The Secret to Discipleship
Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Intro: Discipleship is important. It has always been important, and it is even more important now I believe. There has never been as many things to distract and destroy a new convert. Satan knows his time is short, and he’s working overtime to limit the effectiveness of the church. Part of that strategy is to cripple and render ineffective any new convert that is saved as a result of the ministry of the church.
If Satan can keep new converts from becoming grounded, he can seriously impede the influence and impact of the church on society.
Most pastors spend their entire ministry nursing baby Christians that have been saved long enough to be teachers. They should be instructing new converts, but they have never themselves gotten ahold of key truths and vital concepts.
This message is not to the new converts; this message is to the rest of the church.
We have to take discipleship seriously or we are failing to perform the Great Commission.
Regardless of how many missionaries we support, we have a duty here.
Regardless of how much money we give to missions/soulwinning/busses/outreach, we have an obligation.
That obligation is to disciple new converts.
This has to be a church-wide endeavor.
We have to work together.
This far exceeds the pastor’s job description.
This will take more than staff members.
This will be the responsibility of every church member.
I. Steady Exposure to the Person of Christ
Our goal is to make each new convert a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Not a disciple of this church, or of this pastor – but of Christ.
NOTE: Barnabas exhorted them to CLEAVE UNTO THE LORD.
- Acts 11:23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
NOTE: Wolves makes disciples unto themselves.
- 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
- 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Jesus Christ should be front and center in the discipleship process:
Their salvation was a result of exposure to Christ.
- Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
- Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
Their spiritual growth will be a result of exposure to Christ.
- Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
- 17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
- 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
- 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
- 20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
- 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
II. Scriptural Explanation of the Precepts of Christ
- Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
- 24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
- 25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
- 26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
III. Spiritual Example of the Practices of Christ
The church needs to realize that we model Christianity to the new believers.
They will judge the work of Christ in a Christian by what they see in us.
Jesus is our Ultimate Example
- 1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Paul was an example
I Corinthians 4
- 15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
- 16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
- 17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
1 Timothy 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Paul taught Timothy and Titus to be examples
- 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
- Titus 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine [shewing] uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,