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Vision 2018: Be One - Make One

Look What God Will Do!   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Believers are to be Disciples by Making Disciples!

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Introduction -
2015 - Bear On Another's Burdens
2016 - God Cannot Use Your Silence - Share the Love of Jesus
2017 - Moving Forward on Our Knees - Being a Church of Prayer
2018 - Discipleship - Be One, Make One
There is a legend which recounts the return of Jesus to glory after his time on earth. Even in heaven he bore the marks of his earthly pilgrimage with its cruel cross and shameful death. The angel Gabriel approached him and said, “Master, you must have suffered terribly for men down there.” “I did,” he said. “And,” continued Gabriel, “do they know all about how you loved them and what you did for them?” “Oh, no,” said Jesus, “not yet. Right now only a handful of people in Palestine know.” Gabriel was perplexed. “Then what have you done to let everyone know about your love for them?” Jesus said, “I’ve asked Peter, James, John, and a few more friends to tell other people about me. Those who are told will in turn tell still other people, and my story will be spread to the farthest reaches of the globe. Ultimately, all of mankind will have heard about my life and what I have done.” Gabriel frowned and looked rather skeptical. He knew well what poor stuff men were made of. “Yes,” he said, “but what if Peter and James and John grow weary? What if the people who come after them forget? Haven’t you made any other plans?” Jesus answered, “I have no other plans. I’m counting on them.” Twenty centuries later, he still has no other plan. He’s counting on you and me. High on God’s “To Do” list is making disciples of all nations! His early disciples adopted his priorities and devoted themselves to doing this. Christ counted on them, and they delivered. Have we done as well? 
(Joe Aldrich. Lifestyle Evangelism: Learning to Open Your Life to Those Around You. Portland, OR.: Multnomah Press, pp. 15-16).
Main Idea - All Believers are Called to Be Disciples by making Disciples!
Transition -
All Believers are Called to Be a Disciple by making Disciples…Transition -
Transition - And so you can see by the main idea, there is a pressure on the individual to pursue maturity in Christ. Of course this is a divine/human cooperative and yes, God is the ultimate one behind our sanctification and maturation, but believers have a responsibility to put ourselves in the way of growth. This is the sentiment of the Apostle Paul in…
Philippians 2:12–13 ESV
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
And so you can see by the main idea, there is a pressure on the individual to pursue maturity in Christ. Of course this is a divine/human cooperative and yes, God is the ultimate one behind our sanctification and maturation, but believers have a responsibility to put ourselves in the way of growth. This is the sentiment of the Apostle Paul in…
Phil
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
A.W. Tozer said, “If we are not changed by grace then we are not saved by grace.” - www.revival-library.com
I have every confidence that God will do His part in a believers life ().
Philippians 1:6 ESV
6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Today’s focus however, is our responsibility! You, as a follower of Jesus, have a glorious responsibility to be a disciple of Jesus! Part of being a disciple means we make disciples. Folks, this is huge! You cannot keep your Christianity to yourselves. A disciple makes disciples! So the million dollar question is, are you?
And again, you will see though these verses and others that we will grow in our own discipleship when we are obeying God and making disciples as well.
So maturing in Christlikeness is the first responsibility for the believer. Maybe you are new to this Christianity thing or maybe you have been a Christian for a while but you are not growing like you think you should. Or maybe you are a mature Christian. Whatever the case, whatever stage we are in, it is good to know what the Word says we should be pursuing...
So, what does a mature follower of Jesus look like? This is what we will discuss today...
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.”
A Mature Follower of Jesus...
Matthew 28:18–20 ESV
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.”
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
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.”
18-20
A mature follower of Jesus...
A mature follower of Jesus...
1. Recognizes the Authority of Jesus
Recognizes the Authority of Jesus Explain -
Explain -
“All authority in heaven and on earth has be given to me...”
