Summary: Steps to maturity in Christ begin with being in Christ.
18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Discipleship in terms of 4 major goals
The first two - relate to state of being
The last two - relate to doing
The first state of being or goal is membership
- its the state being IN CHRIST
17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
we want people to become new people
members of God’s household - family
members of God’s Eternal Kingdom
members of God’s Church - The Body of Christ - IN Christ
They begin the journey of being a disciple -
How - through repentance and faith
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Its important to note that --- FIRST something happens on the inside
inside a person - in his heart - his soul - he beleives and is committed to Jesus Christ
9that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
AFTER something happens on the inside
THEN we see something on the outside
THAT something is -- repentance and faith - - profession of Christ as Lord and Savior
That’s why in a Baptist church if you’re not willing to make a public profession of your faith in Jesus - by being baptised as a believer -- you won’t be accepted as a member - you can attend all you want - but not recognized as a member
How do we get people to this state of being?
we meet them where they are and tell them what God has done for us
There is another state of being that we want to reach.
The state of being MATURE Believers
"Fully Devoted Followers Of Christ"
"teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you"
When a believer begins to move on toward maturity and becoming a "Fully devoted follower of Christ",
this is what we see
They are faithful attending church -
- they love God’s people - the love to worship - they love to hear the word of God (this is NOT going to church because I feel like I have to)
34“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
14For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
They Give Faithfully and CHEERFULLY
6Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 9as it is written,