Prayer Matters (The Dynamics of Discipleship)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

 The Dynamics of Discipleship

 John 17:6-8 ~ “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.”

 

The word that is translated “disciple” is found 264 times and found exclusively in the four gospels and Acts. A true disciple was not simply a student who learned from books, but was also a doer who watched his teacher, obeyed him, and learn from actual practice.

 

In the verses, Jesus outlined the stages in the experience of His disciples:

 

  1. They belonged to the Father
    1. Verse 6 ~ “Yours they were, and you gave them to me”
    2. How is this? We belong to God through the creation of mankind
      1. Acts 17:38 ~ “we live and move and exist”
      2. Job 12:10 ~ “In whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?”
      3. Daniel 5:23 ~ “But the God in whose hand are your life-breath and your ways, you have not glorified”
    3. Mankind today worships and serves the creature, not the creator; and this explains why the world is in such a mess.
    4. Man is playing God, and he is not able to do the job.
    5. Not only do we belong to God through creation, but we also belong to God through the covenant of Christ.
  2. The Father gave the Word to the Son
    1. Jesus was not here to teach His own thoughts and doctrine, but what the Father had given to Him.
      1. John 12:49 ~ “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak.”
      2. John 7:16 ~ “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent me”
      3. John 8:26 ~ “And the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world”
      4. John 8:28 ~ “I speak these things as the Father taught Me”
      5. John 8:38 ~ “I speak the things which I have seen with My Father”
    2. Statements like theses help us to understand in but a small measure the fellowship and relationship that existed between the Father and the Son.
    3. It also shows that to be a disciple or follower of Christ, the type of relationship we must have with the Father.
    4. Isaiah 50:4-5 ~ “The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.
  1. The Son gave the words to the disciples
    1. Verse 8 ~ “For I have given them the words that you gave me”
    2. Through these words the Son revealed the Father.
    3. The Word of God reveals the Person of God, the Nature of God, and the Character of God.
    4. At this point we need to ask ourselves, what does John 17 teach about the Word of God? Teaches the divine origin of God.
      1. When Jesus spoke on earth, it was the Word.
      2. When holy men wrote the Word, the Holy Spirit of God inspired them.
      3. When Jesus ministered, God set His seal of approval on the Word.
      4. Jesus quoted from the Old Testament, therefore he affirmed the truth and authority of the Word.
      5. The Word of God is a gift and it generates faith.
  2. The disciples received the Word and believed
    1. The Word of God is like a seed and it must be received into the soil of the heart if it is to take root and produce fruit. (Luke 8:4-15)
    2. God prepares the heart for the Word. (Acts 16:14-15)
    3. We can harden our hearts against the Word. (Hebrews 3:7)
    4. We must take care how we listen. (Luke 8:18)
    5. The way we treat the Bible is the way we treat Jesus Christ, for He is the Living Word. (John 1:1, 14)
  3. The disciples kept the Word
    1. Verse 6 ~ “they have kept your word”
    2. The word ‘kept’ here means obeyed.
    3. They received it, they believed it, and they acted on it.
    4. It is not enough to appreciate the Word and hold it in high esteem; we must also apply it.
  4. They shared the Word with others.
 
Next Sermon in Series ~ Saved and Safe
 
Pastor Andy Lambert
{pastorandy@cvcog.church}