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Summary: Jesus made it clear that true disciples forsake all to follow him.

Putting on a uniform does not make you a soldier. Qualifications are made clear for soldiers.

Kevin Ammerman of Indiana was determined to join the military, but at 351 pounds he was turned down from each branch because he was ‘too big.’ He lost 160 pounds, met the requirements and completed basic training in the Army! (Reported by Meena Hart Duerson, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Monday, October 8, 2012).

Putting on a uniform does not make you a soldier.

Sitting in a church does not make you a Christian.

Jesus clearly defined what it meant to be one of his disciples... and those who were not.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26, ESV)

Christ as Lord.

THREE GOALS for this sermon

1- See the greatness of a God who is worthy of our exclusive worship.

2- Properly understand what it means to be one of Jesus’ Disciples.

3. Evaluate our own relationship with Christ.

I. What Does it Mean to be Christ’s Disciple? (Jesus said that if you do not put him above all else, "you cannot be my disciple," Luke 14:26)

A. A disciple is a Christian

1. Kinds of disciples in the New Testament.

a. "the disciples of Moses" (John 9:28),

b. "the disciples of the Pharisees" (Matt. 22:16)

c. "the disciples of John" (Luke 7:18)

2. We sometimes act as if “discipleship” is an option for more committed believers.

3. But a disciple is a Christian.

4. Aubrey Malphurs writes, The Bible teaches that a disciple is not necessarily a Christian who has made a deeper commitment to the Savior but simply a Christian. Committed Christians are committed disciples. Uncommitted Christians are uncommitted disciples

B. How do we become a disciple?

1. Jesus repeatedly tells us to “believe in him”

a. (John 2:11, ESV) “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.”

b. (John 8:31, ESV)“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,”

c. (John 11:25–26, ESV) “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?””

C. “Disciple” gives way to “Christian” and other descriptions in Acts/ Epistles

1. The exact point in this change is marked in Acts 11:26. “disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”

2. RYRIE: “this may be because a disciple was expected to physically follow his teacher wherever he went, and this meant leaving his family and occupation so as to be able to be with that teacher all the time. After Christ’s resurrection and ascension, this aspect of discipleship was impossible, so the word was used less frequently in the book of Acts, and not at all in the gospels.” (Charles Ryrie, “So Great Salvation,” 104-5).

3. Larry Richards: Change in terminology emphasizes that we are disciples of JESUS, not disciples of Paul, Appolos, Peter or Timothy.

So... in Luke 14:26, Jesus is telling us what a true disciple looks like. “Leaving father and mother” is repeated in other passages. Together, they give us the Characteristics of True Faith.

II. FOUR CHARACTERISTICS of TRUE FAITH. True faith worships CHRIST ALONE. There is no room for Jesus as one of many gods. COMPARE (Luke 14:26; Matt 10:37-39; Matt 16:24)

A. A disciples is willing to leave father and mother.

1. Our love for family is filtered through Christ.

2. Even if family does not agree, I will serve Christ!

3. “Hence, even what should be the best and closest of human relationships, in the family, ought never stand in the way of serving God.” Craig Blomberg, Matthew, vol. 22, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 181.

4. What about the Christian family? Christ is not abrogating the Law, but rather pointing out that our relationship with others are secondary to our relationship with him. Christ would never command us to act in an unloving manner toward our parents.

a. ““Honor your father and mother”(Ephesians 6:1–4)

b. “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8, ESV)

B. Denying Self.

1. The opposite of Satan who says, “indulge yourself”

2. Self denial is not self-hatred. It is the restraint of our will so that we can do God’s will.

3. “Self-denial is a real sacrifice of self-interest...to glorify God, and do good to others.” Charles Finney, 1841. http://www.gospeltruth.net/1841OE/410317_self_denial.htm

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