“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 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.”
A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ. In keeping with the mandate given in the Great Commission a disciple is someone who has been made a disciple, baptized and is learning to obey everything Jesus taught. – Bob Roberts
“been made a disciple” – through the proclamation of the good news of the kingdom of Jesus Christ through the verbal proclamation of a disciple of Jesus Christ through the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in the powerful gospel, a dead and counter-gospel enemy of God is reconciled to Father and given the Holy Spirit and thus birthed to new life in the kingdom of God.
“baptized” – baptism is a post-conversion activity in which the transformation of the gospel is recognized by the community of the kingdom (church) by entering into the water to be immersed and brought back up from the water thus putting on display for the public the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus that has been made effective the death of the candidate’s bond to the curse, the removal of the guilt of sin and their resurrection to new life in Christ.
“learning to obey everything Jesus taught” – the baptized follower of Jesus Christ now begins the journey of life in the community of the kingdom, as a student of the Manual in community (private and public), working out the reality of their salvation and membership in the kingdom of God by engaging their domain of society as salt and light with the powerful gospel among all nations
What kills discipleship?
1. Seeing salvation as a result of a prayer prayed rather than a process of the elect being drawn to Christ through the proclamation of the good news (you can’t help a person who is dead in sin to obey Christ, but you can help a person who is being awakened to life to see, believe and obey Christ)
2. Seeing discipleship as a transfer of information rather than hearing and obeying Jesus
3. Thinking the kingdom advances through training and mobilizing pastors
The pastor’s job is Ephesians 4:12
4. Thinking discipleship is complicated and unattainable
5. Thinking discipleship can be done outside of community
6. Thinking discipleship can be done without personal transformation in the process
7. Thinking discipleship is a time stamped course completed upon memorization of the information
8. Thinking discipleship can be done without the influence of all nations (we have things to learn from the global church)
The Metanarrative of the Gospel is key in understanding discipleship.
Creation – Man and God in relationship with no barrier
Fall – Rebellion breaks fellowship with God and introduces the curse into all of creation
Redemption – God pursues, wins and restores mankind and all of creation to himself in the establishing of the kingdom and the king, Jesus
Restoration – God completely and fully establishes the kingdom, the king returns and rules his people forever in the new heaven and the new earth
We are currently in the stage of redemption. God is reconciling all things to himself, including us as persons and us as the church.
In Acts we see this worked out in the 1. Holy Spirit being sent by Jesus to fill his individual followers and walk with them in relationship, 2. those disciples were enabled to and did bind together into the church and that church began to be diverse (Cornelius and other Gentiles), and 3. that body began to affect domains of society as they made disciples and proclaimed the good news leading all to way to Rome.
This working out of redemption can be seen in three parts in Acts, and they can be summed up like this:
Up: Reconciliation between God and man making children who Hear and Obey
In: Community of the kingdom is forged and bound by indwelling Holy Spirit in each disciple
Out: Making disciples in one’s domain of society that has global impact
What does discipleship look like at TRCC?
We call it the Radical Life (John 15).
Radical – of or going to the root or origin; fundamental:
Radical is abiding in and rising from the root to bear fruit.
The Radical Life is:
1. Up: Communion with God (Hear and Obey)
Jesus is the essence of transformation
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
1. We have been reconciled to Father
2. We have been transformed from slaves to sons and daughters!
3. We can now hear and obey
1. How do transformed followers of Jesus hear Jesus?
– Righteous promptings deep in your soul
– Righteous desires in your soul (Psalm 37:4)
– Thoughts that are louder than thoughts but maybe not quite audible
– The audible voice of the Holy Spirit
– A prophetic word from a brother or sister in the Lord (tested and found legit)
– Consistent and disciplined study of Scripture
2. How do transformed followers of Jesus obey Jesus?
– Do what he says
2. In: Community (Community of the Kingdom)
Community is the context for transformation
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
1. People reconciled to Father can now be reconciled to each other from all nations and do life together
2. People in community can and must love each other (John 15:12)
3. People in community can hear and obey together
3. Out: Collision (Impact your domain of society by making disciples)
Serving one’s domain is the catalyst for transformation
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
1. Father has given to us the message of reconciliation
2. Father has given us the message of reconciliation, and it’s a message to the world. So the whole church is globally relevant.
3. Father has made us all “ambassadors”
Conclusion – Psalm 147:1 “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”