Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: We are called to be students, apprentices, disciples....it involves worship, obedience, faith, sharing and imitating Jesus. The sermon includes quotes from Rick Warren The Purpose Driven Life, Dallas Willard, Divine Conspiracy & Rev. John Stott The Conte

In Jesus Holy Name June 27, 2010

Text: Luke 9:57-58 Redeemer

“Casual Discipleship…. Not an Option”

Today’s message is not about “the way to heaven”. The text before is about our “walk with Jesus”. Christian discipleship.

What is discipleship? What does it mean to “follow Jesus”? What does it mean to be a disciple?

Dallas Willard in his book “Divine Conspiracy” states: “….discipleship is real-life apprenticeship to Jesus.” If we are students of Jesus then we must be with him. If I am an apprentice, a disciple, that means I must be with him to learn from him, how to be like him.

To take an illustration from ordinary life; a child learning to multiply and divide numbers is an apprentice to his/her teacher. Children are with their teachers learning from them how to be like them. The same would be true for a student of piano, or voice, or tennis. The “being-with” by watching and hearing is an absolute necessity.

Rev. John Stott in his book The Contemporary Christian

Writes: “discipleship is a many faceted lifestyle, an amalgam of several ingredients. In particular, it includes worship, faith, obedience and hope. Every Christian is called to worship God, to trust and obey him, and to look with confident hope towards the future.” It is our duty to worship God in public and private.

Rick Warren states: “You were created to be like Jesus. This is your destiny. From the very beginning, God’s plan was to create human beings to reflect His image. God announced his intention at Creation: “Then God said, “let us make mankind in our image and likeness.”

The bible tells us that all people, not just believers, possess part of the image of God; that is why murder and abortion are wrong. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the exact “likeness of God, the visible image of the invisible God.”

The bible tells us that “God is love.” The Greek word is “Agape”. It was this image of “agape, selfless love” that was lost when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Adam and Eve fell for Satan’s oldest lie…. “you will not die you will be like God.” Many religions and New Age philosophies still promote this old lie that we are divine or can become gods. When Adam and Eve broke God’s law….Selfishness replaced selflessness in the human heart. This image of God in which all human beings were created has been distorted by sin.

Jesus came to redeem humanity. He took humanity’s place on the cross and canceled the punishment we deserved, taking upon himself God’s wrath against sin. This is “Objective justification”. When we place our faith in Jesus then God transfers to us all of the holiness and righteousness of Jesus…..that is called ‘subjective justification.’

As we have noted over the past two weeks Christianity is more than “just forgiveness”… We are called to “follow” Jesus. We are invited to be a disciple, to be an apprentice. Jesus calls his disciples to a life of obedience. But how can we obey him, unless we know his will and commandments which guide our behavior, or character.

Luke writes:

“As they were walking along, a man came up to Jesus and said: “I will follow you where ever you would go.” The first “would be” disciple offers to follow Jesus. Jesus’ response is a warning … “You do not know what you are doing.” … for he is on his way to the cross. His whole life is summed up in the Apostle’s Creed by the word “suffered”. “Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but I have no place to lay my head.” In other words….there is no safe place. Are you really ready for that kind of life? Fred Danker in his commentary writes: “Association with Jesus is not a popularity contest.”

Maybe this man saw the miracles, observed the adulation that came with association with Jesus. Maybe he thought that if he followed Jesus he would have perfect health, a comfortable lifestyle, constant happiness, instant relief from problems…. Maybe this is still what many Christians believe when they hear the promise of Jesus and his offer of the “abundant life.”

Remember earth is not heaven. To be a disciple means to “develop the kind of character Jesus describes in the beatitudes. It is what Paul describes in Galatians. “the fruit of the Spirit is Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.”

That’s why Jesus says: “Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but I have no place to lay my head.” There is no job security. Are you really ready to be a disciple?

The second would-be disciple wants to bury his father before he starts to follow. He is bound to Jewish law.... “In Jewish society, burial took precedence over all other religious duties. To leave it undone, would be an unthinkable offense.” (The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer, p. 60-61) My guess is that his Father is not dead but still alive; for if his father were dead, he’d already be home making arrangements. The Jewish law becomes the barrier between Jesus and the man. He wants to put his discipleship off to a later time.

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