Summary: Part five in this series deals with the importance of discipleship. Learning equals discipleship.
Last week we looked at one of the four qualities of the kind of church that Jesus had in mind. The four qualities are seen in the acronym WELL
A Worshipping church.
An Evangelizing church.
A Learning church.
A Loving church.
Last week we looked at Evangelism which is simply the practice of spreading the Good News of Christ.
We learned that we all have a responsibility to tell others the Good News of Christ. God wants to use you and me to bring this news to the lost so they may have the chance to accept Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior.
And we need to share the message both in our words and in our actions. Sometimes words don’t have to be spoken to share the Good News. Sometimes it is through our loving actions that God’s message is delivered.
We all know people who do not have Christ in their hearts. We need to be ready, willing, and able to share the Good News that we posses with them.
ý"If your gospel isn't touching others, it hasn't touched you." I hope it has touched you so deeply that you can’t help but share it with others. It is the greatest news in history. It is the story of God’s love for mankind and it needs to be shared.
Remember, “Winners of souls must be weepers of souls.” We need to have a passion for the lost.
Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my minds so I can understand your Word.
And, open my heart so I may receive all that You would have me receive.
As we look at Matthew 28:18-20 there is a key word in this Scripture that is going to add to the evangelism we discussed last week. That word is “disciple.”
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations… and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…”
There is more to Jesus’ marching orders for the church than just telling the lost about Jesus.
Yes, the church needs to be a lighthouse for the lost but it also needs to be a greenhouse for the saved. What does a greenhouse do? It helps things grow.
One of the L’s in the word well stands for learning and learning equals discipleship. We must have a commitment to learn or be discipled and we must have a commitment to help others learn or in other words to disciple them.
Evangelism and discipleship go together like bread and butter or peanut butter and jelly. You cannot just evangelize the lost and then leave them alone, they must be discipled.
Let me put this in parenting terms. When we successfully bring a person to Christ, that person becomes a baby Christian. They need to be taught and they need to be nurtured. This process is called discipleship.
We cannot just bring people to Christ and then give them a spiritual box of Pampers and say, “There you go; good luck with your walk in Christ.” The church has a responsibility to teach them and guide them.
How do we disciple others? Discipleship is simply teaching people how to be obedient children of God. We do this by living out our faith for them to see in every aspect of our lives. Modeling what it means to be a child of God; teaching them to understand the Word of God. This is done in the church service setting, the small group setting and in one on one times with people.
Listen to what Paul says in Colossians 1:28. Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One). Colossians 1:28 Amp
This is upside down behavior! It was the behavior of the first century church and it should be the behavior of the church today.
Here is a short video clip to help you understand discipleship.
Jesus defined discipleship for his crew in Luke 14:25-35.
A disciple is a true follower of Jesus Christ. In other words, a Christian. We see in Acts 11:26 that the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. This makes it clear that the titles Christian and disciple are interchangeable.
The term disciple occurs 269 times in the New Testament. The term Christian only occurs 3 times.
READ Luke 14:25-35 4X
Jesus really wants to get our attention here because there is seriousness to His message.
And His message is simple. To be a disciple you must be committed to Jesus above anything else. This is not a difficult thing to understand but it is a difficult thing to accept and do.