Theology 101

Because it ain't that hard...

User Tools

Site Tools


topical_discipleship

Biblical Discipleship

Discipleship is a term that describes not only our lives as followers of Jesus Christ, but also our mission as Christians and as members of a local, New Testament church.

I taught this series on discipleship during the early stages of a new church plant. Links to all the messages are here, and also below in the summaries of the topics we covered.


Studies Links
01. Our Life's Purpose notes, audio1, audio2
02. Our Life's Mission notes, audio
03. What is a Disciple? notes, audio
04. What is Discipleship? notes, audio
05. What is Discipling notes, audio
06. Means of Evangelism notes, audio
07. Goals of Evangelism notes, audio
08. Means of Edification notes, audio
09. Goals of Edification notes, audio
10. The Great Commission notes, audio
11. Anachronisms & the Great Commission notes

Our Purpose

Discipleship Message #1: Our Life's Purpose - Why Are We Here?

(Note: This sermon series was preached at the beginning of the new church plant, Harvest Baptist Church.)

Why are we here… starting a new church?

I believe that one of the most important things we can do, being a brand new church, is to clarify our purpose: Why are we doing this? By defining our purpose and always keeping that purpose in the forefront of everything we do, we can (hopefully) avoid the many pitfalls that get ministries side-tracked today.

Our purpose (as a church and as individuals) is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

  • We are not here to please men; we are here to please God.
  • We are not here to enjoy the comforts and entertainment of the world; we are here to enjoy God.

Those two things work together: When we are glorifying God we will be enjoying Him forever (the way to enjoy God is to do that which glorifies Him).

So, if you're not enjoying God… maybe you should evaluate whether or not you're living in a way that glorifies and pleases Him.


Our Mission

Downloads: sermon notes | audio

Discipleship Message #2: Our Life's Mission - Be and Make Disciples!

(Note: This sermon series was preached at the beginning of the new church plant, Harvest Baptist Church.)

Our Purpose

Last Sunday (our first service as Harvest Baptist Church) we studied what the Bible says about our purpose. Why are we here—as individuals and as a church? Why did we start yet another church in Kansas City?

  • Our Purpose: To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

That was good place to start, but it left us with a question: How do we do that? That is our mission…

Our Mission

In this message we focus on what the Bible says about what we are to do in order to fulfill our life's purpose of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.

  • Our mission: To be and make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Mission (to be and make disciples) has two aspects: evangelism and edification. When we speak about discipleship, we need to get used to using these terms because they communicate a simple picture of biblical discipleship in the Church Age.

  • Evangelism: A disciple is made, in the sense of created, through evangelism.
  • Edification: A disciple is made, in the sense of molded (formed), through edification.

Both together (evangelism and edification) form what we call “discipleship” (i.e., making disciples).

Our Church

This is why we started Harvest Baptist Church: So that we, as individuals and as a church family, can glorify God and enjoy Him now and forever by being and making disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is our purpose and that is our mission. That is what we aim to do.


Disciple

Downloads: sermon notes | audio

Discipleship Message #3: What is a Disciple?

(Note: This sermon series was preached at the beginning of the new church plant, Harvest Baptist Church.)

In the last two weeks we've taken time to define both our purpose and our mission. What we've seen applies to us as individuals and to us as a church.

  • Purpose: God has created us and placed us here to glorify Himself and so that we may enjoy Him forever.
  • Mission: (John 17.4) In order to fulfill our purpose, we need to finish the work God gave us to do.

This refers to our mission, which is to be and make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. This work (our mission) is what we commonly refer to as “discipleship.” And this is why we started Harvest Baptist Church: To fulfill the mission of being and making disciples. That means we are committed to both evangelism (salvation) and edification (sanctification).

  • Through evangelism a disciple is made, in the sense of “created” (we are saved).
  • Through edification a disciple is made, in the sense of “molded” (we are sanctified).

Discipleship (evangelism and edification) is the work God expects us to do on this earth in order to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. And this is why, in the first sermon series, we are studying what the Bible says about discipleship. We need to know what discipleship is, who is responsible for it, how we should do it, where it happens, when it happens (because some say it's not for our dispensation), and why we intend to pour so much effort and resources into it. If we don't understand discipleship, we don't understand our mission and we will never fulfill our purpose here on earth.

So, what does the Bible say about discipleship? Where do we start in order to understand discipleship? If discipleship refers to being and making disciples, then a good place to start would be with the term “disciple.” What is a disciple? What does the Bible say about disciples? That's our question that we intend to answer in this message.

The question (what is a disciple?) can be answered easily enough:

A disciple is a Christian, a saved believer.

