Summary: This sermon helps believers understand some of the basics of being a Christ-follower.
“DISCIPLESHIP 101” John 8:31
INTRO – Talk about disciples all the time. Know that Jesus called them from their ordinary lives to begin an extraordinary adventure with Him. Changed their lives forever as a result.
He has done the same thing w/ us. Called us from our ordinary lives to follow Him on an extraordinary adventure called the Christian life. If we will follow Him, our lives will be changed forever. This morning, when we looked at Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit filled the followers of Christ at Pentecost, we saw that their lives were changed forever. When the Holy Spirit came upon them, they lost the option to do nothing.
We, too, have lost the option to do nothing. If we are going to live an obedient life of following Christ, we must be willing to serve Him, no matter what the cost. We must live the life of a disciple – following the Master at all costs and desiring to be more like Him. “Salvation is free…but discipleship will cost you your life” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).
Are you seeking to walk as a disciple in your life right now? When you hear these verses, does something w/in you cry out in response, desiring for them to be true of you:
- Matt. 16:24-26
Here are some basic principles that will keep us on the right path as we seek to walk as His disciples today:
I. DISCIPLESHIP MEANS THAT WE WORK, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT WORKS IN US.
A. National Guard has been put on alert, called into active duty.
a. Going to do the work that they are trained and equipped to do.
b. Not going to be easy, but going in obedience to the command and b/c it’s simply the right thing to do.
B. You and I have been called into active duty.
a. The moment we gave our heart to Christ, when we were baptized by the Holy Spirit.
b. Equipped w/ the gifts necessary to work in the Body of Christ.
c. Not always easy, but we do it in obedience and b/c it’s the right thing to do.
d. As we work, the Holy Spirit works in us and through us to accomplish God’s work in the world.
e. If we don’t work, the Body of Christ suffers, we miss out on the blessing, and we will have to deal w/ the consequences of disobedience.
f. “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” – 1 Cor. 12:7
II. DISCIPLESHIP MEANS THAT WE HAVE SUPERNATURAL WEAPONS AT OUR DISPOSAL.
A. All sorts of high-tech weapons available for our military right now.
a. Smart bombs
c. Infrared equipment
d. Night vision goggles
e. M1A1 Abrams tank
f. All are most advanced of any military in the world.
B. But none of these compare to the weapons that we are available for us to use as disciples of Christ.
a. 2 Cor. 10:4-5 – “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
C. Purpose of these weapons? To make it possible for us to live a life of obedience.
a. “Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.” – 2 Cor. 10:6 MSG
b. Don’t believe the lie from the enemy that you can’t grow, or that you can’t be obedient. You can b/c God has made it possible for you to do it through providing these weapons for you.
III. DISCIPLESHIP HAS TO BE CONSTANTLY MAINTAINED AND PURSUED.
A. Our military guys are able to go at a moment’s notice b/c they are constantly training, maintaining their equipment, their state of readiness, keeping their edge sharp.
a. A slip in readiness or a lowering of the guard for even a moment can mean the difference between life and death for a soldier or for others.
B. The life of a disciple is something that needs to be pursued daily.
a. Daily Bible study
b. Daily prayer
c. Daily Scripture memory and meditation
d. Daily fellowship w/ G
e. Daily worship and service
C. And a slip in our level of spiritual readiness, a momentary lapse in our guard, and we can find ourselves in the middle of temptation and sin in an instant.
a. Recent survey in Discipleship Journal magazine – readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge for them: