 10:14–17 CSB
14 How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. 16 But not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message? 17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
Notice: BUT NOT ALL OBEYED THE GOSPEL. That is where discipleship comes in.
We must remain obedient to that calling and find people to disciple in our daily lives.
This is when spiritual abortion takes place often in the church because we do outreaches and many people come to know Jesus Christ and their Lord and Savior but then we stop the process there (as Jordan said earlier, Now you are believers, see ya later). We don’t follow up. We don’t help them get planted in a church to continue to be discipled and grow.
Whether that is within your own family, your close circle of friends, people in the church, or globally, you are called to make disciples who love and follow Jesus.
2. Discipleship is also necessary for you to grow into maturity and be transformed more into the person He has created you to be. John 15:4-5; Ro 12:2
Romans 12:2 CSB
2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
God’s Word is going to challenge your thoughts, beliefs, and conduct in life to conform you more in the image of Christ Jesus.
3. Discipleship is also necessary for people to get sound doctrine, love God and others, raise leaders, and create disciple-making movements all over the world. Acts 2:42-47; Acts 18:24-28
Acts 18:24–28 CSB
24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native Alexandrian, an eloquent man who was competent in the use of the Scriptures, arrived in Ephesus. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately about Jesus, although he knew only John’s baptism. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. After Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the way of God to him more accurately. 27 When he wanted to cross over to Achaia, the brothers and sisters wrote to the disciples to welcome him. After he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating through the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah.
Pricilla and Aquila took Apollos aside and discipled him; explaining the truths of the gospel that he didn’t understand. Afterward, Apollos preached the Word of God much more accurately.
Discipleship helps a new believer learn about who God truly is and recognize what is truth and what is not.
It is hard to find many people who are rooted and grounded in the truth of God’s Word today, so this is essential for discipleship.
Always go back to the Bible. Don’t go by opinions, preferences, biases, tradition, but on God’s Word alone!
Discipleship includes not only studying God’s Word, but living a life of faith and walking in obedience to God. 1 Cor 11:1
1 Corinthians 11:1 CSB
1 Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ.
Discipleship is necessary because it shows us how to follow Jesus practically by leading by example. This is one of the key ways in how you can disciple others.
Discipleship is helping others to follow Jesus and helping them see things in view, not of today and tomorrow, but in eternity.
Not only do we help others follow Jesus but we are to do them spiritual good.
Specifically it’s initiating a relationship in which you teach, correct, model, and love.
So how do we at Hillcrest AG disciple people?
1. Teach
This is teaching all the words Jesus taught and all the words of the Bible.
-Sunday morning messages
-Sunday School
-Bible Study
2. Correct
Discipleship is not only about learning general truths from Scripture but also being corrected in particular errors. (Most churches don’t want to do this because they don’t want to hurt anyone feelings but this is Biblical!)
2 Timothy 3:16–17 CSB
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Part of being a Christian is recognizing that sin deceives us, and that we need other believers to help us see the things we cannot see about ourselves.
Someone once said, “Joining a church is like throwing paint on the invisible man. New sins become visible in the course of our discipling relationships.”
Scripture even talks about the importance of correcting and when a person has been corrected many times, they are to be excluded from church membership and communion:
Matthew 18:15–20 CSB
15 “If your brother sins against you, go tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he won’t listen, take one or two others with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. 17 If he doesn’t pay attention to them, tell the church. If he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like a Gentile and a tax collector to you. 18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven. 19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them.”
3. Model
It’s worth noticing Jesus didn’t just command his disciples to teach people. He told them to teach people to obey
The goal of discipling is to see lives transformed, which means it involves more than reading a book or even the Bible with another person. Ultimately, discipling involves living out the whole Christian life before others outside of the church.
Jesus is the ultimate example here; he “left you an example that you should follow” (1 Pet. 2:21).
We communicate not merely with our words but by our whole lives. And what happens in a discipling relationship requires more than classroom teaching or only when we are at church.
It requires the kind of instruction that occurs through an apprenticeship at a job, or with a personal trainer or coach. An apprentice learns by listening and watching and participating, little by little, with more responsibility being earned over time. (This is why participating at church and getting involved in church is so important. Because it isn’t about you being catered to but about growing in your relationship with Christ an modeling the lifestyle for others.)
Most of all, discipling starts in the home, where dads and moms teach in word and deed through all areas of life and then draw the children into the work of adulthood. Remember, a church is only as healthy as its families.
4. Love
Lastly, discipling is a form of mutual love. Yes, there’s something of a teacher-student relationship, but there will also be peer-to-peer mutuality and love, such that the discipling often goes both ways.
Even as I work to do them spiritual good, they do me spiritual good. They help me better follow Jesus.
1. Together we learn what Paul means in Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom.”
2. Together we work to fulfill Hebrews 10:24–25: “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
In discipling, my goal is to love younger Christians by helping them live in light of that final Day—but they typically recognize that my ability to do so depends on them helping me to do the same.
Our goal in discipleship is:
1. To help others learn more about what Jesus said and what the Bible says
2. To help others live as Christ has called us to live (point out blind spots, sin, etc.)
3. To help others learn how to live for God by modeling it in our everyday life. Spend time outside of church.
4. To help others be like Jesus by showing love and learning from each other
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