Summary: The Church needs to refocus on discipling new believers and we aren't doing that very well. Mature Christians need to spend more time and energy on growing new believers so that they can go out and become disciple makers. That's the point of Christianity.
The Forgotten Work Of Discipleship Part I
What do you suppose is the main goal of being a Christian? Is it the forgiveness of sin? Is it to become a better person? Is it to do good things for other people? What about being a better husband or a better wife? What about being a better Mom or Dad? What about going to heaven when we pass away? Most people think that these things are what being a Christian is all about.
All of these things are important and they’re all things that happen when we give our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ and we’re saved but none of these things are the main reason why becoming a Christian is important and yet they’re all wonderful things.
But there is one key thing that we should all be doing as Christians that I believe that the Church, in general, is failing at. And that one thing is discipleship. We as Christians get really excited when someone accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior and rightly so. That’s a wonderful and life changing event in a person’s life.
But far too many Christians think that salvation is all that there is to being a Christian and they fail to understand that while salvation itself is an event, it is also the beginning of a process, a lifelong journey if you will. And too many times we leave these new Christians in a world that they don’t understand to fend for themselves against the world and satan. This is unacceptable. Mature Christians need to walk with these new Christians and help them to build a strong foundation in the fundamentals of being a Christian. We need to be teaching them about praying, about Bible study, about giving, about worshipping, about sound biblical doctrine etc.
And so the Church has a big part to play in this life long journey. Having said that I also want every one of us here today to understand that a MAJORITY of what you need to learn about the Bible, Christ, what God expects from you as a believer, will happen because you have taken on the responsibility to read and study God’s Word for yourself. This will happen when as I said earlier, the Church gives you a strong start in your Christian walk.
One question that I hear a lot from people is how do I become a better Christian? Well, discipleship is the answer to that age old question.
In this short three part sermon series I want to help us all to understand what discipleship is and why it’s so vitally important to all of as individuals and more importantly why it’s important to the Kingdom of God.
Our Scripture text is found in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 28 verses 16-20: 16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
In this passage of Scripture we see that the eleven disciples have an opportunity to worship at the feet of the risen Savior, Jesus Christ even though some of them doubted. We see that the disciples were given a good work to do and that work was to make more disciples. So what is a disciple and what is discipleship? By definition, a disciple is a follower, one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another. A Christian disciple is a person who accepts and assists in the spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Christian discipleship is the process by which disciples grow in the Lord Jesus Christ and are equipped by the Holy Spirit to overcome the pressures and trials of this present life and become more and more like Christ every day.
This process requires believers to respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to examine their thoughts, words and actions and compare them with the Word of God. This requires that we be in God’s Word daily—studying it, praying over it, and applying it to our lives. Also, we should always be ready to give testimony of the reason for the hope that is within us and to disciple others to walk in His way.
At the beginning of this message I asked some questions and one of them was is going to heaven the main point of becoming a Christian and the answer to that question is a resounding NO! Because if going to heaven is the point of becoming a Christian then becoming a disciple of Christ and making others into Disciples of Christ is only optional. But discipleship is not a choice, it's the mission. There’s something lacking in each one of us until we become disciples and until we make disciples of others.