Faithlife Sermons

What Is A Disciple?

One Hour Theology  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Welcome and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers.
I received a pleasant call from my Mom this week.
When I answered, she said, “I meant to hit send, but I hit call instead.”
That was a nice way to start the day off.
So, Happy Mother’s day.
We are in the second week of a three week series on “One Hour Theology”.
I got the idea for the series from a book titled the same by David Putman.
Last week our topic was “What is the Gospel?”
The answer was the good news announcement that God did for us in Christ what we could not do for ourselves in that He has redeemed us, He is renewing us, and He will ultimately restore all of His Creation.
We discovered that God through the gospel has redeemed us from our sin, renewing us as we grow in our faith, and one day we will be restored as God restores creation.

What is a Disciple?

After you embrace the gospel, you are a disciple or rather a gospel disciple.
A gospel disciple is a follower of Jesus that is learning to live out the realities and implications of the gospel by living like Jesus, loving like Jesus, and leaving what Jesus left behind.
As a disciple, we want to follow Jesus as we see Him at work, when we hear his voice, discern His will, and obey Him.
He is our teacher and guide.
He uses His Spirit, His word and our experiences to guide us.
We follow Him by learning to live like Him, loving like Him, and leaving what He left behind.

Live Like Jesus

The first question to answer is “How did Jesus live?’
He first of all lived a life in humility by surrendering His life to the Father’s will.
He came as a servant not to be served as royalty, but looked out for others.
Philippians 2:5-8 gives us a glimpse at Jesus’ life of humility.
“Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross.”
In these verses, we see Jesus who is experiencing all the glory of being equal with God the Father in heaven, leave there to come to the earth in the form of a man, human, one He created, ultimately to dying on the cross, the most humiliating way for one to die.
He life divinity to become a human in the very likeness of a servant.
He chose to be obedient to the humiliating form of death.
That is how we are called to follow Jesus and live like Him.
Verse 2, Paul says, “Have ( adopt ) this same attitude as that of Jesus..”
Our mindset must go from putting us first to putting God first and following His will for our lives wherever it may lead us.
So what does that look like?
In the context of the gospel of grace, that God did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves by redeeming us, transforming us, and restoring our relationship with Him, it means a little less of me and a little more of Jesus each day.
John the Baptist told his disciples that “Jesus must increase and I decrease.” John 3:30
That’s the attitude we should have daily.
We must remember that there’s nothing I can do to add to the completed work of Christ in me.
As a disciple, I am a student, an apprentice, and a learner.
Each day I’m discovering more of Him through the gospel as practice the spiritual disciplines of a quiet time, prayer, worship, evangelism, etc.
As I discover more that means I need less of me.
Then like John the Baptist, we can say I am continually decreasing as Jesus is increases.
This kind of life will be full of ups and downs, like on a hike in the mountains, you get to the summit and realize you have to go down into a valley them back up to a higher ridge before you get to the top.
This kind of transformation is not a legalistic standard or behavior modification, but a lifelong journey of following Jesus and letting Him transform us into His image.
As a kid, I always wanted to be like my dad.
I worked at it often, trying to think how would Daddy do this, or what would he think, how would he respond.
Just this week, as I watching some of the videos of previous messages, I looked and saw not me, but my Dad.
I saw his face in mine, his mannerisms in mine, the way he talked compared to the way I was talking.
It really shook me up because I haven’t thought about that much since he passed away 4 years ago.
I want to do that for Jesus in my life, get to the point where I look like Him, speak like Him, have His thoughts and actions.

Love Like Jesus

As we begin to live like Jesus, we will begin to love like Him.
When the mind Christ takes over our minds, then we will see people as He sees.
As sheep without a shepherd and will want to love them into the fold.
In fact, Jesus when asked what is the greatest commandment said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
The context of this answer was crucial in the religious culture of Jesus’ time.
The Jewish law contained the 10 commandments and 613 other laws.
In addition to those laws, the Pharisees and teachers of the laws had added many more.
These laws and traditions place a heavy burden on the people to live rightly - they couldn’t do it.
This is why Jesus said to them, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
He came to show them a new way to live.
The way of love, to ease their burden he pointed out that all the commands, laws, all summed up in “Love God and love others.”
How, then, do we love like Jesus?
Just look at the cross to see the ultimate act of love.
But let’s face it, the cross can be a challenge to grasp.
Luke 7:36-50 Story of woman forgiven much and kissing him and anoints him with perfume.
Tell story
She love Jesus because He loved her, a prostitute likely, cared for her and forgave her.
We need to love like that.
Love is a response of the heart that is so powerful; it always costs the one extending it something precious yet they give it willingly.
That’s what it means to love like Jesus loved.
The woman gave all that she had.
This type of love as seen by many is impractical, but calls for a practical response that we can express horizontally.
That may be the reason it costs so much.
It’s and impractical response to a practical situation.
That’s the Jesus way.
Another example is when in the sermon on the mount Jesus tells us to love our enemies.
There’s nothing practical about that, but Jesus wants us to take this impractical kind of love and apply it in very practical ways.
Like turning the other cheek, or going the extra mile.
It goes way beyond an emotional attachment, but expresses love in practical ways.

Leave What Jesus Left Behind

We are to live like Jesus, love like Jesus and now we are leave what Jesus left behind.
What is that?
Is leaving a life occupation to follow him like Peter, James and John?
Is it leaving behind family like he told one would follower?
Is leaving behind all you wealth like he told the rich young ruler?
In some aspects that type of commitment of being willing to give it all up for Him is admirable.
But is that what I mean here?
What did Jesus leave behind?
Let’s look at Mark 3:13-19, “Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, to send them out to preach, and to have authority to drive out demons. He appointed the Twelve: To Simon, he gave the name Peter;  and to James the son of Zebedee, and to his brother John, he gave the name “Boanerges” (that is, “Sons of Thunder”); Andrew; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
It says he appointed them to apostles, but he didn’t just say your and apostle and go and teach.
No he spent time with them, in fact he spent 3 years with them.
He didn’t take them through a study course, an intense Bible study, or a twenty-six week discipleship program.
He just did life with them.
As a result of doing life with them, when it was said and done, he left 11 of the 12 disciples behind.
There were others that he taught, but these were the ones he poured His life int for nearly three years.
He left them behind in the end.
Leaving them to carry on His legacy and live out His mission.
And those did the same and that’s why we are here today.
Jesus wants those who identify with Jesus to do the same and do life with others and teach them about him.
He left them behind to learn to live out the implications and realities of the gospel by living like Him, loving like Him, and leaving what He left behind.
This type of living is what Jesus had in mind when he told His disciples, “ Who ever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Gather may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:14
Jesus chose twelve, and we are here today because eleven of them were faithful to this disciple-making process. 
When are faithful to following Jesus, there is no limit to what God can do through me.
All we need is to be faithful with the few people God has placed in my life, and pour into them. 
Jesus lived for a mere thirty-three years, and by pouring His life into eleven disciples that ultimately started a movement that is still growing.

Be a Disciple of Jesus

So the gospel is the good news through Jesus we can be redeemed from our sins, forgiven, and restored to God’s design from the beginning.
But it doesn’t stop there, we need to be a disciple or follower by living like Jesus, loving like Jesus, and leaving behind what He left behind - disciples.
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