1 May 2012

The Task of the Disciple

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For those in the congregation, this post is a brief resumé of a sermon entitled The Task of the Disciple.

The Attitude of a Disciple

  • If you are a Christian, you are a disciple of Christ.
  • Jesus calls for a radical reconfiguration of our lives around a new priority. Luke 14: 26-27.
  • Discipleship requires a single-minded commitment. It is a journey, it has a beginning, an end. Luke 9:62.

The Goal of Discipleship

  • Why does Jesus call us to follow? Why does God want us to obey?
  • Is God a mean task-master, who needs to be kept happy with slavish obedience? No.
  • The goal of discipleship is freedom. The truth sets us free. John 8:31-32.
  • We cannot gain this freedom from within ourselves, it must be bestowed upon us from outside. John 1:12.

The Task of the Disciple – Add to Your Faith

  • Many NT texts speak about the task. For Peter, it is summed up in 4 words: Add…To…Your…Faith. 2 Peter 1: 3.
  • Peter gives a list of virtues that should increasingly be ours. This is our task.
  • The task is a journey. The journey is long. We have to walk. There are no short-cuts. It is a journey of freedom and to freedom.
  • This list of virtues is book-ended by references to our knowledge of Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1: 3, 8.
  • As in John 8:31, where Jesus calls us to persevere in His word, we cannot be successful in our task without teaching & learning.

The Task of the Disciple – Is Driven by Teaching & Learning

  • The writer to the Hebrews is convinced of the need of Christians to become mature in their understanding. Hebrews 5:11-6:3.
  • Teaching and learning is fundamental to discipleship.

The Task of the Disciple – Leads to an Effective Church

  • The Apostle Paul sees that God has given prophets, apostles, ministers to the church to teach, so that every member can be equipped for the task of the Church. Ephesians 4: 11-13.
  • A church where each person is serious about the Task of Discipleship is an effective Church.

The Task of the Disciple – The Challenge

  • Jesus calls us to reassess our priorities.
  • All of our life-aspirations, plans and ambitions exist under one over-riding heading: I am a Disciple of Jesus.
  • We must learn by making the most of opportunities to be taught.
  • We must together be a community of disciples, equipped and being equipped for works of service to the glory of God.