Introduction

  1. Text: Mt. 28:19.
  2. The church in Antioch was made up of “disciples” – Ac. 11:25,26.
  3. “Discipleship” is a serious word — involving a serious level of commitment.
  4. But “discipleship” is not a word we use very much in everyday conversation.
  5. So what is involved in discipleship? What do disciples do?

I. Follow Their Master

  1. The invitation of the gospel is to “follow” Christ. Cf. Mt. 4:19; Jn. 12:26.
    1. When we agree to be disciples, we don’t know exactly where our Master will lead us!
    2. The Lord asks us, in effect, to sign a blank contract: we first make the commitment — and then He begins to reveal what will actually be involved in keeping the commitment.
    3. Our commitment to follow Christ must be unconditional. Our “contract” with the Lord must have “no strings attached” to it — we must follow wherever He leads us.
    4. We would never do this, of course, if we didn’t have good reason to believe that He can be trusted. This is the very essence of faith!
  2. To follow Christ, some choices have to be made.
    1. It is impossible to follow Christ and still go wherever we were previously going.
    2. We can’t have it both ways — we must “deny” self – Mt. 16:24.

II. Study Their Master’s Teaching

  1. Jesus’ invitation is one which says, “Learn from me” (Mt. 11:28-30).
  2. A disciple is a student, a learner — learning is at the very heart of discipleship.
  3. There is no way around the fact that learning requires studying. Some serious work is involved in discipleship.
  4. What we are to learn is not merely a body of information, but Christ Himself – Phil 3:8. Cf. Jer. 9:23,24.

III. Obey Their Master

  1. New disciples were to be taught “to observe all things that I [Jesus] have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19,20). Cf. Rom. 6:16.
  2. Obedience to Christ is not a negative concept. To obey such a benevolent master is a privilege – Psa. 40:8.
  3. Jesus Christ is the “source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Heb. 5:8,9).

IV. Imitate Their Master

  1. In ancient times a disciple imitated his master — sometimes even living with him and adopting his manner of life.
  2. In an even deeper way, we are to imitate Christ, patterning ourselves after Him – 1 Pt. 2:21; 1 Jn. 2:6. Cf. Eph. 5:1.
    1. Jesus’ example is the pattern that we must go by – Jn. 13:15.
    2. To be “like Christ” (even when He is despised and rejected) should be our highest aim – Mt. 10:24,25.
  3. Our own lives as disciples are to be worthy of imitation – 1 Cor. 11:1.

V. Discipline Themselves

  1. We can easily see the kinship of the words “disciple” and “discipline.”
    1. In its most basic sense, discipline means being “trained to follow.”
    2. A “disciple” is one who has been “disciplined” (trained) to follow Christ – 1 Cor. 9:27.
  2. Discipleship without discipline is unthinkable.
  3. The purpose of external discipline is to promote self-discipline – Col. 1:28.

Conclusion

  1. To follow Christ as a disciple involves sacrifice — the bearing of our own cross – Lk. 9:23.
    1. Have we counted the cost of real discipleship? Cf. Lk. 14:27-30.
    2. But have we also counted the cost of non-discipleship? Cf. Mt. 16:26.
  2. The decision whether to become a disciple of Jesus Christ is the most important decision that any of us will ever make.
    1. Have you never been baptized into Christ’s death and become a disciple of His?
    2. Or have you, at some time in the past, gone through the motions of becoming a “member of the church,” but you have never really decided to become a disciple of Jesus Christ?
  3. In either case, why not now?

Gary Henry – WordPoints.com

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