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February 05, 2006
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Monkey See, Monkey Do - "Discipleship"

February 5,2006.  Pastor Matt

 

Many think of Salvation as a Free Ticket to Heaven.  “I believe and that should be enough.” Yet there is still a part of you missing. 

 

You bought the car, had it delivered to your home, and then left it sitting in the driveway.  You had never driven a car so you did not know any better, but you kept saying to yourself “there has got to be something more to this”  You push a few buttons and some stuff comes on but it doesn’t quite seem like a bargain.  “What a rip off!!,” you think.

 

Christianity is often the same way. We sell people a brand new Jesus but we never really show them what He is for.

 

Honestly, we never present Him as He is to be presented.

 

Such as… (can anybody tell me the plan of salvation?)

 

1. We recognize we all have sin and need a savior.

 

      Romans 3: 23.  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

-         we all have sin (a disease like chicken pox)

 

Romans 6:23.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

-         The problem is that sin should be punishable by a death apart from God

 

Romans 5:8.  God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

-         However, Jesus provided the cure.  He paid the penalty for your sin

-         The only way to pay the penalty for your sins is by letting Jesus pay for them with His life

 

2. We must turn from our sin and go the other way.

 

Jesus said…

 

      Luke 5:32. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

 

John the Baptist told the religious leaders to…

 

      Luke 3:8.  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

 

When Peter presented the Gospel…

 

Acts 3: 19.  Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

 

3. We must surrender our life to His control.

 

Matthew 16:24.  Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

 

-         When we put our faith in Jesus, our old self dies.

-         We become new people who find their identity in Jesus

 

Some of you may say, “I don’t think that is what I signed up for!  Get me outta here!”

 

Some of you may realize that you were never presented Jesus in this way, but what I have said has grabbed your attention.  You may say, “maybe this is what is missing”

 

Once you have made that first step, what is next?  You “bought yourself Jesus” but now what do you do with Him?

 

We, as Christians, are told to…

Matthew 28:19.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

-         It does not say, sell ‘em Jesus and leave them be

There is more.                More is discipleship.               What is a disciple?

-         The word "disciple" literally means A LEARNER.

-         According to Vine's Expository Dictionary Of New Testament Words, it denotes "one who follows another's teaching."

Turn to Matthew 4:18-22.  As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

 

Why would we want to learn about Jesus?

 

Why would we want to disrupt every aspect of their lives and to become a disciple of Jesus?

 

In that first-century world, disciples were those that detached themselves from their own way of life and re-attached themselves to a rabbi (teacher), committing themselves to his service and to becoming like him in every way. So complete and total was a disciple's commitment to the rabbi that it became the preeminent reality of their life and the defining element of their personality.

 

Example: Forest Gump running and people following

 

Why would we want to be a student of the Bible?

 

Today I will give you two reasons why we should be disciples instead of just someone who believes:

 

1. Being a disciple allows us to experience God’s love.

 

Do you know why Jesus died for you and me? (Help me out on this one)

 

If someone sacrifices their life for another person, wouldn’t it be safe to assume that there is a reason why?

 

Romans 5:8.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Turn to Romans 8:31-39.  31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[m] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 1: 4-6.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

 

In other words…

 

-         It was His pleasure to create us because He wanted something to love. 

o       We are all born with an inner desire to love others and be loved. 

o       That comes from God. 

o       God is love. 

        What is love that can not be expressed to someone else. 

        The character of God is love.  

        The object of his love is you and me.

 

When we are disciples we are learning how to walk in a right relationship with Jesus so we can experience His love.  

 

Who marries a person they don’t know?  Who commits to give their life to someone they don’t know?  Who turns themselves away from another who wishes to genuinely love them?

 

(Remember, love is not a sexual thing) 

When we are disciples, we are walking with the One we love and the One who loves us.

 

Turn to John 15:1-10. 

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.

How do you remain in His love? 

“If you obey His commands” (Spend time in the Word.  Be a student of the Word.)

You are not a very good student of the Word if you don’t…

-         spend time in the books

-         or

-         if you don’t apply the books to your life.

 

2. Being a disciple allows us to become the person God created us to be.

 

Genesis 1:27.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

 

-         We are beings created in His image who were originally meant to be like Him. 

-         However, sin messed that up. 

 

Yet there is hope!

 

Turn to 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

 

-         Once we put our faith in Jesus, we can begin to find our new identity, our original identity…to become more and more like our creator, to become more and more like Jesus. 

-         The person inside you waiting to break out can only be found in Jesus.

 

Romans 8:29.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son

-         The end result of being a disciple should be a reproduction of the teacher, who will do the -same things the teacher did.

John 14:12.  I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

 

Can this really happen?

 

Can we really become more and more like Jesus? 

 

How?

 

A couple of clues:

 

Galatians 6:7-8.  Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

 

         

In 2 Timothy 3:14-17, Paul tells Timothy to…

 

Continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good

 

It is the Word that transforms us.

 

We must be disciples of the Word.

 

 

 

Test the Word.  You can’t study it without being changed by it!

 

 

Closing

In reality, the plan of salvation is the plan of discipleship.  Discipleship is a continuation of salvation. 

Don’t just buy the car and miss out on the fun of driving it around town!

What can you do today?

 

Make the decision to get back in a right relationship with Him.

 

Make that decision to put your life in His hands and have Him as Lord of your life.

 

Repent of not making Him a priority in your life and not getting to know Him.

 

Decide today to live life in a new way…as a Disciple of Jesus.  Life will never be the same!