Randall Caselman

Bella VistaChurch of Christ

06/04/2017 P.M.

 

ExploringChristian Discipleship

Luke 5.1-11

 

Webster says… A disciple is…

• A follower…

• An imitator…

• One whoadheres to the philosophies of another.

 

A Moslem is a follower of Mohammed.

A Buddhist is a follower… An adherer… Tothe philosophy of Buddha.

A Christian isa follower…  a disciple… of Christ.

 

Our lesson tonight has three points…We’ll examine...

• TheNature Of Discipleship… Who is a disciple?.. We’ll hear the answer from thelips of Jesus.

• The Cost OfDiscipleship.

• And… TheAgenda Of Discipleship.

 

First... Who is a disciple?

What is the nature of discipleship?

 

Let’s notice some passages where Jesusused the word disciple andsee what we can learn.

 

A disciple is one who abides in the Word.

Listen to John 8.31 and 32… To theJews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you arereally my disciples. Then youwill know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

 

Note something here that we oftenoverlook… Not all believers aredisciples. Jesus said to the BELIEVERS... If you will beMy disciple… You must abide in My word.

 

Believing…Coming to services three times a week… Does not make us a disciple… We must beone who… Abides… Lives… InHis Word.

 

Discipleship implies a relationship.

Jesus said… You shall KNOW the truthand the truth shall make you free.

The Greek word for know here is GIN-OCE’-KO.

It is a word of relationship… Not just knowledgealone... Not just mental assent.

Remember when the angel told Mary… Youwill be with child of the Holy Spirit? Mary said… How can this be seeingthat I KNOW no man... The word is GIN-OCE’-KO. Did she know othermen?... Of course… But she had no intimate relationship with them.

 

Church… God has not just called us… Tosome religious system… To a right name over the door… To some churchdoctrine... But to a relationshipwith Him through a faith in Him andHis son.

 

Thirdly… A disciple is one who loves others... Serves others.

In John 13.35… Jesus says… By thisall men will know that you are mydisciples... If you... (If youwhat?)... IF YOU love oneanother.

 

Church… The sign of discipleship is not the cross.

It’s not the sign of a fish on a bumpersticker... Or a steeple on a church.

The sign of discipleship is not even thecorrect name over the door of the church building.

 

The sign of discipleship is the towel.

John chapter 13 is about... serving others… Washing feet.

Jesus said… I have set you an examplethat you should go and do likewise.

 

Twice in the Gospels… Jesus said… Thegreatest in the Kingdom… Thegreatest in the church… Thegreatest disciple must become...(WHAT)... The servant of all.

 

Let me show you something from John 13.1in the NIV... John says… Just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that thetime had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having lovedhis own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

 

Church… When did Jesus show the fullextent of his love in that room that night?... You tell me!... When he washed feet... When He served others.

 

You see… There would have been NO CROSS had there been no towel.

The same attitude that washed feet… SentJesus to suffer the cross... RIGHT?

• Don’t tell me you love your wife… Butrefuse to wash the dishes or sweep the floors.

• Don’t tell me that you love yourchildren… And not spend significant time with them.

• Don’t tell me you love the church…Without serving the saints... Carrying their burdens.

• Don’t tell me you love Jesus… Whilerefusing to serve Him daily.

Discipleship isliving the life of the towel... A life of loving & serving others.

 

Read Matthew 25 again... In the Sheep& Goat Judgment… Jesus says our eternal destiny is determined by how we serveHim by serving others... As oft as you do it to the leAst of these...You do it to Me… Enter into the joys of your Lord, prepared for youbefore the beginning of the world.

 

You see… God rewards our service toothers!!

 

Number four… Disciples are thosewho bear fruit.

John 15.8 has Jesus saying… This isto my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.

 

What is the fruit spoken of here?... Two possibilities…

 

FIRST... If we hear andput into practice... the Sayings... Teachings... and Principles of Jesus... Wewill bear fruit… the fruit of theSpirit…

• Love…

• Joy…

• Peace…

• Patience…

• Kindness…

• Goodness…

• Faithfulness…

• Gentleness…

• Andself-control.

 

SECONDLY... The fruit ofabiding in Jesus is New Testament evangelism.

• Apple treesproduce apples.

• Orangesproduce oranges.

• Corn producescorn.

• Disciplesproduce disciples.

• Christiansproduce other Christians.

 

In a real sense our fruit will be humansouls... Making Other disciples.

Genuine Christian discipleship isglorifying God by fruit bearing.

 

Now let’s notice the price…

the cost of discipleship...

