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2008-04-06_Make Disciples - Part 1_Matthew 28.16-20_SL

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Make Disciples

Matthew 28:16-20   |   Shaun LePage   |   April 6, 2008


Make Disciples

Matthew 28:16-20   |   Shaun LePage   |   April 6, 2008

I.       Introduction

A.    1975—John Sculley developed “Pepsi Challenge”; wildly successful; 1977—youngest president of Pepsi; 1983—Steve Jobs (Apple) recruited Sculley, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” Sculley left, apparently considered a more important task; computers are catching on

B.    Early in Jesus’ ministry (Mt 4), He approached two brothers who had a small fishing business: “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men…immediately left” (apparently considered a more important task); experienced 3 amazing years with Jesus, witnessed His death/resurrection—given Great Commission (fishers of men)

II.     Body—Matthew 28:16-20

A.    16-18—The basis: “All authority”.

1.     (16) Earlier who was missing? disciples! Several times, Jesus told disciples He would rise on third day! Where were they? Hiding; didn’t believe. Jesus coaxed them out with two invitations. 1st invitation: angel (7); 2nd invitation: Jesus (10) So, 28:16, “disciples proceeded to Galilee.”—showing faith now (after seeing Jesus themselves), made long journey from Jerusalem to Galilee in obedience; “designated” a mountain (again)

2.     (17) “worshiped” Combination of 4:10 and 28:17 is powerful! Jesus claimed to be God by accepting worship; “some were doubtful” not told why, just floated out there—11 apostles? 500 others who came (1 Cor 15)? large crowd, couldn’t see Jesus well? Cross then alive? Trust what they were seeing? Point: Resurrected Lord, God is sending!

3.     (18) “All authority” Came to offer kingdom to Jews, now sending disciples to nations (Ch10, house of Israel)—son of Abraham (ch1) bless world; basis for GC. If earth authorities say no “we must obey God rather than men.” God is a higher authority “heaven and earth”; Jesus is saying, “Wherever you go, I am in charge.” If One with all authority sends, go/speak/work with great confidence?

B.    19-20a—The plan: “make disciples”—struck this time by the simplicity of this plan

1.     Key command: “make disciples.” “Go” is not an imperative—participle like “baptizing and teaching.” “Going, baptizing and teaching” explain how we are to make disciples; What is a “disciple”? maqhteV. root “to learn”: pupil/follower/obedient to someone’s teaching/apprentice; frustrating part: “disciple” never used after Acts—epistles never use the word; As important as the GC is, word “disciple” was dropped for some reason! Why? Lk 6:40—“disciple” one who is “like his teacher”/“Christ-like.” epistles much about Christ likeness. Why important? “disciple” not equivalent to “Christian”! Salvation free, discipleship costly; Larry Moyer: Free and Clear, Larry Moyer, p.101

2.     So, “make disciples” is the only command; “Go…baptizing…teaching” are all participles—the how; does not fill in all details, “big picture” details in rest of NT; numerical growth is implied—make widgets? Burgers? Enemies? More!

3.     Christ followers “going” into the world (evangelism), good news of salvation in Christ; how can we best serve the world? Feed hungry/clothe naked/give to poor? All good, but primary way to serve: tell the good news!

4.     “Baptizing” more than dunking; includes water baptism—first act of obedience—but connection; represents connection with God (“in the name of the Father/Son/Spirit); and His people; symbolic of death and resurrection of Christ (identification with Christ) and public identification with church;

5.     Not “teaching” but “teaching them to observe…” observe=Obey (NIV); Eph4? Grow up! Maturity comes from knowledge that leads to life change; Don’t miss “all”; not sinless perfection, implies process over time; obey more and more as time goes on;

C.    20b—The Promise: “I am with you always”. GC is very Christ-centered; “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” promised to be with us; sent out with His “authority” and promised His “presence”! Q: Can we expect His presence if we don’t obey His commands? He’s omnipresent, but isn’t this promise conditional? Isn’t Jesus saying, “If you make disciples I will be with you in a special way to bless and support your efforts—precious promise; Also a deadline! Won’t always be able to make disciples—age will end; urgency and accountability

III.   Closing: Observations:

A.    All this is so important, I’m going to revisit it after SVW (Applicational Bible Study)

B.    The task is enormous! “All nations”! World vision! All hands on deck! Nothing to do in Lawrence? Plenty right here—start right here!

C.    The plan is simple! Let’s simplify around here…(going to start seeing 3 words)

1.     Not yet a disciple?

a)     Connect—idea behind baptizing: Trust Christ! Recognize and submit to His Lordship! Get baptized/Join CBC! Connect through large group and small groups; I’ve been in local church ministry now since 1987, learned at least this: if you don’t connect, you will become dissatisfied, you will drift away—Christian spirituality is inseparable from connection with God’s people, practicing “one anothers”

b)     Grow—idea behind teaching: learn through personal devotion, studies, preaching—don’t forget to “obey” apply what you learn; evangelism training,

c)     Serve—idea behind going: disciples multiply, what we do! Get “going” participate somehow; “invest and invite” 1 person; CG, SS, International Friends, BBS, etc.

2.     Already a disciple? Keep the cycle going! Come full circle!

a)     Connecting—keep connecting with God and His people; help others connect;

b)     Growing—keep growing, help others grow, best option: CGs! (also MBS, Mondays with Warren; Women’s Fellowship, Equipping Hour, seminars) But, CGs starting The First Principles (BILD) next week (hold up book) unique tool employs a great method in helping new believers lay a solid foundation, “old” believers: refreshing/fill-in-the-gaps from hit-and-miss growth process; 13 studies/2-3 years

c)     Serving—keep serving, going, participating in “making disciples”—think Core Values (back of bulletin); pray (without ceasing) Sunday mornings, Women; worship consistently, spirit and truth, join WT, ppt/sound, greeter/usher/nursery; Support/encourage teachers, prepare to be one; grow (already covered); connect in community (already covered); every-member ministry discover your gifts, do your part; give cheerfully and consistently; reach out to/keep investing in neighbors/ coworkers/friends/family, evangelism training; be innovative—let us hear your suggestions/improvements/wild ideas may be bold steps of faith

d)     Write 3 words: connecting, growing, serving under CBC logo on front of bulletin

3.     The cause is great! Life more than day-to-day existence/comfortable—King of kings calling to great cause! Notice: Speaking primarily to men (not excluding women)! instinctively looking for great cause—most never find one so settle for getting degree, being boss, salesman of year or getting to final four (all good), but pale in comparison; You gonna sell sugar water or do you want to change the world?

4.     (time?) William P. Merrill, pastor/hymn writer challenged by friend to write hymn to challenge men—1911, wrote “Rise up, O men of God!”—293 in hymnal; (learn this, Tim?)

 Closing Prayer…

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