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June 6, 2022 7:00 am
Now if you were here last week, you will remember that our message from Genesis my team was all about living in the fear of God about taking our personal holiness seriously about taking a hard look at our lives and with the Holy Spirit's help cleaning up our spiritual sloppiness and moving away, playing with sin and dabbling in sin. It was a hard message and we noted last week that only a true disciple of Christ could and would receive. So, it occurred to me this week that since we singled out through Disciples of Christ in our message last week. It might be good before we move on to take a message and talk about well exactly what is a true disciple of Christ exactly what does a true disciple of Christ look like and so that's what were going to do today before we move on. So are you ready all right here we go in John chapter 6, we find the Lord Jesus saying some very controversy open verse 41 is that I am the bread of life that came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread they will live forever in the bread that I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh, so the Jews began to argue among themselves, saying, how can this man give us his flesh to eat. Then Jesus said to them, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no eternal life in you, he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. Therefore, when they heard this many said Lord. This is a hard saying of and who can hear now we know that the Lord Jesus Christ was not promoting cannibalism here in this verse, nor was he talking about communion because communion had not been instituted yet. There was no such thing is they will then lawn what in the world is he talking about, well, let's go back to verse 29 of this chapter John six Jesus said this is the work of God, that you believe in him whom God has sent. That is the Lord Jesus himself. But as we all know my friends believing in Jesus to mean all sorts of good so what Jesus is doing here in John chapter 6 is he is defining exactly what kind of believing in him brings people eternal life and what Jesus is saying is that it's not an intellectual in our head type of believing. Rather, it is an all embracing surrender of our lives where we take Jesus inside of the way we do food and drink and where we allow him to assimilate into every part of our being just like we do food and drink. In other words, it's the kind of believing that is so intimate and personal, that we lose our life in him. This is what Jesus said Matthew 1625 whoever he loses his life for my sake shall find it. Now do we get that we all understand that we do okay good because a lot of people in John chapter 6 did and the Bible tells us that a lot of people stop following Jesus because of his words here verse 67 so Jesus said to the 12 Matthew Peter John James, do you also want to go away and Simon Peter answered, Lord, to whom shall we go.
You have the words of eternal life, and we believe and are sure that you are the Christ, the Messiah son of the living God folks here we have the bottom line of what it means to be a true disciple disciple may not fully understand what God is up to. A disciple may not fully grasp why God is doing what God is doing in their life. Why they have certain disappointments and certain sufferings and why God's waiting so long to answer their prayers. A disciple may not understand that disciple may not even understand exactly what Jesus is saying. Sometimes, but regardless of all of that true disciple stick with Jesus anyway. No matter what. This is the mark of a true disciple is ABL on ballistic that's wonderful, but you still didn't answer the first question we talked about what are the distinguishing characteristics of a true disciple. What's a true disciple look like.
What sets them apart from people in the rest of the world.
Well, okay, let's do that. There are five of these distinguishing characteristics of these markers that set disciples apart and here they are number one marker number one, a true disciple live under the authority of God's written word, the Bible now every human being lives under the authority of something, it's just that for most people is the authority of cell what I want to do what I feel like doing what I like what I believe this is not how a disciple lives disciples live under the authority of the word of God and even the Lord Jesus himself when he was on earth live like this. Remember the garden of Gethsemane. He said in Matthew 26 verse 39, not my will, but thine be done. Lord, there's the Scripture and the Scripture demands. I go to the cross. And even though my flesh doesn't want to go to the cross. The Scripture is the authority for my life. And if that's what I need to do to fulfill your will for my life and not my will but thine be done.
Disciples understand that God didn't give us the Bible to be optional advice he gave us the Bible to be the authority under which we live. All our life and that leads me to marker number two which is the true disciple is committed to biblical obedience in every area of their life. Jesus in Luke 646. Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say.
Jesus said, greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.
James chapter 1 verse 22 says the doers of the word and not hearers only God said to Joshua. Joshua 17 only be careful to do according to all the law which Moses commanded you.
The first question any disciple asks about any situation is what does God want me to do what is God tell me in the Bible that he wants me to do or what has God told me on my knees that he wants me to do and once a disciple knows the answer to that question.