That answer, though, needs some further explanation…


Discipleship

Downloads: sermon notes | audio

Discipleship Message #4: What is Discipleship?

(Note: This sermon series was preached at the beginning of the new church plant, Harvest Baptist Church.)

Our biblical definition of a disciple now helps us to define biblical discipleship. Since the term disciple, in the Book of Acts, refers to a true believer (a Christian), then discipleship refers to the process that believer goes through to becoming like Jesus because…

  • (Luke 6.40) The disciple goes through a growth and learning process to becomes as his Master.
  • (Rom 8.29) The Christian goes through a process of being conformed to the image of Christ.
  • (Eph 4.11-15) The saint goes through a maturing process to become like the Perfect Man, Jesus.

Discipleship, then, is as we have said before: The normal Christian life because it is the “norm” that God expects from all His children (it begins with the new birth and continues with spiritual growth/maturity).

What does the Bible say about discipleship—about becoming godly (becoming like the Lord)? In this sermon we take a quick tour of discipleship as it is presented in the Bible. By doing so we see that discipleship (the process of growing in spiritual maturity in order to be like the Lord in character and conduct) is not a new concept at all.

Discipleship, in its most general terms, is God's work of restoring His image in lost man.


Discipling

Downloads: sermon notes | audio

Discipleship Message #5: What is Discipling

(Note: This sermon series was preached at the beginning of the new church plant, Harvest Baptist Church.)

In this short series on discipleship we've learned that a disciple is a Christian (the terms are synonymous in the Book of Acts). He is one who has passed through “strait gate” of conversion (a disciple is made/created through the work of evangelism which results in repentance and faith in the Jesus Christ). And he is one who is now walking on the “narrow way” of consecration (a disciple is made/molded into the image of Christ through edification: learning and applying Scripture).

Discipleship, then, is the process a disciple goes through as he is conformed to the image of his Master, the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6.40 cf. Rom 8.29). Thererefore, discipleship is the normal Christian life because it refers to conversion and a life-long process of growing in Christ-likeness. Discipleship simply means to follow Jesus in order to become like Him in character and conduct.

There is one more term we need to define in our study: Discipling. Since we already understand disciple and discipleship, this new term will not be hard to understand. However, in addition to learning what discipling is, we need to also understand what the Bible says about who is responsible for it (the answer is simple: Every disciple is responsible for discipling).

In this message we review many of the principals and passages we've looked at before, but it's necessary in order to tie up some loose ends and move on to the next part of our study on discipleship: The Biblical Philosophy of Discipleship.


Means of Evangelism

Downloads: sermon notes | audio

Discipleship Message #6: A Biblical Philosophy of Evangelism, Part 1

(Note: This sermon series was preached at the beginning of the new church plant, Harvest Baptist Church.)

In our last message we started looking at the idea of a Biblical “Philosophy” of Discipleship. This refers to the “how” of Discipleship: How does it actually take place? And we talked about the “means” (the process) and the “goals” (our part in the process). Both evangelism and edification (i.e., discipleship) have both means and goals.

In this message we take a look at what the Bible says about the “means” of evangelism, since that is how a disciple is made (in the sense of “created”)–it's the first step in the discipleship process. What are the components of the process that God uses to save a sinner (to “evangelize” the sinner)? These components are the “means” God uses to save a sinner; there are four general components of the process through which God saves a sinner.

  • Means #1: Conviction – The Personal Conviction of the Sinner
  • Means #2: Cross – The Preaching of the Cross to the Sinner
  • Means #3: Conversion – The Conversion of the Sinner
  • Means #4: Regeneration – The Regeneration of the Sinner by the Spirit of God

Goals of Evangelism

Downloads: sermon notes | audio

Discipleship Message #7: A Biblical Philosophy of Evangelism, Part 2

(Note: This sermon series was preached at the beginning of the new church plant, Harvest Baptist Church.)

We started out this study developing a biblical theology of discipleship and now we are looking at a biblical philosophy of the same. In our study in the theology of discipleship we started with our purpose and then looked at our mission, which is to make disciples (through both evangelism and edification). In the study of a biblical philosophy of discipleship, we want to see what the Bibles say about how disciples are made. Just how do evangelism and edification happen?

Our study of a biblical philosophy of discipleship began with what the Bible says about evangelism. Last week we looked at the means of salvation–the components of the process that God takes a sinner through in order to save him: Conviction, the preaching of the cross, conversion, and regeneration. We ended that study with a question: Where's the weak link in that process? The weak link is us.

