Faithlife Sermons

The Marks of a Faithful Disciple - Introduction

The Marks of a Faithful Disciple  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  20:15
0 ratings
· 892 views
Files
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

How many of you have ever gone through the ordeal of teaching your teenage child how to drive?
It’s nerve wracking isn’t it?
Well, let’s be clear about it… it’s not only nerve wracking for the parent, it’s nerve wracking for the teen as well. [am I right?]
I can recall being scared to death as I sat in the driver’s seat of our 1979 Datsun 310 Hatchback with standard transmission waiting for my father to squeeze into the passenger seat as we were heading out on our maiden voyage of driving lessons in the summer of 1983.
For one thing, I had gotten the lecture that driving a stick shift was not going to be easy, not to mention that I knew my father’s temper and I knew that there would be yelling involved.
I only thought that was a scary Saturday afternoon drive until I arrived at the stop sign at South Height Street and West Calhoun Road. The road started to climb the hill as I pressed down on the clutch and then pressed on the brake. My father started giving a rapid burst series of instruction as another car pulled up to the stop sign on our passenger side of the vehicle. I immediately started rolling back down the hill and my foot instinctively slammed the brake shaking us both to a harsh stop.
There I was… sitting in a standard transmission vehicle with the nose pointing up hill… one foot on the clutch and another foot on the brake… listening to my father utter a stream of gibberish about taking my feet off of things and pressing on other things.
I don’t know, I must have panicked… before I knew it the car jumped and stalled and there we were rolling backward down the hill as the yelling started. I don’t really know what else happened that day… I think following the yelling there was a tiny bit of embarrassed and angry tears.
But eventually, I learned and got the hand of driving with a standard transmission. And believe it or not… I actually miss that old standard Toyota pickup truck I drove in college.
I remembered it as I started teaching my own son how to drive. This time it was him crawling into the driver’s seat and I was sitting on the passenger side. As I put the keys to my two-ton death rocket in his hands, I realized that I was terrified!
This is a strange feeling for a parent. It is both disturbing and satisfying at the same time. There is a feeling of fear mixed with the hope of freedom in teaching your teenage son to drive. In one instant, you’re afraid that he might do something wrong and in a flash you are worried that he might hurt you and then you’re thinking of the freedom that he could drive himself home after school. It’s dizzying how those moments flash by in your mind’s eye. All before he even starts the engine.
In many ways this example is like discipleship. Discipleship is the process of learning. The teacher is helping the student to learn a new skill and the student is studying the teacher and attempting to emulate something that the teacher already knows. And then later on, the student becomes the teacher and trains another student to do the same thing one day.... hopefully with less yelling.
As we have said before, discipleship is about learning a discipline, a way of doing something.
[pray]
Father God in heaven, we praise and bless You as our Creator, our Keeper, and our Teacher. We lift Your name on high and thank You for Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Father, please forgive us as we fail to be disciples of Jesus Christ. Give us strength of will and the wisdom we require to value You and obey Your word. Help us to serve and bless those that You put in our path each day. May we ever praise and glorify Your Holy Name until we see Your Son coming on the clouds to take us home to be with You. Father please give me clarity of mind, precision of speech, and help me be true to Your Words as I bring Your message to Your people. Amen
Discipleship of course describes a student/teacher relationship, but at its core it is about passion and focus. It involves the mind and intellect. It is more than simple academic engagement. It is something that the student focuses on that he wants to do well. It means that the student works diligently at it. He dwells upon it day and night. He lives it and breathes it. He becomes disciplined because he wants to become good at it.
We’ve seen throughout our studies on the Sermons of Jesus Christ that he always referred to His students as disciples. They were Disciples of the Way of Jesus Christ.
If you’ll remember way back before Christmas as we started working through Matthew 10, Jesus’ Missionary Discourse, that Jesus had just been warning the disciples that they would be facing persecution. He told them...
Matthew 10:22 NASB95
22 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
Following this, Jesus begins to tell the apostle’s what it would mean to be His disciple. He did this by describing the characteristics that they would need to face the persecution that is coming. But look again at the last part of that verse… “the one who has endured [the persecution] to the end will be saved.”
In this case, we can certainly assert that the hatred is because of the name of Christ. It is because we bear the name Christian that we will be hated. It is because we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the message that Christ is God’s Son, who came to earth and died bearing our sin upon the cross, that we might join Him at the end and be with God eternally in heaven and claim this earth as our inheritance from God, Himself...
It is THIS message that condemns us to persecution.
Jesus speaks frankly when He says that it is only endurance in the face of persecution that will result in salvation… but the question here is “Salvation from what?”
Fires of Hell - I don’t think so, since we see other evidence of the assurance of our salvation. This is not something that we can lose to be given over to the fires of Hell and eternal separation from Father God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
Preservation of Life - Again we cannot draw this assumption, since we have certainly seen those who have been persecuted give their lives as martyred saints. We cannot expect this form of salvation either.
Further Persecution - I believe the salvation that Jesus is referring to, is the salvation of joining Him with God in Heaven as we will finally receive the fullest blessing possible.

