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Summary: Call for men and women to follow Christ

Text

Please turn in your Bible to Matthew 4:18-22

18While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he [Jesus] saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Matthew 9:9

9As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

Our focus tonight is verse 19, when Jesus calls, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Let us pray…

Introduction

A. Bietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

- A German pastor and theologian--a spy and anti-Nazi dissident

- Founding member of the Confessing Church—one of just a few Christian churches in Germany that openly opposed the Nazi regime.

- Imprisoned in 1943 for refusing to join the military and talking against Hitler’s persecution of the Jews—Hitler eventually ordered his execution--Nazis hanged Bonhoeffer in the Flossenburg concentration camp on April 9, 1945, just two weeks before the end of WWII.

This great Christian martyr and theologian wrote several books, the most famous, The Cost of Discipleship. In this book, he coined the term “cheap grace” and called it, “The mortal enemy of our church” (Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, p. 43).

Cheap grace is…

- Grace without a price

- Grace without costs

- Preaching forgiveness without repentance

- Cheap grace is grace without discipleship (Bonhoeffer, p. 29-30)

Bonhoeffer goes on and contrasts cheap grace with “costly grace.”

Costly grace is…

- A hidden treasure--people go and sell all they have to purchase the land where the treasure is hidden

- The pearl of great price--the merchant sells all that he has to purchase that pearl

- The kingdom of God is that great treasure…the kingdom of God is that great treasure

- Grace to cause a man to tear out an eye or cut off a hand if it causes you to stumble

- The call of Jesus Christ, which causes a disciple to leave his nets and follow Jesus (Bonhoeffer, p. 30-31)

B. Disciples from All Backgrounds

Jesus calls disciples from all lifestyles and occupations. Regardless of where you grew up, how you live your life, how much money you have, or what terrible sins you committed, Jesus calls you to become one of his disciples. It doesn’t matter if you have slept with hundreds of people, lived a homosexual life, taken drugs, or even killed someone…Jesus calls you to become one of his disciples.

No matter what our past, Jesus calls us to leave our old life, follow him as our Lord, become transformed to be like him, and go make more disciples.

C. How does Jesus make disciples?

Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

In this one command, Jesus gives us four steps in which God makes Christian disciples.

First, Jesus calls and new disciples respond

I. Jesus calls—disciples drop their nets

A. Jesus Calls Disciples

Vs 21 says, “Jesus called them…” These fishermen didn’t go looking for Jesus. Jesus came to them. He came to where they lived and called them to be his disciples. We walked by the shore of the Sea of Galilee to find these fishermen and to Matthew’s tax booth to find this tax collector.

B. Disciples Believe in Jesus

1. We must be born again

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

2. How to we become born again?

-- We must repent – make a turn

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

--We must “drink the water” - believe

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

C. Disciples Leave Their Past

What did these fishermen do? The scripture says Peter and Andrew, “At once…left their nets...” It says James and John, “Immediately…left the boat and their father…” It says Matthew, “Got up and followed him.”

What did the disciples give up?

Simon Peter and his brother Andrew dropped their fishing nets to follow Jesus.

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