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?