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Summit Life / J.D. Greear
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April 8, 2020 9:00 am


Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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April 8, 2020 9:00 am

The term “Christian” has become almost meaningless in recent years, especially in America. If you believe in God and don’t really identify with any other religion, then you probably call yourself a Christian. But is that really all it takes to be a “follower of Christ?” Pastor J.D. challenges us to reevaluate what we really mean by the term “Christian”.   It’s part of our series called, In Earth as it Is in Heaven.

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Today with pastor and theologian Jeannie Greer what I want to show you is that our use of the term Christian today obscures the fact that a lot of people who call themselves Christians or not actually disciples is a disciple of the term is much clearer. Terrifyingly clear. In fact, about what you actually become when you choose to believe in Jesus. America seems like if you believe in God you don't really identify with any other religion probably consider yourself a Christian but is that really what it looks like to be a follower of Christ today on Summit life pastor JD Greer encourages Christians to reevaluate what we really mean by the term Christian and what it looks like to carry that name personally part of our series called in earth as it is in heaven, and pastor JD titled this message. Disciple Bible this weekend. I hope that you do if you do so, take it out and opened it to map before Matthew was the first gospel in the New Testament and will be in the fourth chapter will start verse 18 here in a few minutes as you are turning there. I want to begin today with just a very simple question question is this what comes to your mind when I say the word Christian right what comes my my that's what we consider ourselves here right were a bunch of Christians will be will describe the church but what comes your mind when I say the word Christian, I will spoil the word association game out to prime the pump a little bit with you, what's the first thing that pops into your mind when I say Bernie Sanders supporter. What's the image that pops in your answer that LOL but I was a first image of pops in your mind was a first image comes in your mind.

When I say trump support about when I say vegan what the first image of pops in your mind cross better. What comes to your mind that why Wesley Duke fan was the first thing that pops in your mom and I said how about how about I will say something sarcastic about what I say NASCAR fan blood pops in your mind is the image that that when I say Star Wars is it is a new era that pops in your mind or is it is a kind of the old good stop when I say Star Wars now with the prime palm.

What comes into your mind when I say the word Christian Bible teacher in Atlanta named Andy Stanley says it you ask 10 different people you're probably going to get at least nine different answers. At least here in America you stop people on the street and you ask them. Are you a Christian you get some people who say yes summer to say what do you mean, some will say yes, but some will say no, but some will say we guess, but I'm not like some of you would say that at some point you became a Christian writer that's awesome you would answer it was up when you live or you pray prayer will canal got baptized when you want to. A confirmation class. Maybe that was your tradition.

Others of you would say that you've always been a Christian since you were born you been a Christian.

There are some of you and him but maybe some of you listening to me right now. That would say no I'm definitely not a Christian.

And if you were asked to define what comes in your mind when you say Christian. It would be something like a definition that I heard one guy use recently, Christians are judgmental homophobic moralist to think that they are the only ones going to heaven and secretly relish the fact that everybody else is going to know. Please don't say amen to that.

There are some of you that when I ask you what comes in your mom and as a Christian that is what you think. There is a strange and interesting fact, the very first followers of Jesus did not call themselves Christian. That was not a name they chose for themselves. The term was actually Christian was actually a derogatory term that was used by people outside of the Jewish community. This would ask 11,011, 26, but a say in any ad in Antioch.

The disciples were first called Christians it was passive. He was a derogatory term and I like little Christ you want to be little Jesus is walking around. It was a derogatory term used to what they didn't call themselves Christians. How do they call themselves well you see the interrater number 26. The disciples, they referred to themselves as disciples of Jesus. Consider this the word Christian is only used three times in the entire Bible door disciple.

By contrast, is used to hundred and 81 times in the New Testament alone you say will. So what here's what Andy Stanley says this and I agree with him. I want to suggest to you that in changing the primary word that we use to describe ourselves. We lost the clarity that the word disciple conveyed about what a follower of Jesus actually is now in case you wonder where all this is headed and you're starting to feel yourself tense up a little bit because you like okays can it be in this message say after 15 years of the summer church that were no longer going to call ourselves Christians and from now on I want you to go to work until people you're not a Christian at your disciple thought that's weird and I like to do that so that's that's not where this is all headed what I want to show you is that our use of the term Christian today obscures the fact that a lot of people who call themselves Christians are not actually disciples you see disciple. The term is much clearer. Terrifyingly clear. In fact, about what you actually become when you choose to believe in Jesus, so I want to go back and try to get into what a disciple actually was, and in Matthew chapter 4 we have the calling of the first disciples and in that you'll get a glimpse of what it disciple, what how Christians all themselves okay. Matthew chapter 4. Let's begin in verse 18. While walking by the sea of Galilee.

