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Eric Meyer CD Outline

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Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Introduction:

Summary:   There is a mistrust of the church by society in general.  It is viewed as an institution or club that is too dogmatic or doctrinal by non-members.  The church needs to get back to the fundamental teachings of Jesus so that disciples can be taught that following Him is the sole definition of joy.

1.       Many Christians have developed a love for their specific Christian beliefs to the detriment of Jesus’ actual teachings.

2.      The Church has become an institution with self created rules that dictate how people are to form their relationship with Jesus.  It has placed itself between man and God.

3.      Only by following Jesus single-mindedly, not the church rules, can a man understand that the yoke of Jesus truly is gentle, and His burden is light.

4.      A relationship with Jesus is the right of all people, not just an elite minority.

5.      Only Jesus knows what following Him will mean for each of us, but we can be certain the destination will mean unending joy.

Quote:  “And if we answer the call to discipleship, where will it lead us?”  (pg. 38)

Interaction:  In 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Paul encourages his young disciple to teach people that God will provide for the future if the people are willing to put their trust in Him.  The riches of today will pass, but if we are rich in good works, generous and ready to share, then our treasure will be stored in heaven.  We don’t know were Jesus will lead, but are assured His burden is light.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 1:  Costly Grace:

Summary:  The church has been infected by cheap grace, the belief that we are sanctified through grace alone.  Bonhoeffer states that we need to understand the true relationship between grace and discipleship.

1.       Cheap grace originates with the reformation thought that man is saved through grace alone.  The gift of grace has been mutated to a grace which we give ourselves.

2.      Costly grace is what Jesus offers.  It is the treasure we would give all to acquire.  It is costly because it demands us to submit, and it is grace because the burden is light.

3.      In the church there exists a double standard.  A standard which indicates that it is OK to make a minimum effort to achieve grace, and that those committing their lives to Jesus have received a special calling.

4.      Sin is not justified.  It is the sinner who needs to be justified.

Quote:  “It is a fatal misunderstanding of Luther’s action to suppose that his rediscovery of the gospel of pure grace offered a general dispensation from obedience to the command of Jesus…” (pg. 48)

Interaction:  Another type of grace Bonhoeffer could have mentioned is expensive grace.  That is the grace that can be purchased from the church.  It is not too surprising that many people missed the fact that grace is costly in Luther’s teaching.  They went right from expensive grace to cheap grace without considering costly grace.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 2: The call to discipleship

Summary:  Jesus calls us all to discipleship.  We do have free will to choose to follow, but Jesus does not permit excuses.  If we are to enjoy the grace of God, we must obey Jesus.

1.       When Jesus calls, we must obey.  If we make up excuses or delay the decision, we are not yet ready to be His disciple.

2.      Discipleship means following Jesus explicitly.  Believing but not following is not Christianity, but a religion of our own making.

3.      Lack of faith is no excuse for not obeying.  By obeying our faith will be solidified.

4.      God does not grant faith or withhold faith by some predestined process.  He simply commands us to obey Jesus.

5.      We can only learn what Jesus wants us to do by obeying Him.

Quote:  “The command, suggests the Serpent, needs to be explained and interpreted.  “Hath God said?”  (pg. 73)

Interaction:  This is an IQ moment!  “Hath God said?”  Did God really mean the statement that way?  Shouldn’t we spend some time in deep scriptural exegesis before we decide if that is really what Jesus meant?  Bonhoeffer convicts me.  His words are like arrows aimed directly at the heart of the issue.  It is not for me to decide what God meant.   I am simply to obey, and have faith that He will let me know what I need to know.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 3: Single-Minded Obedience

Summary:  People will follow orders from secular leaders, but not take the word of God seriously.  When the word of God is heard it is too often heard as a suggestion when it should be taken as the most important commands in life.

1.       Single-minded obedience is required by Jesus.  Belief and faith will come through obedience. 

2.      It is true that Jesus’ commands were given a long time ago.  However, they are still as valid today as when He spoke them.  To rationalize disobedience through analysis of the context in which the words were spoken simply leads to further disobedience.

3.      Choosing a standard of living because it matches the social norms of Christianity may actually be the exact opposite behavior that Jesus would like us to perform.

4.      Taking the steps to follow Jesus is not a conditional offer that we make to Him.   Following Jesus always stems from His offer to us.

5.      No man, weather rich or poor, has the right to enter the Kingdom.  Only through Jesus can we earn salvation.

Quote:  “In fact such a step might then be the precise opposite of obedience to Jesus, for we might then be choosing a way of life for ourselves, some Christian ideal…”  (pg. 84)

Interaction:  Dying to self daily means evaluating the motivations for our behavior daily.  Are we living a life style because it is what we are “supposed to do”, or is it what Jesus tells us to do?

