Sermon Notes: Disciple – kDsc

Matthew 28:19-20; Matthew 7:21-27; John 15

KDSC: Disciple

Jon Tyson said that if we don’t believe our faith should be part of our public lives and our workplaces, and if we are hesitant to speak about Jesus and his rightful rule over all things in our workplaces without reservation or fear, and if we seem more concerned with strategies for not offending people, then we have been discipled by the world not the kingdom of God. 

Without question, we are either disciples of Jesus’ kingdom or disciples of the world. 

There is no neutrality. 

Matthew 12:30 (CSB) 30 Anyone who is not with me is against me, and anyone who does not gather with me scatters.

John tells us that the world system is under the control of Satan (1 John 5:19). 

John defines Satan’s world system as having a 3-fold evil strategy: 

1 John 2:15-17 (CSB) 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.

In addition, Paul tells the Ephesians in chapter 2:1-3 that not only do we face the world system, but we also have a 3-fold systemic evil at work with 1) the world, 2) the Devil, and 3) the flesh that we have to combat. 

(NOTE: Satan often does things in 3’s because he can’t help but be able to imitate what the Triune God has done. He can’t create from nothing. He can only ruin and offer a ruinous version.)

We have all of these dark systems of the dark kingdom working to make disciples, and these dark systems stand against the kingdom of God. 

There are no neutral ideas. 

We are either gathering or scattering, and not just in regard to right and wrong. 

Inside of the people of God we are either gathering for unified mission or sowing chaos and disunity. That’s how nefarious the dark kingdom is. As Paul told the Corinthians, “we are not unaware of his schemes.” He said that to the church. 

We will either be disciples of Jesus or disciples of the world system.

The choice of who we should want to be discipled by is clear. No one wants the judgment of God. 

Yet the evil of Satan’s schemes is on display as those captive to the world joyfully choose death over the eternal life of the kingdom of God on a minute-by-minute basis every day. 

The curse leftover in our flesh is drawn to sin, and it’s a fight to put that flesh to death. 

In a very real way, that violent fight of killing sin is the initial daily skirmish of discipleship so that we can pursue as our first priority, the kingdom of God. 

Being a disciple and discipling others is a long-term investment in this fight by sowing the word of God into our own lives and the lives of others and believing God for the fruit he will bring from his word. 

Being a disciple and discipling others is NOT the short-term veneer of attendance numbers that fluctuate with the supply and demand of perceived spiritual goods and services that wax and wane with the desires of a spiritual economy and a desire to throw off the restraints of being holy. 

The church growth movement and it’s tactics have left a significant scar on local churches and had zero cultural impact in our cities and states. You can actually research that data with Barna. Attendance has actually decreased overall and many who attend just shifted to the larger entities that will provide a better widget. 

That’s not the game we play, and it’s not making disciples. 

Give us our city and the dark corners who need Jesus NOT people who want to come because we offer them more free stuff and then they go and change their pronouns later or lose their kids to DFCS. 

WHAT IF THE WHOLE CHURCH WAS THE MISSIONARY NOT A SERVICE TO BE CONSUMED? 

Disciple

Read it: Matthew 28:19-20

Let’s ask and answer three questions based on how the Bible speaks about disciples and discipleship: 

1. What is Jesus’ command in the Great Commission? 

2. What are the basic building blocks of a disciple’s life? 

3. What does discipleship look like?

NOTE: Discipleship is a deep and robust biblical topic of which entire books are written. There is no way to cover how following Jesus infects every fiber of a person’s being and everything around them. So, we’ll do our best to put some basic foundation pieces in place we can build on. 

What is Jesus’ command in the Great Commission?: Make disciples. 

