Summary: 5 things we can find in the text that reveals the distinguishing marks of a disciple of Christ.
THE MARKS OF A DISCIPLE
By Andrew Chan, PBC, Vancouver, BC
June 17, 2001
Text: John 15:16-25
The marks of a disciple are seen in one whose lives are…
1. Called by J_____________________. (Jesus)
During Jesus’ earthly days, a disciple would choose his own master and from his own volition chooses to follow a teacher. For Jesus, the process was different, He was the one who chose His disciples. Mark 3:13-19 (NKJV) records:
13And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. 14Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, 15and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: 16Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; 17James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”; 18Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananite; 19and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house.
John 15:16 (NLT)
You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.
a. How do you know if God has called you and chosen you as a disciple?____________________________
Ephesians 1:3-5, 11 (NLT)
3 How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual qblessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ. 4 Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure. ... 11 Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago.
b. How then should we respond to this call? __________________________________________________
Ephesians 1:6-7, 12 (NLT)
6 So we praise God for the wonderful kindness he has poured out on us because we belong to his dearly loved Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son, and our sins are forgiven. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding… 12 God’s purpose was that we who were the first to trust in Christ should praise our glorious God.
c. What guarantee do we have that we are chosen by God? ______________________________________
Ephesians 1: 13-14 (NLT)
13 And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.
David Watson in the book Discipleship (1981,p.21) wrote: “when we see ourselves as disciples personally chosen by Jesus, this should alter our whole attitude towards him and motivate us for the work he has given us.” He uses analogy of chosen by our country to be in the Olympics, and how different it is from being a mere spectator. Watson is quite right in his assessment that “the Christian church today suffers from large numbers who feel that they have ‘made a decision for Christ’, or from those who think they have chosen to join a certain church. Such man-centred notions spell spiritual death, or at least barren sterility. It is only when we begin to see ourselves as chosen, called and commissioned by Christ that we shall any real sense of our responsibility to present our bodies to him ‘as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.’”