That is precisely what a disciple does, whether they like it or not, whether they feel like doing it or not, whether it makes them popular or not biblical obedience. No matter what anybody thinks about you anybody says about you or anybody does Julia. This is a mark of a true disciple number three marker number three.
A true disciple has a deep desire to serve the Lord, you know it's interesting throughout the New Testament that every true disciple called themselves, by the very same name.
Watch the apostle Paul. Romans one called himself a servant of Jesus Christ. The apostle James James one called himself a servant of Jesus Christ. The apostle Peter second Peter one called himself as servant of Jesus Christ of the apostle Jude Jude 1 called himself a servant of Jesus Christ. The apostle John called himself. Revelation chapter 1 God servant, whether it's full-time Christian service, or whether it's serving as a volunteer disciples derive their greatest joy in life and their greatest meaning in life not from their careers, not from their hobbies, not from their physical possessions, but from their service to the Lord Jesus Christ marker number four true disciple is passionate about sharing their faith in Christ acceptor one verse eight Jesus said you shall be my witnesses in a true disciple takes this seriously true disciples understand John 336, that he who does not believe on the son of God, shall not be eternal life that these people lost that these people are headed for hell for all of eternity. True disciples understand acts 412.
That salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved. True disciples understand that it is both their solemn duty, and their great privilege to share the gospel with lost people and true disciples live a life style of evangelism, meaning that every day they live everywhere they go with every person they meet. They are bubbling over to share Christ. First Peter chapter 3 verse 15 says be always ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you about the whole you have inside you, always ready to share Christ.
This is the lifestyle of every true disciple and finally marker number five is a true disciple always chooses the option in life that most honors God disciple looks at every situation that comes along and says okay now which of the options that I have available to me most honors the Lord and then that's the one that they pick. Now I learned having walk with the Lord over the last 42 years I learned something about this and what I've learned is that the ops in that most honors God is always the hardest option available to you the toughest option available to you the most humbling option available to you and the one that is most objectionable to the flesh that's available to you and that's why only true disciples choose this. Nobody else in their right mind would choose these things, but a disciple says this is what honors Christ.
That's what I'm going to and I'll pay that price.
So let's summarize what is a true disciple look like whether a person who number one lives under the authority of the word of God number two is committed to biblical obedience in every area of life. Number three has a deep desire to serve the Lord.
Number four is passionate about sharing their faith and number five always chooses the option in life that most honors God.
This is a disciple. Now that's as far as were going to go in our definition of a disciple because it's time to ask our most important question you didn't think we were going to do this today. Dig so I know I know you're pleasantly surprised arch yeah but everybody out there allowed in Prince William and Bethesda and on the Internet here Tyson's. Are you ready I take a deep breath, and there we go to prayer house. We did this, you say so what lawn will friends listen, here's the so what is one thing to know what a disciple looks like it's another thing to be a disciple. So the question we need to close with is how does a person become a true disciple of Christ. As you know what they say unless the preacher tells you. So what and how these no good. So how can you become a disciple of Christ, whether two steps to number one is that a person is not a wannabe, a disciple, a person has to you say that's profound. I did say was profound.
I just said there's two steps to this, a person is got to be just satisfied with simply being a believer in Jesus Christ and they got to have a driving passion to go deep in their walk with God. So much so that they're willing to pay whatever price it takes to achieve that goal and friends. There is always a price to pay to being a disciple. Sometimes it's a price in our family men on deli. I paid a huge price in my family and many of you have as well. Sometimes it surprised with our friends who say I don't want to be your friend anymore. That's not a person you want to be. Sometimes it's a price in our ego that's almost guaranteed. I promise you that sometimes it's a price in our priorities, or sometimes the cost is the boyfriend or girlfriend who says I'm not interested in going there with you. They owe her job or some creature comforts. But just like the 12 in John chapter 6, people who want to be disciples. They of course no matter what the cost. You got a warning and that leads to step two which is a person has to dedicate themselves to the process it takes to become a disciple Jesus said in the great commission, go ye into all the world and what's the next word may disciple what's Jesus say he's telling us that disciples are not born there may and there made by an intentional process that is based upon the consistent practice of your ritual disciplines.
You say what's the spiritual I'm not sure what's a spiritual discipline where there are many of them, but the four most important ones when it comes to making a disciple. Are these number one spiritual discipline.
