Discipleship
DISCIPLESHIP

DISCIPLESHIP

 

1. What is a disciple?

A. A "follower of the teaching" & the Master Teacher:

                Mat.10:24,25          The disciple [should] be as his master             (See Lk.6:40)

                Jn.12:26  If any man serve Me, let him follow Me

                Jn.13:15  I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done

                1Pet.2:21                Christ (left) us an example...follow His steps

B. A disciple abides (lives, dwells) in Jesus:

                Jn.15:4    Abide in Me, & I in you

                Jn.15:9,10               If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love

                1Jn.2:6    He that...abideth in Him ought...to walk as He walked

                1Jn.3:24  He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him

                (See also 2Cor.5:17; 1Jn.2:5,10,24,28.)

C. A disciple serves Jesus out of love & gratitude:

                Jn.14:21,23             If a man love Me, he will keep My Words

                1Cor.6:19,20           Ye are not your own...for ye are bought with a price

                2Cor.5:14                The love of Christ constraineth (motivates) us

                Eph.5:1,2                Be followers of God...walk in love, as Christ loved us

                Phi.1:21  For me to live is Christ, & to die is gain

                (See also Exo.21:5,6)

D. A disciple must love Jesus above all else & all others:

                Mat.6:24 No man can serve two masters: he will hate one, & love the other...hold to one & despise the other

                Mat.10:37               He that loveth father, mother, son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me

                Lk.14:26  If any man come to Me & [by comparison] hate not his father, mother, children...he cannot be My disciple

 

2. A disciple's job:

A. To win souls ("bear fruit"):

                Jn.15:8    Bear much fruit, so shall ye be My disciples

                Mat.4:19 Follow Me, & I will make you fishers of men

                Mk.16:15                Go ye into all the world & preach the gospel to every creature

                Lk.9:59,60               Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou & preach

                (See also Mat.7:20; Rom.7:4.)

B. To train more disciples:

                Mat.28:19               Go therefore & teach [make disciples of] all nations

                Jn.21:15-17             Lovest thou Me? Feed [teach & instruct] My sheep

                2Tim.2:2 Things which thou hast heard...[teach] faithful men

                (See also Acts 20:20)

 

3. A disciple is one who obeys the Master:

                Mat.12:48-50         Who are My brethren?...His disciples...whosoever shall do the will of My Father...is My brother

                Jn.8:31    If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples

 

4. Dedicating oneself totally to the Lord:

A. Abandoning other pursuits to follow Jesus:

                Mat.13:44               Kingdom is like treasure hid in a field...selleth all that he hath & buyeth that field

                Mat.13:45,46          Found pearl of great price...sold all he had & bought it

                Lk.14:33  He...that forsaketh not all...cannot be My disciple

B. Forsaking the pursuit of material possessions:

                Mat.6:19,20            Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth

                Mk.10:21                Sell whatsoever thou hast...& take up cross & follow

                Lk.12:15  A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth

                Acts 4:34,35a        Possessors of lands or houses sold them, & brought the prices...& laid them down at apostles' feet

                Phi.3:8    Jesus...for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, & do count them but dung

                (See also Mat.19:22; Lk.12:33.)

C. Forsaking worldly & materialistic ambitions:

                Mat.6:24 Ye cannot serve God & mammon

                Mk.4:19  The cares of this world, & deceitfulness of riches...choke the Word...it becometh unfruitful

                Mk.10:17-25           [Jesus challenged the rich young ruler to forsake all]

                Jn.6:27    Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for

                2Tim.2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with...this life

                Heb.12:1 Lay aside every weight...let us run the race

                (See also 2Cor.6:17)

 

5. The decision to dedicate oneself to Christ as a disciple:

A. Count the cost first:

                Lk.14:27-32            Intending to build...sitteth down & counteth the cost

                Pro.24:6  By wise counsel thou shalt make thy war

B. Burn your bridges behind you:

                1Ki.19:19,21           [Elisha, deciding to follow Elijah, burned his plow & yoke & sacrificed the oxen]

                (See also Acts 4:34,37)

C. Be single-minded & don't look back:

                Lk.9:61,62               No man...looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God

                Phi.3:13,14             Forgetting things which are behind, & reaching forth...I press toward the...high calling of God

                Heb.11:27               (Moses) forsook Egypt...endured, as seeing Him (God)

