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Discipleship

Blueprint for Spiritual Connection  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Today we complete the Blueprint for Spiritual Connection series.
We began this series with the Gospel (or Good News) of Jesus Christ. In it, we described our sinful condition, our inability to save ourselves, the need for a Savior found only in the saving work of Jesus Christ, and how one is saved.
Second, we talked about the Holy Spirit, who teaches, guides and leads us into all truth. And who resides in the heart and mind of every believer.
Third, we talked about Baptism. In short, Baptism is the proclamation of an inner transformation of the heart that is expressed outwardly by being baptized. This act identifies one with Jesus and His teachings and proclaims him/herself a disciple committed to following Jesus—symbolizing a washing away of the old nature and embracing the new nature of being led by the Spirit and not the flesh.
Fourth, we talked about Fellowship—a joining with other believers with a heart who, likewise, desire to bring honor and glory to Jesus and in whom only true joy can be found.
Today, we talk about Discipleship.
QUESTION: But, what is a disciple?

DISCIPLE—a scholar, sometimes applied to the followers of John the Baptist (Matt. 9:14), and of the Pharisees (22:16), but principally to the followers of Christ. A disciple of Christ is one who (1) believes his doctrine, (2) rests on his sacrifice, (3) imbibes his spirit, and (4) imitates his example (Matt. 10:24; Luke 14:26, 27, 33; John 6:69).

A Disciple believes His Master’s teaching

QUESTION: What teaching?
If we consider the Sermon on the Mount of , we would include such topics as: the righteousness of Christ, judgment, maintaining right relationships with other believers, adultery, lust, divorce, swearing of oaths, loving your neighbor, how to treat enemies, self-righteous attitudes, praying, fasting, and forgiveness, to name a few
(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” (underlining added).
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.”
Jesus said that He wanted His disciples to 1) understand that He is the one with authority to send them out; 2) that they are to make disciples; 3) they are to baptize people; and 4) teach people His ways.
2 Timothy 2:2 ESV
and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.
Paul would later encourage Timothy in (ESV), 2 “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”
QUESTION: Who are the faithful people in your life who could use some spiritual growth—people you could help develop spiritually?
2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.
Ever struggle with having to judge between people regarding who is worthy of your time to teach?
Not an easy thing to come to terms with, is it?
I have a friend who really struggled when I told her one day that I don’t waste my time with people who don’t want to grow—people who think they know all they need to know—people who are no longer teachable
She thought I was being judgmental and had no right to judge others, but consider this:
(ESV) 12 “For what have I to do with judging outsiders [unbelievers]? Is it not those inside the church [believers] whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
Paul said to find “faithful” people and teach them, so they can teach others.
There are times when God’s way just doesn’t seem to make sense (e.g., love your enemies)
If we use human reasoning, we want to leave our enemies to their own merits; we have no desire to help them, be kind to them, or spend any amount of time interacting with them; we secretly hope that they will PCS or move out of our neighborhood; we wish no good will on them
He/She sets out to make disciples of others
Hamstra, S., Jr. (1996). Doctrine. In Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed., p. 185). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.to teach what is taught to you and teach this to others
BUT, Jesus teaches us to love our enemies, right?
QUESTION: Which nature do you follow? The new man whose spirit has been awakened or the old man, whose sinful nature wants to rule?
This is a question that we must all answer ourselves, and we must deal with this question, sometimes, daily.
So, we decide to teach others...
Hamstra, S., Jr. (1996). Doctrine. In Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed., p. 185). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.to teach what is taught to you and teach this to others
Hamstra, S., Jr. (1996). Doctrine. In Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed., p. 185). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
In other words, a disciple believes the essential truths of the gospel written in the Scriptures that are found in the life and mission of Jesus Christ and teaches it to others
QUESTION: But, what are you to teach?
Hamstra, S., Jr. (1996). Doctrine. In Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed., p. 185). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.to teach what is taught to you and teach this to others
In other words, a disciple takes what you have been taught and teach it to others
QUESTION: But, what are you to teach?
If we consider the Sermon on the Mount of , we would include such topics as: the righteousness of Christ, judgment, maintaining right relationships with other believers, adultery, lust, divorce, swearing of oaths, loving your neighbor, how to treat enemies, self-righteous attitudes, praying, fasting, and forgiveness, to name a few
A disciple believes his Master’s teaching and takes this teaching to others.

