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The Call of Discipleship | Romans 1:8–13

Romans: For the Gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Paul’s Mission was to make Disciples

Colossians 1:28–29 ESV
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
Paul understood that he had received from Christ the great mission to go and make disciples.
This is the mission of the church
“Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Disciples KNOW Christ Jesus

First true disciples Know Christ Jesus. Notice what Paul says in our text.
Romans 1:8 ESV
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.
Notice he calls God, my God. A true disciple of Christ realizes who God is. God is my God.
True disciples know Christ Jesus personally.
In Mark 1, we find Jesus beginning his ministry. In vv 9-13, we find his baptism and temptation. And in v. 14-20 we find the beginning of his earthly ministry.
Mark 1:15–17 ESV
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
Notice we find the first aspect of a disciple:
Repentance and allegiance to Christ.
All disciples are first followers of Christ Jesus.
“To be a disciple is to be committed to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and committed to following Him every day. To be a disciple is also to be disciplined in our bodies, minds, and souls.” Billy Graham

Disciples GROW in Christ Jesus

Paul not only desires that they know Christ. That’s not enough for Paul. His desire is that they grow in Christ too.
Romans 1:11 ESV
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—
Paul wanted to meet the Romans so that he could help them grow in Christ.
True disciples Grow.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
We’ve all heard this verse before, but I want to look at one word in this text that makes all the difference. It’s one of the simplest words, one of the smallest words in the text. It’s the word “if”.
Just two letters, but the implications are staggering.
If we are in Christ, Paul says. If. That’s a conditional clause. It means that if something is true, then something else IS true. Not might be true, but is true.
“Discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be if he were you.”Dallas Willard
Ephesians 4:24 ESV
and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
True disciples study the word, pray, seek out relationships, and dig deeper to know God and grow in him.

Disciples GO for Christ Jesus

Romans 1:13 ESV
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.
Paul’s desire was not only to help them grow, but by faith in Christ that together they would “reap a harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles”.
True disciples make other disciples. One of the basics of biology is one simple truth:
Living things reproduce.
In fact, one of the definitions of death is a lack of reproduction. When our cells stop reproducing more of themselves, we are dead.
The same is true of Churches and Christians.
“Thriving churches have the Great Commission as the centerpiece of their vision, while dying churches have forgotten the clear command of Christ.” Thom S. Rainer, Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive
True disciples produce other disciples.
John 15:1–2 ESV
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
John 15:4–5 ESV
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Notice, Christ does not see reproduction as something we should do, he sees it as essential to our Christian life. Apart from him, we are thrown away like a branch and wither.
“Making disciples of Jesus is the overflow of the delight in being disciples of Jesus.” David Platt, Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live.
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