GET COMMITTED - PART 3
When you join a company, you don’t just start working. You have an orientation on where you fit in in the company. We are the body of Christ on earth and we need each one to fit in and find out what your role is.
We come here each Sunday and we need to ask ourselves why do we exist as a church?
Worshipping God is a great reason, but there is more. What are we called to do?
“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 ESV
“And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."”
Matthew 4:19 ESV
Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth and he gives us one command - to make disciples, baptize and teach them to obey.
“And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."”
Matthew 16:17-19 ESV
“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.”
2 Timothy 2:2 ESV
This is called 4G discipleship. 4 generations of people are called to follow Jesus here. One day Jesus is coming back. And he gave us some parables on what it’s going to be like when he comes back.
“"For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time, the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.' But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming, I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'”
Matthew 25:14-30 Speaks of the parable of talents. Jesus is telling us what the kingdom of heaven is like. One day he will return, but he is also going to take an account of what He has given us. One major command is to make disciples. He will ask us where are your disciples? Our mission is to unashamed to obey Jesus’ great commission. It is also to help all of you make disciples. We want to see at least 4 generations being discipled.
In the Bible, we see these patterns of discipleship. Jesus had his 12 disciples. Paul had Timothy. In my own life, I had someone disciple me and invest in me to grow.
Discipleship means that you have someone in your life who has gone before you and can help you put the word of God into practice. It is not teaching, it is training. Our lives must reflect what we are training on. Disciple means learner-apprentice. Illustration of a carpenter’s apprentice. A carpenter always comes along with a helper. The helper will only sharpen the tools This is God’s plan for discipleship and he wants us to do this until he returns.
What do we need to be a disciple?
When these things are in place, your spiritual growth will skyrocket. Famous football players who today get millions paid, all had coaches to help them do what they didn’t want to do. That is the value of a discipler.
When you are discipled, a few things that happen:
Obedience to Christ
The practice of the spiritual disciplines
Grasp biblical and theological truths
Lifestyle and character to be more like Christ - healthy relationships
Fruit of the spirit
Freedom from habitual sin
Family life in order
Stable emotional life
Engage in the church and in the world
God can work in mysterious ways. There is power in the name of Jesus. But his primary way of working is through people like you and me where we preach and give him the gospel call.
5 Stages of the discipleship journey:
Seekers - we all start off as seekers. No one is born a Christian. A seeker is an unbeliever who doesn't believe in Jesus as their saviour as yet. They might have heard about him but they have not crossed the line of faith as yet. As a seeker you can now your knee to him today or when he returns. But then you will pay for your sins separated from God. He offers us salvation now. Don’t wait because you don’t know what will happen tomorrow. “And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.” Mark 12:34 ESV
There are 4 stages for Christians
“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake. I am writing to you, Father, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children because you know the Father.”
1 John 2:12-13 ESV
Infant - “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:1 ESV. This is someone who has either just come to faith but has not grown spiritually.
They are ignorant / don’t have much knowledge about the Bible. “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,”Hebrews 5:12 ESV. An infant doesn’t know good and evil. They do not know what is right and what is wrong. No one is born mature.
What infants need is to be part of a family. They need spiritual milk - they need to know the basic truths of the Bible. Unless this happens they will not grow up. Infants make noise and mess up and others need to clean them up.
Children - they can do some things for themselves. They may have a quiet time, and they can help out and serve a bit. However, children are still rebellious and self-focused.
Young Adults - can manage themselves. They can serve in a greater way. They can be sacrificial. They can be very God-focused and learn to start focusing on others. As yet they cannot handle too much responsibility and do not have a 360-degree view of church life.
Parents - parents reproduce. The Bible uses this language. “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 4:15 ESV. They can care for others and take responsibility in the house of God. There is a sense of ownership and clear purpose and belonging. They know the buck stops with them. God's church increases as men and women give birth to new Christians. Parents bring up their children in the ways of the Lord and help them to grow.
In order to go through these stages we need to be discipled, and committed to a church family that will help us grow.
Ask yourself - Where am I in these stages? Where do I want to go?
Our goal is to help you become a disciple and obey Jesus in disciplining others as well.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.