Explain - Why do you suppose that Jesus plays this card with His disciples? Why does He remind them that He has ALL Authority EVERYWHERE? In Heaven, on earth, EVERYWHERE! Probably for many reasons, but I will give you two...
First, look back at verses 16 and 17...
Matthew 28:16–17 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.
Out of the eleven, all went to the mountain in Galilee as instructed by Jesus but then we see that they worshiped Him, BUT SOME DOUBTED! Can you imagine? Jesus, walked with them for three years. He taught them amazing truths from God, He healed the lame, gave sight to the blind, walked on water…all before their eyes. They witnessed His death, burial and most importantly, His resurrection, He walked and ate with them for 40 days after the resurrection over and over He demonstrated to them who He claimed to be - God. And yet, some DOUBTED! And so He thought it important to remind them yet again who they were dealing with. He is God very God and He has all authority on heaven and on earth! He is not to be trifled with, He is to be taken with the utmost seriousness!
Proverbs 9:10 ESV
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Illustrate -
And this leads to the second reason I believe Jesus reminded them that He has all authority on Heaven and Earth. That they would always remember that He is to be obeyed!
John 14:15 ESV
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
There was no room for doubt, there was no place for fear. Jesus’ investment in the 11 is about to be proved. He had no plan B. Discipleship was His one and only plan. He discipled them and now He would expect the same from them. And they needed to listen to Him if for no other reason then that He has ALL authority!
Imagine going to work and your boss tells you to do an important task for that day. It should take about a full 8 hours and so He tells you to get at it ASAP! He tells you he’ll be by at the end of the workday to collect your work. Sure enough, when he swings by at 5pm only to find you haven’t even started it! You tell him it took you so long to get your work area prepared and then some co-workers stopped by to find out what I was doing, so I needed to describe in detail what I was about to do. After that it was lunch time. In the afternoon, my desk partner was struggling with a work related issue and so I helped them get their problem solved. After this, it was break-time. And then, I finally got the opportunity to work on the project and then my computer started having problems so I was dealing with IT for the rest of the day.
The next thing you hear is, “You’re fired!” Why? because you failed to take your boss seriously! You failed to hear how important this was to him! Excuse after excuse after excuse! Your boss wasn’t interested in your excuses, he was interested in results.
I’m not sure about you, but if I am honest with myself, I do not take the Lord as seriously as He deserves. Sometimes I forget that He has ALL Authority in Heaven and on Earth! And that His commands are just that, commands! Somedays I need to seek his forgiveness for my lack of reverence to who He is and what He expects of me.
How about you? Do you recognize the far reach all authoritative hand of Jesus? As a disciple we must!
A mature Christian...
Recognizes the AUTHORITY of Jesus
2. Makes Disciples for Jesus
Makes Disciples for Jesus
“…Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...”
Explain - And one of the many things our Savior has commanded His 11 to do was to make disciples! It would be this singular activity performed by the 11 (soon to be 12 again) that would perpetuate the church. This was God’s glorious, relational plan. Life on life. Not a program but a process. People intentionally, purposefully pursuing other people, investing in them on behalf of Jesus.
This was the Lord’s charge to His disciples. They did not have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for Jesus to come back and get them and bring them into the Kingdom. No, while they were waiting for His return, they were to be actively pursing Disciple Making Relationships. It was job number one on their Job description. If there was one thing they were to complete on their daily, monthly, yearly goals lists it was to make disciples!
Perhaps there are some here this morning that are a little fuzzy about what a disciple is. Let me tell you what I told my class on Disciple Making, this morning.
Very simply a disciple is the student of another. So there is discipleship going on all over the place.
My nephew is a plumber who works for Andy Egan. When he started, he started as an apprentice. He knew nothing and so he was paired with a seasoned professional who knew the ropes and was tasked with the responsibility to get this new guy up to speed so that he would be a viable, productive member of the organization.
