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Discipleship 101--Teaching Notes

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Discipleship 101

Intro:

One of the things that I like about teaching at the school is the flow that it provides for the year.

I think of years, not according to the Gregorian calendar, but according to the flow of events that surround the school.

August is exciting with in-service, open house and the first day of school.

September is an important month as the Jr. & Sr. go off to school camp for a week,

October is usually the month that teachers go off to Teacher’s Convention.

November is of course the month for Thanksgiving break.

December, the excitement that surrounds Christmas is also a treat.

January is the time when we are finishing what we can and preparing for Mid-Term exams.

February through March is of course known around here as purgatory, because it is the torture that you endure to get to Spring Break.

After spring break there is a final push for the last weeks to finish as much as possible before summer break.

Of course, before summer break we have the time that the seniors look forward to—GRADUATTION.

Although there are things that I do not necessarily enjoy about my job, one thing that I enjoy is the cycle of the school year.

I like it especially because I know that we are headed somewhere specific.

The first day of each school year is preparing us for the next step.

Each year prepares the student for the following year.

We do things to get kids ready for the next step in their academic lives.

Why have I taken the time to discuss this?

Pastor has spent several weeks discussing salvation and witnessing.

But after someone is saved, what is next for him?

What is it that God has for this new believer’s life?

What is the next step for him or her in the Christian life?

For the answer to this question let us turn our attention to the words spoken by Jesus:

 

Matthew 28:18-20 18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The Great Commission provides two clear objectives for the Church:

  1. Preach the Gospel—those that are saved should be baptized and brought into the flock of a local church.
  2. Make disciples

We are going to spend tonight and next week looking into the concept of making disciples.

This command, though empowered by the Holy Spirit and worked according the will of the Father, involves Christians as the human agents through which God works.

Humanly speaking, if we do not work to make disciples, then believers will not be growing in this church like God desires them to be.

INT:

How do we disciple others?

How do we become the disciplers that God wants us to be?

Notice first of all, that the discipler must. . .

1.     Be a Disciple himself.

Matthew 28:18-20 18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

EXP:

What does the term disciple mean?

It is taken from the Latin (which most resembles our word disciple), which is taken from the Greek word μαθητής which is from one of the verbs for “to learn.”

Therefore, the term disciple simply means learner.

Remember this command is given to the eleven after the resurrection of Jesus, so it is assumed that these men are all Christians at this time.

This is important because in the New Testament the term disciple is synonymous with the term Christian.  A disciple is a Christian, and a Christian is one who is following Christ, and seeking to be like Christ.

Despite whatever teachings may exist otherwise in Christianity today, there is no difference between the term disciple and Christian.

 

Why is it important that these men who are called to be disciplers be disciples/Christians themselves?

The principle that you cannot lead someone effectively to a place you have not been.

The most effective guides are the ones that have been down that path themselves before, and are now prepared to take others.

ILL:

When I played football in high school, we had three coaches.  Head coach, line coach, and receivers/backs coach.

I played line, because I wasn’t fast enough for any other position, so I got to spend a lot of time with the line coach.

Our line coach was named Bill Dawson, a guy in his early thirties at the time.  He had graduated from a Division 3 school in Ohio, and had played in a semi-pro football league in Ohio.

During practice, we learned about blocking and about open holes for the running backs to come through.

Although there is not a lot to being a linemen, there are certain things that you have to learn to do so that you can protect the quarterback.

When we were not blocking correctly, Coach Dawson would pull us out, and then step into our position (with no pads or helmet) and do our job for the next play.

Why did he do that?  Not just to show us up, but to demonstrate the proper way.

He would not have been able to demonstrate the proper way effectively, if he had not done that job before, as a linemen in college and semi-pro.

 

For our success, it was important that he had done the job before and could lead us to do the same.

REF:

Some might object and say, “Well can’t someone merely study Christian ideas and doctrines and pass that information on to others?”

Just passing on facts and details about Christianity is not discipleship.

Just as owning tools and an owner’s manual for a car does not make you a mechanic.

Someone once said, “Discipleship is not what you have learned, but what you are learning.”

A discipler is one who is a Christian and has personally experienced, and is experiencing the grace of God in his life.

APP:

The application is simple.

  • Get saved—if you are not a Christian, you cannot be a disciple, and no matter how well intentioned you may be, you can not help others until you help yourself first.
  • Start growing—as a Christian God calls us to work to grow spiritually. (Bible study, church attendance, serving in various ministries, etc.)
  • Keep growing—not what you have learned, but what you are learning.

TRN: Secondly, the discipler must also. . .

2.     Be Dedicated to making disciples.

Matthew 28:18-20 18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

Acts 1:8 8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

 

EXP:

From whence does this motivation come?

From a desire to obey the commands of the Master.

Jesus gives clear instruction for the disciples.  “Go and make disciples.”

Jesus provides an imperative, which means He is commanding them to go.

