What is a Disciple?
What is a Disciple?
Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Last week we asked the question, “What is the Church”
Ecclassia - the called out ones - we, the community of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ constitute the church
Not a denomination, Building, or single person
The book of Acts gives us a clear picture of how the church - the people - began to gather and worship God
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
But it wasn’t enough that people were becoming part of the community of faith, they needed to become Disciples of Christ - they were “in the temple”
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
Paul pleaded with the Ephesians to “grow up” in faith and knowledge
The Greek here Auxesanomen is an an aorist verb meaning “to grow to the extreme”, “to attain very great power or authority”, “to achieve the highest position”
that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
The antithesis to this is
But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
We see today the effects of those outside the community of faith growing ever so evil as the day go by - City of Man
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
They studied daily to know the truth becoming more conformed to the image of Christ
A disciple is one who is a learner
Mathates - Some who follows another person or way of life and who submits him or herself to the discipline - teaching - of that leader or way
It is not simply someone learning to have knowledge but rather a pursuit of truth that brings about an inward change
Knowing doesn’t make you a disciple - embarrassing does!
Hence Jesus statement
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Way - Entry to the community of faith, Truth - so yo can be set free - (blinded) - Life - the end result of know ing the truth through Christ
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
A disciple is one who not only accepts the way but follows it with his or her life
And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess.
You see the mark of a disciple is to become a follower
As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret,
So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
Love less than Christ - Abraham, Moses, trusted God rather than relationships - our comfort and satisfaction in them must be swallowed up by our commitment to Christ
And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
The disciple is marked by his or her commitment to bear the burdens that will come for the cause of Christ
Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
He must bear it when Christ calls him to it, and in bearing it he must have an eye to Christ, and fetch encouragements from him, and live in hope of a recompence with him.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)
Their life, possessions, finances, and future are wholly committed to Christ and from Him they seek their reward and sustenance
Consider the Cost
Consider the Cost
Since the price is high Jesus calls them to consider the cost before simply professing to follow
But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.
“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Jesus compares the process to work and war
There is work to be done, a war to be one and can only be accomplished by our commander and chief!
Next week we will discuss the disciples service to God