Summary: Making disciples is enlarging the church.
1. Few Disciples—11 v. 16
2. Guards’ Report about Jesus’ resurrection
3. Rising number of enemies of the gospel
For the church to enlarge the …
I. DISCIPLES ARE WITNESSING TO POTENTIAL DISCIPLES, 19 (Acts 1:8)
“Make disciples of every nation.”
This process targets the numerical expansion or growth of the church.
A. Cover here and there
B. Convert listeners to believers (though not all will be converted, we must try all our best to convert our listeners through the word of God.)
Illustration: (EVERY PERSON IS A POTENTIAL DISCIPLE. Regardless of race and color of skin. PARABLE OF THE SOIL. Fish in every rice field.)
II. DISCIPLES ARE TEACHING THE CONFESSING DISCIPLES, 20
“Teaching them to obey”(Two Greatest Commandments—Matthew 22:36-40)
This second process targets spiritual growth of the members of the church.
A. Lovers of God
B. Lovers of Men
But before we go out to witness and teach others, let us consider how the first church in Jerusalem acted on the Great Commission. (Biblical Model: Church of the First Century)
A. Solidified their ranks (Acts 1)
They gathered together, prayed, fellowshipped with one another worshiped and studied the Word of God. They strengthened each other by tightened-up their ranks. They replaced missing link—Matthias for Judas.
Today in our time this action must be given importance, too. The Church (LJF) must get our acts together. We must clarify our mission in this community and beyond as a church. We must set goals by sitting together and making plans. Identify our targets (people) and methods to be used (On June 11, 2006, we will be discussing this area with the message entitled, “Discipleship In Context”).
B. Waited for God’s empowerment (Acts 2)
As Jesus told them, they waited for God’s given empowerment, the Holy Spirit.
Yes! The success in Church growth is anchored in power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We need to understand the role of Holy Spirit in Evangelism and Discipleship in the church. We cannot do them by our own power. Church, we need the power of the Holy Spirit as much as they needed it before. (Illustration: My paper in ATS)
C. Proclaimed the Gospel (Acts 2)
Through the Holy Spirit that is in them, they understood properly what the gospel is. It is about the righteousness required, sinfulness of man, wrath of God, righteousness of God and the salvation of God. It is not just about God’s wonderful plan for everyone’s life as the most popular evangelism method is presenting. That the Biblical gospel is about the redemptive work of Jesus of Nazareth—not of Jesus presented in Da Vinci Code and the Gospel of Judas and many others cult teachings.
D. Devoted themselves to God’s Word (Acts 2)
They happily searched the Word of God. (Today, they are the equivalent of listening to sermons, devotions, participating in Bible Studies, attending in Sunday School Classes and any other that pertains to study of God’s word. We need to reclaim this kind of devotion to God’s Word.
E. Devoted themselves to fellowship (Acts 2)
We need to rekindle that burning desire to be in the company of other believers. Unending anticipation to see each other for edification or building-up not for criticism or avenue to taint each other’s personality.
F. Devoted themselves to prayer (Acts 2)
We need to passionate in our prayer time. We shouldn’t miss any moment of prayer whether it is alone or with other believers. We need to ablaze the four corners of our church with our prayer offerings to God.
G. Devoted themselves to worship (Acts 2)
O’ worship the very life of our relationship with God. People of Yahweh are people of high worship.
H. Supported the needs of the church—they gave their belongings to the church (Acts 2)
Who do you think will support the church? Are they the enemies of the gospel or the unrepentant, the blind according to the god of this age or the unlearned about the things of God?
Church, we need to be one in mind, in heart and in Spirit before we go out and witness to others and to teach other disciples.
Every believer is asked to make disciples. None of us is excluded. Jesus tells me through these verses and so you are. You are to go through this process of multiplication; witness and teach. If you do, this church will be enlarged both numerically and spiritually.
Let us solidify our ranks and wait upon God’s empowerment. Then, proclaim the gospel as we continue to devote ourselves to God’s word, fellowship, prayer, worship and supporting the needs of the church. The church will be enlarged both numerically and spiritually if every member will be willing to take the process of multiplication; witnessing to the lost and teaching the disciples the whole counsel of God. Every church, including LJF is expected to grow through the process given in the Great Commission formula. Be a part of this process!