This is not an option.  “Go, if you feel like it, and along the way if you want to witness if it is convenient, and oh by the way, it would be good to make disciples, BUT ONLY if you want to.”

Jesus does not make this an option, but a clear directive for these men that were to be the first Christian disciplers.

Jesus wanted these men to pursue passionately the work He had saved them to do.

Jesus wanted these men to give it their all, reaching with every bit of effort it took to see the job accomplished.

ILL:

It completely changes your life to have a two year old in the house.

There are some many things that I enjoy about my daughter, and only the occasional thing that I dislike.

One of the things that I love to see is her sense of accomplishment.  It is exciting to watch her try and try to do something, each time getting a little closer, until eventually she is able to accomplish some new skill or task.

One such skill that she has recently achieved is opening and closing doors.

She has liked to pull doors open and swing them close for some time, but up until a couple of weeks ago she could not manipulate the door handle.  So if we wanted to keep Katelyn out, you had to push the door closed until the door latched, and then she could not get in.

This was the case until a couple of weeks ago when she finally learned how to turn the knob and open the door.

Katelyn id not learn how open the door overnight.

For months, even before she was tall enough, she would stretch her little arm and hand up toward the door handle.

Then when she was tall enough to finally reach the handle she would persistently jiggle the knob trying to figure out how mommy and daddy were able to open the door.

To succeed she gave it her all, reaching with every bit of effort it took to see the job accomplished.

Just like Jesus wanted the disciples to do. . . give it their all and have it as their consuming desire to see souls saved and discipled.

REF:

It is clear that disciples desire to make disciples of others.

Jesus commands it, but also Christians in the NT model it.

A. Paul & Barnabas â John Mark

B. Barnabas â John Mark

C. Paul â John Mark

Acts 12:12 12And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

Acts 12:25 25And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

Acts 15:37 37And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.

Colossians 4:10 10Aristarchus my fellow prisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)

2 Timothy 4:11 11Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

D. Peter â John Mark

Church tradition tells us that John Mark later spent time with the Apostle Peter.

Why so much time with John Mark?  These disciples were discipling him.

A. Paul & Silas â Timothy

B. Paul â Timothy

Acts 16:1 1Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:

Acts 17:14 14And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.

Acts 19:22 22So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.

Romans 16:21 21Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.

Acts 20:4 4And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.

1 Timothy 1:2 2Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul â Titus

Galatians 2:1 1Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

2 Corinthians 8:6 6Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.

Titus 1:4 4To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

2 Timothy 4:10 10For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

APP:

Do we have the desire?

Do we have eyes to see the potential of the young people around us?

Do we have hearts that desire to see people come to Christ and then become like Christ?

Do we have the will to work to do what it takes to disciple those around us?

Obstacles to discipling others:

  • Caring only for our own needs—eyes on self means eyes off of others.
  • Concern for the cares of this world
  • Consumed with personal comfort

TRN: Lastly, the discipler must also. . .

  1. Be Drawing individuals closer to Christ

 

Matthew 28:18-20 18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

EXP:

The mission of the disciples was not to make men more like them, but to help them become more like Christ.

Discipleship was never intended to merely build closer relationships with the apostles, but with the One whom they represent.

That means people were drawn closer to Jesus, as they grew closer to Peter.

People drew closer to Jesus, as they drew closer to John the Apostle.

ILL:

Weddings.  How many like to be in someone else’s wedding.

I had the opportunity to be in a wedding, a groomsman for some friends of Michelle and mine.  Actually this a couple that I worked with the woman and Ohio, witnessed to, and eventually led to the Lord.

They were living together at the time they got saved, and it was great to see how the Lord began changing them.

They had a wedding at a beautiful location.

The main problem with the location was that it was period authentic, which meant NO AIR CONDITIONING!

I was hot, miserable, just waniting this thing to end—BUT I HAD TO KEEP TELLING MYSELF, it was NOT about me.  It was about my friends and their special day.

I could not allow the focus to be on me, standing there sweating to death, the focus was to be on them.

REF:

The danger in discipleship is to have people grow close to a personality and not closer to God.

John the Baptist understood this danger and addressed this very thing with his disciples.

John 3:27-30 27John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 28Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. 29He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. 30He must increase, but I must decrease.

APP:

 

As we disciple, we must always keep the focus on Christ.

We do this by:

  • Keeping people in His Word—not our steps to spiritual success, but His Word
  • Keeping people involved in His Church—home studies can be nice, but the church is the local body, not our home.

CONCLUSION:

We have a friend and family day coming up in about three weeks.

Perhaps the Lord will bless and you will see some of your unsaved friends and family saved.

What is the next step for them?

Will you help them grow in their Christian life?  Will you take the Biblical responsibility of helping to disciple them?

If so, remember:

  1. Discipleship is only done by Disciples of Christ
  2. Disciplers are driven by a desire to see people discipled
  3. Disciplers always point people to Jesus

Will you be a discipler tonight?

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