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Disciples Making Disciples

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Let me know if you remember this....Imagine for a moment that you live in another country...
One completely foreign to this one. You have an opportunity one fall to spend a week in Columbia Station...
So you come on a Sunday morning.. And you observe, many people, maybe even most...slowly rising to make their way to a building they call - church
They grogely approach that building for some sort of ceremony.
Clearly, whatever happens at the beginning of that ceremony is not that important.. Because most people don't come until after it has started...
And so you watch them file in... and begin to mouth the words to some songs... many of them almost expressionless...virtually emotionless
After which they sit down and passively listen to someone talk to them for a period of time...
You notice people starting to get a bit fidgety...uneasy as the time for the ceremony to end...approaches
When it's finally over, they quickly walk out.. But as you walk with listen to them
And you hear many of them talking about something that had happened the previous day...
They smile, and then they recount another ceremony they've been to...
Apparently a bit more interesting than this one. A ceremony that apparently happens on Saturdays...
In fact, the rest of the week, that's all you hear people talking about... The coming ceremony on Saturday...
Even the people at the Sunday ceremony are strangely silent about what they heard and sang about there... at the Sunday ceremony
But are VERY enthusiastic about the Saturday ceremony that can't seem to get here soon enough!
That Saturday see people wake up...and leave their houses dressed in some sort of outfit they love to wear for these types of days...
many of them drive out of the city....some an hour away... Others a couple of hours away...
...where they gather together on what they call - hallowed grounds for the Saturday ceremony - they get there EARLY for this ceremony....WAY early
Where they eat, and drink, and laugh, and play...Not just with their family and friends but with complete strangers....
You've never SEEN community like this! When the time comes...10's of thousands come together and enter a shrine together...
And during this Saturday ceremony, people raise their voices...with a passion... To watch a game of young people on a field...
During this Saturday ceremony, the people sing, and shout, and chant until they virtually lose their voices...
People don't look at their watches at this ceremony... They relish the thought of this saturday ceremony going into OVERTIME...
OK, so if you're the one who is visiting from another country, and you just experienced this....
...Which would you identify as the religion that is most important to these people?
...Are these people being discipled by Jesus, or the world?
If you recall, two weeks ago we looked at this thing called Discipleship, and we saw that Discipleship is really another word for Christianity.
Disciple, another word for - Christian
And it was then that we saw "what a disciple is"
A disciple is:  a worshiper   /  a servant  /   a witness
but that was more of a high-level view...Let's get more detailed now...
All of these characteristics came from the mouth of Christ...
A DISCIPLE is someone who:
1. Is willing to give up all earthly possessions
Luke 14:33 ESV
33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
I'm gonna keep saying this - WE START WITH SCRIPTURE... Scripture dictates reality...
This is saying - Any one who does not SAY GOODBYE to all that he has cannot be My disciple... Does this mean I have to sell all my possessions (car, house, computer, bike?)?
This is saying - Any one who does not SAY GOODBYE to all that he has cannot be My disciple... Does this mean I have to sell all my possessions (car, house, computer, bike?)?
No -  Now, before you say - WELL WHEEEHHHW!
It says - Unless you SAY GOODBYE to all that you have... Meaning - What you do have...They're NOT YOURS...anymore
Someone comes to your door... You hear of a need... MEET that NEED - OTHERWISE you are now holding onto your possessions... Someone who has NOT renounced all that he has...
But why? Why do we have to have SAID goodbye to all that we have??
Matthew 6:21 ESV
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
A DISCIPLE is someone who:
2. Abides in God's Word, and experiences freedom in Christ
John 8:31–32 ESV
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Did you hear that? IF YOU CONTINUE in my Word, then you TRULY ARE My disciples...
The word of God is POWER... It transforms our minds...IF we read it, study it, memorize it, meditate on it... IF we ABIDE in it...
We cannot be a disciple if we don't consume the Scriptures...
Disciples abide in God's Word...and are set free
A DISCIPLE is someone who:
3. Genuinely loves others believers
John 13:35 ESV
35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
If you do not love other believers, then you don't know the God OF love...
Francis Schaeffer observed that our love for one another should be so strong that it would unite believers in such a way that the world “would believe” that Jesus was sent by God.
Now, how can you love like can we UNITE...if you're not here...?
Disciples have genuine love for other believers...
A DISCIPLE is someone who:
4. Abides in Christ, prays, bears fruit, and glorifies God
John 15:5–8 ESV
5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
When we abide in Christ... we will begin to ask God for His will to be done in our lives (we'll desire this)... This results in fruit... Spiritual fruit...
And God is glorified!
Do you see how EVIDENCE always points to reality... Fruit will prove the disciple...
A DISCIPLE is someone who:
5. Full of the Holy Spirit
Acts 13:52 ESV
52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Part of the fruit of abiding in Christ is the fruit of the Spirit, which is...
love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness and self-control
Disciples grow in these areas...
