Summary: What is a true disciple? What do we think when we hear the word 'discipleship'? What does 'true discipleship' really look like? Paul speaks to the Ephesian church and reveals the true meaning and purpose of discipleship...
Date Written: April 12, 2013
Date Preached: April 14, 2013
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: The Five Functions of the Church
Sermon Title: What Does True Discipleship Look Like?
Sermon Text: Ephesians 6:10-18 [NLT]
This morning we will be continuing the sermon series on the FIVE (5) functions of the church.
Last week we looked at What TRUE worship looks like and we learned that TRUE WORSHIP is our response Christ when we live a godly life!
We looked at six characteristics of worship…
True Worship emphasizes the VICTORY we have in and thru Jesus
True Worship emphasizes our deliverance from the evil of this world
True Worship emphasizes how Jesus has changed us from what we USED to be
True Worship emphasizes God’s intended path for our lives…
True Worship emphasizes God’s love and our calling to love…AND
True Worship emphasizes how our lives MUST be centered on Christ in all things…
True Worship reflects our view of God and Christ through the living of our lives Mon-Sat… We come on Sunday’s to WORSHIP! We come together to worship our Savior!
I told you that, as believers, We don’t come TO church… we ARE the church…Worship happens on Sunday’s BUT it cannot be limited to Sundays… we should be in a worshipful mindset all week!
We also learned that, for the believer, Sundays SHOULD be a celebration of all God has blessed us with and provided and taught us throughout the week!
Sundays are about CELEBRATING Jesus with other believers! TRUE WORSHIP happens when we focus on Christ in our lives!
True Worship should be happening ALL THE TIME in the lives of believers, BUT on Sundays… THIS is a time for us to come together and celebrate our Savior together!
So the 1st element of the church… the 1st FUNCTION of the church is the TRUE WORSHIP of God!
However, this morning I want us to look at what I believe to be the 2nd most vital function of the church and that is the function of Discipleship!
What is discipleship? To know what discipleship is, we must define its root word ‘disciple’. According to the Encarta Dictionary, ‘disciple’ is defined as: somebody who believes in and follows the teachings of a leader, a philosophy, or a religion.
In the realm of Christianity… the term ‘disciple’ would define a person who accepts Jesus as Lord and has chosen to follow Him like Jesus said in Luke 9:23 [ESV]
And He [Jesus] said to all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
Here in this verse Jesus defined what a disciple of Jesus is supposed to look like… A disciple of Jesus MUST deny himself (turn away from his/her life), take up their cross (accept the calling of Christ on his/her life) and follow Him (live out the calling of Christ in his/her life)!
So…IF a disciple is one who gives up his life to follow Christ and His calling on their lives… THEN what does the term ‘discipleship’ mean?
Discipleship is a term used to describe the action or actions needed to take place for the follower of Jesus to grow from spiritual newborns into mature followers of Christ… into mature DISCIPLES!
When we get saved & Christ enters our heart, we become His disciple, but it is only a beginning! We start out as newborn believers and we are not all productive or contributing disciples at that time BUT we ARE a disciple, we are just not mature!
A new believer in Christ can be compared to a newborn baby… A newborn is a person but they cannot contribute in any significant way to their community!
Likewise new believers are celebrated like a newborn child is celebrated, but then the task of teaching them begins! ALL new believers grow at different rates, but if there is going to be ANY growth, it is going to be the direct result of other believers teaching them what God’s Word says!
Discipleship is the method that enables new believers to grow in their walk with Christ and to help them to know His will for their lives and how they fit into God’s community of faith… how they fit into their church fellowship!
Let me ask you a question… “Do you want to truly KNOW what God wants for your life?” I know many believers feel they do NOT know what Jesus wants them to do… they can feel a calling from God but are confused because they can’t make sense of the calling!
Let me try to illustrate this point… I have a new grandson. He sees me & hears my voice & he smiles, but I can talk my head off & he doesn’t understand what I am trying to say to him!