 

Nothing worthwhile is ever free is it?

• If you want agreat marriage… That relationship will cost you.

• If we want anew house or car… We must be willing to pay the price.

 

Well… Discipleship… A relationship withJesus will cost us.

What IS theprice of genuine discipleship?

 

First…We must be willing to have an unrivaled love for Jesus.

Luke 14… Has Jesus saying... Ifanyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife andchildren, his brothers and sisters… Yes, even his own life… He cannot be Mydisciple.

 

Now we must know here… that the word hate does not cancel out love.

Jesus never hated His mother… Hisbrothers… or Joseph.

Jesus is saying… Biblical… Genuine… Discipleship is dependentupon our willingness to place Godfirst and foremost in life… Before

• Houses…

• Lands...

• And family...

• Power...

• Position...

•Prestige... 

 

Christian discipleship means… We must re-prioritizeour lives…

• God first…

• Others second…

• Self third…

• And thingslast.

 

I love a lot of women... I loved mymother... I love my daughters... my granddaughters… I love several women inthis church…. But not ONE is rival to Georgia.

She has no rival... Hasn’t had since the 10th grade.

My love for her is an unrivaled love....No one can take her place.

 

Genuine discipleship is our having an unrivaledlove for Jesus… No other gods before Me… Love God with all your…Heart… Mind… Strength… Soul… All your being!

 

Indeed... How many of us are ready for genuine Biblical discipleship by having an unrivaled love for Jesus?

 

Secondly... We must deny self.

Luke 27.14says... Anyone not willing to carry his cross and follow me cannot be Mydisciple.

 

Church… A cross is not something wecarry... IT IS something we die on.

CROSSES ARE FOR DYING... The cross is anUN-GET-OVERABLE incident.

Jesus carried His cross to a place ofdeath… So must we.

 

When we take up the cross of Jesus… We die to self... Die To the world... Die tosin.

 

Paul put it this way… I have beencrucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life Ilive in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gavehimself for me.

 

Christian discipleship is dyingto self… While inviting Jesus to live in us.

 

Another scripture is Colossians 3.1-3… Since,then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, whereChrist is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, noton earthly things. For, YOU DIED, and your life is now hidden with Christ inGod.

 

The price of discipleship is... self-denial... Self-death.

 

How many of us here tonight can claim genuine discipleship?.. How many of us have died to self?... Soberingquestion!!... Sobering question… Indeed.

 

Thirdly… Discipleship costs us our things.

Verse 33 in Luke 14… In the same way,any of you who does not give up… RENOUNCE… All that you have cannot be mydisciple.

 

In our American culture… Perhaps themost difficult thing we’ll ever have to do…is give up… Renounce… RENOUNCEEverything we have struggled… Sohard… So long… To get.

Nothing in myhand I bring.

Simply to thycross I cling.

All to Jesus Isurrender.

All to him Ifreely give.

 

Interesting isn’t it that our singing goeswell beyond our practice. Sometimes when I sing this song… I choke on thesewords because I know… I know deep down… That I haven’t done what I am singing.

 

In the Sermon on the Mount… Jesus isfound saying… Donot store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy,and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures inheaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break inand steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

First John 2.15 reads… Do not love the world or anything in theworld. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

 

Jesus said… We cannot serve two masters… God and Money.

 

How many of us are willing to LEAVE ALL?… RENOUNCE all? 

 

Here it is church… The fisherman left all to follow Jesus… So mustwe… So must we.

 

OK... LET’S talk about the agenda of discipleship.

 

Church… What was the agenda of Jesus… Doyou remember?... Three things…

• I came to dothe will of the Father.

• I came to seekand save the lost.

• I came to callthe sinner to repentance.

• And thentonight we heard Him say… I came towash feet... I came NOT to be served, but to serve.

 

First… Our agenda is based upon faith.

Jesus was walking by the Sea ofGalilee... Ready to call His apostles.

Luke 5.4 says… He turned to Simon Peterand said… Put out into the deeper water and let down your net for a catch.

 

Then in verse five… BUT... OurKing James Says… But NEVER-THE-LESS… Because you say it…Because you ask… Because you command it… I will do it.

 

We must know tonight that…

• This kind offaith…

• This kind ofsubmission…

Made Peter a great disciple… And so willit us… And so will it us.

 

It is interesting to note that historytells us Hitler banished all professing Christians from his government... Doyou know why?  Because he said… their faithand loyalty to the state was endangered by their loyalty to Jesus.

 

You see… He knew quite well that… Genuine discipleship demanded absolute faith and loyalty... A NEVER-THE-LESS kind of living.

