Faithlife
Faithlife

Discipleship (2)

Discipleship  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 18 views

What is a disciple, and what is the cost for discipleship?

Notes & Transcripts

Scriptural Text:

The Cross is a clarion call to action, commitment, and discipleship.

The cross does not mean merely bearing one’s particular hardship in life, such as poor health, abuse, unemployment, invalid parents, an unsaved spouse, a wayward child.

The Cross is a instrument of death-The Christian is to die mentally and actively

(1) he is to deny himself daily (2) he is to let the mind of Christ, the mind of humbling himself to the point of death, be in him and fill his thoughts every day (Ph.2:5-8; ) (3) he to put his will, his desires, his wants, his ambitions to death (4) he is to follow Jesus and to do His will all day long

This is spelled out in

(NKJV)

11Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
13And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
With that being said, ask the question, “What Is A Disciple?”

Part I: What Is A Disciple?

What Is the Difference between a Christian and a Disciple?
The terms disciple and Christian are related but not synonymous.
The Greek term for “disciple” in the New Testament is mathetes, which means more than just “student” or “learner.” A disciple is a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of another, making them his rule of life and conduct. The Pharisees prided themselves in being disciples of Moses (). Jesus’ followers were called “disciples.” Their discipleship began with Jesus’ call and required them to exercise their will in response ().
Not all of Jesus’ followers were able to make such a commitment. There were many who left Him after a while. “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him” ().

Discipleship is therefore best understood as a journey, a direction, an orientation of one’s life toward becoming like Christ. This can only be accomplished by following Christ.

(1) Peter the Model Disciple

This point can be argued from all the Gospels in their general presentation of Peter. Simon Peter was the prominent disciple. Not only is he always listed first (; ; ), but as the spokesman for the disciples as a group, he represents the consensus of the group’s opinion of Jesus and His teaching (e.g., ; ; ; ; ; ; ). Peter is also given the privilege of being one of the three in Jesus’ inner circle along with James and John (e.g., ; ; ; ; ).

(2) Peter a Progressing Disciple (a) Following Salvation (b) Following in Commitment (c) Following in Obedience (d) Following in Sacrifice (e) Following in Failure (f) Following in Service

(a) Peter’s first encounter with Christ is described in . The setting for this meeting is Bethany beyond the Jordan (1:28).11 Andrew, Peter’s brother, first meets Jesus, then goes to find Peter. When Simon Peter meets Jesus, we have no record of his words or thoughts, only that Jesus changed his name from Simon to Cephas (=Peter, ).
Peter’s first encounter with Christ is described in . The setting for this meeting is Bethany beyond the Jordan (1:28).11 Andrew, Peter’s brother, first meets Jesus, then goes to find Peter. When Simon Peter meets Jesus, we have no record of his words or thoughts, only that Jesus changed his name from Simon to Cephas (=Peter, ).
(b) The first call to Peter to follow in discipleship is issued in and , in Galilee (, , ; , , ). Jesus calls Peter and Andrew, and James and John, the sons of Zebedee, to become “fishers of men.”
(c) Another time we find Peter following Christ is in the seaside account described in . After an unfruitful night of fishing, Jesus finds Peter washing his nets. He tells him to launch the boat and let down the nets. Peter objects, but obeys, and catches a huge haul of fish. The results produce in Peter a broken spirit as he now learns to obey the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus tells Peter, “From now on you will catch men” (5:10), and the text notes that Peter and his companions “forsook all and followed Him” (5:11).
(d) Now that Peter has learned his first lesson in submission and obedience, Jesus advances him in the school of discipleship with a lesson on what it really means to be a disciple. On the occasion of Peter’s climactic confession (.; .; .), Jesus instructs all the disciples in the conditions or cost of continuing in discipleship. Though all the disciples are addressed, Peter becomes the principal character in precipitating this instruction.
(e) The next stage of Peter’s discipleship finds him faltering in following the Lord. In the upper room on the night of the final Passover meal with His disciples, Jesus told Peter, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward” ). Peter, who still trusted in his own strength to enable him to follow Christ, objected to the pronouncement (13:35). Jesus, of course, was predicting Peter’s infamous three-fold denial during His arrest (13:38). The “now … afterward” contrast shows this to be a temporary interruption due to impending and difficult circumstances.
(d) The fulfillment of our Lord’s prediction is in . In this account, there is positive identification of Peter as still a disciple. The one accompanying Peter to the courtyard of the High Priest, usually assumed to be the disciple John,29 is called “another disciple” (18:15) or “the other disciple” (18:16),30 thus identifying Peter as a disciple to the reader. Not only that, but it is said that Peter “followed Jesus” (18:15). What we have, then, is a picture of a disciple under great pressure in his progress of following the Lord.

Conclusion Disciples are made, not born.

(e) The last stage in the progression of Peter’s discipleship occurs after the resurrection when Jesus appears to Peter and six other “disciples” in Galilee (). Peter had returned to his familiar activity of fishing. It is certainly no coincidence that Peter’s activity of fishing forms the backdrop for a further challenge to discipleship. In contrast to , however, Peter does not object to the Lord’s command to let down the net on the right side of the boat (21:6), demonstrating that he has learned the lesson of obedience.
Jesus’ calls to “Follow Me” (21:19, 22) come both after the three-fold commissioning of Peter to a shepherding ministry and after a description of how Peter would die (21:18). The dialogue shows that Peter is now restored in his relationship with the Lord.

Conclusion Disciples are made, not born.

Disciples are made, not born. We have seen this in the life of Peter. Furthermore, the recurrent calls of Christ to Peter to follow in his life show that there is a sense in which a disciple can always become more of a disciple. The call to follow persists throughout the life of a disciple. In Peter’s life we see a funnel effect. The progressive calls to follow begin with a general direction and commitment, but become more and more specific in what that commitment entails. Each time the disciple is called to follow, new significance is attached. With each call, the disciple is challenged to a deeper commitment and a greater sacrifice.
We have seen this in the life of Peter. Furthermore, the recurrent calls of Christ to Peter to follow in his life show that there is a sense in which a disciple can always become more of a disciple. The call to follow persists throughout the life of a disciple. In Peter’s life we see a funnel effect. The progressive calls to follow begin with a general direction and commitment, but become more and more specific in what that commitment entails. Each time the disciple is called to follow, new significance is attached. With each call, the disciple is challenged to a deeper commitment and a greater sacrifice.
This supports our understanding of discipleship as a direction or orientation, not a state. It is a committed and progressive following of Jesus Christ as Master. Anywhere on one’s journey toward becoming like Christ one can be called a disciple, even in the midst of a temporary failure. It seems reasonable to state that anyone who rejects the challenge to commit himself to Christ ceases to follow and removes himself from the path of discipleship.
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →