What is it to be a Disciple of Christ?

What is it to be a Disciple of Christ?

 

Luke 9:23 (ESV) ~ And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
 
According to the Today’s Dictionary of the Bible, a disciple of Christ is (1) one who believes His doctrine, (2) rests on His sacrifice, (3) imbibes His Spirit, and (4) imitates His example.
 
According to Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, a disciple is (1) a student and (2) a learner or pupil.

 

For the next few weeks, we will define a disciple as “a disciplined follower of the teaching and example of Jesus Christ.”

 

Availability ~ “Come After Me”

  • We cannot be a disciple of Christ until we are available. We must be open to His will and purpose for our lives.
  • We make ourselves so busy with things of this world, when do we make time for God’s will and purpose?
  • When we make ourselves available, He can give us new vision and purpose for our lives and ministry.

 

Expendability ~ “Let Him Deny Himself”

  • To expend means “to consume by use, to spend, to use up, to exhaust.” In self-denial, we are to be used up for the cause of Christ. Today we talk about having a well-balanced life, but I think Christians have taken this too far – to the point of no or little self-denial.
  • A person must denial himself. Man’s tendency is to indulge himself and do exactly what he desires; but the believer is not to indulge himself, his comfort and ease, appetites and urges, thoughts and feelings, deceptions and enticements, plots and intrigues, pride and boastings, reactions and disturbances. The believer is to deny himself by discipline, control, and by loving and caring, sacrificing and giving, helping and ministering.
  • A father and son in South Korea sold their mule and gave to missions in order to proclaim the gospel. As a result, souls were saved.
  • Are we willing to become uncomfortable in order to reach the lost? Have we lost the desire for souls to be saved?
  • We will never possess our possessions until we are willing to become expendable if necessary.

 

Responsibility ~ “Take Up Your Cross”

  • Responsibility means “a state of being responsible, a duty, a charge, or an obligation.”
  • A person must take up his cross and do it daily.
  • A true disciple is responsible for what Christ asks of us, and for what He places in our care. What has Christ asked you to do and you have not done? What are you asked to do from the Scriptures and are not doing? What has the Holy Spirit asked you to do that you are not doing?
  • What about the GREAT COMMISSION? Winning the lost? Ministering to the hurting? Loving the unlovable? Forgiving our enemies?
  • God is giving us a revelation today of how to effectively win the lost.

 

Accountability – “Follow Me”

  • Do we really understand the cost of following Christ? Do we fully realize that one day we’ll give account to Him for what we did or did not do? Are we real disciples of Christ or are we just Christians?
  • A person must follow Jesus. However, man’s tendency is to follow someone else and to give one’s first allegiance to something else. Within the world, there are many things available for man to serve and to put first. There are …
    • Service organizations
    • Humanitarian needs
    • Religious institutions
    • Family
    • Recreation
    • Hobbies
    • Education
    • Profession
    • Houses
    • Business
    • Clubs
    • Self-fame
    • Comfort
    • Clothing
    • Social acceptance
    • Pleasure
    • Health
    • Looks
    • Sports
    • Fleshy stimulation

 

 

Conclusion ~

I don’t think that God doesn’t want us to have a family, family time, a life, fun, or a job. However, He is asking us if we are willing to do what it takes to be His disciples. Many times, we become soft in our efforts or hardened by circumstances. We lose the desire to please Christ more than anything else.

Do you want God’s best? Be the best disciple, the best follower of Jesus Christ that you can be.
 
Pastor Andy Lambert
{pastorandy@cvcog.church}