That’s what it means to be a disciple and a disciple-maker. The world gets this concept. The church is supposed to be expert at it. And friends, if we want to be the kind of church God wants us to be, we must become EXPERT at it as well! From top to bottom, we must ALL become expert disciple-makers.
So, what does a disciple of God look like? Well, we discussed this in our Equipping Class this morning.
Here are some general marks of a disciple of God...
· Response to God’s initiating call ( )
Mark 1:16–20 ESV
16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
· A desire to know what God says. (; ; ; ; )
1 Peter 2:2 ESV
2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—
· A break from the world’s standards. (; )
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
· Self-discipline. (; ; ; )
Galatians 5:22–23 ESV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
· A desire to seek and encourage with other disciples. (; ; ; ; ; , )
Romans 15:5–6 ESV
5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
· Passion for Evangelism. (; ; ; Philip. 1:21; ; )
1 Peter 2:21 ESV
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
1 Peter 2:20–21 ESV
20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
2 Corinthians 9:6–7 ESV
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
John 3:17 ESV
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
1 Peter
1 Peter
J
· Perseverance. (Philip. 3:13-14; ; ; ; ; )
Philippians 3:13–14 ESV
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
If this is you, you are a disciple. And you have a responsibility to put yourself in the way of continued growth.
But for those of us who have walked with Jesus for a while, need to come along side the new minted apprentices and show them the way! This is non-optional for us! It is God’s reproduction plan for His church! Certainly God gifts us all differently. No everyone is called by God to preach and teach. No all of us are gifted in finance or administration. Not all of us are musicians or youth workers. BUT WE ARE ALL CALLED BY GOD TO BE DISCIPLE MAKERS. No believer gets a pass on this.
Illustrate - When I first became a follower of Jesus, I sought out people to help me grow. Brad Selley, Paul Parker helped me get started on my journey. Doug Bytwerk then slotted in to help me grow. Wayne Muri, Mike Schapp, Eric Morgan, Larry Salisbury, Doug VB were five very important men that taught me much about the Scriptures and life. Each one bringing their unique fingerprint to the process. Now, many in this church have helped me grow and mature...
The point is, no one person performed the whole process of my discipleship, countless believers invested in me over the years. And I in turn have invested in many as well. Not for their whole process. Some for mere hours, some for decades. The point is people intentionally made themselves available for my growth in Christ and I in turn did the same for other. And I will tell you it was this process, both the giving and the taking that has brought the most significant amount of blessing in my life. Discipleship is the hardest, best thing you will ever do in your Christian walk!
Apply - Think about for a minute who has invested in you over the years? I’m willing to bet it has been a host of people that God has slotted into your life. Who are they? Who have you invested in? Who have you intentionally disciple for Jesus? Have you only taken and not given out? This is not God’s plan. You are to move from apprentice to a full-blown Christian “Journeymen”
What’s a Journeyman?
“A journeyman is a skilled worker who has successfully completed an official apprenticeship qualification in a building trade or craft. They are considered competent and authorized to work in that field as a fully qualified employee.”
Are you a Christian “Journeyman”? Are you competent in Christ? If not, what do you need to do to get yourself there? What is stopping you? This is your calling!
A mature Christian...
A mature Christian...
Recognizes the AUTHORITY of Jesus
Makes DISCIPLES for Jesus
3. Baptizes in the Name of the Father, Spirit and Jesus
3. Baptizes in the Name of the Father, Spirit and Jesus
Explain -
“…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...”
Explain - It is very interesting that the Lord makes this part of His commissioning standard. There are myriad of biblical concepts He could have emphasized, but He chose baptism. Disciples are to baptize! It is interesting to me that it doesn’t say baptism is only to be performed by the Pastor. No, disciples are to baptize disciples.
Be that as it may, why Baptism? What’s the point? The point is this, baptism is rich with symbolism.
First and foremost, the word “baptize” means to immerse.
The picture of Baptism is that of the Gospel - Death, burial and Resurrection.
