A Christian Disciple
Matthew 7:21-23; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:6-7
'Family Feud' Survey Asks Who Is 'The King'?
On the game show Family Feud, hosted by Steve Harvey, contestants are asked to guess how 100 people responded to various survey questions. On a 2012 episode, a contestant had to provide the top answers to the following survey question: "When someone mentions 'the King,' to whom might he or she be referring?" Here were the four top answers:
- 81 people said "Elvis Presley"
- 7 people said "God or Jesus"
- 3 people said "Martin Luther King, Jr."
- 2 people said "The Burger King"
And we wonder why the world we live in has problems. Elvis gets over 10 times the answer than Jesus Christ.
Listen to Paul’s words about who is the real King.
Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- Who is Jesus Christ? He is Lord!
So let’s get our priority right – Jesus is King and Lord and because He is Lord we are called to Obedience – to be Believers, Followers, Servants, and Disciples.
For those who took the Spiritual-Life Checkup and may have attended the first Basic Discipleship Training I want to answer a question that comes out of the Spiritual-Life Checkup and that we discussed at the first training session. Are you a Christian? Are you a disciple of Christ? The question that arises from those first questions on Spiritual-Life Checkup:
- Is being a Christian the same as being a disciple of Christ?
- In other words are they 2 different states? NO, if we claim to be a Christian then we are to be His disciples.
- “A Christian must be a disciple and a disciple must be a Christian.” They are interchangeable in the New Testament. Today’s Church has created a different outcome today. Let’s look this morning on how to get back to the biblical standard.
The American Gospel has limited grace to forgiveness of sins and to justification without taking into account sanctification and the journey of living out the Christian walk daily.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
We do well and quote verses 8-9 but somehow we don’t move on to 10 that talks about our continuing journey in faith.
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said “Christianity without discipleship is Christianity without Christ” Without discipleship, Christianity does not exist. The problem of 21st century church and the later part of the 20th century church is that we have divided up Christianity and discipleship; like discipleship is a 2nd act that has to occur.
We live in a time in the Western Church that Christianity has become shallow and non-committal. In the New Testament Church when a person encountered Jesus Christ there was a transformation of the whole person; they became believers, followers, servants, disciples, Christians. The early church didn’t differentiate between Christians and disciples and or followers, servants, and believers. If you claimed to be a Christian you were then a disciple of Christ. Christians were living lives that were obedient to the Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.
Listen to what Jesus had to say in Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)
21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
I. THE GOSPEL HAS BECOME REDEFINED AS A DECISION TO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS SAVIOR.
A. The Church has proclaimed and people have bought into the idea that you can have faith with a conversion and a onetime justification without sanctification, heaven with Christ in the next world without obedience to Christ in this world. With that mentality, Jesus serves as Savior, but not as Lord.
1. Our language betrays us “come to Jesus and get saved.” We are told all we have to do is believe a few things about Jesus and we will make it heaven.
2. Jesus is calling us to follow, to totally be sold out for Him. Grace is freely given but there is a cost of accepting the gift. You have to be obedient. So often we have shared the Good News of Christ without telling the whole story that Christ is calling for obedience.
Luke 6:46-49 (NIV)
46 "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? 47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."
B. Over sixty years ago, writing in Chicago, A. W. Tozer lamented the loss of a gospel that really changes people’s lives: The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless… Christ may be “received” without creating any special love for him in the soul of the receiver. The man is “saved,” but he is not hungry or thirsty after God. Are we hungering and thirsting after righteousness.
C. Miriam and Mary Beth got me playing Trivia Crack – it is an addictive game that can be an app on your phone. There is the free version that has commercials or you can pay to play it without the commercials. I can put up with the commercials and not pay anything – I still get to play the game.
- That is precisely how many people have come to think of Christianity. There’s salvation—in which we get our sins forgiven and entrance to heaven—and that comes free. And we have developed the attitude of “I’m not paying for anything else I got what I needed for free.”
- Then there’s discipleship—in which you are called to repentance, holiness, and sacrifice—and that’s costly. So, why not go with the free version? It gives you all you need.
E. Here’s the problem: we’ve lost the biblical gospel that is centered on the person of Jesus Christ. The gospel is not a program; it is a person. The good news of God is regarding his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. The gift of God to us is not an upgradeable product, but the unchangeable person of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1. Simply speaking 21st century American Christianity is not biblical Christianity. We have lost the Lord in our process to make Christianity more comfortable.
II. NEW TESTAMENT BELIEVERS CELEBRATED THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST. Christ offers himself to us. He is Lord and Savior. You cannot divide him into pieces. In our time there is great interest in Christ the Savior and a strange reluctance over Christ the Lord.
Even at Jesus birth He is proclaimed both Savior and Lord. Luke 2:11 (NIV) “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” The angel proclaimed Savior and Lord together. Biblically speaking we can’t have One without the Other.
Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV)
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
B. Jesus is first Lord then Savior. When we accept and follow Him as Lord He then becomes Savior.
1. The story of Paul’s own conversion shows that his first discovery was not that Jesus is Savior, but that Jesus is Lord. Saul was on the road to Damascus, filled with anger, resisting Christ, and persecuting the church:
Acts 9:3-6J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
3-4 But on his journey, as he neared Damascus, a light from Heaven suddenly blazed around him, and he fell to the ground. Then he heard a voice speaking to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” he asked.
6 “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,” was the reply. “But now stand up and go into the city and there you will be told what you must do.”
2. He didn’t do what the Lord told him to do because he first received Him as his Savior and then sometime later crowned Him as Lord of his life. Saul did what he was told because He now knew that Christ was Lord and he needed to be reconciled to Him. That is called obedience.
C. Becoming a Christian can never amount to adding a belief to an unchanged life. True faith is shot through with repentance, because it is faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.
D. When the gospel is properly preached, it becomes clear that there is a Lord in heaven to whom we must give account, and with whom we need to be reconciled, there are sins against his law from which we must turn, and there is rebellion against his Son that we need to end.
1. We cannot ask him to save us from our sins and then not turn from them – we are called repentance which is asking for forgiveness and then turning away from the sin. It is a matter of obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Trusting Christ as your Savior also involves placing your whole life under his authority.
III. WHAT MAKES THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST GOOD NEWS? There is a curious reluctance about the Lordship of Christ in our discipleship today that you don’t find in the New Testament. What did they grasp that we don’t? I want to suggest to you three discoveries that have the power to transform your discipleship.
A. First, New Testament believers grasped that Christ is Savior precisely because he is Lord.
The fact that Jesus is Lord qualifies him to act as our Savior. That is why Scripture says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
B. Second, New Testament believers grasped that our highest good is to be wholly owned by the Son of God. Paul is writing to Christian believers, and he says, “Jesus Christ is our Lord.” That means we are wholly owned by him; we belong to him:
One of my dad’s favorite stories is about a little boy who made a boat. He spent hours on it, gluing the pieces, shaping the hull, attaching the sails. He built it from scratch. It was the work of his hands, and when it was done, he carved his initials on the hull and gave it pride of place in his bedroom.
One day the family was away from home, and when they returned, they discovered to their horror that the house had been burgled. Their stuff was thrown around everywhere. The boy ran to his bedroom, and when he got there, the boat he had made was gone. He was inconsolable.
Six months later, the boy was walking past a resale shop in the town where the family lived, and there in the window was a boat. As soon as he saw it, the boy knew that this boat was his. He rushed home and got out all of his money. When he counted what he had, it was exactly the price that had appeared over the boat in the window. He ran back to the shop and paid for the boat.
A few moments later, he came out with the boat in his arms, and he said, “You are twice mine now. You are mine because I made you. You are mine because I bought you.”
1. When Jesus Christ is our Lord, we are twice His. We belong to Him because He made us and because He bought us. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). That price was not silver or gold; it was the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:19).
C. Thirdly, New Testament believers grasped that if belonging to Christ is our highest good, being His servant will be our greatest joy. Paul even introduces himself as a servant.
1. The word he uses is literally means “a slave.” How can this man be happy about being a slave? The answer is because he is a slave of Christ.
2. And he knows that being wholly owned by Jesus Christ is his highest good.
Colin Smith shares in a sermon titled Jesus Christ, Our Lord – about being a servant in Israel.
In ancient Israel, as in other societies, if someone owed a debt that they could not pay, they could work for the person they owed. But unlike other nations, God gave them laws that were designed to protect the freedom of his people. You could be employed by someone you owed, but you could not become their slave: “If one of your countrymen becomes poor among you and sells himself to you, do not make him work as a slave. He is to be treated as a hired worker” (Leviticus 25:39–40).
Every seven years, all debts were to be cancelled, and all servants were to be set free. And servants were not to be sent away empty-handed; they were to be sent away with a generous gift of sheep, grain, and wine:
If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free. And when you release him, do not send him away empty-handed. Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor, and your winepress. Give to him as the Lord your God has blessed you (Deuteronomy 15:12–14).
But suppose that over the six years of working for them, the servant has come to love this family—the father, the mother, and the children. Life is bound up with their lives. The servant cannot imagine living without them. If a servant came to the conclusion that he had a better life serving the family he was with than any other life he could have on his own, the Old Testament had this extraordinary provision:
If your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, then take an awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life (Deuteronomy15:16–17).
Can you imagine this scene?
When you grasp that belonging to Christ is your highest good, being his servant will be your greatest joy. When He is Lord of our lives He is also our Savior.
Where is Jesus Christ in your life? Are you His servant? Is He your King?
- There is a chorus we use to sing at Young Life – King Jesus is all
King Jesus is all
my all and all
I know he'll answer
me when I call
walkin by my side
king Jesus is all
my all and all
Read more at http://www.lyrics.com/king-jesus-is-all-lyrics-kids-praise-company.html#JoEXJ82WmLVhEuoG.99
Please click here for slides to accompany the sermon.