Summary: We are called to be real disciples of Christ, and not just to be mere converts or followers. We therefore need to meet the conditions required to be accepted accepted as His true disciples.
STUDY TEXT: Matthew 28:18-20
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
- The savior is not looking for men and women who will give their spare time, weekends, or years of retirement to him. Rather, he seeks those who will give him first place in their lives.
- Nothing less than unconditional surrender could ever be a fitting response to his sacrifice at Calvary. If He gave His best for us, He is also expecting the best from us.
1. THE TERMS OF DESCIPLESHIP.
1. A supreme love for Jesus Christ. Luke 14:26:
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
- Our love to Christ should be so great that all other loves are hatred by comparison.
- Self-love is one of the most stubborn hindrances to true discipleship. Not until we are willing to lay down our lives for him are we in the place where he wants us.
2. Self-denial. Luke 14:27-33:
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
- Denial of self means such complete submission to the lordship of Christ that self as no rights or authority at all.
3. A deliberate choosing of the cross. Matt 16:24
- The cross is not some physical infirmity or mental anguish: these things are common to all men.
- The cross is a path way that is deliberately chosen. It is a path which as far as this world is concerned gives one a dishonor and reproach.
- The cross symbolizes the shame, persecution and abuse which the world heaped upon the son of God and which they will heap on all sincere believers.
- Any believer can avoid the cross simply by being conformed to the world and its ways.
4. A life spent in following Christ. Matt.16:24
- The life of Christ was a life of obedience to the will of God.
- It was a life lived in the power of the Holy spirit.
- It was a life of unselfish service for others.
- It was a life of patience and long suffering in the face of the gravest wrongs.
- It was a life of zeal, of expenditure, of self-control, of meekness, of kindness, of faithfulness and devotion. Galatians 5:22-26
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
- In order to be his disciples, we must walk as he walked.
- We must exhibit the fruit of Christ-likeness. John 15:8.
- A fervent love for all who belong to Christ. John 15:35, 1Cor. 13:4-7. This is the love that esteems others better than oneself. It is the love that covers a multitude of sins.
- Without this love discipleship would be a cold, legalistic ascetism.
- Christ wants those who will follow him in constant, unquestioning obedience to His will and His words.
6. A forsaking of all to follow him. Luke 14:33
- It means an abandonment of all one’s material possessions that are not absolutely essential and that could be used in the effective preaching of the gospel.