Most importantly, Baptism is about identification. Jesus, in His baptism was identified publically as the long awaited Messiah, the King of Israel! His baptism was the official inauguration of His Kingdom. Those who come to faith in Christ recognize Him as their King do so officially in the waters of Baptism. It is the pubic, official way, sanctioned by the church, to recognize genuine followers of Jesus. The act of Baptism does not save anyone, but it does identify anyone who has become a follower of Jesus as a subject of the King of kings and Lord of lords.
This is why it is so important for you to be baptized! The progression we see in the scriptures is “Saved, baptized and added to the church. This is the order and it is very important that it be followed. The scriptures do not teach anywhere that one is baptized, added to the church and then saved! This inevitably would result in an unregenerate church membership which is the epitome of an oxymoron.
This is so important to Jesus that He tells His disciples that this is to be the entry point into the church. When someone becomes a Christian, they are to publically pronounce their love and allegiance to their unique, triune God-head - The Father, the Spirit and King Jesus!
Illustrate - Mary Salisbury -
Apply - What about you? Have you been scripturally baptized? Have you followed the progression laid out in the Scriptures? If not, you are not functioning as a full disciple of Jesus. What is keeping you from this very important identification?
A mature Christian...
Recognizes the AUTHORITY of Jesus
Makes DISCIPLES for Jesus
BAPTIZES (and is baptized) in the Name of…Jesus
4. Teaches the Commands of Jesus
“…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you...”
Explain -
Explain - Well, this is a tall order. After all, Jesus said a lot of things over the course of His brief, three-year ministry. Yet He instructs His disciples to “teach them (future disciples) to observe (obey) all that I have commanded you!” No wonder this is a life long process. This is no small commitment!
But notice, it isn’t just that the disciples are to teaching information. No way! Discipleship is not an information dump. It is part of it, but most certainly not all of it. It is teaching them the information and then it is teaching them to obey the information. This requires relationship...
Elliot was at our house yesterday. It is very interesting to watch him learn to obey. In fact, he already knows what he should and shouldn’t do. Our job is to show him the joys of obedience and the pain and discomfort of disobedience. Then down the road a bit, when he can understand better, we will teach him the reason behind his obedience isn’t just about his joy or pain, it is about bringing glory and honor to God Himself.
So the goal is Christian maturity! What does a fully mature believer look like? What are the commands that believers should be most concerned about?
First and foremost, Love! This is certainly the sentiment of the apostle Paul as he speaks about the profound nature of agape love!
1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
A Disciple fully mature loves! Jesus said this in 27...
A Disciple fully mature loves God with all of his or her heart, soul, strength, and mind. Let’s break this down...
1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Luke 10:27 ESV
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
They love God with all of his or her heart, soul, strength, and mind. This is a quote from the great Shema found in . Jesus reiterates it here in Luke, Matthew and Mark. The point isn’t to dissect into distinct parts but to recognizes that we are to use all our “parts” to love God. We are to love God as completely and fully as humanly possible!
This is what a mature Christian pursues with his or her life! A deep and profound, complete love for God!
But this love is not only reserved for God, it is for others as well. Look at the text again.
“…and your neighbor as yourself.”
A mature disciple understands that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. They understand they had nothing to do with their being created! It was all of God. Yet there is a wonder in His creation of you! There is non like you and there will never be anyone like you again. That is amazing and beautiful! And it is good for us to appreciate what God has done to bring us into existence.
But also, as a Christian you have been recreated! You are born-again! You have been fearfully and wonderfully remade! This was His will for you! So in this sense, we Love ourselves in Christ. Not a selfish, self-focused love, but a deep appreciation for who you now are in Christ. If your are in Christ, you are a child of the king! You have been bought with the shed blood of Jesus! You are a justified, adopted, saint of God! Yes you are a sinner, but God has declared you to be His child! What?!
