BECOMING A FULLY DEVOTED FOLLOWER OF CHRIST (Part Two)
INTRO: The call to be a disciple is to be a follower as well as a learner. Jesus tells us to go and make disciples and to teach them to obey and follow Him. Following Jesus is a process of learning how to better honor Him as we go through our lives. We learn to be more like Jesus, our lives reflect it, and our reward is being welcomed into His kingdom when our life here on earth is done.
I. THE BEGINNING (Matthew 28:19-20)
> To be a disciple, we need to abide in Jesus’ teaching (John 8:31).
- If we abide in His Word, we become His student.
- Why is it important?
- There is a lot of deceit in the world.
- Deception is increasing more and more in this nation.
- How do we know the truth?
- If we don’t know the Word, we will be prime candidates for deception.
- David Koresh sounded good, and people thought he was a disciple of the Lord.
- Something may sound good, but is it true?
- There will be things that make us feel good.
- Let’s be careful that we follow God’s Word.
- We influence others through our lives, therefore we need to live in such a way that we glorify God.
- When the truth is preached, we either receive it or reject it.
- If we are ashamed of Jesus and His words, He will be ashamed of us (Mark 8:38).
- Our call is to glorify the Lord.
> We have a covenant with Christ.
- We are to take up our cross and follow Him.
- We are to be doers of the Word.
- We need to get rid of the filth in our lives.
- We have a choice.
> Baptism is a step of faith and a demonstration of faith in Christ.
- Baptism is an act of our faith.
- Our sins are washed by our faith and the washing of His Word. (Acts 22:16; Ephesians 5:26-27).
> A disciple loves the family of God.
- John 13:34-35: “I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you.”
- Jesus gave up His life for us (loved us) even when we were His enemies.
- Jesus reminded His disciples of what it means to follow Him.
- He wants us to love others as He loves us.
- Loving others means we correct also.
> How do we help others to grow?
- We don’t need to know everything.
- We can encourage and teach the things we do know.
- We can be an example with our lives.
II. THE GOAL (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18)
> Now begins the process of sanctification.
- As Paul says, we are crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20).
- Jesus lives the life through us.
- We are to follow Him.
- It is not a one-time deal to say that we are following Jesus.
- Jesus said that we must hate our families and our very own lives (Luke 14:25-27).
- He isn’t saying that we hate others.
- He is saying that, in comparison, we need to love Jesus above everything else.
- The cost is to put Jesus above all things.
- We need to be willing to die for Jesus if that is what it takes.
- “Whoever loses their life for Me and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35).
- If persecution should come here, how many of us would still follow Jesus?
- If it truly came to dying for Jesus, would we stand by Him?
- We have to be ready to let go of everything – surrender all of it.
- When we do, we will know His lavish love.
- We love God, and we are loved by Him.
> When we produce much fruit, we are His disciples (John 15:8).
- This brings great glory to the Father.
- The fruit of the Spirit has to be there (Galatians 5:22).
- The gifts of the Spirit should be operational in each church (1 Corinthians 12).
- It should flow from us naturally as from God.
- People should see Jesus in us.
- We are the only Jesus people will see.
- When people look at us, we are either drawing people to God or pushing them away.
- If we fail to produce fruit, Jesus will prune us (John 15:2).
- Some people are striving to get to heaven with the good deeds they do.
- We don’t do good works to get to heaven.
III. THE REWARDS (Acts 17:31; Romans 5:9; Revelation 21:1-4)
> What are the rewards?
- Jesus gives us peace, peace the world cannot give us (John 14:27).
- He casts out fear.
- Only Jesus has perfect love; perfect love casts out fear.
- The fear He speaks of is the fear of judgment.
- We are saved from God’s wrath (Romans 5:9).
- There is a future blessing for those who are His disciples (Revelation 21:1-4).
- We can look joyfully to eternity with Jesus.
- We cannot fathom with our human mind what God is preparing for those who love Him.
- We do not have the words to describe it.
- We will give an account for our life and receive rewards.
- Heaven is God’s dwelling; we will live with Him.
- He will be our God and we will be His people.
> We have to choose to live in Him.
- For those who reject Christ, it will not be good for them.
- For those who have rejected Him, they will suffer wrath.
- God did not create hell for us, but it is a matter of choice.
- Choose life, not death.
- We are a part of the family of God if we follow Christ.
CONCLUSION: We need to follow the call of Jesus to be His disciples. There is a cost, and there are benefits. The decision is ours. We need to make a decision to follow Him and to obey His commandments. Let’s get ready, and let’s help others get ready.