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 4: Discipleship and the Cross

Summary:  The suffering and rejection that Jesus experience were required.  Jesus knows His disciples will also experience suffering and rejection in carrying their crosses, but promises that He will ease the burden.

1.       A suffering Messiah was a scandal to the Jews.  That was not what they wanted, or ever even imagined.

2.      Jesus knew that the suffering and rejection he experienced on the cross was the only way to ensure our salvation.  It is also expected of His disciples.

3.      Carrying the cross for Jesus daily is not horrible.  It is participating with Him in ensuring the salvation of as many of our brothers as possible.

4.      The first form of this suffering is to separate ourselves from worldly demands.

5.      Suffering is being separated from God.  Therefore His disciples can’t really suffer.

Quote:  “Thus the call to follow Christ always means a call to share the work of forgiving men their sins.”  (pg. 90)

Interaction:  Author Gary Wills said, “His followers are not to aspire to the social register, but to seek out the forsaken.”  So many people feel they are not worthy of being saved.  They have sinned too many times, are not desirable, and are unclean.  Jesus calls us to seek those very people, and give them the message that they are forgiven.[i]

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 5: Discipleship and the Individual

Summary:  Jesus is the mediator who stands not just between God and man, but also between man and all other men.

1.       Man is to distance himself from the world when he chooses to follow Jesus.  He gives up his right to direct contact with the world, as Jesus wants to breaks the grip of sin.

2.      All men have their personal ambitions and desires.  For people to get beyond those desires, Jesus is needed to mediate. 

3.      What we do not receive from Jesus comes from the world, the same world that crucified our savior. 

4.      The need for intercessory prayer stems from the fact that Jesus mediates between all people and each other, and between all people and God.

5.      The choice to follow Jesus is one that has to be made in isolation from the world.

Quote:  “It is no arbitrary choice on the disciples part, but Christ Himself, who compels him thus to break with the past.”  (pg. 95)

Interaction:  Oswald Chambers also emphasizes the fact that we must burn bridges behind us and break with the past.  He says, “Take the initiative, stop hesitating, and take the first step.  Be resolute when God speaks, act in faith immediately on what He says, and never revise your decisions.”  The call of the world is strong.  It makes us want to second guess ourselves.  When we know what is right, we simply have to do it.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 6:  The Beatitudes

Summary:  The purpose of the Beatitudes is to offer all who hear it the opportunity for salvation.  The offer has been made, but now it is up to the audience to accept the gift.

1.       For Jesus’ sake the disciples have stepped out of the world, and rely on Him completely.

2.      Disciples mourn, but they do to show their close bonds to their brothers.

3.      Jesus did not come as a conquering King, but to defeat the evil of the world through love.  The meek have already inherited a place in the Kingdom.

4.      The merciful have their own needs, but willingly take on the needs of their fellow man.

5.      Like children, the pure in heart follow Jesus intuitively. 

6.      Rejection is what the world offers the disciples, but they accept Jesus’ offer, and He eases their burdens.

Quote:  “They see for all the jollity on board, the ship is beginning to sink.”  (pg. 108)

Interaction:  Paul describes the process of trying to save the lives of all aboard a sinking ship in Acts 27.  If it were not for the fact that he stayed calm, and talked his captors through the trial, all would have died.  That is a great allegory for the Beatitudes.  The lowliest man on the ship staying calm, commanding all on board to give up everything they own to be saved; trusting in God through the storms that life throws at them.  On the last day Paul broke bread, and gave thanks to God.  All were saved.  It is so hard to trust what we can’t see, but Jesus repeatedly tells us to simply trust Him with the faith of a child.  If we do so, we also will be saved.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 7: The Visible Community

Summary:  Jesus has given His disciples the responsibility to take His message to all other humans.  By becoming a disciple, we become the salt and light of the earth, and if we do not “follow”, Jesus has no other method for spreading the Gospel.

1.      Salt cleanses and preserves.  That is also what a disciple does by preaching the Gospel.

2.      If called by Christ to be a disciple, we do not have a choice to decide if we want to be the salt of the earth.  We are by default.

3.      Salt that loses its properties is useless, and needs to be thrown away.

4.      Disciples shine the light of Christ through their whole being.  We are to be so in tune with Jesus that those around us can’t help but to see the light of Jesus through or work.

5.      We can not let fear or any other motive act as a cover for the light.  We need to let it shine.

Quote:  “Jesus does not say that men will see God; they will see the good works and glorify God for them.”  (pg. 119)

Interaction:  Jorge Crespo started a prison ministry in one of the worst prisons in Ecuador.  His efforts have radically changed the prisoners to the point where many say they don’t even want to leave.  A local priest named Father Tim says of Jorge, “I never learned about God in seminary.  I learned about God from this man.”[ii]  To me, that is a perfect example of letting Christ’s light shine.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 8: The Righteousness of Christ

Summary:  Jesus did not come with the intention of abrogating God’s law, but to show people how to keep it.  He taught that the only way to keep the Law is through His teachings.

