Summary: One of the great needs of the Church today is the need for real disciples of Christ. George Barna, Christian pollster and founder of the Barna Research Group after conducting many surveys to get the pulse of the Church in America and has found that the Ch
The Marks of A Disciple
(Matthew 28:16-20) Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
One of the great needs of the Church today is the need for real disciples of Christ. George Barna, Christian pollster and founder of the Barna Research Group after conducting many surveys to get the pulse of the Church in America and has found that the Church on a whole is not making or producing real disciples of Christ today. Recent surveys show that a very high percentage of people calling themselves Christian’s do not allow the faith to effect their decision making processes. Surveys reveal the in many cases the divorce rate is higher among Christians than non-believers. The abortion rate is the same among Christians and non-believers. Recently I heard on the radio that many today Christians do not allow their faith influence their moral decisions, their lives are pretty much the same as their non-believing counter parts.
Jesus’ last instructions to His disciples before ascending back to His Father in heaven are found in our scripture text this morning. He said in verse 19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”
As we leave 2006 and enter into 2007 in a few weeks, I am going to teach and preach on Discipleship more often. The future of our church and the Church as a whole depends on the Church making Disciples of Christ.
When the actions and lifestyles of Christians mirror the world and its lifestyles more than those of a Disciple of Christ as patterned in the Word of God, there is a problem. Far to many want to live a Christian live of convenience rather than of conviction; picking and choosing what the want to believe or not believe from the Word of God.
I want us to begin today by looking a few of the Marks of A Disciple.
1. The First Mark of a Disciple is… Love.
Jesus made it clear in His teaching that love for God and for one another is the foundation of discipleship.
(John 13:34-35) "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
(John 15:9- 17) "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
2. The Second Mark of a Disciple is… Humility.
Pride and arrogance are the marks of our times in the world in which we live. They are not to be numbered in the life of the child of God.
The life of Christ is our example for our lives and in living in humility. Listen to the word of the Apostle Paul in describing the life of Christ.
(Phil.2:1-11) If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.