Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Succinct Outline Concerning True Disciples of Jesus

Sermon Outline regarding the definitions, marks, costs, and blessings of discipleship.

Taken from Executable Outlines
 
You don't really need to hear your pastor preach this. The outline is so clear and
compelling that it should move any true Christian to repentance and action. 
 
I. THE DEFINITION OF A DISCIPLE

   A. THE WORD "DISCIPLE"...
      1. The word "disciple" literally means A LEARNER
      2. According to Vine's Expository Dictionary Of New Testament
         Words, it denotes "one who follows another's teaching"
      3. But a disciple was not only a learner, he was also AN ADHERENT
      4. For this reason disciples were spoken of as IMITATORS of their
         teachers.

   B. THE GOAL IN BEING A DISCIPLE...
      1. Stated by Jesus himself:  to be like the teacher - Lk 6:40
      2. To be Christ's disciple, then, is to strive to be like Him!
      3. According to the apostle Paul, this coincides with God's goal
         in the redemption of mankind, that they be conformed to the
         image of His Son - Ro 8:29

[Do you have a strong desire to follow Jesus and become like Him?
Unless you do, it cannot be said that you are truly His disciple!

There are also some "identifying marks" of discipleship given by Jesus
which can help us to further identify a true disciple of Jesus...]

II. THE MARKS OF A DISCIPLE

   A. A DISCIPLE IS "ONE WHO ABIDES IN JESUS' WORDS" - Jn 8:31
      1. This would imply being a diligent student of the teachings of
         Christ
      2. It also requires one to be a "doer" of the Word - Mt 7:21-27;
         Jm 1:21-25
      3. In view of this, a true disciple would not...
         a. Fail to study the Bible diligently
         b. Willingly refrain from opportunities to study with others
            (e.g., Bible classes, church services, gospel meetings).

   B. A DISCIPLE IS ALSO "ONE WHO LOVES THE BRETHREN" - Jn 13:34-35
      1. With a love patterned after the love of Jesus ("as I have
         loved you")
      2. With a love that is visible to the world ("by this all will
         know")
      3. Therefore, a true disciple would...
         a. Make every effort to get to know his brethren
         b. Take advantage of occasions to encourage and grow closer to
            them (e.g., attending services on Sunday and Wednesday
            nights)
      4. Remember, a disciple is one who wants to become like his
         teacher 
         a. Was Jesus willing to sacrifice time and effort for His
            brethren?
         b. Of course, and so will we... IF we are truly HIS disciples!

   C. A DISCIPLE IS "ONE WHO BEARS MUCH FRUIT" - Jn 15:8
      1. Notice the word "much" (also found in verse 5)
         a. Jesus is not talking about an occasional good deed
         b. But a lifestyle which prompts people to glorify God!
            - Mt 5:16
      2. This is so important, that failure to bear much fruit will
         result in being severed from Christ - Jn 15:1-2
      3. How can one be a disciple if he or she is cut off from Christ?

[The point should be clear:  to be a disciple of Jesus Christ means 
more that just a casual church member.  It requires COMMITMENT, 
especially in regards to:
  
                    The teachings of Christ 
                    The love of brethren 
                    Bearing fruit to the glory of God

The kind of commitment involved is seen further when we consider the 
"high cost" of discipleship demanded by Jesus in Lk 14:25-33...]

III. THE COST OF BEING A DISCIPLE

   A. JESUS MUST COME FIRST - Lk 14:26
      1. Before anyone else, including members of our own family 
         - Mt 10:34-37
      2. Even before one's own self - Lk 9:23-25

   B. WE MUST BE WILLING TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST - Lk 14:27
      1. Trying to live godly lives in an ungodly world, we may find
         that following Christ sometimes involves ridicule and
         persecution - 2Ti 3:12
      2. Even if we are blessed to escape such things, we must still be
         willing to expend time and effort in promoting the cause of
         Christ in positive ways

   C. PUTTING IT SIMPLY, WE MUST FORSAKE ALL TO FOLLOW CHRIST 
      - Lk 14:33
      1. In other words, Jesus must be KING and LORD of our lives
      2. Nothing can take precedent over Him and His Will for us

[This kind of "high cost" of discipleship demanded by Jesus caused 
many people to turn away from following Him.  But Jesus wasn't trying
to attract large crowds, He wanted disciples!

Is the COST worth it?  I believe so, for consider some of the REWARDS
of discipleship...]

IV. THE REWARDS OF BEING A DISCIPLE

   A. THERE IS THE PROMISE OF "FUTURE BLESSINGS"...
      1. We shall be saved from the wrath of God which is yet to come
         upon the world for its sins - Ro 5:9
      2. We can look forward with joyful anticipation of eternity with
         God, free from sorrow, pain and death - Re 21:1-8

   B. THERE ARE ALSO "PRESENT BLESSINGS"...
      1. Jesus offers a PEACE the world cannot give to calm the
         troubled heart - Jn 14:27
      2. His words inspire JOY to lift our spirits out of any
         depression - Jn 15:11
      3. He also offers to those who follow Him the ABIDING LOVE OF
         GOD, which can cast out fear - Jn 15:9; 1Jn 4:18
      4. And he makes it possible for us to be members of THE FAMILY OF
         GOD, which is able if need be to replace our physical family
         - Mk 10:28-30 
 
If you want to take some immediate action to change your life, and to become an 
activist Christian, desiring nothing more than that God's will be done on earth as
it is in heaven, consider purchasing my new book, God Called - He Needs Your Decision! 
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