Jesus saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen, verse 19 and he said to them, follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Verse 20 immediately immediate obedience. They left their nets and they followed him and going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee do Diane John his brother and the boat was that either father, many their nets and he called them immediately. They left their boat and their father and they followed him only ask a question a little transparent with the right at the beginning I heard that story as a kid it never really made sense to me. You don't follow the story and flannel graph what color most of the Bible stories and in the be great Christian movies that you used to watch back been how it it was basically this this image where you got a bunch of people were out doing their jobs and suddenly a guy that they've never met shows up in a white bathroom with a blue Miss America size and his blonde longing to Ric flair, blonde hair flapping in the breeze and flashes in the blue steel look he says follow me in this tractor beam I guess comes out of his eyes and sponsor.

We will follow you instantly make much sense. Like why you did it was a Jedi mind trick out.

He does commit these guys the coming follow him and I just assumed it was there is special powers or something but when you understand the history behind what's happening here documents a lot more says this is one of those moments where you history nerd actually helps you and doesn't like annoy everybody I wanted to just a couple of minutes and try to fill in some of the things happening historically around. This will make that passage of Scripture make a lot more sense. I got ready ready for our nerd moment all Hebrew boys in those days went to what he called Torah school Torah was just learning the first five books of the Old Testament Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. You started at age 5.

It started with a ceremony where they would bring all the five-year-old boys in and they would take a drop of honey and they would put it on the tongue never most of these boys that were poor and so was the first time it ever tasted. Sweetness entered the sensation of sweetness just flooded into them for the first time and they added at the same time there reading to them the first chapters of Genesis images.

This word is sweet to you as of the next five years and memorize large sections of the Torah. Well, that each tin they had, weeding out, and so they only took like the very best students in the upper 20% or so and then the rest of them who didn't make the cut went back home to their fathers, and they would begin to pursue being apprentices in the family business on the boys who remained in Torah school. I would study on until about age 17, where they would learn the rest of what we now call the Old Testament Joshua through a lot to you. The only Italian prophet, so they would learn that for the next seven years. Well, when they got to 17 that was kind of another cut. And if you wanted to go on with your religious studies.

After that, and you had to find yourself a rabbi, a rabbi that you admired and applied to become that rabbis how Mead rabbi just means teacher tell me, means disciple Hebrew word for disciple when you found your rabbi. You would go and sit at their feet. That was your request to learn from that rabbi and the rabbis would examine you with a series of questions and put you through a series of tests to see if you were worthy to be there disciples. You see, the rabbis were able to be really selective because in those days becoming a religious ruler was the best of all possible jobs and so almost every Hebrew boy dreamed of becoming up religious expert when it ended bring about the coming basketball players are rock stars because they didn't have that back then they dreamed of becoming religious experts. Therefore, the rabbis could choose only the smartest, most talented boys to be there, deem is the plural for disciple under their tell Mme. another reason the rabbis were so picky is that when they chose to disciple they were choosing somebody that they believe that the capacity to become just like them not just to know what they knew and they hear their teaching, but to do what they did and for several years. These tell Mme. would follow around the rabbis imitating them in every way. They will learn their mannerisms that would learn how they answer certain questions they would learn how to respond in situation. Supposedly the highest compliment you can play town meeting in those days was to say to them, the dust of your rabbi is all over you that would like say they may need a shower that was saying that whatever your rabbi stepped in and sprayed up on you.

That's all closely followed him everything that your rabbi does you do, you got covered with it now. One more thing here in Jesus's day there was a really rare form of rabbi who possessed a characteristic of the Jewish people called Mrs. Gabi.

My favorite Hebrew word of all types called me half is rice me to me how this translates as authority but nothing its own; he redundant you want to say to confine me.

Shoot me actually means authority authority. They were very rare, these kinds of rabbis. We only know of a dozen or so that will recognize this to me how rabbis in the first century and they all had names that if you know anything about Jewish history recognize names like LL or Gamaliel. These guys reversible masters of the Torah. They were mystical and they had dated had this like spiritual authority where they could give interpretations of text that they were thought to be so close to God that they could give new unheard-of insight in the Scripture you never Jewish people. They were into like new stuff they everything that they needed to know that always known the assumed new stuff is frowned upon but these rabbis wish me and they had the ability to say you didn't understand this phenomena explain it to you. Couple of things here to be regarded as a rabbi with me.