D. Some made a sudden decision to follow:

                Mat.9:9   As Jesus passed...He saw Matthew sitting at receipt of custom: Follow Me. And he arose, & followed Him

                Jn.4:35    Say not ye, There are yet 4 months, & then cometh harvest? Look on the fields, they are white already

                1Ki.18:21                How long halt ye...? If the Lord be God, follow Him

                Heb.4:7   Today if ye...hear His voice, harden not your hearts

E. Delay & excuses can result in never serving God:

                Lk.9:57-62              Let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home

F. Some took more time to count the cost:

                Lk.14:28-30            Sit...down first, & count the cost

                Peter & Andrew first met Jesus at the Jordan (Jn.1:37-42); They followed Him back to Galilee (Jn.1:43; 2:1,2); He called them some time later & they then forsook all to follow Him fulltime (Mat.4:18-22; Mk.1:16-20).

 

6. Different ministries of disciples:

A. Being a disciple does not always mean abandoning all other pursuits:

                Mat.27:57               Rich man...named Joseph, who also was Jesus' disciple

                Jn.19:38-40             Joseph of Arimathaea, a disciple of Jesus, secretly

                Acts 9:36,39b        A disciple named Tabitha [made coats & garments]

                (See also Mk.14:8a)

B. Some disciples had prominent positions in society:

                Mk.15:43                Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor (See also Lk.23:50-51.)

                Acts 19:31             Certain of the chief of Asia...were (Paul's) friends

                Acts 10:24, 44-48  [Cornelius the centurion, his relatives & friends]

                Rom.16:23              Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you

C. Sacrificial giving--a requirement for all disciples:

                Lk.8:3      Joanna the wife of Chuza...& Susana, & many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance

                Acts 11:29             The disciples, every man according to his ability

                2Cor.8:14,15           That...your abundance may be a supply for their want

                1Tim.6:17,18          (Command) them that are rich...(be) ready to distribute

D. The disciple's attitude towards those who can't devote their full time to serving God:

                Mk.10:21                [Jesus loved the rich young ruler, even though he didn't forsake all]

                Lk.9:49,50               We forbad him, because he followeth not with us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not.

E. Not all are capable of or fit to be His disciples:

                Lk.8:38,39               The man...besought Him that he might be with Him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine house (See also Mk.5:18-20)

                Jn.6:53-61,66          [Jesus weeded out weak followers who were there for the wrong motives]

                Mat.22:14               For many are called, but few are chosen

                (See also Jer.12:5 & Mat.13:47,48.)

F. Different degrees of discipleship:

                The 3 innermost disciples (Mk.9:2; 14:32,33); the 12 apostles (Mk.3:13-19); the "other 70" (Lk.10:1); the "multitude of the disciples" (Lk.19:37)

 

7. Discipleship & family obligations:

A. Putting God's service even before loved ones:

                Psa.45:10,11           Forget also thine own people, & thy father's house

                Mat.10:36,37          He that loveth [family] more than Me is not worthy

                Mat.12:48-50         Who are my brethren? Whosoever shall do (God's) will

                Mat.19:29               Forsaken houses, brethren, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, lands, for My name's sake

                Mk.1:19,20             James & John...left their father & went after Him

B. Jesus' call to utter commitment:

                Lk.9:59,60               Suffer me...to go & bury my father. Jesus said, Let the dead bury the dead

                Lk.9:61,62               Let me...bid them farewell at home. Jesus said, No man...looking back, is fit for the Kingdom

                (See also Exo.20:3; Mat.22:37.)

 

8. Discipleship & "losing your own life":

A. Forsake own life, plans, ambitions:

                Mat.16:25               Whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it

                Lk.14:26  If any...hate not his own life, he cannot be My disciple

                Mat.6:21 Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also

                Lk.9:59,61               [Wrong attitude:] I will follow Thee, but...me first

B. Discipleship--A life of death to self:

                Mat.6:33 Seek first the Kingdom of God

                Mat.10:38               He that taketh not his cross, & followeth after Me

                Mat.16:24               If any man come after Me, let him deny himself

                Mk.10:21b              Come, take up the cross, & follow Me

                Jn.12:24  Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground & die

                Jn.12:25  He that loveth his life shall lose it

                2Cor.5:15                They should not live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them

 

9. The path the disciple follows:

A. A disciple obeys God's will & follows:

                Num.22:18              I cannot go beyond the Word of the Lord, to do less or more

                Lk.6:46    Why call Me, Lord, Lord, & do not the things I say?