I. Discipleship Applied to the Life of a Christ-Follower

As we look at the doctrine of Discipleship I wanted to highlight for you this outline of Christian Discipleship that I discovered in the Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology..
Discipleship
Calling to a relationship with God:
OT: God & Israel - “I will be your God, and you shall be my people.” (Genesis 17:7; Exodus 6:7; Jeremiah 7:23, 11:4, 24:7, 30:22)
NT: Jesus & His Disciples - Immanuel, God with us (Matt 1:23, 28:20)
Follow God:
OT Israel walking in the ways of God
Follow God - Deut 4:1-14
Walk in His ways - Deut 10:12-13
NT: Personal Commitment to Jesus Christ
Count the cost of following Jesus
Leave home and family (Matt 8:18-22)
Carry our own cross (Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:34)
The Church follows the Risen Christ (1 Peter 2:21)
Travel on the Way of Christ
Walk with God by the Spirit (Gal 5:16)
The Goals of Discipleship
Self-Focused Goals - Become more like Christ (Luke 6:40)
Others-Focused Goals - Serve others and bless them (Mark 10:35-45; Phil 2:1-8)
World Focused Goals - The Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20)

II. The Marks of a Faithful Disciple

In verse 23 of chapter 10, Jesus moves on to discuss a list of characteristics that can be found in the faithful disciple’s life.
I wouldn’t say that this list is exhaustive, there are certainly more marks of the true disciple that could be found in other places. However, I would say that this list can be applied to disciples throughout the ages, but possibly more so in our current age than in any other. This is a list of characteristics that the faithful disciple can expect during these times of great persecution.
Disciples throughout the ages have been tortured and martyred for proclaiming the Gospel. But that is happening on a much more frequent basis in this age than in any other age.
As we have mentioned before, the public confession of our faith in Jesus is certainly evidence of our salvation as we can see in Romans 10:9-10. But Jesus gives us several good reasons right here in Matthew 10.I wouldn’t say that this list is exhaustive, there are certainly more marks of the true disciple that could be found in other places. However, I would say that this list can be applied to disciples throughout the ages, but possibly more so in our current age than in any other. This is a list of characteristics that the faithful disciple can expect during these times of great persecution.
Disciples throughout the ages have been tortured and martyred for proclaiming the Gospel. But that is happening on a much more frequent basis in this age than in any other age.
As we have mentioned before, the public confession of our faith in Jesus is certainly evidence of our salvation as we can see in Romans 10:9-10. But Jesus gives us several good reasons right here in Matthew 10.
Unfortunately I’m not going to have time to develop this list further. But we’ll look into each of this in depth in the coming weeks. This will give us all a good opportunity to examine ourselves and see how we can follow Christ better and develop a rich practice of discipleship in our daily lives.
In fact, why don’t you just consider this the beginning of a period of self-examination for the New Year… If you’ll look on the back of your handout, I’ve given you this list. As we talk through these, just give yourself a score from one to ten on each of these...

1. Faithful Disciples Suffer for Christ - vv 24-25

Jesus suffered, therefore He warns His disciples that they must be willing to suffer just as He did.
Matthew 10:24–25 NASB95
24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
Are you truly willing to suffer for our Lord Jesus Christ?
Would you be willing to go as far as Christ did?

2. Faithful Disciples Proclaim the Truth - vv 26-27

Matthew 10:26–27 NASB95
26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.
Do you look for opportunities to proclaim the truth?
Do you proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ to others?

3. Faithful Disciples Fear Only God - v 28

Matthew 10:28 NASB95
28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
What are you afraid of?
Does your respect for God overpower your fear of others?
Do you fear death?

4. Faithful Disciples Trust in God - vv 29-31

Matthew 10:29–31 NASB95
29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 “So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
Do you trust God to care for your needs?
How much do you worry about your needs?

5. Faithful Disciples Walk the Talk - vv 32-33

Matthew 10:32–33 NASB95
32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
Do you look for opportunities to talk about Christ with others?
Do you live the life of a faithful disciple?

6a. Faithful Disciples Deny Themselves - vv 34-37

I added 6a after your handout was printed...
Matthew 10:34–37 NASB95
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 “For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. 37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
Have you ever had to give anything up so that you could represent Christ?

6b. Faithful Disciples Carry the Cross - vv 38-39

Matthew 10:38–39 NASB95
38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
How do you carry the cross of Jesus Christ?

7. Faithful Disciples Bless Others - vv 40-42

Matthew 10:40–42 NASB95
40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 “And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
Are you able to truly bless others around you?
How do you bless others?

Conclusion

So how did you do? Are you a disciple of Christ? If you took time to score yourself, then 80 is the highest you could score. Where is it that you need to work in order to be a more faithful disciple of Christ?
Of course the very first foundational step is to accept Christ as the master of your life and begin submitting your life to God’s will. Read His word and begin to apply it to your life. Begin to study the life of Christ and try to understand how you can walk in His way.
Have you done that? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If you haven’t then I would ask you to consider that first.
In order to accept Jesus Christ, you just have to pray this prayer:
Jesus, I understand that you are God.
I believe that you came to earth and died on the cross...
...so that You could take my sins and give me a way to be forgiven by God.
I turn away from my sin, and give myself to God.
God, please forgive my sin against you. I ask you to forgive me.
Jesus I make you my Lord and I submit my life to you.
Amen
If you prayed that prayer for the very first time, then I congratulate you. You are now a disciple of Christ and a part of the family of God.
We’ll sing a song in just a few moments. I’ll be here at the front. I’d ask you to come to me and let me know that you prayed the prayer. You may also come if you have decided to unite with this church and make it your church home.
Related Media
Related Sermons