Love yourself in Christ! You are a child of the king! Show yourself some respect!
Love yourself in Christ! You are a child of the king! Show yourself some respect!
And with this in mind, we are to love our neighbors. Who are our neighbors? Not just those we love and enjoy being around. Our neighbors are the sick, the marginalized, the social outcasts, the irritating, the smelly, the rich, the poor, etc. And we are to love them with the same kind of love extended to us through Christ.
This can seem overwhelming! And it is! But Love is the command of God. And He wouldn’t ask us to do something He, by the power of His Holy Spirit hasn’t equipped us to do.
Neighbor - You may not be able to do everything for your neighbor, but you can do something!
Listen, as Disciples and Disciple-makers, we have the holy privilege to teach our disciples the commands of God and HOW they are to observe them. Love is God’s greatest command. We must love and teach others to love. If we do this well, all of Christ’s other commands will fall into place nicely.
The best way to do this is to help them understand God’s profound love for them...
Illustrate -
Francis Chan, Crazy Love - “Have you ever wondered if we're missing it? It's crazy if you think about it. The God of the universe — the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and e-minor — loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.”
Apply - Who are you teaching about Jesus? And, by the way, you can’t teach what you don’t know. The inherent challenge here is for you to know and love Jesus and you will quite naturally teach other about Christ Jesus. As you observe His ways, you will be more capable and efficient in helping others do the same.
A mature Christian...
Recognizes the AUTHORITY of Jesus
Makes DISCIPLES for Jesus
BAPTIZES in the Name of…Jesus
Teaches the COMMANDS of Jesus
5. Rests in the Presence of Jesus
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Explain -
Explain -
Explain - This whole discipleship idea seems so big and so important, how in the world would God want to use me? Don’t you think the disciples were feeling the same way? Remember, “some of them doubted.”
But after Jesus reminds them of His authority and tells them their new mission in life, He gives them a glorious and hopeful promise. He tells them that He is with them always! He will never leave them. He will never forsake them. Now I’,m not sure how they took this promise, maybe they were just words to them at this point. Eventually, however these words would prove themselves to be true over and over again.
Acts 3:6 ESV
6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
Acts 19:12–13 ESV
12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.”
This is a perpetuating promise. It was given to the disciples and as more and more disciples were made through the centuries the same promise followed them.
This is a perpetuating promise. It was given t
You and I, this very day, in this very room, in our very hearts have the presence of Jesus
Ephesians 3:16–17 ESV
16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Ephesians 3:15–17 ESV
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Ephesians 3:14–17 ESV
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Jesus is here today in 2018! He is among us and wants to empower us to be effective Disciples and disciple-makers!
Illustrate - Partnership are powerful! What could be more powerful than partnering with God Himself?
Apply - Have you tapped into the power source? You cannot be what God desires for you to be when you go it alone! You need Christ’s power!!!
Main Idea - All Believers are Called to Be Disciples by making Disciples!
A mature Christian...
A mature Christian...
Recognizes the AUTHORITY of Jesus
Makes DISCIPLES for Jesus
BAPTIZES in the Name of…Jesus
Teaches the COMMANDS of Jesus
Rests in the PRESENCE of Jesus
Conclusion
Concluding thought - I have a convicting question for you this morning. As a Christian, I want you to answer your self in a brutally honest way. I don’t want you to think about what you’ve accomplished in your past, I want an honest assessment of your walk with Jesus today. Here’s the question. How well would the church fulfill her mission from God to make disciples of all nations, if your present practice of discipleship were the practice of all Christians today?
Concluding thought
Invitation -
Confess to the Lord, right now if you have not obeyed him in this area of your Christian walk
Ask that He would give you the eyes to see what He can accomplish through your willingness to obey
Make a commitment to doing this, this year!
I would like you, right now to write down three people you will prayerfully pursue to disciple.
A family Member -
A friend -
A person at church -
Connection Group Questions
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