Summary: Followers Are Disciples of Discipline
Lesson 07 of the Follow Me Series
Followers Are Disciples of Discipline
1 Tim 3:14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
1 Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; There is something unique about the phrase ‘believed on him.’ That particular phrase appears only nine times in the bible, with all of them appearing in the Gospel of John, 2:11, 4:39, 7:31, 48, 8:30, 31, 10:42, 11:45, 12:42. Eight out of the nine deals directly with folks believing that Jesus was whom He claimed to be. Only the passage in 7:48 reveals the Pharisees not believing.
The passage in John 8:31, the text for this lesson, points out something that goes much farther and deeper into the spiritual realm than merely believing on Him. What this verse teaches is there are higher and loftier goals for those that will continue in His words.
The Lord does not want any to be satisfied in remaining at the salvation phase of our Christian walk (babes in Christ.) His desire is after we believe on Him is to mature into disciples.
When we hear the word disciple what is the first thing that comes to mind? If we know anything about the bible, usually our first thoughts are the disciples were the twelve men that followed Jesus. The second thing that perhaps comes to mind is the passage that commands us to go into the world and make disciples of all nations, Mat. 28:18-20.
Sometimes we entertain suppressed views of just who could and could not be a disciple. How often do we consider that women were disciples? Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
The word disciple is found 29 times in the New Testament from Matthew to the book of Acts. The plural of the word occurs 243 times in the New Testament. The word is used one time in the Old Testament, Isaiah 8:16. The most common contextual meaning of the word refers to the disciples of Jesus. There are also references to disciples of the Pharisees Matt. 22:16; Mark 2:18, disciples of John the Baptist, Mark 2:18; Luke 11:1; John 1:35, and even disciples of Moses, John 9:28.
A. What Is A Disciple Indeed?
Have we seriously considered what it means to be a disciple indeed? Note the play upon words in John 8:31. Jesus tried to convey to His disciples that if they continued in His word, they would be disciples, not in word only but in deeds as well. Such was what the author of the book of Acts said about Dorcas. She had good woks and almsdeeds. It is impossible to be a disciple of the Lord in word only. We cannot follow someone without his or her teachings, morals, and mannerisms influencing us.
This is more so when we follow the Lord. There must be some deeds to substantiate our testimony. Works do not produce salvation. Salvation produces good works, James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. The living words of God cannot be idle in our hearts, for It is alive and as such, produces action in the life of the believer.
B. Master And Pupils
Jesus encouraged people to seek godly people as their role models. Jesus was, and remains, the greatest mentor that ever lived.
1. Roles models today.
Have you ever wondered why godly teachers do not influence students in the public school systems? It is because there are so few godly teachers and so many ungodly students. The majority of teachers are not influenced by the words of God. Furthermore, it is forbidden to teach God in what is commonly called a ‘public school.’
One does not need to study this situation in great detail to realize that the reason teachers do not instruct their students in the ways of God is due to teachers not being instructed in the things of God. The majority of teachers in public schools do not have the mind of Christ. They mind the things of the world. That which the mentor takes in, worldly wisdom, is what they teach. Garbage in; garbage out.
As the majority of homes are not patterned after the precepts found in the bible, the student has no role model other than a teacher of the world, Deut 6:7-9. That which is not destroyed by an education in the things of the world is destroyed by the humanistic plots and plans acted out by the actors in movies and on televisions. There are more evil influences on our children than there are godly. Children mimic what they see and hear. Parents go so far as to push their children into acting and sports while holding up the root of all evil, the love of money, as the enticement and motivator.