                Lk.14:27  Whosoever doth not...come after Me, cannot be My disciple

                Jn.2:5      Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it

                Jn.8:31    If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed

                Rev.14:4 They...follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth

B. A disciple humbly submits to his pastors & spiritual overseers:

                1Cor.11:1                Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ

                1Cor.16:16              Submit yourselves unto such, & to every one that helpeth with us & laboureth

                Phi.3:17  Be followers of me &...them which walk as ye have us for an (example)

                1Thes.1:6               Ye became followers of us, & of the Lord, having received the Word

                Heb.13:7 Them which have rule over you...whose faith follow

                Heb.13:17               Obey them that have rule over you, submit yourselves

C. Disciples obey & follow God, even without understanding details:

                Jn.21:21,22             What will (he) do? What is that to thee? Follow thou Me

                2Cor.5:7  We walk by faith, not by sight

                Heb.11:8 Abraham went out, not knowing whither he went

D. Disciples willingly adapt & change:

                Lk.9:3      Take nothing for your journey, neither...money

                Lk.22:35-36            I sent you without purse...But now...take it

E. Love other disciples & work in unity with them:

                Jn.13:35  Ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another

                Phi.1:27  With one mind striving together for the...gospel

 

10. The life of a disciple:

A. Give sacrificially & be willing to call nothing your own:

                Mat.5:42 Give to him that asketh thee...turn not thou away

                Lk.3:11    He that hath two coats, (give) to him that hath none

                Lk.6:30    Him that taketh thy goods, ask them not again

                Acts 2:44,45          And all that believed...had all things common

                Acts 4:32-35          Neither said any that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; they had all things common

                1Tim.6:7,8              Having food & raiment let us be therewith content (See also Lk.9:23-26)

B. Disciples must be willing to endure hardships:

                Lk.9:57,58               I will follow Thee...Foxes have holes, but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head

                2Tim.2:3 Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ

                (See also 2Cor.11:23-28)

C. Be willing to endure persecution:

                Phi.1:29  Not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer

                2Tim.3:12               All that live godly in Jesus shall suffer persecution

                Acts 15:26             Men that have hazarded their lives for Jesus Christ (See also Jn.16:33)

D. Be willing to literally die for Jesus:

                Acts 21:13             I am ready not to be bound only, but to die for Jesus

                Phi.1:20  Christ be magnified...whether by (my) life or death

                (See also Acts 20:24; Heb.11:35-38; Rev.12:11.)

E. Be zealous & enthusiastic:

                Eccl.9:10a               Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might

                Gal.4:18  It is good to be zealous...always in a good thing

                Rev.3:15 I would thou wert cold or hot

F. An unswerving continuance in God's Word:

                Jn.8:31    If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples

 

11. The benefits of discipleship:

A. Discipleship a privilege:

                Psa.4:3    Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself

                Mat.22:14               For many are called, but few are chosen

                Phi.3:14  The prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus

                2Tim.1:9 Who hath saved us, & called us with an holy calling

                (See also Mat.11:25; 13:16,17; Lk.8:10.)

B. Rewards for serving Jesus:

                Mat.10:39               He that loseth his life for My sake shall find it

                Mat.19:27-29         We have forsaken all, & followed; what shall we have? ...Ye shall sit upon thrones...receive an 100-fold

                Mk.10:28-30           Shall receive an 100-fold now in this time

                Lk.12:33  Sell that ye have...provide yourselves a treasure in the heavens that faileth not

                Jn.12:26b                If any man serve Me, him will My Father honour

                1Cor.2:9  Eye hath not seen...the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him

                (See also Mat.5:10-12; 16:25,27; Jn.12:25; 2Tim.2:12.)

C. Faithful overcomers rewarded:

                Rev.2:26-28            He that overcometh...will I give power over nations

                Rev.3:21 Him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me

                Mat.25:14-29         [The parable of faithfulness with the talents]

                Lk.12:42-44            Faithful steward...Lord will make him ruler (See also Lk.12:35-38)

                Lk.19:12-26            [Parable of nobleman giving pounds to his servants]

 

12. Jesus' last words & prayer for His disciples:

                (See John chapters 14-17; Acts 1:8.)

 

 

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