- Text: Mt. 28:19.
- The church in Antioch was made up of “disciples” — Ac. 11:25,26.
- “Discipleship” is a serious word — involving a serious level of commitment.
- But “discipleship” is not a word we use very much in everyday conversation.
- So what is involved in discipleship? What do disciples do?
I. Follow Their Master
- The invitation of the gospel is to “follow” Christ. Cf. Mt. 4:19; Jn. 12:26.
- When we agree to be disciples, we don’t know exactly where our Master will lead us!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- To follow Christ, some choices have to be made.
- It is impossible to follow Christ and still go wherever we were previously going.
- We can’t have it both ways — we must “deny” self — Mt. 16:24.
II. Study Their Master’s Teaching
- Jesus’ invitation is one which says, “Learn from me” (Mt. 11:28–30).
- A disciple is a student, a learner — learning is at the very heart of discipleship.
- There is no way around the fact that learning requires studying. Some serious work is involved in discipleship.
- 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
- New disciples were to be taught “to observe all things that I [Jesus] have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19,20). Cf. Rom. 6:16.
- Obedience to Christ is not a negative concept. To obey such a benevolent master is a privilege — Psa. 40:8.
- Jesus Christ is the “source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Heb. 5:8,9).
IV. Imitate Their Master
- In ancient times a disciple imitated his master — sometimes even living with him and adopting his manner of life.
- 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.
- Jesus’ example is the pattern that we must go by — Jn. 13:15.
- To be “like Christ” (even when He is despised and rejected) should be our highest aim — Mt. 10:24,25.
- Our own lives as disciples are to be worthy of imitation — 1 Cor. 11:1.
V. Discipline Themselves
- We can easily see the kinship of the words “disciple” and “discipline.”
- In its most basic sense, discipline means being “trained to follow.”
- A “disciple” is one who has been “disciplined” (trained) to follow Christ — 1 Cor. 9:27.
- Discipleship without discipline is unthinkable.
- The purpose of external discipline is to promote self-discipline — Col. 1:28.
- To follow Christ as a disciple involves sacrifice — the bearing of our own cross — Lk. 9:23.
- Have we counted the cost of real discipleship? Cf. Lk. 14:27–30.
- But have we also counted the cost of non-discipleship? Cf. Mt. 16:26.
- The decision whether to become a disciple of Jesus Christ is the most important decision that any of us will ever make.
- Have you never been baptized into Christ’s death and become a disciple of His?
- 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?
- In either case, why not now?
Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com