Summary: The characteristics of disciples
MATTHEW 28:18-20 "AND JESUS CAME AND SPOKE UNTO THEM, SAYING, ALL POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH. GO YE THEREFORE, AND TEACH ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST: TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU. AND, LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD. AMEN."
I. Make Disciples
A. Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
B. Matthew 4:19 "And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
C. Bishop William Temple - Nobody can be indwelled by the Spirit of God and keep that Spirit to himself. Where the Spirit is, he flows forth. And where there is no flowing forth, he is not there.
D. Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
II. Mark Disciples
A. J. Alice Motyer - Baptism points back to the work of God, and forward to the life of faith.
B. I Peter 3:21 "The like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"
C. Romans 6:4 "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
D. Selected - "In baptism, we are initiated, embraced, gifted, thereby sent forth. We are identified as one of God’s own, then assigned our place and our job within the kingdom of God."
E. In 2000, 18,000 SBC Churches baptized fewer than 5 people for the entire year and 11,000 reported no baptisms.
III. Mature Disciples
A. If you walk out into one of the parking lots this morning and someone says to you, "How do I get to Chicago?" You say, "Well, get in your car." Well, that’s good advice. That’s the start of it. But you also need to say, "Start your car and head west on the turnpike..." and then give more directions that are detailed in order to see them through to the destination they have named. The beginning of evangelism is the information about Jesus Christ, how to get into him and to him; but there is much more. Evangelism is persuading a person to be a disciple of Jesus Christ
B. The maturing of a disciple is one of the most important parts of one’s work after leading someone to the Lord.
C. Colossians 2:6-7 "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."
D. Too many people believe a Christian is a person who has simply "prayed the prayer" and "decided" for Jesus. But many "Christians" do not live as if they are under new management. They may claim that they once made a decision, but everything else in their life is unchanged. What a superficial understanding of what it means to be a Christian. Too many people have stopped at the door that leads to conversion. The door (be it prayer, a decision or whatever) is simply that - a door. It was closed and it has been opened for one express purpose: so we can go through it and get involved in life on the other side. But some see conversion and discipleship as a revolving door that will allow them to stay there without ever actually participating in life on the other side.