Number one is Bible reading and study. Blessed is the person Psalm one whose delight is in the law of the Lord and on God's law. They meditate day and night. Disciples are people who immerse themselves in the reading and the study of the word of God there are people of the book and the reason that there people of the book is because they have devoted the time and the energy it takes to become people of the book, friends, how in the world.
Remember what we said. A disciple looks like that there committed to biblical obedience. How in the world are you going to carry out biblical obedience.
If you don't even know what the Bible says you can't disciples are people of the book they know the bookcase study the book they read the book that spiritual discipline number one, number two Spiritualism lumber to a Scripture memory Psalm 119 verse 11 your word I have hidden in my heart. David says that I might not sin against you. Disciples are people who are constantly memorizing God's word hiding God's word in their heart and let me tell you why they do this because disciples understand the life altering power of God's word when it is cemented into a person's soul. As Paul said in Romans chapter 12 verse two he says the word of God when is cemented in our life transfer forms by the renewing of our mind, it changes our software. I don't know how it does it, but it changes the very way we think, in the very way we regard life it absolutely well what the bursae transforms the I member when I came to Christ commanded led me to Christ that you need to start memorizing Scripture. I said well I memorized chemical formulas and I memorize other stuff water left to memorize the Bible and explain this to me and so what I did is I made a goal to read the Bible through in six months which I did and then every time I got to a verse that really spoke to me. I wrote the first down. I wrote the reference on the back of the 3 x 5 card. I kept them in my pocket whenever I had a spare minute I would take out the cards and I go over right then I was hitchhiking around the country. So I had a lot of spare minute actually and at the end of about three months I had a stack of cards about what a high of Scripture verses that I've never read. I go back once a week and I'll review every verse that I memorized up to that point. So I didn't lose him, and by the end of about four months I think I probably memorize.
I don't know. 600 verses of Scripture. Listen if you want to know why the change in my life was so radical and so quick and so dramatic. There is only one reason it's 600 verses the Scripture reprogram my life. That's life. Well I'm glad you're clapping. But what I want to know is are you memorizing Scripture though, not in the clapping won't change alive. Memorizing Scripture will number three spiritual discipline.
Number three is prayer Jesus himself. Luke five says will often slip away into the wilderness and pray so much so that the disciples that Lord teach us to pray, let me just say categorically. No one with a wimpy prayer life can become a true disciple of Christ. It cannot happen. Disciples are people with Talisker knees because they're on them regularly seeking the face of God and finally spiritual discipline. Number four is being in biblical community but not in biblical community would just anybody. Proverbs 2717 says as iron sharpens iron, so one man or woman sharpens another point is that if we want to be people of spiritual iron. The Bible says we have to rub up against other people of spiritual iron other people that are true disciples.
Why because disciples Hebrews 313 exhort one another daily, lest anyone become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin disciples. Hebrews 1024, always looking for ways to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.
This is why Lone Ranger Christians seldom if ever become disciples because they're bereft of their missing this kind of iron sharpening iron relationship that it takes to get there so look around, and we are hanging out with my friends because it is unlikely that you will rise any higher spiritually than the people that you are the closest to and allowing to have an influence in your life. Highly unlikely. So let's summarize disciples are made, and maintained by an ongoing and consistent practice of spiritual disciplines, Bible study Scripture memory prayer and being in biblical community. One more thing we need to add, coupled with the holy spirits supernatural ministry in our heart. See you can put all the ingredients for an omelette in the pan, but without heat. Nothing's going to happen. Friends we can do all the necessary spiritual disciplines in our life but it takes the supernatural heat of the Holy Spirit to make it work and turn it into true discipleship in our lives, there will have is the Holy Spirit do that in my life. I don't know. I have no idea but but what difference does it make and don't worry about it.
God wants you to be a disciple for more than you want to be a disciple you give them the ingredients in the pan and I promise of the Holy Spirit will heat them up and turn them into discipleship in your life in my life, but friends, all of this demands intentionality. Nobody accidentally memorize the Scripture.
Nobody accidentally studies the Bible we don't walk along one day trip and fall and say hello while I'm down here. I think I'll pray nobody does stuff like that.