  1. Jesus commands the church to make disciples of all nations.
    1. Making disciples is the command.
      1. What is a disciple?
        1. A disciple is one who has heard God’s call in the gospel and responded in faith (they heard and obeyed the call so that even becoming a Christian is a lesson in how to keep being a Christian). 
        2. A disciple is baptized after repentance and faith and thus enters the kingdom’s fellowship through membership in the local church. 
        3. A disciple is, therefore, on the life-long mission of growing up into maturity in Christ where they live and act like Jesus, hearing and obeying God’s word to make disciples of all nations. 
          1. Does Jesus tell us “how?” we are to execute the mission?
          2. HE DOES!
      2. We obey the command to make disciples by going.
        1. Jesus does not mention specifically “preaching” here, and that is not because we are to bypass preaching the good news.
          1. Jesus has preached the message as he went, and sent the disciples out to preach the good news (Luke 10:1-20), and they understand they are to preach along with the going. 
          2. Jesus gives them explicit instructions to move out and take the message that needs to be preached to all nations. 
          3. Preaching is a given, and not hard for the disciples to grasp.
            1. Why would Jesus choose to emphasize going?
              1. This might be due to man’s fallen passivity to gather and build institutional organization rather than scatter and preach the message. 
                1. Passivity can be disguised by frenetic activity in the opposite direction of what was commanded!
                  1. Passivity does not always look like laziness.
                  2. Passivity can look like building something big that distracts from the fact that the big is not doing the mission!
                  3. NOTE: I’m interested in TRC being on the tip of the spear in solving the foster/adoption crisis and mobilizing more to the nations not just rear ends in bleachers. 
                2. See Genesis 11 and Babel.
                  1. The rebellion at Babel was wanting to make a name for themselves by refusing to be scattered and thus gathering on the plane so they won’t be scattered. 
              2. This is one of the many reasons we work really hard at staying narrow and going deep in our priesthood and mission as followers of Jesus. 
              3. We want to stay on mission not just gather and build stuff that can keep us from looking “out”. 
      3. We obey the command to make disciples by baptizing those who believe.
        1. Jesus set the model for us in his baptism in public as the event launching his public ministry to fulfill all righteousness.
          1. Jesus, as our elder brother, set the example we are to walk in (Mt. 3:16; Mark 1:9; Luke 3:21; Hebrews 2).  
        2. Jesus teaches us that the initial act of discipleship is baptism. 
        3. The church in Acts baptized after people repented and believed.
          1. “Baptism is a church’s act of affirming and portraying a believer’s union with Jesus by immersing them in water, and a believer’s act of publicly committing themselves to Jesus and his people, thereby uniting a believer to the church and marking them off from the world.” – Jonathan Leeman
          2. We baptize repentant and confessing believers who will confess Jesus as Lord and turn from sin with the power and help of the Holy Spirit and be united to the local church. 
          3. Baptism rightly administered is one of the ways the local church keeps its salty and light-filled witness in the world.
            1. This is one of the reasons we baptize at the creek by the roadside (in addition to the fact we don’t have a baptistry). 😀
      4. We obey the command to make disciples by teaching those who believe all of God’s word. (Going/Baptizing/Teaching)
        1. Discipleship is now the life-long pursuit of hearing and obeying God’s word with the local church unified on mission. 

What are the basic building blocks of a disciple’s life?: Hear and obey God’s word.

  1. Matthew 7:24-27 (CSB) 24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash.”
    1. Who is the first “everyone” in verse 24?
      1. The “everyone” happens to be all who repent of sin and follow after Jesus in all the ways and the model he gives us in the Sermon on the Mount. 
    2. These Disciples hear God’s word.
      1. Personal reading and study with the Holy Spirit as our guide.
      2. Fellowship with the local church.
        1. Engage in appropriate ministries. 
        2. Engage in small groups. 
        3. Engage in discipleship relationships.   
    3. Disciples obey God’s word.
      1. Disciples focus as much time on obeying God’s word as learning new information. 
    4. Disciples believe in and exercise their priesthood before God with each other.  

What does discipleship look like?: Abide.

  1. The word “disciple” is expressed in the New Testament with the word “mathetes”, and it means “one who follows”.
    1. The word “discipleship” does not occur in the New Testament.
      1. The word “akolouthein”, which means to follow, is frequently used in the New Testament as a specialized term for following Jesus, and characterizes the life of a disciple (Matthew 8:19; Matthew 19:21; Luke 9:61; John 8:12; John 10:4).
        1. We could truly spend the next 10 years unpacking all of what it means to follow Jesus.
          1. Following Jesus, that’s the Christian life. 
        2. What can we put as a heading over the Christian life to help us capture all of that goodness of following Jesus and give us a beginning place to work from?
  2. John 15:1-8 (ESV – “Abide” : CSB – “Remain”; The word “menno” means to dwell, abide, or remain in a location)
    1. Jesus teaches us that when we keep ourselves rooted in him, we produce the fruit of his kingdom and prove we are truly his disciples. 
    2. Abide in Jesus, and let his Spirit produce the fruit of discipleship.
      1. What does this look like? How do we do this?
      2. The rest of John 15:1-8 tells us.
        1. Believe Jesus is the source of our life. 15:1
          1. We do what we really believe at the soul level. 
          2. If you believe Jesus is the source of life, you will default to Jesus.
            1. If you don’t you will default to what you believe really gives you life. 
          3. When you believe Jesus is the source, you will find all your best ways to keep close to Jesus. 
        2. Believe the Father is the caretaker of the Vine and it matters who and what is growing from the Vine and receive pruning from the good Father so we can be more fruitful. 15:1
          1. Expect that God the Father will sanctify/prune you. Receive it. 
        3. Spend time with the Holy Spirit in God’s word as a priority. 15:7
          1. Acknowledge God’s presence as you begin prayer and Bible reading. 
          2. Don’t be weird with God. Be relational. 
        4. Expect the fruit of the Spirit and practice the fruit of the Spirit. 15:5
        5. Pray. 15:7
          1. Prayer, Bible study, and fruit production go together.
        6. Live in the vine with all the other branches. 15:5
          1. “You (plural) are the branches.” 
          2. This has to be a priority.
          3. Know for certain the world will disciple you away from fellowship with like-minded people. 
        7. Worship God the Father and give him the glory for his work of grace in us. 15:8

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