A disciple rests on Jesus’ sacrifice

QUESTION: But, what does it mean to rest on Jesus’ sacrifice?
(ESV) "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit
(ESV) 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 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.”
Salvation comes only through what Jesus did on the cross and not because of anything we have done...
(ESV) 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 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.”
For God So Loved the World
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 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.
(ESV) “For by grace [we] have been saved through faith. And this not of [our] own doing; it is a gift of God, not a result of [our] works, [why?] so that no one can boast.”
(ESV) 5 “. . . he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
No other sacrifice is left to cover our sins
No other sacrifice is left to cover our sins
If you ever
In fact, when we celebrate communion, we are reminded of what Jesus did for us.
and says that we do this “in remembrance of me [Him]”
Church, if you take the wafer and the juice because you like the taste, then you have completely missed the point!
We celebrate communion
We are not invited t the table because of what we can do for God, but to celebrate what He has done for us!
We stand in awe of Him and are grateful that He invited us to the table and to His kingdom and at the same time, we acknowledge that He has honored us far beyond what we deserve.
A disciple rests on the sacrifice Jesus made for us and doesn’t believe, even for a moment, that we had anything to do with our salvation.
If you doubt this, consider this:
(ESV) 23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
A disciple rests on the fact that His sacrifice is all that is needed for our redemption/our salvation

A disciple is filled with the Spirit

QUESTION: What does “filled with the Spirit” mean?
uses the word “satisfied” which also means “to be content with”
In this sense, it means to be filled with His Spirit
It refers to feeding the spiritual man spiritual food, or said another way, to live according to the leading of the spirit.
To follow after and to listen to that which pleases God
uses the word “satisfied” and also means “to be content with”
The work of the Spirit of God, which lives in us, is, according to Jesus’ teaching in (ESV), to “teach you all things and bring to remembrance all that I have said to you.”
(ESV) 26 But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.”
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
Jesus said in (ESV) 7 “… if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Jesus said these things prior to His resurrection, but after He rose from the dead, He met with His disciples and
7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
(ESV) 22 “… he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
(ESV) 8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
records when and where the disciples were when “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
QUESTION: To what end was this ability to speak in other tongues given?
ANSWER: () To minister to people of various languages so that they all could hear about “the mighty works of God.”
says that “they were all cut to the heart …received his word and were baptized
QUESTION: So, how are you filled with the Holy Spirit?
ANSWER: You learn about what Jesus has done for you; you believe it in your heart; you confess your sin; the Holy Spirit comes into your heart and begins the life-long journey of guiding you along the path that leads to deeper understanding of who you are in Jesus and your new mission of bringing glory to the Father and the Son.
As you walk in step with the desire of the Father in your heart, you grow to spiritual maturity and are empowered by the Holy Spirit to accomplish all that God desires to be accomplished through your life.
QUESTION: How do you recognize spiritual maturity and one who is filed with the Spirit?
ANSWER: (ESV) 22 “. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
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. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
A disciple is filled with the Spirit.

A disciple imitates Jesus’ example

QUESTION: How do we follow His example?
(ESV) 9 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. 10 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! 11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (underlining added).
(ESV) 15 “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (underlining added).
Beth
(ESV) 15 “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (underlining added).
(ESV) 8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (underlining added).
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
15 I will meditate on your precepts
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
and fix my eyes on your ways.
By guarding it according to your word.
(ESV) “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
(ESV) 2 “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (underlining added).
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
(ESV) 12 “so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
let me not wander from your commandments!
2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
I will not forget your word.
12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
(ESV) 11 “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God” (underlining added).
Someone once said that imitation is the surest form of flattery.
11 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.
that I might not sin against you.
We imitate Jesus because His ways are righteous and just.
A disciple imitates Jesus and His ways.

Application

We embrace the Gospel, in which we believed;
We follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us to guide us, teach us, encourages us, to draw close to the Father, Jesus, and others;
We declare our faith in Jesus as Savior and make Him our Lord through Baptism;
We Fellowship with other believers that we might encourage and be encouraged in faith; and
We engage in Discipleship so that others might grow in their knowledge and understanding of the Father’s love as we pass on to others what we have learned by faith.

Conclusion

May our Savior and Lord bless you as you walk in obedience to His ways, always aware that this life is not all there is and that eternity God has set in our hearts and even now, is preparing a place for us as we await His return to gather up His church.
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