Purpose: The only appropriate and acceptable response to Jesus and his death on our behalf is willing obedience to God through following his Son; anything less cheapens the sacrifice that was made for us. These Scriptures should inspire us to embrace the high calling of discipleship to Jesus Christ.
- Acts 11:25-26. To call oneself a Christian can mean many different things to people today. The name “Christian” was applied for the first time to disciples at Antioch, about seven years after the beginning of the church. How many times is the word “Christian” used in NT? (Three times.) How many times is the word “disciple” used? (About 300 times.) What is a disciple? A disciple is a learner who strives to conform his thoughts, words and actions to those of his master. To understand what it means to live as a Christian today, we will start by looking at Jesus’ expectations for those who would be his disciples . . .
- Mark 1:16-20. Call of the first disciples: “Follow me.” A disciple asks himself, “What would Jesus do?” then strives to do it—regardless of the cost. A disciple of Jesus has the same purpose as Jesus: to be a fisher of men. What does this mean? What did they abandon to follow Jesus? Everything! (job, possessions, family)
- Luke 9:23-27. What is the heart that God wants from us? What are the three demands of discipleship in this verse? What does it mean to “deny yourself?” What does it mean to “take up your cross daily?” What does it mean to “follow Jesus?” How can we be “ashamed of Jesus and His words?”
- Luke 9:57-62. Examine the issues involved with each person – thoughtless following, excuse making and second thoughts.
- Luke 14:25-35. If anyone would come after me… A disciple loves Jesus more than any other person (v.26). A disciple loves Jesus in spite of any persecution (v.27). A disciple loves Jesus more than any possession (v.33). Count the cost (vv.28-30): it’s the most important decision of your life! Consider the alternatives (vv.31-32): Surrender or lose everything! It’s a decision for the rest of your life (vv.34-35).
- John 13:34-35. What will disciples of Jesus will be known for? Their love. “As I have loved you”: What kind of love did Jesus demonstrate for us?
- Matthew 28:18-20. The Great Commission: God’s plan to save the world. Disciples make disciples by baptizing people from all nations in his name and teaching them to become mature, obedient followers of Jesus. Efforts to reach the world with the gospel are multiplied when every disciple embraces Jesus’ final charge. Are you willing to answer the call to be a disciple of Jesus?
- Mark 10:28-31. What did Peter and the others give up in order to follow Jesus? Is it possible to “out-give” God? What does Jesus promise to those who have committed their lives to following him? Being a Christian is not always easy, but it is the life we were created for. It is the best life now, and the best life for eternity!
Additional Helpful Scriptures:
- Matthew 22:34-40 – What is the Great Commandment disciples are to follow?
- Luke 11:1-4 – What is the importance of prayer in a disciple’s life and how should we be ‘teachable’ like these disciples?
- John 15:1-12
- Galatians 2:20
- Philippians 1:20-21
- Philippians 2:5-11
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