6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Jesus' Disciples are true believers. Jesus commands us to follow him and learn from him. When we do, our lives will be noticeably different.

Sermon Notes February 1, 2015 FBCam

What Is a Disciple?

The Story is told of all-time great coach Vince Lombardi. Trying to motivate a struggling team, Lombardi gathered them together: "We need to get back to the basics." Holding up a football, "Gentleman, this is a football."

To which team cut up Max McGee replied, "Can you slow down coach. You are going a little fast."

We have been talking about DISCIPLESHIP.

Jesus commanded us to MAKE DISCIPLES.

But we need to get down to the basics, so let’s begin by answering the question, WHAT IS A DISCIPLE?

Jesus answered this question.

A Disciple is a Christian.

Aubrey Malphurs summarizes a common understanding among authors who write on discipleship. He writes, "I contend that the normative use of the term disciple is for one who is a convert to or a believer in Jesus Christ." (Aubrey Malphurs, Strategic Disciple Making, 18).

So what does it mean to be a Christ? I believe that we can boil this down to FOUR NECESSARY COMPONENTS.

First, to be a Christian we must have Faith in Jesus Christ.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life." (John 5:24, ESV)

"yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified." (Galatians 2:16, ESV)

The MEANING: You believe that Jesus Christ came to this world as God in the Flesh, that he died as a substitute for your sins and that he physically rose from the dead. You know that you stand condemned as a sinner and that without God’s grace you deserve hell as the just punishment for your sins. You believe in his accomplished work on your behalf and accept that as God’s free gift completely set apart from any religious effort or moral accomplishments that you have or can contribute.

If you carefully examine the above statement, you will discover that it includes a proper understanding fo the gospel, acceptance of your personal sinfulness, belief in the substitutionary work of Christ, and rejection of any personal effort on your part to gain favor with God.

The second major understanding of what it means to be a disciple involves Acting like a disciple. This means we must FOLLOW Jesus and LEARN from Jesus.

In the first Century, both Romans and Jews had an understanding of what it meant to be a disciple. Discipleship was a common academic and professional undertaking. BEING a DISCIPLE involved TWO PRIMARY ACTIONS: Follow and Learn

A Disciple is a FOLLOWER

The term "Follow Me" appears frequently in MATTHEW. This term is similarly found in Mark and Luke, but for simplicity of study we will look Synoptic Gospels)

"And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."" (Matthew 4:19, ESV)

"And Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead."" (Matthew 8:22, ESV)

"As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him." (Matthew 9:9, ESV)

"And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10:38, ESV)

"Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."" (Matthew 19:21, ESV)

"Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:28, ESV)

The term "Follow Me" appears frequently in John.

"Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, "What are you seeking?" And they said to him, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and you will see." So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother." (John 1:38–40, ESV)

"He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said."" (John 1:23, ESV)

"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."" (John 8:12, ESV)

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