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.”

 

THE WORD “DISCIPLE”…

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

            teachers.

 

THE GOAL IN BEING A DISCIPLE…

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!