Summary: The church is not to stop once we get a person in the door and on the church roll. Our work just begins at that point
• Talk about the goal of a baseball team. Get people across home plate. Don’t push the details of the analogy.
• Does a team cheer and quit when it gets a person to 1st base or 3rd base? They will cheer because they expect to bring that person around the bases to score.
• At the end of the game, the fans and the team is more concerned about the number of people who score than they are concerned about hits. I have seen games where a team my have only had one hit and beat a team with more hits.
• If a baseball team does not understand that part of its purpose is to score, then they will pat themselves on the back when they just get baserunners.
• In the church we can run into the same problem. We can get so excited about getting someone to 1st base that we forget that now the work is just beginning.
• If we do not understand the purpose of the church, then we will stop short of what God wants us to do.
• Over the last couple of weeks we have looked at two purposes of the church, worship and fellowship, this week we are going to look at discipleship.
• Matthew 28:19-20 states: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
• We are commanded to make disciples. This is a two part process. This is the first part of making a disciple to evangelize and baptize them. We will not talk about evangelism this week. The second part is that we are to teach them to observe all that Jesus commanded.
• We are going to look is what we are to do once we have added a person to the kingdom of God. We are called to disciple them.
• What happens in a typical church when we win a person to Jesus? We usually leave it at that. We are happy, we got them to first base!
• When a person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior, our job does not stop there. That is like getting a person to 1st base and saying that our job is finished.
• Our goal is to help bring that person around the bases to score!
• Too many times we get a person to first base and then for get about them, we leave them stranded.
• Dallas Willard (A Christian Philosopher & writer) says that, “Discipleship is the great Omission of the Great Commission on the part of Churches.
• Part of making a disciple is teaching them all that Jesus commanded. The Great commission tells us this and the early church was committed to the apostles’ teachings. Acts 2:42 tells us, They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
• Today, let us look at the 3rd purpose of the Church, Discipleship.
• READ ACTS 2:41-47
I. THE DEFINITION AND CHARACTERISTICS OF A DISCIPLE.
A. What is a disciple?
• Quite simply a disciple is a learner, or a pupil of someone.
• In the context of the Bible, a Christian is supposed to be a disciple. Who are we to be a disciple of? Jesus!
• The word disciple is used over 250 times in the New Testament and is only found in the Gospels and Acts.
• The name “Christian” was given to the disciples by Paul and Barnabus through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The English translations of Acts 11:26 makes it sound like the people called the disciples Christians, but the grammar of the original will not allow that. The original says that Paul and Barnabas called them Christians. The word “called” has a prophetic meaning to it.
• Discipleship is the development of Christians.
B. The Characteristics of a Disciple
• Love for the brethren. JOHN 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
• Love for Jesus. LUKE 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
• Be like Jesus. MAT 10:25 "It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!