Nobody accidentally gets in the biblical community and stays faithful to with with other godly people, even as we said earlier disciples are people who want to be disciples and are willing to pay the price in time and energy in their priorities to become a disciple now let me close by saying that here McLean Bible church. We want to see every one of you become a disciple true disciple of Christ is our goal, but cannot be really honest with you. Yeah and that is I need to tell you that it's my assessment is your pastor, but over the years we have not done a very good job of creating this kind of culture of discipleship here at McLean Bible church. What I mean is we haven't laid out a very clear pathway to help people grow into disciples here and we don't have a very good mechanism to allow sure believers to pour into and mentor younger believers into disciples, but as part of the strategic real look that we been taking at our church family. Over the last year which I'm going to talk to you more about in April. You don't want to miss it. We're determined that we're going to change this in with the Lord's help, we are going to build a culture of discipleship here McLean Bible church where we believe the discipleship and mentoring. Praise the Lord.
And then I would determine that we are going to become the church in Washington DC where somebody says hey I want to go be disciple would turn into a rule follower of Christ. Where would you go the people say all man you want to be mentored into a true disciple of Christ, the McLean Bible church is the church with God to go to that were not there right now, but with the Lord's help that's were going to get to over the next few years. This is our goal. So please pray for us and get ready to be a part of some very exciting changes that are coming, the McLean Bible Church of your younger believer who deeply desires to be mentored and disciple. If you are a mature believer who deeply desires for your life into younger believers and help them become disciples friends. This is the right time to be at McLean Bible church and little role. All of this out in the summer and then into the fall. So we got a lot more calm and stay tuned. But just let me say that in the meantime, I want every one of us here pray about getting in on becoming a true disciple you know Bob Eckardt led me to Christ.
The first week I was say I mean literally. I don't think I've been safe seven days.
He had me out on the street standing next to a Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC with a stack of tracks in my hands handed out tracks the people walking by.
I know anything. I'm like here, here, but don't don't ask me. I don't know anything ask him what he or would you like one of these. What will I know I know nothing, but he had me out there on the streets anyway and I said him Bob. Don't you think I should learn a little bit more before to put me out on the street like this and he said no, absolutely not.
Is that when you come to Christ on never forget he said you that in our URL. There is nothing in the middle. He said so you gotta make a decision. Are you in or are you out because if you're in this is what people who are in due and if you're out then you just need to go Niceville. He was a nice fellow and he was telling me as a Christian young woman would we need to be telling ourselves in the church either in or you're out. Somehow we've created in America the kind of church where there's three levels out in and hanging out in the middle. But the Bible knows nothing about that third presentation. The Bible knows nothing about hanging out in the middle living in the murky shadows of church reality.
The Bible knows nothing about that either.
In or you're out and I'm so glad I decided 42 years ago. With Bob's encouragement to Gideon and go after being a true disciple and I want you to decide that you want to be in.
There is no middle ground here. Some of us here been living in that middle ground only attend church and yeah you know maybe we read the Bible few minutes we you know whatever, but friends that the Bible knows nothing about this classification, Christian in your all Magellan so this what I want you to pray about.
I want you to pray about the siding herein, and whatever it cost you in time and priorities in friends and boyfriends and girlfriends in your family.
It doesn't matter what ever it cost like the 12 use Dick with Jesus. No matter what.
That's a disciple that's where we want you to be and when you start there. God the Holy Spirit will take it from there and he'll turn you into a disciple prompts, but that's something we gotta decide all we even wore weed out. I hope you pray, start again. Heavenly father remind us today that when it comes to following you, Lord Jesus didn't give middle ground.
He said if you lose your life for me to find that kind of language losing our life for you, Lord, is not middle ground.
That's all in talk so as we pray and think about where we stand with you. Help us Lord Jesus to be content with nothing but all in like the 12 and John six. All in regardless of what that might mean more Jesus I pray that you would help us to become a church here in Washington that's not a mile long and an inch deep, but a mile-long in a mild where true disciples are being produced by the hundreds and the thousands more. That's how were going to shake this tale because true disciples have a lifestyle of evangelism and an army of people with a lifestyle of evangelism is what the early church was that's what ripped Jerusalem to shreds spiritually. That's what's going to do it here in Washington so Lord Jesus I pray that you would honor what were going to try to do here McLean Bible church building a culture of discipleship and that you would help us fulfill our mission of impacting this town for Christ because of speak to our hearts deeply today about our part in all of this and we pray these things in Jesus name what God's people say amen