Distinctively a Disciple, April 27, 2014

Distinctively a Disciple


Jesus said this in Matthew 28:19-20

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing

     them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy

     Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have

     commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of

     the age.”



1.    The word “disciple” literally means A LEARNER

2.    According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary Of New Testament

           Words, it denotes “one who follows another’s teaching”

3.    But a disciple was not only a learner, he was also AN ADHERENT

4.    For this reason disciples were spoken of as IMITATORS of their




1.    Stated by Jesus himself:  to be like the teacher –

Lk 6:40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.

2.    To be Christ’s disciple, then, is to be like Him!

3.    According to the apostle Paul, this coincides with God’s goal

           in the redemption of mankind, that they be conformed to the

           image of His Son


Rom 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.




Luke 9:18 And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”


19 So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.”


20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”


Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”


21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one,  22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”


23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,[a] and follow Me.  24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.  25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?  26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.


Jesus laid down three conditions for discipleship:


1.    You Must deny Yourself


Deny means:


A. to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone.

B. to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests


In other words:

           “You must turn from your selfish ways”


 A believer in Jesus “must turn from [his] selfish ways” or “must deny himself” Matthew 16:24 (NIV), saying no to self-will, self-centeredness, self-interest, self-sufficiency, self-dependence, self-ambition, and self-exaltation, selfishness, self-seeking,  


2.    You must Pick Up Your Cross Daily


To deny yourself is to die to self and to crucify the flesh


The cross was an instrument of death.


 A condemned man carrying his cross toward his execution lost interest in the things of this world.


To “take up your cross daily” is to die to sin.

 It’s a call to reprioritize your life.


Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.


5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,  7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.


8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.  9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,  10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,


3.    You Must Follow Him


There’s also a personal aspect to the demand: “Follow me.”


Jesus told us to obey His commands, but He also said to follow Him.


Following Jesus means:

* walking closely after Him

*going where He goes

* doing what He does

* It means making His will your will

*It means not creating your own path, but putting your feet into the footprints of Jesus. And His footprints will lead you up Calvary’s hill.


You may profess to be a Christian, but if you don’t carry your own cross and follow Jesus, you’re not His disciple


Luke 14:27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.


A believer in Jesus must reject self, die to sin, and pursue the Savior!


No Excuse Mentality!

Raised to Life, Easter, April 20, 2014


I Cor. 15:1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.  2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,  5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.  6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.  7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.  9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.  11 Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. 

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.  15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.  16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.  17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.  18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.  19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.



The Theme of our weekend and the title of this message is:


Raised To Life


I want to talk about:


The What we are celebrating this weekend is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave!


The second pivotal historic event of all time.



The Why of its importance: If Christ had not been raised from the dead:


1.     If the dead are not raised then “Christ Himself is not risen!”


2.     “our preaching of it is empty, and your faith is also empty!”


3.     “we are found as false witnesses of God, because we have

         testified that God has raised up Christ from the dead!”


4.     “our faith is futile if this is not true!”


5.     “We are still in our sins if this is not true!”


6.     “Those who have fallen asleep [died] in Christ, have perished!”


7.      “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitied


8.     Jesus was not truthful: Jesus answered them: “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three  days.” John 2:19



Why Was it Necessary for Him to Die?



God is Holy


Although God is all merciful, all powerful and all forgiving, God is also holy, righteous and just.


Isaiah 5:16

But the LORD Almighty is exalted by his justice. The holiness of God is displayed by his righteousness. (NLT)


Sin and Holiness are Incompatible


Sin entered the world through one man’s disobedience – Adam, and now all of us are born into this “sin nature.”


 Romans 5:12

When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. (NLT)


Romans 3:23

For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (NLT)



Sin Separates Us from God


Isaiah 35:8

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. (NIV)


Isaiah 59:2

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (NIV)


Sin’s Punishment is Eternal Death

God’s holiness and justice demand that sin and rebellion be punished. The only penalty or payment for sin is eternal death.


Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB)


Romans 5:21

So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful kindness rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (NLT)


Atoning Sacrifice

Our death is not sufficient to atone for sin because atonement requires a perfect, spotless sacrifice, offered in just the right way. Jesus, the one perfect God-man, came to offer the pure, complete and everlasting sacrifice to remove, atone, and make eternal payment for our sin.


1 Peter 1:18-19

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. (NLT)


Hebrews 2:14-17

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. (NIV)


Only Through Jesus Christ


Only through Jesus Christ can our sins be forgiven, thus restoring our relationship with God and removing the separation caused by sin.



2 Corinthians 5:21 

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NIV)




Ravi Zacharias writes:


“It is absolutely critical that we think rightly about life and death and that we understand the “what” and the “why” of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Life has a defining point. Life has a destination point. Death and separation are the destination halls of sin; hope and life the arrival points of a life that has accepted the personal significance of the death of Christ. The Lord of Life brings justice upon those who rejected his mercy and gives mercy to those who cried out for it and were willing to accept his justice.


Death is either a full stop or a comma. In the Christian worldview, it is a comma. There is for the Christian both the passing of all things and the abiding in Christ’s provision.”


An amazing promise:


2 COR. 5: 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.


Illustration: Packages of Seeds


This is not about being a better you.  Or getting a better life.  It is about coming into a life that never existed before.


We are dead in our trespasses and sins.  We don’t just need to be made better. We need to be made alive.  And not just our old life but a brand new life that never existed before.


So how do we get that life?  Well that questioned was answered in:


Acts 16 the apostle Paul was imprisoned with Silas and they were worshipping a earthquake took place and they were freed.  The jailer who feared for his life if they were escape came to them trembling and asked the question:


30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”


John 1:12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.


Romans 10:  8 Salvation that comes from trusting Christ — which is the message we preach — is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.”   9 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.  11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed. 


Who today wants to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledge you are a sinner and accept and receive the free gift of eternal life?


Prayer of Salvation


Call to be Water Baptized as a public testimony of your decision to stand with Jesus.


I am identifying with His death, I am bearing the old me and I am being raised to walk in newness of Life!

Chasing Lions, Pastor Jonathon O’Reilly, April 6, 2014

– 1 Sam. 23:20-21
– we serve a God who wants to do the impossible through us
1. sometimes we end up in a pit (of fear, insecurity, shame)
  – if you get comfortable in the pit, you might not want to get out
  – you can’t let the pit keep you from moving forward
2. sometimes it snows
  – God isn’t moved by the snow
  – John 16:33
  – on the snowy days, we find out what we’re made of
3. sometimes we run into lions
  – how do we respond
  – the same thing with sin – we need to stop and run to Jesus
  – purpose is what gives us breath and motivation
  – Matt 16:18
  – sometimes God’s opportunities come disguised as insurmountable obstacles
  – Romans 8 – if God is for us, who can stand against us?
  – Isa. 40:28-31