CREATED for WORSHIP (Part 4)
DISCIPLESHIP and WORSHIP
That beautiful timeless worship song that says: "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
that saved a wretched like me.
I once was lost but now I'm found
Was blind but now I see."
See what? When we were saved and upon our encounter and revelation of God, our Creator, we should naturally begin to know and understand what He created us for. In other words, our PURPOSE. We now see that we were ultimately CREATED for WORSHIP - WE ARE CREATED FOR HIS PLEASURE - CREATED FOR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM and WITH ONE ANOTHER, and in our Church, we are committed to bring people into a RIGHT and FRUITFUL fulfilment of these PURPOSES that God has called us to grow in. WORSHIP - you were formed for God’s pleasure
EVANGELISM - you were called for God’s mission FELLOWSHIP - you were made for God’s family DISCIPLESHIP - you were created to become like Christ MINISTRY - you were shaped for serving God and others Last Sunday, we unpacked, the last instalment of our Purpose-Driven series: DISCIPLESHIP. Discipleship is inevitable and uneditable in the Bible. It is the point of Christian living - to follow JESUS Christ. To live a Christian Life is to live a Biblical Life - the JESUS way.
WHAT is DISCIPLESHIP?
It was not just in the New Testament that we see models of discipleship or mentoring. In the Old Testament, discipleship was very much familial. The covenant that God gave the Israelites, the knowledge of God Himself and what He's done to their ancestors, were to be passed on to their children and to their children's children. So important is this to God that a whole book was written as instructions for it - Deuteronomy is all about passing it down to generations.
These were visibly accomplished to the patriarchal succession of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God was the inter-generational God. But also to non-blood related, but the choosing of. the Lord. Moses handed over leadership to Joshua; Elijah had Elisha, Naomi was followed by Ruth; the succession of kingship should have been godly from the line of David to Solomon and so forth, but this succession has resulted to a lot of failures down the line.
As we enter the New Testament era, there were a lot of Rabbis, Jewish leaders and teachers and their students/pupils or "disciples who follow them. ‘The word “disciple” means “learner.” Disciples in the New Testament who answered Jesus’s call to “follow me” (Matt. 4:19, 21; 9:9; John 1:43; 21:19) were the early "Christians". For them, discipleship meant the practice of following Jesus by learning, trusting, and obeying his Word and going wherever He goes, and imitating Him. The disciple wants to be like His teacher.
“A disciple is not greater than his teacher, but everyone when fully trained will be like his teacher.” - JESUS (Luke 6:40)
It is important to note that 'disciples’ was the first name for the Christians. The Greek word mathētēs, pl. mathētai, is used about the church in Jerusalem, Acts 6:1, and in Ephesus, Acts 19:9. In Acts 11:26 we find a very interesting sentence: ‘In Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.’ From this we learn that the word we use most often, ‘Christians’, was not the first name for the church. They were first simply called the ‘disciples’. For them, it was not a membership to a religious organisation. It was first and foremost a relationship and submission or surrender to Jesus Christ's Lordship. Unfortunately, Christianity, in may ways has been watered down to church attendance or affiliation or membership in our time.
In Luke 9:23-24: He said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it ."
The Great Commission is plain and clear enough as to the will and mandate of our Lord hat as He calls us to be His disciples, He also sends us out to be fishers of men and to make disciples:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- Matthew 28:18-20
What is the Goal of Discipleship?
Our Spiritual Growth and helping others grow through discipleship is worship. As we obey and follow the Lord in his call to be disciples and make disciples, it pleases Him. But there are may reasons why we don't see Christians nowadays being discipled and/or discipling. Perhaps, it is because of IGNORANCE - people may haven't really understood what the goal of Christianity is. Or perhaps, it is because of APATHY - people may have not really denied themselves and committed to the cost of discipleship (Matthew 8:18-22). Some perhaps have become part of the crowd like in this passage or what we now call "fans", but not really followers - disciples. Lastly, perhaps because of FEAR due to misconceptions about discipleship.
Our church is committed to DISCIPLESHIP - to fulfil the Lord’s mandate. And if you are a member of this church, it means we are committed to discipling you and your family including your children - the next generation.
Our Mission statement is a discipleship statement:
JRM Sydney is a caring church committed to bring people into a right and fruitful relationship with God; to model a Bible-based; Christ- centred family where JESUS is the head and members are DISCIPLED to love GOD and love people.
And our Vision is to see:
LOST people SAVED
SAVED people PASTORED PASTORED people EQUIPPED
EQUIPPED people MOBILISED
In other words: HELPING OTHERS RUN THE RACE WELL. We are committed to the goal of discipleship according to the Scriptures:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:1-2 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to TEACH OTHERS ALSO.
Colossians 1:28–29 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, THAT WE MAY PRESENT EVERYONE MATURE IN CHRIST. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
2 Peter 3:18 But GROW in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Colossians 1:9-10 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
The whole of the Scriptures is a full narrative of how faith and godliness has been passed on from generation to generation and its purity and power preserved through faithful discipleship.
Ultimately, CHRISTLIKENESS is the GOAL of CHRISTIANITY.
1 Corinthians 11:1 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
Galatians 4:19 ...my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth UNTIL CHRIST IS FORMED IN YOU!
Just like "WORSHIP"; it is not a question of if we are worshipping or not. The question is WHO or WHAT ARE WE WORSHIPPING? In this life we are created to FOLLOW. We are inclined to.. but the question is WHO are we following? As for me and my household...:
"I have decided to follow JESUS No turning back, No turning back The cross before me, the world behind me
No turning back, No turning back"
DISCIPLESHIP is in direct contrast to worldliness. It should result to three things in our lives:
RIGHT AND FRUITFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD RIGHT AND FRUTIFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER (THE CHURCH)
RIGHT AND FRUITFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE WORLD (in the world but not of the world - salt and light)
JESUS said: “You did not choose me, but I chose you!” (John 15:16) But the decision is still ours if we are going to accept His invitation. To FOLLOW HIM, TURN our BACKS from the WORLD. DENY OURSELVES & CARRY OUR CROSS of self-centredness and GROW IN HIS LIKENESS - restored to be His image-bearers - as He intended for us to be. Recommended viewing: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/conference_media/rediscovering-discipleship/
QUESTIONS for DISCUSSION:
Q1: What have you learned or discovered about Discipleship? Q2: Why do you think a lot of Christians today are not being discipled or are not making disciples? What are your personal hindrances for it if there are?
Q3: Talk about the Biblical examples or models of discipleship mentioned above. What is the most impactful revelation to you about this topic?
Q4: Why should we be discipled? Why should we disciple? Q5: What is the goal of discipleship? Wh is it worship?
Q6: How can we begin to be discipled? How can we begin to disciple others?
Q7: Memorise CODE 2:2:2 - 2 Timothy 2:1-2