Summary: What does Jesus expect of His disciples?
The dictionary defines a “DISCIPLE” as “one who accepts and follows a teacher or a doctrine.”
A disciple of Jesus Christ is one who accepts Him and follows His teachings.
EVERY TRUE CHRISTIAN IS A DISCIPLE.
Acts 11:26—“The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
A disciple is a Christian and a Christian is a disciple.
When Jesus sent the apostles out into the world, He commanded them, “Go ye . . . and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. . . .” (Matthew 28:19-20).
The phrase “TEACH ALL NATIONS” means “MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS.”
HOW DOES A PERSON BECOME A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST?
Matthew 7:13-14—“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Tonight you are on one of two roads: the BROAD ROAD or the NARROW ROAD.
The broad road is paved with SIN; the narrow road is covered with the BLOOD OF CHRIST.
The broad road leads to DESTRUCTION; the narrow road leads to LIFE.
How does a person switch roads? By REPENTANCE and FAITH.
A person is never SO GOOD that he or she DOESN’T NEED to be saved.
A person is never SO BAD that he or she CAN’T be saved.
Three characteristics of a true disciple of Jesus Christ:
Message Text: Matthew 10:32-39
I. A DISCIPLE IS ONE WHO CONFESSES CHRIST BEFORE OTHERS.
Matthew 10:32-33—“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”
To confess Christ means TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU BELONG TO HIM.
A disciple confesses Christ by his LIFE and his LIPS.
Titus 1:16—“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him.”
“Whosoever shall deny me” is in the aorist tense, referring not to one moment of denial (such as Peter’s), but to AN ENTIRE LIFELONG RESISTENCE TO CHRIST.
Romans 10:9-10—“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
If the HEART truly believes, the MOUTH will be eager to confess.
Those whose lives say, in effect, “I NEVER KNEW YOU, JESUS” will hear Him say in the end, “I NEVER KNEW YOU.”
2 Timothy 2:12—“. . . if WE deny him, HE also will deny us.”
II. A DISCIPLE IS ONE WHO LOVES CHRIST MORE THAN ALL OTHERS.
Matthew 10:34-36—“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
The point here is that sometimes when individuals became His followers, their families turn against them. So a choice must often be made between CHRIST and FAMILY.
Matthew 10:37—“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
Family ties cannot be allowed to deflect a disciple from utter allegiance to the Lord.
If you think this passage is forceful, listen to Luke 14:26—“If any man come to me, and HATE not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sister, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
To be a disciple, must we literally hate our families? No!
Love for Christ must be such that all other loves are, BY COMPARISON, hatred.
III. A DISCIPLE IS ONE WHO IS WILLING TO LOSE EVERYTHING FOR CHRIST.
Matthew 10:38—“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”
The cross was an instrument of death and here symbolizes the necessity of TOTAL COMMITMENT.
To take the cross and follow Christ means to live in such devoted abandonment to Him that EVEN DEATH ITSELF IS NOT TOO HIGH A PRICE TO PAY.
Love of Christ must overmaster the instinct of self-preservation.
The world encourages you to PAMPER yourself, but the Lord calls you to DENY yourself.
To deny yourself means to CEASE TO MAKE YOURSELF THE OBJECT OF YOUR LIFE AND ACTIONS.