1.      God’s law that Jesus refers to in the Beatitudes is the covenant shared with Moses.

2.      The Jews had come to worship the law.  They let it come between them and God.

3.      Jesus did not have anything to add to the law except the fact that He alone could keep it.

4.      Following the law depends upon a relationship with God.  There is no relationship with God unless the law is followed.

5.      Being able to follow the law is a gift of righteousness from Jesus.  By calling a disciple to follow Him, Jesus grants that righteousness.  By following Christ, the disciple practices that righteousness.

Quote:  “…the disciples are told how to practice this righteousness of Christ.  In a word it means following Him.”  (pg. 125)

Interaction:  I like this quote because the concept of righteousness is a bit confusing for me.  Bonhoeffer is basically saying that it is OK to not completely understand how righteousness works.  Just follow Jesus.  Earlier in the chapter he talks about the disciples practicing righteousness.  I think that the word “practice” was a good choice, because that is really all we can do for Jesus.  We practice His teachings, and learn through the effort.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 9: The Brother

Summary:  By saying, “But I say unto you”, Jesus is declaring that He is the author of the law.  He is going to define how it will be understood, and He allows only absolute compliance.

1.      There is no limit to who is our neighbor.  All men are our brothers.

2.      Jesus does not allow for justifiable anger.  Anger and hatred can not be justified at all.  All incursions must be forgiven.

3.      By speaking in anger or disrespect we put ourselves above our brothers, and value our lives more than theirs.

4.      God loves all of His children equally, and will not allow us to dishonor another.  By doing so, we dishonor God.

5.      Jesus gave us the ultimate example by forgiving His tormentors as He died on the cross.

Quote:  “To serve our brother, to please him, to allow him his due and to let him live, is the way of self denial, the way of the cross.”  (pg 130)

Interaction:  Timothy Keller does a great job explaining the forgiveness of the cross.  He says, “Forgiveness means absorbing the debt of sin yourself.  Everyone who forgives someone goes through death into resurrection…”[iii]  Giving up the debt is painful.  It physically hurts to forgive someone who does not deserve it.  That forgiveness is indeed dying to self, taking up our cross.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 10: Woman

Summary:  By giving in to lust we display our lack of faith in Jesus.  He tells us that our reward for sacrifice is beyond estimate, yet we look for the immediate gratification.

1.       The feelings we enjoy by giving in to lust mean nothing compared to what we sacrifice because of our behavior.   We should be willing to do anything to break to hold of lust.

2.      Jesus does not give an impossible command.  He asks that we simply look upon Him.

3.      The discipline we exhibit in following Jesus needs to be extended to marriage.  By keeping our vows in all aspects, we practice a discipline of self denial required by Jesus.

4.      Jesus does prohibit His disciples from marriage or require celibacy.  He does however, forbid sexual irregularity.

Quote:  “Even momentary desire is a barrier to the following of Jesus, and brings the whole body into hell, making us sell our heavenly birthright for a mess of pottage, and showing that we lack faith in Him who will reward mortification with joy a hundredfold.”  (pg. 131)

Interaction:  Mat. 5:27-32 is a very difficult passage to understand.  Are we really to cut off our hand?  I like Bonhoeffer’s explanation that Christ simply gives us one option, and that is to look upon Him.  Otherwise we show our complete lack of trust that He will hold up His end of the bargain.


 

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 11: Truthfulness

Summary:  The need for an oath indicates the existence of lies.  Jesus teaches that His disciples need to speak only the truth, and then they will have no need to offer an oath.

1.       An oath is a protection for the lie.  If one tells only the truth, there is no need for an oath.

2.      Since no one perfectly knows the past, and certainly does not know the future, they can not use an oath in God’s name.

3.      People who are complete in their discipleship have no need to use oaths since they have nothing to hide from their Lord.

4.      By being completely truthful, a person exposes his entire being.  The embarrassing, uncomfortable, and sinful impulses have no where to hide.

5.      Speaking only the truth creates genuine brotherhood.

Quote:  “Since they only speak the whole truth and nothing but the truth, there is no need for an oath, which would only throw doubt on the veracity of all their other statements.”  (pg. 137)

Interaction:  This chapter is an indictment on the common phrase “honestly” as in, “Honestly, I did not know that would happen.”  If we are speaking honestly only when we emphasize the fact by using that word, do we lie at all other times?  Jesus makes the point clear when He tells us simply not to lie.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 12: Revenge

Summary:  Evil will burn itself out if left alone.  Resistance creates more evil, and enhances the damage done.

