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I have decided_Discipleshipf

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1 Corinthians 2:2 ESV
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:12 ESV
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

Fishers of men

Last week we discussed the issue of identity. Who am I?
This week we will significance. How can I make a difference?

Matthew 4:19 ESV
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
There is a narrative that I have to be someone completely different before God can use me — I am not Billy Graham etc
Then Jesus will show and teach us significance in what we do (our careers) and who we are.
But here we find Jesus fetching the Peter and Andrew where they are doing what they do.
The point was not changing their careers or changing where they live.
In order to change the world, I have to change.
It was to embark on a process of change. Following Jesus
You can only help people as far as you have changed.
But this is not an issue of perfectionism. You can disciple someone even if you know one chapter in the Bible more.
I think one of the first things I would do would be to get a small group of eight or ten or twelve men around me that would meet a few hours a week and pay the price.
It would cost them something in time and effort. I would share with them everything I have, over a period of years. Then I would actually have twelve ministers among the laymen who in turn could take eight or ten or twelve more and teach them.
I know one or two churches that are doing that, and it is revolutionizing the church. Christ, I think, set the pattern. He spent most of his time with twelve men. He didn’t spend it with a great crowd.
In fact, every time he had a great crowd it seems to me that there weren’t too many results. The great results, it seems to me, came in his personal interview and in the time he spent with the twelve.
— Billy Graham
215 million people in live audiences over 185 countries
Success in going big or going small?

Defining discipleship

Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
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, 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 The Message
Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19 ESV
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,
μαθητεύω — to make disciples as a verb (one word). Discipleship is active (it is not like grace that is passive on our side).
Discipleship and training goes together. It is something you are not, and something you grow into with training.
See difference in translation. Discipleship and training goes together.
Discipleship is central to the mission of Christ. It is not peripheral or seasonal thing.
The process of training people incrementally in some discipline or way of life.
David Witthoff, ed., The Lexham Cultural Ontology Glossary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).
The main point:
We all need a way of life. Being a Christian is not just a faith or relationship. It is a way of life. It is how you live, and what you live for.
There is not such a choice of being a disciple or not being a disciple. The choice is who disciples you. Right now you are being discipled.
Discipleship consists of a choice (follow me), teaching and examples, and practicing what you are taught.

The Way

There is no other way
Acts 24:14 The Message
“But I do freely admit this: In regard to the Way, which they malign as a dead-end street, I serve and worship the very same God served and worshiped by all our ancestors and embrace everything written in all our Scriptures.
Acts 24:
John 14:6 ESV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Discipleship means adherence to Christ, and, because Christ is the object of that adherence, it must take the form of discipleship.
An abstract Christology, a doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge on the subject of grace or on the forgiveness of sins, render discipleship superfluous, and in fact they positively exclude any idea of discipleship whatever, and are essentially inimical to the whole conception of following Christ.
With an abstract idea it is possible to enter into a relation of formal knowledge, to become enthusiastic about it, and perhaps even to put it into practice; but it can never be followed in personal obedience.
Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.
It remains an abstract idea, a myth which has a place for the Fatherhood of God, but omits Christ as the living Son. And a Christianity of that kind is nothing more nor less than the end of discipleship.
In such a religion there is trust in God, but no following of Christ. Because the Son of God became Man, because he is the Mediator, for that reason alone the only true relation we can have with him is to follow him.
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The Cost of Discipleship (SCM Classics) (Kindle Locations 818-826). Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd. Kindle Edition.
adherence = commitment or attachment to person or cause
I cannot relate to Jesus or be committed to Jesus without making the choice to follow him.

Obstacles to the Way

What distracts us from discipleship?
Matthew 19:19–22 ESV
Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 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.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Matt 19:
The love of material comfort and wealth
Luk 9:
Luke 9:57–62 ESV
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Not counting the cost
Luke 22:54 ESV
Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance.
John 13:36–37 ESV
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
The mystery of God
John 21:20–22 ESV
Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”
Offence with people

What should I do?

We are at different stages
New to following Jesus
Making it personal
Helping other people
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