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Summary: The Process of Discipleship (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE:

(1). The Soldier (vs 3-4, 8-13)

(2). The Athlete (vs 5)

(3). The Farmer (vs 6-7)

(4). The Victor (vs 8-13)

SERMON CONTENT:

Ill:

• Just imagine a factory in the UK of about 40-50 employees;

• The aim of that factory is to produce shoes.

• To help the factory become a success;

• The management has invested great sums of money;

• And many man-hours into the plant to produce the finest shoes possible.

• Money has been spent on salaries for the employees,

• Machinery for shoe making,

• And materials from which the shoes are to be made.

• The plant is in operation and many of the workers can be seen scurrying to and fro.

• Machines are running full blast,

• And activity is at a maximum.

• Then one day the owner of the factory asks the production manager,

• “How many shoes have we produced so far?”

• To his surprise the production manager answers: “None”

• So the factory owner exclaims; “How long have we been in operation?”

• The production manager replies: “Years and years.”

• The factory owner can’t quite believe his ears and comments:

• “Did you say years and years? And still no shoes?”

• The production manager says:

• “That’s right, no shoes, but we sure are really busy.

• In fact, we have been so busy that we are all worn out”

• We all know what would happen in that situation:

• The factory owner would not just be concerned,

• He would probably fire somebody, and try to find out what the problem was.

• TRANSITION:

• Now if we now put a cross on top of that building;

• And transform it into the church in Park Gate, Southampton!

• Our church, we will find much activity going on.

• Men and women are working hard.

• But…what is our end product…how many shoes/disciples are we producing?

• Now I know people are different from a product;

• And yet surely we should see results from time, money and effort invested!

• Remember that the objective of this local fellowship is to produce disciples.

• To help people of all ages and from all backgrounds come to a real faith in Jesus Christ;

• And to help them grow in their faith!

• The biblical word for that is discipleship!

• That is our purpose as a Church – to bring folks to Jesus (make converts);

• And then to bring them closer (make disciples).

Quote: Alan Redpath the late great British evangelist, pastor and author.

"The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment,

but the manufacture of a saint is the task of a lifetime."

• Becoming a Christian, a follower of Jesus may start suddenly;

• Can happen this morning, if you are willing to take a step of faith;

• And invite the living Christ to be your saviour & Lord!

• But the learning process never ends this side of eternity!

• Our passage this morning is a reminder that discipleship is a process!

Ill:

• Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff said:

• When he first came to the United States from Russia;

• He wasn’t prepared for the incredible variety of instant products;

• That he found available in American grocery stores.

• He says, "On my first shopping trip,

• I saw powdered milk--you just add water, and you get milk.

• Then I saw powdered orange juice--you just add water, and you get orange juice.

• And then I saw baby powder, and I thought to myself, what a country!"

• Quote: "The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment,

• but the manufacture of a saint is the task of a lifetime."

• Becoming a Christian, a follower of Jesus may start suddenly;

• But the learning process never ends this side of eternity!

• Our passage this morning is a reminder that discipleship is a process!

Note:

• Just before we look at the four pictures mentioned:

• I want you to notice two things from verses 1-2;

FIRST:

• A disciple is someone who has come to faith i.e. conversion;

• That is where the process of discipleship starts.

• This letter was written to Timothy;

• Who was the Pastor, one of the leaders of this local Church.

• In the previous chapter (2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 5) we are told:

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also”.

• Timothy had a big advantage in his life that I for one did not have:

• He had a Christian parent and grandparent.

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