1.       Ignoring evil does not condone it.  The disciple recognizes the act as evil, but turns the response over to Jesus.

2.      Because we live in a world filled with sin, it is all the more important to not return an evil act.

3.      Jesus showed that non-violence is the way to defeat evil by His death on the cross.

4.      The cross is the example that divine love will conquer evil.

5.      Jesus calls the Disciples blessed because of their visible participation in His cross.

Quote:  “The worse the evil, the readier must the Christian be to suffer; he must let the evil person fall into Jesus’ hands.”  (pg. 143)

Interaction:  I struggle with Bonhoeffer’s interpretation of non-resistance.  George Ladd tells us that Jesus is concerned with the condition of our heart, that we must not harbor hatred.[iv]  If someone wants to kill me or my family, I am going to defend myself.  I understand that I am not to hate that person, and will try to bring them to Christ.  However, I will defend myself.  Is that wrong?  I don’t know.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 13: The Enemy – the Extraordinary

Summary:  Jesus calls His disciples to be set apart from other men.  He says they need to be more righteous than the experts of the law.  The attribute that sets men apart is called “the extraordinary” by Bonhoeffer.  It is to know and offer the love that Jesus Himself offers.

1.       God’s will is that we will fight no more.  We will defeat our enemies by loving them.

2.      Our enemies are those who harbor hostility towards us, or those who are unresponsive to our love for them.

3.      We must immediately bless, offer service, and pray for our enemies.

4.      The cross emphasized the fact that all men are Jesus’ enemies.  Though we are His enemies, he took our sins upon Himself, and blessed us with His unlimited love.

5.      What sets us apart from our enemies is this standard of love for them, this “extraordinary” quantity that is nothing less than the passion of Christ Himself.

Quote:    “We do not reciprocate their hatred and contention, although they would like it better if we did, and so sink to their own level.”  (pg. 151)

Interaction:  NT Wright wrote, “…the Kingdom of God triumphed over the kingdoms of this world by refusing to join in their spiral of violence. [On the cross, Jesus] would love his enemies, turn the other cheek, go the second mile.”[v]It is the aspect of breaking the spiral of violence that helps me to understand the teaching that we need to love our enemies.  We simply remove their power when we refuse to engage at their level.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 14: The Hidden Righteousness

Summary:  The disciples must shine the light of Jesus in humility.  They must never perform good deeds simply for the personal recognition.  God knows what we have done for Him, and that is all the recognition we need.

1.      We are to hide the visibility of our discipleship from ourselves.  Our good deeds need to shine the light of Jesus, but we are to perform them purely out of love.

2.      The cross epitomizes the dichotomy necessary in this command from Jesus.  It is at once visible, and a mystery.

3.      If we did good deeds simply for the pleasure of doing good deeds, then we would not be following Jesus.

4.      This level of commitment requires the death of our old self.  Our love and good deeds need to occur spontaneously through the gift of righteousness that Jesus offers.

Quote:  “If we want publicity in the eyes of men, we have our reward.”  (pg. 160)

Interaction:  “For My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Mat 11:30).  The burden truly is light when we are so committed to Jesus that actions in His name, a life in His name are performed without premeditated thought.  It is difficult to separate the joy felt from helping someone from the need for recognition.  We all want to be thought of as good people.  Bonhoeffer emphasizes the excruciating single-mindedness with which we are to follow Jesus.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 15: The Hiddenness of Prayer

Summary:  What we pray is no where near as important as how we pray.  God knows what we want before we ask.  He wants us to ask Him with the love and faith of a child.

1.       Prayer is meant to be a conversation with our father done for our mutual benefit.  It is not meant to be done as a performance to show people how talented we are at praying.

2.      All prayer is directed to God through our mediator, Jesus the Christ.

3.      Jesus tells us we are to pray from the inner most core of our being.  This way we can pray that His will be done, the will of our Father who knows our needs before we ask.

4.      True prayer depends solely on knowing that our Father already knows our needs.  That way God becomes the sole object of our prayers.

5.      Jesus gave us the perfect model of prayer in the Beatitudes.

Quote:  “All Christian prayer is directed to God through a Mediator, and not even prayer affords direct access to the Father.  Only through Jesus Christ can we find the Father in Prayer.”(pg. 162)

Interaction:  This quote defines another IQ moment for me.  One of the most beautiful verses in all of scripture just became clear to me, “…for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).  How awesome that Jesus Himself wants to help me pray! 

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 16: The Hiddenness of the Devout life

Summary:  Going without brings clarity to the mind of the Disciple.  Bonhoeffer uses the phrase, “Practising abstemiousness,” which indicates he means that fasting for the sake of Jesus is much more than just doing without food.

