Summary: To MAKE a disciple begins w/ connecting someone to Christ through salvation and then connecting them to His church for ministry care and concern.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been sharing w/ you my heart as it pertains to God’s call on our lives to make disciples of all nations. And if you remember, a disciple is more than a convert, but a person who’s been saved and is now in the process of becoming just like Jesus.
In Matthew 28:19-20 – after charging His disciples to go into the world to make disciples – He explained how this was to be accomplished – by baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and H.S., and by teaching them all that He has taught us.
Last week we focused on the idea of MAKING disciples – today I want us to spend some time discussing the idea of MATURING disciples.
I think to MAKE a disciple begins w/ connecting someone to Christ through salvation and then connecting them to His church for ministry care and concern.
• He is AVAILABLE to God
• He has AFFECTION for God
• He Submits to the AUTHORITY of God
• He Lives for the AGENDA of God
• He Waits on the ASSURANCE of God
And the essential disciplines to become a disciple?
• The ability to HEAR and distinguish God’s voice
• The ability to HANDLE God’s Word
• The ability to HONOR God’s Covenant Truths
• A readiness to HERALD God’s Truth to HELP others at the point of their need to serve them to God
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted w/ the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:13-14
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his great and precious promises, that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 2 Peter 1:3-9
It is God’s will that every Christian becomes spiritually mature? It’s true! God wants us all to grow to spiritual maturity. In fact Paul scolds the Corinthian church for their lack of maturity. He treats them as if they are babies in Christ. Look at what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:
I fed you w/ milk and not w/ solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 1 Corinthians 3:2-3
Paul tells them to grow up! God wants them to grow up – because spiritual immaturity causes all kinds of problems. God’s will for your life is spiritual maturity. One of the purposes of the church is to help you grow to spiritual maturity. What is spiritual maturity – let me start by telling you what it is not:
A Spiritual Maturity isn’t about AGE
Spiritual maturity takes time. It takes energy and effort. No one becomes spiritually mature overnight. Even Jesus grew – as he grew up. Look at what the Bible says in Luke 2:
Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor w/ God and men. Luke 2:52
But, (here is the warning), you can get older and not grow to spiritual maturity. Some Christians refuse to grow up. I’ve seen 50 and 60 yr. old spiritual babies. Spiritual maturity involves much more than just the aging process.
B Spiritual Maturity isn’t about APPEARANCE
Some people can look and sound spiritually mature – they know how to talk the talk – but do they know walk the walk? Some people look holy – they seem to have heaven hovering around them – but that may just be appearance and not reality. Appearances can be deceiving. You know the saying – “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Spiritual maturity is not a matter of what a person looks or sounds like on the outside – it is a matter of what has taken place on the inside. God is in the process of transforming us into the image of His Son.