Faithlife Sermons

Characteristics of a Disciple

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The Six Characteristics of a Disciple of Jesus Christ

Spiritual Enthusiasm

Ezekiel 36:25–27 NASB95
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
Ephesians 5:18–20 NASB95
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
Galatians 5:22–25 NASB95
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 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
1 John 5:7–12 NASB95
7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. 11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
Apollos had life and it was fully on display. The life he had was given to him by God in the power and work of the Holy Spirit. He was filled, being controlled by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit moved Apollos to testify of the One who sent the Holy Spirit and the Only way to Heaven, Jesus Christ. This is the first characteristic of a disciple because we cant be a disciple without the Holy Spirit. The second characteristic follows because the Spirit is the One who does this, Driven.

Christ-Centered

It really goes without saying doesn’t it. Look with me at the middle portion of verse 25, “he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus.” Apollos was a teacher as you can see here and he was an encourager . As Apollos traveled through Ephesus he would speak and teach accurately concerning Jesus both to the Christians and to the non believers as well. Notice his teaching was Jesus. He understood how the Scripture pointed to Jesus and since he was trained in the Scriptures and was being driven by the Holy Spirit, he was able to explain from the Scripture accurately who Jesus is.
He understood Scripture that pointed to Jesus as the Messiah and he understood people need to repent for Jesus was ushering the Kingdom of God. He knew people needed to trust in Jesus, and because he held to the authority and sufficiency of Scripture he believed who Jesus was and was able to tell people about him.
He didn’t use tradition or culture to teach and speak about God or the Way. See there is one thing we need to understand about tradition and culture, they change and they shift continually. As generation grow up they add a little something new to the tradition of their parents who have already added a little to the tradition of their grandparents and so on. Traditions might be fun and help to hold to the passed but they aren’t stable, they aren’t constant, they aren’t authoritative. The only constant and they only authority we have in this world is the Bible. If you are a disciple of Christ, then you believe and trust in the inspiration and the authority of Scripture. If you are a true disciple of Christ your believe God wrote the Bible through man. Being a disciple of Christ means you look at everything in the world through the lens of God’s Word.
Apollos was instructed not only in the Old Testament and understood how the Old Testament pointed to Jesus, he also knew and understood Jesus’ ministry. He was instructed on repentance, and the Kingdom. Jesus’ preaching ministry along with the healings. He was more then likely told of Jesus death, burial and resurrection. It was an accurate representation of Jesus from the Scriptures and even the Scriptures that had not been written yet.
He didn’t allow culture and tradition to influence his understanding but he centered himself on Christ and enthusiastically told others about Jesus. Being a disciple of Christ what informs you perspective on the world and your own life. What is the authority over what you think and believe and what your say to other people. Do you listen to the culture, do you listen to the news, which at this point is pretty much just opinion. Are you worried about the world your children are going to grow up in? Or do you trust that God has everything under control and His word teaches the world is going to become worse and we need to learn how to trust God, we need to stop worrying about what tomorrow will bring and trust Christ has it all under control. Our thoughts and our speech and our teaching all needs to be derived from Scripture and Centered on Jesus.
First of all you can trust His Word as authoritative and sufficient, meaning His Word is all you need for faith and practice.
Proverbs 30:5–6 NASB95
5 Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6 Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.
Moses warned the nation of Israel to keep the word of God because it is all you need for life and practice.
Deuteronomy 4:1–2 NASB95
1 “Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2 “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
Look at what Paul tells Timothy;
2 Timothy 3:14–17 NASB95
14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
1 Peter 1:10–16 NASB95
10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. 13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Romans 14:7–8 NASB95
7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
2 Corinthians 5:13–21 NASB95
13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Do you want to know something, here is one excuse people love to say when it comes to not giving the gospel, they are afraid they don’t know what to say or know enough of the Scripture. Check this out about Apollos, in the last part of verse 25, “being acquainted only with the baptism of John;” He relied on the authority of Scripture and it’s sufficiency but he didn’t know everything. There was somethings missing but notice how effective he was at proclaiming Christ and what he proclaimed was accurate because what he proclaimed came from Scripture. You don’t need to know everything the Scripture teaches to give the gospel, you don’t need to be eloquent to present the truth. You just need to trust it as authoritative and point to Christ as the Center of Scripture and the Center of your own life. He is truth and He is our hope.
Who is the center of your world, what dictates your way of thinking? Do you consider yourself a disciple of Christ? If so is it visible in your excitement and enthusiasm to learn and to grow? Do others see it, if not why? Apollos was a man who was Christ centered and enthusiastic about it even though he only had partial knowledge, what an example for all of us, if you are a disciple of Christ wear it as a badge of honor and let others see it and hear it in you.
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