1.       It is difficult to live a life of service when we are always satisfied.

2.      Our lives need to be disciplined in order to avoid sin.  Actually following Jesus is a form of discipline that requires prayer in order for any chance of success.

3.      If we feel that we have lost contact with God, it is time to resolutely attack the indulgences that are causing barriers between God and us.

4.      Only by fasting for God can we achieve our goals.  Fasting as a performance for others is simply a form of self aggrandizement, and the publicity is the only reward for such a deed.

Quote:  “As soon as a Christian recognizes…that all his joy in God has vanished and that his capacity for prayer has quite gone, it is high time for him to launch an assault on the flesh, and prepare for better service by fasting and prayer.”  (pg. 170)

Interaction:  This may be part of the answer to the question posed in our May 20th class.  If we are not hearing God is it because of how we are praying?  Maybe it is because we have erected barriers to our relationship with Jesus that need to be removed before we enjoy a deep prayer relationship with our Father.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 17: The Simplicity of Life

Summary:  Our society is almost hopelessly in love with possessions.  Unfortunately the quest for possessions and security for tomorrow has lead to equally hopeless anxiety.  Faith that God knows what we need is the only cure for such anxiety.

1.      What are we devoted to?  Are our hearts set on earthly goods or Gods will?

2.      Disciples are required to use what they need, and not collect.  God will give us what we need to make it through the day.

3.      Our God is what we treasure.  If we hoard something, it has become an idol.

4.      Jesus knows that the fear of tomorrow only brings anxiety.  Hoarding will not alleviate this fear. 

5.      Only by seeking the Kingdom of God and his righteousness can we overcome anxiety.

Quote:  “Before we start taking thought for our life, our food and clothing, our work and families, we must seek the righteousness of Christ.” (pg. 181)

Interaction:  Christopher Maricle speaks to this issue in his book The Jesus Priorities.  He describes the typical American house that has so much stuff in the garage that the car needs to be parked in the driveway, stuff that has not been used in years.  He also relates a story of a person visiting a rabbi, and being surprised at the rabbi’s lack of possessions, “Rabbi, where is you furniture?” asked the tourist.  “Where is yours?” asked the rabbi.  “Mine?  But I am only a visitor here.”  “So am I” said the rabbi.”[vi]  What a great way to look at life!

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 18: The Disciples and the Unbelievers

Summary:  We are all the children of God and therefore are all brothers.  Jesus demands that we do not judge each other.  Doing so only drives a wedge between Jesus and us.

1.       If we judged others, we will ourselves be judged by God.

2.      By judging others, we assume we have a better knowledge of good and evil than God does.  We become blind to our own evil.

3.      If our motive is to destroy evil, then we should look where we are certain to find it, in our own hearts.

4.      We are not to even judge those who disregard the word of God.  We are to simply move on, shaking the dust off of our sandals.

5.      The word of God may appear weak, but that is the intent.  If it had come in power, the Day of Judgment would have arrived.

Quote:  “Thus a strict limit is placed upon the activities of the disciples, just as in Matt 10 they are told to shake the dust off their feet where the word of peace is refused a hearing.” (pg. 186)

Interaction:  Jesus takes the pressure off by telling us not to throw our pearls before swine (Mat 7:6).  What a freeing statement!  As disciples, we are to tell others that the Kingdom is at hand, but there is nothing we can do to make them believe if they don’t want to.  We are not to judge, just simply move on.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 19: The Disciples and the Unbelievers

Summary:  Jesus is going to judge us.  At some point we are going to have to answer for our behavior, and many who think they are Christians will be told that He never knew them. 

1.      The disciples of Jesus are a small group, and unfortunately will always be a small group.

2.      Disciples are not to hope for a large number of people accepting their message.  The path to Jesus is terribly narrow, and only those who keep their eyes directly on their Lord will make it to Him.

3.      Though the task is difficult, and few will listen, the disciples must do their job.  They know what rewards lie ahead.

4.      Jesus tells us that false prophets can not maintain their appearances indefinitely.  Eventually their true character will be revealed.

5.      Jesus will not ask us at the end if we were good Protestants or Catholics, but weather we did His will.

Quote:  “The grace of Jesus is a demand upon the doer, and so his doing becomes the true humility, the right faith, and the right confession of the God who calls.”  (Pg. 194)

Interaction:   I like the comment that the false prophets will eventually be revealed because they will not be able to keep up their false appearances.  A true disciple has to do God’s will.  The news all too frequently describes the falling from grace of the imposters.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 20: The Conclusion

Summary:  The Sermon on the Mount does not require interpretation.  It requires action.  There is no need to waste time trying to analyze the words of Jesus in the context of the times.  We are to immediately obey.

1.       Jesus allows us only one response to His words; we are to obey.

2.      He has given us a foundation of rock on which to build our house.  In order to accept that foundation, we must act on His words.

