Summary: Examining those followers who are filled with fear.
Series: Disciples Of Christ: Sermon # 2
Fearful Disciples Of Christ
In the 1st sermon of this series we examined the life of Judas Iscariot as we considered “False Disciples Of Christ” Today we will see the story of a man named Joseph. His story will represent those far to common “Fearful Disciples Of Christ.Last week we saw that False Disciples are quick to proclaim their faith, they are proud to be associated with the things of God. There is a stark contrast in those that we will consider today. Fearful Disciples go to great lengths not to be identified with Christ.
The biography of Joseph is an interesting one. Joseph was a man of character and integrity. Yet, he was also a “secret disciple” We read that he possessed a great fear of the Jews. There is much to be learned from this portion of scripture! There are many who, like Joseph, live their lives are “secret disciples” of Christ.
Lets take some time and see a few facts about “Fearful Disciples”
I. Fearful Disciples May Possess Good Moral Character
We read that Joseph was from Arimathaea. He was a wealthy man who had purchased a “garden tomb” near Jerusalem”
Notice the description of him in - Luke 23:50 ¶And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and just:
Just - Upright. Joeseph was a man who possessed high moral standards. He was also a religious man. There is another title given to him in - Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable counsellor,
Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin was a 70 member body that was the supreme ruling body of the Jews. These were the men who condemned Jesus to death.The word “honorable” means that he was “in good standing”He was well-respected by the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Scribes.
There are many people who are believers in Christ. As a result of their faith they possess good moral character. They have high standards and would be described by others as “good people” . The problem is that we are designed to be a “Peculiar people” & “Zealous of Good Works “
Paul says that we are to “come out from among the world and be separate” We are also told that “those that are in Christ are new creatures… old things are passed away and all things have become new”
There are people that are lost who possess good moral character! We are not to simply be good people We are told to be HOLY PEOPLE!! When you are holy, it will not be a secret.Holy people are not afraid of ridicule. Holy people are not “secret, fearful disciples.”
Not only do Fearful Disciples May Possess Good Moral Character, but we see through Joseph’s life that:
II. Fearful Disciples Have A Concern For The Things Of God
Mark 15:43 says that - Joseph “waited for the kingdom of God”
Joseph, was more than just a religious Jew… he was a man with genuine faith in God… who longed for the appearance of the Messiah. Though Joseph was a Jewish leader, he became a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He saw Jesus as the Messiah that was to come and save Israel.We do not know how Joseph came to his faith in Jesus Christ. But, something led him to faith in the Lord.
There is a difference between the “false disciples” that we considered last week and today’s subject of “Fearful Disciples” Those that I am referring to today are people who have had a conversion. These are people who were once lost but HAVE BEEN SAVED! They have trusted in Jesus as Savior, they have a personal faith but will not publicize it!
Like Joseph, they have a concern for the things of God.
They talk to the Lord.
They read their bible
They may attend worship
They may give a tithe of their income
They may even hold a position in their church.
Note: It is easy to be a Christian in the walls of God’s house. It is much more difficult in the office or the classroom! Without getting off track, let me note that there is an element of hypocrisy among those who are “fearful disciples”
Fearful disciples look forward to heaven. They rejoice when others come to faith in Christ. They are even offended when Christ is attacked in society. They have many of the same attributes as a full fledged sold out faithful disciple of Christ. But they just keep it to themselves. This brings us to the 3rd point I would like to consider:
III. Fearful Disciples Often Conceal Their Beliefs
Joseph was a believer, but he kept his faith a secret. John 19:38 says, “And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews…