Summary: Three of the Marks of Discipleship in our lives, the indicators, the evidence, the proof, that demonstrates we are true disciples of Jesus. Faithful, Follower Functioning for the Lord.
Marks of Discipleship: Faithful, Follower Functioning for the Lord
Our theme this year is Dynamic Disciples.We have been thinking about what it really means for us to be a disciples of Jesus.
This morning our focus is on the Marks of Discipleship in our lives, the indicators, the evidence, the proof, that demonstrates we are true disciples of Jesus.
I think the most wonderful and incredible event in a person’s life is when they accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
When a person realises that they can have a real relationship with God.
When a person understands that they need to repent from the sin in their lives and is born again in Christ.
When a person gives their heart to Christ, that is not where the story ends, that is where Discipleship begins.
The old puritan preacher C H Spurgeon, said this, “The faith which saves is not one single act done and ended on a certain day: it is an act continued and persevered in throughout the entire life of man.”
As we learn more about God, we grow spiritually. As we serve God we grow spiritually.
As disciples of Christ there should be tangible proof in our lives that we are followers of Jesus.
As we continue to live out our daily walk of faith, there are two questions we need to ask ourselves:
Is being a disciple making a difference in you?
Is your discipleship making a difference in others?
The truth is, following Jesus should be making a real difference in your life, and by God’s grace and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, you should be making a difference in the lives of others. In fact, I would go as far as to say, that being in a real, living relationship with Jesus should be making a radical difference in both your life and the lives of those around you.
If you know Jesus as Lord, if you are saved, then there was a moment in time when you where born again, you stopped living in the darkness of sin and stepped into the eternal light of God. Your heart was changed, your sins were forgiven, you came from death to life, spiritually speaking.
That’s where the transforming work of God began in your life and mine. A spiritual new beginning, a new birth.
When we are first saved, we don’t instantly become spiritually mature in our words, actions or behaviours.
Just like babies we need to learn to walk, talk and behave! We have had to learn how to walk in Christ, we had to learn how to talk to God, and behave in a way that brings honour and Glory to God. But, when it comes to living out a life of faith, we eventually have to grow up and really live as dynamic disciples.
Listen to how the writer of the book of Hebrews expresses this in Hebrews 5:12-14 (NLT) - You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognise the difference between right and wrong.
A mark of a disciple is growth in spiritual maturity, we are meant to grow, to progress from baby steps to running the race, being disciples and making disciples.
We disobey God when we refuse to grow spiritually in Him and through Him. We are meant to move forward in our faith and service, not be content with standing still.
As disciples who are really living a life of faith, we must be willing to move forward and allow God to make us and form us and change us into the people He has called us to be so that we can become more like Christ.Remember the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:2 - Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
The Bible is clear, as followers of Christ, we need allow God to transform us, to change us, our nature, our personality, our thoughts, our actions and reactions.
As Dynamic Disciples, we cannot remain as we were, we are to move forward and develop a mature faith. How do we do that? How do we move on? How do we grow up? By prayer, by reading the Word of God, by being faithful in being church, by making our spiritual life and our relationship with God our top priority.