3.      If we start asking questions, or posing scenarios, we are no different than the Pharisees.  Jesus demands our action.

Quote:  “The Son of God had spoken.  He had taken the judgment of the world into His own hands.  And His disciples were standing at His side.”  (pg. 197)

Interaction:  Oh, how I want to be standing at Jesus’ side!    I’ve already sinned about 337 times today, but I know Jesus is with me, helping me to overcome those transgressions.  While I am not perfect, I know I need to act as Jesus’ disciple.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 21: The Harvest

Summary:  The multitudes of lost and hurting people need a savior, but none are to be found.  The Jews are looking for a conquering King who will defeat the Romans, but leave the social system intact.  Jesus comes as a shepherd tending to the flock that the Jewish leaders have ignored or used to their own purposes.  He comes with the intention to heal, and is looking for disciples to help Him.

1.       The disciples are jealous of their time with Jesus, wanting Him all to themselves. He shows them His intention to help all people.

2.      The established religious leaders now worship the law and use the people.

3.      Jesus needs disciples who are willing to selflessly help the lost sheep.

4.      The harvest is ready.  There are more lost sheep than can be ministered to.  Many more disciples are needed.

5.      People can not choose to be disciples.  Jesus teaches that the disciples are chosen, and that God will send help if only we pray.

Quote:  “Their duty is to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth labourers at the right moment, for the time is ripe.”  (pg. 203)

Interaction:  I can see how easy it would be to want to keep Jesus all to myself.  He could minister to all people, but through His divine plan needs disciples to carry forth the message.  What an honor to feel that call.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 22: The Apostles

Summary:  There is no common thread between disciples except for the fact that they answered Jesus’ call.  They have been pulled from a variety of backgrounds to shine the light of the kingdom of God into the Kingdom of man.

1.       The Father has revealed His plan.  His plan is to teach disciples to follow His Son’s teachings, and bring His light to the world.

2.      The Apostles have been armed with some of God’s power to pull lost sheep out of Satan’s clutches.

3.      These disciples and their stories have been preserved for us so that we may know God’s plan as well.

4.      There is no prerequisite to be a disciple.  One only must answer Jesus’ call.

Quote:  “The only bond of unity between the twelve is their choice and call.”  (pg. 205)

Interaction:  One of the statements made during our first evening of classes. Was that God’s plan was to teach disciples.  The fact that the original apostles were so successful attests to the power that God bestowed upon them.  It is truly awesome to see how disciples have kept the word of God alive and active for the past 2,000 years.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 23: The Work

Summary:  Jesus has work for His disciples to do.  As with any good leader, Jesus gives His workers clear instructions:

1.      Go to the Jews and preach the message to the chosen people of God.

2.      Tell them that the Kingdom of God is near, and prove it by casting out demons, healing the sick, and forgiving sins.

3.      Take no possession, be absolutely dependent on God, and do not act like a beggar.  If you work, you will earn your keep, and do not be ashamed that you are compensated.

4.      Hurry!  There are people desperate for the Good News!

5.      Do not force the message on people unwilling to accept it.  There are plenty willing and ready to accept the message.

Quote:  “To refuse to believe in the gospel is the worst sin imaginable, and if that happens, the messengers can do nothing but leave the place.”  (pg. 211)

Interaction:  I am sure the apostles were disheartened at times at the number of people who refused to listen.  Most people dislike rejection, and it is one of the hardest aspects of a sales job to get used to.    Paul give very good advice in Galatians 6:9 though, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 24: The Suffering of the Messengers

Summary:  Jesus makes the task of the apostles and disciples clear.  They are going into enemy territory and will not only be hated, but despised.   However, Jesus will be standing at the side of the disciples the entire time, and teaches them how to handle the adversity.

1.      First, they are to understand that God is giving them a mission.

2.      Second, they are to teach the Gospel of the Kingdom with wisdom, retreating when necessary, but attacking as needed.  The disciples are to use the wisdom of God to asses the situation, and perform as required.

3.      Be prepared to be persecuted.  Kings will personally put you on trial, but the Holy Spirit will never leave your side.  The testimony of your trials will make you a better disciple.

4.      You will be hated until the end of time, but know your reward is waiting in the Kingdom.  Do not give up!

Quote:  “If they called Jesus a devil, how much more shall they call the servants of His household devils?”  (pg. 216)

Interaction:  Paul is such an awesome example of a disciple dedicated to Jesus.  He experienced all of the above, and has been responsible for introducing the Kingdom to a billion or more people.  Paul’s testimony is so powerful, “…in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death” (2 Corinthians 11:23). So far all I have to do is risk ridicule for believing in Jesus, for having “gotten the bug” as one of my friends says.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 25: The Decision

Summary:  We are not to fear the work Jesus has set before us.  He has been blunt; it will not be easy.  But a decision needs to be made, and Jesus wants that decision now.

