In our last Teaching Notes we looked at the disciple’s secret.
In this edition we will look at God’s purpose for the disciple.
[These notes are from a seminar series taught more than 40 years ago. The notes are in outline form.]
Webster’s Dictionary says that a disciple is a “pupil or follower of any teacher or school.”
The Greek word for disciple translates as “a learner” and indicates thought accompanied by endeavor. In other words, a disciple of Christ is not only a listener and pupil, but also an adherent. A disciple obeys what he or she hears.
Turn to John 8:31 — “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” One commentator has put it this way – “If we are faithful to what Jesus says, then we are truly His disciples.” The Amplified Bible reads – “If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples.”
[Teach on obeying the Word]
In John 15:8, Jesus said – “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
[Teach on personal life fruit and ministry fruit]
Jesus called us to discipleship – powerful and revived living. During our conference time together I am going to share with you the dynamics of being a disciple and making a disciple.
First, let’s look into where discipleship begins.
- When a person realizes he is sinful, lost, blind, naked and wretched before God.
- When she acknowledges she cannot save herself by good character or good works.
- When he believes that the Lord Jesus Christ died as his substitute on the Cross.
- When by a definite decision of faith they acknowledges Jesus Christ as their only Lord and Savior.
[Teach on the need for personal salvation]
In this our first session together I am going to share God’s purpose for the disciple. Let me read to you a short portion from William MacDonald’s book, “True Discipleship.”
“True Christianity is an all-out commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Savior is not looking for men and women who will give their spare evenings to Him — or their weekends — or their years of retirement. Rather He seeks those who will give Him first place in their lives. Nothing less than unconditional surrender could ever be a fitting response to His sacrifice at Calvary. Love so amazing, so divine, could never be satisfied with less than our souls, our lives, our all. The Lord Jesus made stringent demands that are all but overlooked in this day of luxury-living. Too often we look upon Christianity as an escape from hell and a guarantee of Heaven. Beyond that, we feel that we have every right to enjoy the best that this life has to offer. We know that there are those strong verses on discipleship in the Bible, but we have difficulty reconciling them with our ideas of what Christianity should be. We can accept the fact that soldiers gives their lives for patriotic reasons. We do not think it strange that communists give their lives for political reasons. But that ‘blood, sweat and tears” should characterize the life of a follower of Christ somehow seems remote and hard to grasp. And yet the words of the Lord Jesus are clear enough. There is scarcely any room for misunderstanding if we accept them at their face value.”
[Comment about the quote]
Please join us for Part 2 of the Disciple’s Purpose in our next post.
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from more than 40 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your ministry.]