A DISCIPLE is someone who:
6. Obediently follows the desires of the Master
Matthew 26:19 ESV
19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.
It sounds like a very basic verse of obedience... You're right...that's what it is...
Disciples obey... And when they don't obey...they run TO God, not away from Him...
A DISCIPLE is someone who:
7. Is intimately involved in the mission of Jesus to make disciples
Matthew 28:16–20 ESV
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
There's one command in this passage... MAKE DISCIPLES...
Jesus says - ALL authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me... When did Jesus say this?
he had already gone to the cross... to the grave... He had just RISEN from the dead... He had just conquered death...
And now He points to His authority over ALL things Spiritual and physical...and says....
"Go therefore!"...and make disciples...
Our making of disciples is a SPIRITUAL MATTER... Our making of disciples is FOUNDED on the SUPREME authority of Jesus Christ...
How was it that the Apostles could NOW go into the world, proclaim the gospel, and people be saved???
how? - The authority of Jesus Christ... He had conquered death... His sacrifice accepted by the Father...
The Spiritual war now won - Jesus Christ victorious!
A disciple cannot respond to the person of Christ without responding to the mission of Christ...
So just look at this list...
A disciple is someone who:
1. Is willing to give up all earthly possessions
2. Abides in God's Word, and experiences freedom in Christ
3. Genuinely loves others believers
4. Abides in Christ, prays, bears fruit, and glorifies God
5. Full of the Holy Spirit
6. Obediently follows the desires of the Master
7. Is intimately involved in the mission of Jesus to make disciples
This is what a disciple looks like...
And if this is what a Disciple looks like, NO DOUBT it takes a COMMUNITY to help make this happen.  
- We ALL need help with this!
And this is something we're going to dive into - moving forward here at AFBC.
...Men and women alike
 ...Men will disciple men, and women will disciple women.
In Scripture we're given guidance on both sides...
If you remember back in our trek thru 2 Timothy, we saw Paul explain how he discipled Timothy...
2 Timothy 3:10–11 ESV
10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.
So back in , we see Paul desire to make Timothy his companion in the faith...a disciple...that he might help Timothy grow in the Lord...
...and now in 2 Timothy we see how this discipleship played itself out...
It was 'Life lived - together'...and there was INTENTIONALITY in all of this.
Paul INTENTIONALLY set out to disciple Timothy...and Timothy INTENTIONALLY set out to BE discipled by Paul.
And based on these verses, we can see that all of life was on the table...(read thru verses 10-11).
But this is not JUST something reserved for the men of the church.
This applies to the women as well...
Titus 2:3–5 ESV
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
We see here a clear call to the more spiritually mature women of the church to disciple the younger, less spiritually mature women of the church.
We see here a clear call to the more spiritually mature women of the church to disciple the younger, less spiritually mature women of the church.
And so I think the first thing we notice here is that Discipleship is not something reserved solely for the elders...
We're all called to this!
And so I might be discipling someone, while at the same time, BEING discipled by someone else...
NOW - of course, it matters who is DOING the discipling...
We all know - Bad INPUT equals = Bad OUTPUT
And so we want to make sure that ultimately, we're being discipled by Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV
1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
NOW - how will this play itself out here at AFBC...?
First thing - no one is going to be head-locked into entering into a discipleship relationship.
There are sign-up sheets in the back.
Men and women - the sign up sheets are you saying - Yes, I'd like to be discipled.
So why sign-up sheets?  Why this approach?
Acts 2:42 ESV
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Discipleship is more of a lifestyle than it is - a program
And so, from my perspective, here's how i see this playing out:
I'm discipling Johnny X (i've committed to this, Johnny has committed to this).
I'm speaking with him regularly...(meeting with him...)
We're constantly communicating about our lives, and decisions that we need to make in our lives.
Maybe I have a co-worker that I'm trying to witness to - and so I'm going to get Johnny's thoughts on how I would respond to this question, or what I should say in this situation...(homework, research, etc.).
This is LIVING LIFE together...
SAME with the women...
Living life together.....and if as a discipler, you don't have the answers, well then you say, "hey let's go talk to Joe or Bob, or Charles, and see what we can find out"...
It's also about helping each other find the right answers...knowing where to go to get them.
Now, Something we will also be doing is offering the Disciplers continual opportunities to get together, to learn together, to be encouraged together, so that all of those taking on those roles will be on the same page here at AFBC.
And so, something the women may be thinking right now is - Ok, if we're signing up to BE discipled, what women will be DISCIPLING...  
That's something the elders will be looking at and deciding on once we get the sign-ups back.
Men, we also may be asking you to take on a discipler role as well, depending on what our numbers look like...
And so all-in-all....this really is a turning point for AFBC.  This is something SO OBVIOUS in Scripture, and yet is something that I think most churches are still figuring out.
It's NOT easy...but who said it would be.  
As we get ready to close for today, I ask that you COUNT THE COST....
Take time now and go before the Lord in prayer...
John 6:45 ESV
45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—
Let’s pray
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