1.       The works is challenging, but it will mean glory for the disciples and judgment for their persecutors.

2.      Disciples do not need to fear men.  Those that are afraid of men do not fear God.  Those who fear God have ceased to be afraid of men.

3.      Our time on earth is so brief, but eternity is so long.

4.      If we speak the name of Jesus in the kingdom of man, Jesus will proudly announce our name to all in the Kingdom of God.

5.      Make no mistake.  Jesus did not come to bring peace, but to cause division.  He demands a decision

Quote:  “Time is short.  Eternity is long.”  (pg. 219)

Interaction:  What an understatement!  Bonhoeffer makes it nearly impossible to not to make a decision to follow Jesus.  Who do you fear more, God or man?  Do you want eternal judgment or eternal peace?  Eternity is a long time.  No kidding.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 26: The Fruit

Summary:  As the disciples engage in their mission, they are to remember to whom they are responsible.  A disciple knows that Christ is with him, and he will earn the reward promised because Jesus does not lie.  Therefore, the disciple needs to keep his concentration focused on the lost sheep.  The focus needs to be on the lost, the thirsty, and the least.

1.       The disciples are now friends of Jesus.  They work as a team.

2.      Wherever the disciples go, Jesus goes with them.

3.      The disciples bring salvation to those with no hope.

4.      Any man who receives a disciple of Christ and know what he is doing, also receives Christ.

Quote:  “Thus the disciples are bidden lastly to think, not about their own way, their own sufferings and their reward, but of the goal of their labors, which is the salvation of the Church.”  (pg. 221)

Interaction:  Jesus tells us in Matthew 25 that when we are feeding the hungry, tending to the sick, caring for the prisoner, and inviting in the stranger, we are doing the same for Him.  Christ is in all of us, and we need to see Christ in our fellow man.  Love has to be the driving force that takes us out to the needy. 

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 27: Preliminary Questions

Summary:  There is no excuse for not following the will of Christ.  Wishing that we knew the will of Christ in our lives is folly because that will is easily found in the scripture, in the sermons of our pastors, in the gift of the sacraments.  Jesus told the first disciples to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind.  That command has not changed with the passage of time.

1.       2,000 years ago, people were able to actually see and hear Jesus.  But they also had numerous challenges to their faith.

2.      Today we are blessed to not only have the words of Jesus, but know that He rose.  We are blessed with the presence of the Spirit as well.

3.      Jesus asks us to follow.  He does not give specific commands.  We find those specifics as we develop a personal relationship with Him

4.      The original disciples believed Jesus’ words then recognized Him as the Christ.  We are to follow the same order.

Quote:  “Who is there to tell me and others, for that matter, that we are not acting on our own initiative and following our own wild fancies?   (pg. 225)

Interaction:  People today use the excuse that it would have been much easier to believe Jesus if we could have been near Him to see his miracles, and hear His words.  R.C. Sproul discusses this challenge to the Church as well saying, “Instead, we have bought the modern lie, that the church has nothing valid to say to the world.”[vii]  Jesus has plenty to say.  We simply have to listen.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 28: Baptism

Summary:  Through the sacrament of Baptism, Jesus claims us.  He separates us from the world, and fills us with his Holy Spirit.  While we still are a part of the world, we no longer belong to it.

1.       Baptism is a gift of grace.  Christ Himself steps between the baptized and the world.

2.      Forgiving sin does not mean forgetting sin.  It means death of the past, a complete separation from the past sins.

3.      Through baptism, the Holy Spirit joins us and teaches us Himself.

4.      Joining Christ is a solitary decision.  But the disciple joins a huge family once he enters the body of Christ, the church.

5.      There can be no repetition of baptism.  Christ died once and for all, with Baptism, we also die to our past once and for all.

Quote:  “The certainty which the disciples enjoyed in their intercourse with Jesus was not lost after He left them.”  (pg. 233)

Interaction:  The idea the Holy Spirit Himself has entered our being, and is teaching us is simply awesome.  Through baptism, we are given the gift of the actual intimate presence of God, who claims us as His own.  I understand now how baptizing an infant without then raising them in an environment which then teaches the depth of that gift, simply ritualizes a beautiful gift of grace.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 29: The Body of Christ

Summary:  Jesus took on human flesh, in effect leaving behind his perfect spiritual body, dying to the Spirit.  Through baptism we take on the Holy Spirit, leaving behind our old human bodies.   Through this gift, disciples form a new body, the living body of Christ, the Church.

1.       Jesus did not just take the form of a human body; he took on all of human nature.   The perfect spirit became imperfect flesh, suffering imperfection as we do.