There had to be evidence that you had done miracles credible evidence. Finally, if you weren't regarded as one wish me hot. It had to be officially conferred upon you by two other rabbis wish me all that to say this is a really exclusive club that was pretty hard to get into now back to Matthew chapter 4. Here comes Jesus knows the Torah so well that we find them at age 12 in the temple correcting the religious rulers I he frequently says things when he's teaching like you have heard it said but I say to you is his new interpretation authority throughout the New Testament we see that his hearers are constantly amazed at his authority as a couple chapters after Matthew four says this, Matthew chapter 7, they were amazed because he taught them as one with it in Hebrew there was that one. Wish me. I taught them as one with me. Now I get ascribed to distributor what everybody else that may be easy to outdraw Jesus career. Luke 20 there same exact word you get your me. Where did you get your some yahoo converted upon you.

We need to know he does miracles.

Matthew 423 the verse right after the ones we reread said that right after this passage he goes throughout the region. Healing every disease and sickness among the people: this is probably the best part right before this account in Matthew four Jesus goes out into the wilderness where John the Baptist John the Baptist the camel skin where in locusts and honey prophet preaching in the wilderness, who was a teacher dripping with me hot sauce if there ever was one. He tells everybody this listening hey there somebody in this crowd points to Jesus. He is so much greater than I am that I'm not even worthy to untie his shoelaces and then at the same moment, God the father, three from heaven, and said this is my blood son in whom I am well pleased.

Got up one little should be highlighted on your dashboard is going off. Jesus got me.

It's very very obvious to everybody. Now get this. Matthew chapter 4 Jesus this new rabbi just losing wish we choose is Simon Peter and Andrew who are fishermen.

The fact that they were fishermen. What does that show you they had made the cut. They were part of the BT ladies and gentlemen forgo on any father could choose. Make sure you stop get your mind around this. When Jesus assembled his force by his choice to transform the world. He chose the BT. He skipped overall. They players went straight for the B ones so of course are one of the following.

Of course I wanted to follow this rabbi with all this me I'd chosen them guys without much potential or personal power teachers in the follow him become like him to know God like he knew God to do what he did and be filled with his power to thing we notice the things we notice about being a disciple right there for Matthew chapter 4 taken note number one. Choose the best he chooses the willing.

Choose the best he chooses the willing another another Bible teaching and John MacArthur explains it this way in choosing his disciples. Jesus kept all the wives of the day the great scholars were in Egypt, the great library was in Alexandria.

The great philosophers were in Athens. The powerful were in Rome. He passed over Herodotus, the historian and Socrates the great thinker and Julius Caesar, the great ruler. He chose men to be his disciple. So ordinary it was comical.

Not a single rabbi, no teachers, no religious expert, not even a synagogue ruler.

Half of them were fishermen. One was essentially an IRS agent and one of them was a former terrorist. He chose the B team because his work in the world would not come from their abilities. For him it would come from what he would do through them and see people a lot of talent and ability would only get in the way because they would never really learn to lean into his power. She Jesus taught that his power in the weakest vessel was infinitely greater than the greatest talent apart from him now while Jesus reinforces brought this home disciples just a few chapters after Matthew for Matthew 1111 says that Jesus is talking to his disciples and he says of all those ever born to women, which means everybody the one that is greatest wonder is greatest in the world is for. According to Jesus, who was the greatest preacher ever to live very good start for Jay Ronson on the baddest John the Baptist. Yes John the Baptist was Jesus favorite all-time preacher of all of history and on Jesus's iPod was much John the Baptist. He loves them some John the Baptist and he said to his disciples on documentary drains down everywhere but I will tell you the truth the one who is least in my kingdom is greater than John the Baptist.

We imagine the impact of that right I'm the least in the kingdom of heaven means you know the least about the Bible.

It means you have the least talent.

It means you are the least eloquent image of the least amount of spiritual gifts somebody at one of the nine campuses that I'm talking here right now somebody in this room in one of these rooms is the least of the kingdom of God in the summa church right and not be mean but mathematically that has to be true.

One of you has the least talent. You're the least capable you least eloquent you the least about the Bible we right now you're thinking. I think you might be talking about me and God in heaven is like you. It's you you're the bottom of the file, but even if that's accurate, even if that's accurate you, whoever you are, have more potential for power in ministry. Think John Baptist. Why because you got some John didn't have night is the Holy Spirit inside of you and Jesus, and from that point on it was no longer going to be about your abilities for Jesus.

It was about your ability to be available to him because he didn't choose you because you could be a great dad. Choose you because you could be a great witness even choose you because you could be a great preacher.

He chose you because he knew that you could be a willing vessel that he can work through anymore. The Holy Spirit in the mouth of one believer is more powerful than an army of the most eloquent orators in the world cannot pass all really good example of this when I was in college I am truly back after the college I went to start a little small little Bible study that was just designed to introduce some of our friends that we were meeting to Jesus, puttered along for a few months and there was like 12 of us or something.