 

How many of us are like Peter… Willingto live a NEVER-THE-LESS life… Justsaying… Lord… I may not understand it… But if You say so… I’ll do it.

 

Baptism in water… Never-the-less…Because you command it I’ll do it.

 

Not forsaking the assemblies…Never-the-less… I’ll be there.

 

Into all the world teaching others…Never-the-less.

 

Genuine discipleship is living a never-the-lesslifestyle… Amen?

 

Secondly… The agenda of Jesus involved people... He was compassionate.

Like Jesus… We must be in the peoplebusiness… Have a genuine compassion for others...

  • People before things... money... the world...

  • People before greatness... Footwashers are the greatest in the Kingdom

  • People before Religion... Jesus said the law was made for man... Notman for the law.

 

In verse 12 & 13 of Luke 5... Jesus encounters a Leper.

Not only does Jesus heal this leper...What else does He do?... He TOUCHEDhim. Jesus didn’t have to touch him to heal his leprosy. He healedthe centurion’s servant at Capernaum without ever seeing him.

 

QUESTION!... Do you know anylepers?... People no one will have anything to do with…

• The outcast…

• Thedisenfranchised…

• The poor…

• The down-on-their-luck…

• The ugly… Andhurting people in our world?

 

I’ll bet there are some lepers…

• Where youwork…

• In yourschool…

• In yourneighborhood…

• There arelepers in this church.

 

How about it church?... Will we be a genuine disciple of Jesus?

Will we... Servethem... Touch them... Teachthem... Help them... Heal them... Save them?

 

Not only did Jesus touch the leper... Hetouched thesocial outcast.

Jesus is teaching and some men bring aparalytic to be healed. The house is full… So they tear through the roof andlet the sick fellow down to Jesus.

 

This paralytic represented thosecursed by God because of some sin in their life…. This is how theJews of Jesus’ day thought.

 

Remember the blind man of John chapternine?

When the disciples saw him they askedthe question… Who sinned this man or his parents? They thought that all sickness and deformities were aresult of God punishing the individual for his or her sins.

 

Note here that in verse 20… In the NIVJesus says… friend… Yoursins are forgiven.

Jesus called him friend.

How many of the sick havewe been a friend to this week?

 

Here is an interesting thought… If Jesuswere in our world today…Where would we find Him?

• Perhapsin the pulpit of our churches?... This church?

• Maybe in thegreat cathedrals of Europe?

• Or on TV as atelevision evangelist.

Why would we expect to find Him any place different than when Hewas here before?

 

I suggest… If Jesus came today we wouldfind Him…

• In thehospitals…

• The nursingand orphan’s homes

Of our world.

 

He would be spending time... helping... Healing... And rescuing sinners…Just as He did 2000 years ago… What makes us think He would behave anydifferently???

 

Listen!!... Can you hearJesus say to us tonight… As often as you do it to the least of these… Youhave done it to me.

• How manyhospital visits have we made this week?

• How manychildren have we taken the time to hold in our arms?

• How many dyingpeople have we served?

• How manysinners have we attempted to rescue?

 

Verse 10… Disciples are called to be evangelistic.

From now on you will be... Fishers ofmen… Catchers of men.

Disciples must have a passionate urgency for lostsouls.

 

I remember... some time ago... reading asurvey of those who attended services three times a week… Where…

• Only 59% feltthat they had any responsibility to tell others about Jesus.

• 27% actuallydisagreed with the whole concept of evangelism.

 

We’re better Bible students than tothink like this.

We KNOW… We know that we ought tobe sharing the good-news of Jesus with others.

 

One more… Disciples are those doing the Father’s WIll...

In Matthew 7… Jesus gives us thedifference between a true and false Disciple... Not everyone who says to me,`Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven… But only he who does the will of my Father whois in heaven.

 

Genuine Discipleship is doing the will of The father.

 

Question… Are you and your speaker agenuine disciple… Are we known for doing the will of the Father?... I pray thatwe are!

 

I believe… THE GREATEST NEED IN OUR CHURCHES TODAY is…

GENUINE Biblical DISCIPLESHIP… AMEN?

 

If you’re here tonight and not a child of God… We invite youto become His disciple by… Faith… Repentance… Confession… and New Testament Baptism.

 

Perhaps as His children… We need toreconsider our thoughts on discipleship.

 

I hope the lessons today have given ussome ideas on what makes a genuine disciple.

 

If God is calling you to a greaterheight of discipleship… Respond to His call… As we stand and sing this songtogether.