2.      In order to be with Jesus, we must do so through His new body, the Church.

3.      Baptism brings us into the body; the Lord’s Supper Super sustains fellowship and enhances our sense of community.

4.      It is not possible to be a part of the body of Christ as an individual.

5.      The N.T. doctrine of the body of Christ fulfills the O.T. prophesy of God coming to live in His temple on earth.

“Quote:   “Yet paradoxically, David receives the promise that one sprung from his seed shall build the house, and that his seed shall endure for ever.”  (pg. 246)

Interaction:  For the first time, I really understand the creation of God’s temple.  He will dwell in His church, His body, and His people.  Though Solomon asked for wisdom, he was blinded by the human ideals of mammon.  God has no need for money, that concept was created by man.  It is an artificial means of allocating God’s resources.  Solomon could not see, as so many people today can not see, that God does not live in buildings.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 30:  The Visible Community

Summary:  Though we can’t see Jesus today, we can experience His presence through His living body, the Church.  He is the cornerstone upon which the church is built, and the disciples are the living blocks used in the construction.

1.       People are introduced to Jesus through the teaching of His word.  They join in fellowship with Him through His sacraments.

2.      Like a living body, the church is organized with parts that have a specific purpose.

3.      Though the church can become ill like a human body, the fact that it is still vibrant and growing today is proof of the power of God.

4.      Christians are required to care for their fellow Christians to keep the body healthy.

5.      God organized life so that the world tries to dominate through force, and Christians conquer through service.

Quote:  “Thus the unity between us and the first congregation is established.”  (pg. 250)

Interaction:  James Dunn wrote a book describing how the Gospel was kept alive in its early stages through memorization, and he describes how it is a living document that keeps us in touch with our first Christian brothers.  He states, “To read and hear the teachings of Jesus and the stories of His mission is to join in a line of discipleship and continuity of church that stretches from the days of Jesus’ own mission to the present.”[viii]  I am continually amazed at how pertinent the words written 2,000 years ago are to life today.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 31:  The Saints

Summary:  God could have started over.  He could have erased us from the earth for our utter sinfulness, yet He chose a much more complicated strategy to save the children He created in His image. He chose to teach us His righteousness through His own sacrifice; joining us on this journey, building a living church of His saints, and defining our bodies as His temple.

1.       We need to understand that we live only because of God’s grace and righteousness.

2.      God has done what He needs to do to save us.  We have been justified, but need to be sanctified daily.  Sanctification keeps us in fellowship with Jesus.

3.      Sanctification separates us from the world, though it must be maintained by walking with Jesus, and must be done in community.

4.      By participating in idolatry and lust, we attempt to deify ourselves.

5.      The Spirit creates fruits through us that we did not know we had the ability to create.  

6.      To maintain a healthy church, discipline is necessary.

Quote:  “The Church goes on its way through the world.  Its journey like that of the ark…” (pg. 278)

Interaction:  Maybe the Holy City in Rev 21:2 is God’s church.  It is already an ark saving people from demonic the misery of this world.  As mentioned in verse 3, the Tabernacle dwells among men.  He has made us His temple.  We are His people, but not yet in perfection, which won’t happen until the city descends, and God’s reign is unimpeded.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 27th, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 32:  The Image of Christ

Summary:  The divine image of God is revealed on earth.  Through His acceptance of a human body, teaching of His word, death, and resurrection, God has joined us at our level. 

1.      A copy can only be formed by modeling the original.

2.      Man is created in the image of God.  Through following Jesus, we begin to look more and more like our creator.  By following personal idols, we look like Satan.

3.      If we wish to share in God’s glory, we must share in His suffering.

4.      Christ will not be finished with us until He has perfected the copy.

5.      Through adversity the Christian church begins to shine, and God becomes visible.

Quote:  “Indeed it is wrong to speak of the Christian life; we should speak rather of Christ living in us.”  (pg. 303)

Interaction:  If we believe in God, we must believe in Satan.  If God is at work in the world trying to transform us into His image, Satan is certainly doing the same.  If I wish to participate in God’s glory, I need to build a temple worthy of being Christ’s home, and allow Him to mold me into His image.  Other wise I will take on the appearance of a devil.


 


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[i] Gary Wills, What Jesus Meant (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2006), 29

[ii] Charles Colson, How Now Shall We live? (Carol Stream, IL:  Tyndale House, 1999), 8

[iii] Timothy Keller, The reason for God (New York, NY: Penguin, 2008), 192

[iv] George Eldon Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1959), 88

[v] Timothy Keller, The reason for God, 198.

[vi] Christopher Maricle, The Jesus Priorities – 8 Essential Habits, (Nashville, TN: Upper Room Books, 2007),  84

[vii] R.C. Sproul, Defending Your Faith, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003), 85

[viii] James Dunn,  A New Perspective on Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic: 2005), 56

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