Well we decided that we were going to have one night where we invited all of our friends that we could get to come to one kind of place where we would explain the gospel and tell about Jesus and so we plan for this thing. The plan for about a month and we passed out flyers and on the day before we were going to do the thing with Humana Tuesday night we were at our little core team was meeting at lunch in the dining hall and member of our team.

Her name was Amy, a farmer correctly. She was one of the shyest girls that I never met you, just it seemed like his people when she is going to talk with people and I think she prayed a lot, you know which, whatever but yet Shiite you're pretty awesome, but she should talk a lot so she was over here to my left and I'm you know talkers might appear to my right and also to hear this commotion beside me and I look up and she's standing on top of the dining room table is looking out over the entire dining hall energy stamped her foot and I think she has lost her mind.

I'm looking to see if somebody like for Jack Daniels and or apple juice or whatever lie what is happening.

It is girl so she said she gets the entire place quiet and very small, and while she could projector, mousy voice. She says she has had numerous you don't know me, you probably think I'm crazy, but I consider all of you, my friends and tomorrow night some friends of mine and I were gonna explain what the greatest thing is in our life how Jesus Christ changed our lives and we believe he can change yours and I really think all of you should come in and she said and I looked at her and said what it does have a name am not really sure like and she said she's not us was like the Holy Spirit told me to do that and not listen on the same and you listen to Holy Spirit your voices all the time, or that you're going to start doing wacky things continually but I will tell you the next night we had 700 people show up and in large part, it's because of people like her that were listening to the Holy Spirit and doing what he told them to do because the Holy Spirit in the mouth of one available believer is more powerful than the most eloquent army of believers in the world. You understand that when you face the things that God has told you to face. He didn't choose you because you were also he wanted to make you awesome because he chose you. Your awesome this was not to come from your abilities or Austin. This was going to come from his power in you to the question is not how able are you. The question is how available are you have you surrendered yourself to him to say, God, to stop making excuses and I want to quit looking into my family and in my marriage and the my ministry in my workplace and asking what can JD do, start asking what can Jesus do number one he chose didn't choose investors will number two God shows us not we him we see from there that he chose us not we him. Like I explained the normal way. All this went down is that if you were in the best of your class that you applied to a rabbi and if you like what he saw. He choose you back. Now what we know is that that became a great source of confidence to these comedy because you know when when everything else was going against them. They, like, yeah, but my rabbi lie was that he chose me. He must've seen something to me maybe like today if Roy Williams coaches have to give up to you and said you got real talent. If everybody else making funny you got that man saw a lot in me. Well, Jesus starts the process even farther back. He chose them when they won't even looking for him.

He came seeking them when they didn't really have any idea that they could be his disciple.

Do you understand what kind of confidence that was supposed to give to them.

One of the things you notice if you read the New Testament is how many times and how often Jesus and the apostles bring up this concept that he chose us as a means of instilling confidence. You'll see this in in a couple weeks we start our study of the book of Ephesians.

This is the book of the Bible will be in next year to see how Paul is here to develop this theme but you didn't choose God. He chose you and Paul is not just is not trying to unravel the mysteries of predestination to you what he's trying to say the Ephesians in the you is in the midst of a world where you feel overwhelmed by opposition.

You can be confident that if God shows you got to see it through and it didn't matter what the size of the obstacles are in front of you. It matters the size of the God behind you and that God is greater than the greater is he that is in you. What about the obstacles and start focus on God.

That's all points using know what what what she hears what Jesus is worth usually says recycling you can choose me matches you appointed you that you might go when bear fruit different means when other people to Jesus and your fruit will last. It's not as can be a temporary think it's good to be permit for real fruit.

Eternal fruit so that whatever you ask in my name, the father will give you when Jesus says you can choose me, but I chose you. His main point is not hey guys on the Calvinist's main point in saying that is I shows you and what I have planned for you, and purpose for you. I'm pursuing you, and I'm not gonna let it drop. And so when you lack confidence in yourself.

You should put confidence in my purposes in you because even if you falter, they will never fail you plan when you fall apart because what the plan remains anyone else thankful for truth today. You're listening to Senate life with Jeannie Krieger in an encouraging message called disciple if you join us late today. You can listen again when you visit Jeannie think to say we are very passionate about bringing the new gospel centered Bible teaching on the radio every single day that the truth is is only possible thanks to our supporters like you.

When you donate, you really getting to your fellow listeners helping them dive deeper into the gospel through these daily messages and free online resources are so grateful for your partnership and to say thanks for your donation suggested level of $25 or more will send you a brand-new devotional by Pastor Janie titled sure this resource deals with one of Mike's most question how can I know for sure I am saying your copy of assuring when you begin by calling 865-5220 8665 easier to Downey and requested look online Jeannie career.I'm only minutes. So glad you're with us today and tomorrow, when Pastor Janie short series called in her Thursday Senate life changing 19

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