We are currently looking at Teaching Notes from a discipleship seminar taught in churches more than 40 years ago. We spent several days with each church sharing insights God had shared with us about being a committed follower of Jesus Christ.
So far in our series we have looked at –
- Becoming a Disciple
- The Disciple’s Basic 8
- The Disciple’s Right Doctrine and Practice
- The Disciple’s Work
- The Disciple’s Secret
- The Disciple’s Purpose (Part 1)
We now look at the second part of 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.]
- That we have a supreme love for Jesus. Luke 14:26 – “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
- That we deny self. Matthew 16:24 – “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” The Amplified Bible reads – “Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].” One Christian wrote – “Lord, let me have no will of my own, or consider my true happiness as depending in the smallest degree on anything that can befall me outwardly, but as consisting altogether in conformity to thy will.” (Henry Martyn, English missionary to India and Persia)
- That we would deliberately choose the cross. Matthew 16:24. “… and take up his cross” speaks of personal sacrifice. What are some of the sacrifices we can make as children of God? (Ask audience). Time, rights, reputation, goals, finances, possessions
- That we spend our life following Christ. Matthew 16:24. “… and follow me”. What does it mean to follow Jesus? (ask audience). It speaks here of being united in likeness in going the same way. We are to be fashioned into the likeness of Christ. What is Christ like? (ask audience)
- Jesus was obedient to God’s will
- Jesus lived in the power of the Spirit
- Jesus served others unselfishly
- Jesus was patient and long-suffering in the face of the gravest wrongs
- Jesus was zealous
- Jesus was loving
- Jesus had self-control
- Jesus was meek and humble
- Jesus was kind
- Jesus was faithful
- Jesus was devoted to His Heavenly Father
5) That we fervently love all who belong to Christ. John 13:35. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
- Love is known by the action it prompts
- Love esteems others better than oneself
- Love covers a multitude of sins
- Love suffers longs and is kind
- Love is not possessive
- Love is neither anxious to impress or does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance
- Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage
- Love does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people
- Love is glad with all good men when truth prevails
- Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope
- Love can outlast anything … in fact, it is the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen
This is what Jesus was talking about when He said that the lost world would know that we were His obedient disciples by our fervent love for one another.
6) That we would have an unswerving continuance in God’s Word. 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.” The Amplified Bible reads – “ So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples.”
The key here is faithfulness to the teachings of Christ.
[Teach about being faithful to the little things as well as large.]
7) That we would forsake all to follow Christ. Luke 14:33. “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you love Jesus more than anyone or anything?
- Have you completely denied self?
- Have you counted the cost and chosen the life of sacrifice?
- Is your life being moment by moment fashioned into the likeness of Christ?
- Do you love all Christians with a deep and fervent love?
- Are you enduring in your walk with God?
- Are you faithful in all things?
- Are you willing to forsake everything for Jesus?
This is what our Lord requires of us as disciples. “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you …”
[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.]