Disciples of Christ


Text: Matthew 28:18-20

 

I.         No one name is used to describe a person.

            A.        A single word cannot encompass all that a person is. I could be called a preacher, but I’m also a father, a husband, a writer, a teacher, a computer scientist, a singer, and many other things.

            B.        Similarly one word doesn’t describe God’s people.

                        1.         They are called “Christians” because they follow Christ - I Peter 4:16

                        2.         Saints because they have been set apart for a holy purpose - Ephesians 1:1

                        3.         Priests because they serve the living God - I Peter 2:9

                        4.         Brethren because they are a part of God’s family - Colossians 1:2

            C.        But the word used frequently in the New Testament for God’s people is “disciple.”

II.        What is a disciple?

            A.        The Greek word is mathetes, which means a pupil, a student, or a learner.

            B.        A disciple learns

                        1.         “If one claims to be a disciple of Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson, he should be a student of those men. He should study their writings, their books, and their letters. In short, he should be interested in reading and studying everything available from those men.” [Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, “mathetes” entry]

                        2.         God draws people to be taught and to learn - John 6:44-45

                        3.         It is the burden Jesus requests of us - Matthew 11:28-30

                        4.         Diligence in the word - II Timothy 2:15

                        5.         An infant cannot be a disciple of Christ because they are unable to learn

            C.        A disciple applies his lessons

                        1.         People can learn a lot about people or subjects which they never plan to apply to their own life.

                                    a.         I might study a particular denomination’s teachings in depth so that I might instruct others about its errors

                                    b.         But my knowledge concerning the denomination doesn’t mean I am a disciple of that denomination.

                        2.         Must live in Christ’s words - John 8:31

                        3.         Must live in Christ’s teachings - II John 9

                        4.         Continuing in the word by doing - James 1:25

            D.        A disciple gives priority to his teacher

                        1.         When we refer to someone as a disciple, we don’t mean they have a casual interest in their subject. A disciple is consumed with learning from his teacher.

                        2.         The contrast with people - Luke 14:26

                        3.         The contrast with things - Luke 14:33

                        4.         Paul’s attitude - Philippians 3:8

            E.        A disciple endures

                        1.         At times lessons are hard to understand. You wouldn’t expect a disciple to give up just because he runs into some difficulty.

                        2.         Luke 14:27 - Bearing our cross

                        3.         A daily effort - Luke 9:23-25

                        4.         There will be persecutions - II Timothy 3:12

                        5.         Enter the kingdom by many tribulations - Acts 14:21-22

            F.        A disciple teaches

                        1.         Bearing much fruit - John 15:8

                        2.         Making disciples - Matthew 28:19-20

                        3.         There is a time we all ought to be teachers - Hebrews 5:11-14

III.       Are you a disciple of Christ or merely a pew warmer?