Summary: This is the third sermon in a series on Discipleship. This message is about tsome essential aspects of a Disciple’s Character.
Character of a Disciple
Matthew 28:16-20, Pastor Brad Rigney
A. The subject matter today is one that I consider to be most important. It is that of being a Disciple of Jesus.
We often think that Jesus’ only responsibility was to come and Die on the Cross in order to provide salvation for all people.
It is true that He did come to pay for our sins. But He also had another primary responsibility: It was to Train Disciples who could Make more Disciples to follow and serve Him!
John 17:4; Jesus prayed to the Father and said, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”
What was that work? He hadn’t yet been arrested or crucified.
That work had to do with Jesus Making and Training Disciples to carry on the ministry to Make More Disciples after Jesus ascends back to the Father.
So Jesus in our Passage today records the last teaching of Jesus in Matthew – to Go and Make Disciple.
B. That is why this is so important and why we have learned:
That Jesus has Called us to be His Disciples, Luke 5 (to follow Him no matter what; to surrender to and exalt Him; to Partner with Others; and to Make the Work of His Kingdom – to become fishers of Men).
Convictions of a Disciple, 2Tim. 1:3-14. Where our Belief leads to Conviction which forces us to Act. As Disciples we need Convictions to Live by the Word of God (John 8:31-32); to Live with Love (John 13:35); and to Live with Purpose – to Grow in our Faith and Share our Faith with others (John 15:8 to bear much fruit).
C. Today we want to learn about the CHARACTER of a Disciple.
Laurence Stern, 18th Cent. Pastor said this: “The great end of all religion (of being a Christian, a Disciple)… is to purify our hearts – and conquer our passions – and in a word, to make us wise and better men (people) – better neighbours – better citizens – and better servants of God.”
So our Faith is to give us Character! Character is about: living our lives better according to our beliefs and convictions!
Jesus wants us, His Disciples to live with CHARACTER!
President Abe Lincoln said, “character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
You see Character is who we are and living according to what we claim we are and believe! It is the Real YOU!
D. So as we look to our passage in Matthew, what do we learn about the Character of a Disciple?
A. A Disciple’s Character is Marked through Baptism, vs. 19
Baptidzo = means to be immersed.
Are you Baptized in to Christ?
Are you living your life as one Baptized into Christ?
Would you like to be Baptized?
B. A Disciple’s Character is Living in Obedience to the Lord, vs. 20a
Jesus loves us – we are saved by Grace – but our Response to the Lord is to live like Him (and Jesus was always and completely Obedient to the Father John 15:10), and to Live according to His Commands.
The Lord has the best plan for our lives and always wants the best for us. So His commands are to protect us and help us to life to fullest.
Obedience doesn’t earn s salvation but is a response of our Salvation and commitment to Him.
Scripture clearly teaches us that Obedience is associated with our Love for the Lord, John 15:9-10.
Partial Obedience is really not Obedience!
So how are you living in Obedience to the Lord?
What are some things in your life that you know the Lord is calling you to Obey? Will you?
C. A Disciple’s Character is Committed to Making Disciples, vs. 18
1. Go – to those who need the Lord. We so often reverse this command of the Lord by calling people to “Come”.
2. Establish them in Christ, i.e. believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; Confess Jesus as Lord – Rom. 10:9-10
3. Teach them to Obey all that the Lord has commanded you, vs. 20a
4. Setting an example of priority to Make Disciples.
How are you involved in the Ministry of Making Disciples? It is something that the Lord calls us as His Disciples to do.
There are plenty of areas where you can be of service to make Disciples:
Discipleship Classes – teach, assist, etc.
Youth Group – especially men.
Seeking ways to invite your neighbors or co-workers to church to a Bible Study at work, in your house, etc.
Pray for people who need the Lord.