What are our responsibilities in this process of God saving a lost sinner? There are two and they are our “goals” in evangelism. These two goals are what God expects of us in the initial work of making a disciple (salvation). Our two goals (God's two expectation for us in evangelism for which He will judge us) are these:

  • Go: God expects us to go out into the world, to seek out sinners and be among them.
  • Sow: God expects us to “sow the seed” of the Gospel by speaking (witnessing) to those lost sinners.

Means of Edification

Downloads: sermon notes | audio

Discipleship Message #8: A Biblical Philosophy of Edification, Part 1

(Note: This sermon series was preached at the beginning of the new church plant, Harvest Baptist Church.)

We are in the process of studying the Bible in order to develop a biblical philosophy of discipleship–how a disciple is made. We've seen that disciples are made (created) through evangelism and then made (molded, conformed to Christ) through edification. In our last message we finished our study of the biblical philosophy of evangelism. We looked at the means of evangelism–the components of the process through which God takes a sinner and makes him a saint. Then we looked at the goals of evangelism–our part in the process of making saints of sinners.

We are going to continue our study of the biblical philosophy of discipleship by looking at edification. As we look to Paul the Apostle as our model and example to follow in fulfilling the Great Commission during the Church Age (1Cor 11.1), we can easily see that our mission include more than evangelism.

  • (1Cor 1.17) Yes, one main focus of Paul's ministry was intentional evangelism, and we should strive to be like him in this area (which is exactly why we started Harvest Baptist Church).
  • (Col 1.27-29) However, Paul also labored and strove (intentionally) to edify believers, to perfect them (help them grow and mature) in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our mission is to be and make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • This includes evangelism: We need to be saved and we should be seeking to save the lost.
  • This include edification: We need to be growing in Christ and helping other believers to do so, also.

Evangelism (salvation) is only the first step in the discipleship process because God's goal for all of us that are following the Lord is to conform us to His image—make us like Jesus (Luke 6.40).

All this means one thing for us right now: We need to understand how edification (spiritual growth and maturity) happens, and we should understand our part in that process. We need to understand…

The Means of Edification: What are the components of the process of edification? How does God conform us to the image of Christ (how does He perfect/edify us)? This is what we are going to study out this morning.

The Goals of Edification: What are our responsibilities in the process of edification? What does God expect of us in the work of edification (in our lives and in the lives of others)? This is what we will take a look at in our next message.

There are five means of edification—five components in the process of spiritual growth in Christ-likeness:

  • Means #1: Identification with Christ – Identify with Christ!
  • Means #2: Knowledge of the Bible – Learn the Bible!
  • Means #3: Obedience to the Bible – Obey they Bible!
  • Means #4: Suffering – Endure Suffering!
  • Means #5: An Exchanged Life – Live an Exchanged Live

Goals of Edification

Downloads: sermon notes | audio

Discipleship Message #9: A Biblical Philosophy of Edification, Part 2

(Note: This sermon series was preached at the beginning of the new church plant, Harvest Baptist Church.)

This is our final message on the Biblical Philosophy of Discipleship.

  • We know what discipleship is: (Luke 6.40; Rom 8.29) It is the spiritual growth process of becoming like Jesus in both character and conduct.
  • Therefore, discipleship begins with evangelism (salvation) and continues through edification (sanctification).

We've seen that biblical evangelism has both means and goals. The means of evangelism (salvation) are the components to the process through which God takes a sinner in order to make him a saint.

  • The personal conviction of the sinner
  • The preaching of the cross to the sinner
  • The conversion of the sinners (repentance and faith)
  • The regeneration of the sinner by the Spirit of God (and all that it entails: justification, et al).

The goals of evangelism are what God expects of us in the process of saving a sinner (the goals are “our part” in the process of making/creating a disciple).

  • Go: We need to intentionally seek out sinners, just like Jesus did.
  • Sow (Preach): We need to communicate the gospel (the message of the cross) to the sinners we find.

Last week we started looking at biblical edification, and it also has both means and goals. The means of edification (sanctification) are the components of the spiritual growth process through which God conforms us to the image of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Identification with Christ
  • Knowledge of the Bible
  • Obedience to the Bible
  • Suffering (Enduring Suffering)
  • An Exchanged Life (Consistency)

In this message, we are going to finish up our study of the Biblical Philosophy of Discipleship by looking at the goals of edification (what is “our part” in growing in Christ-likeness or helping others grow?).

  • Commitment to the Word of God
  • Commitment to the Local Church
  • Commitment to the Fellowship of the Saints
  • Commitment to Ministry

The Great Commission

Downloads: sermon notes | audio

Discipleship Message #10: The Great Commission, Our Commission

(Note: This sermon series was preached at the beginning of the new church plant, Harvest Baptist Church.)

Is the Great Commission, given by the Lord to His Apostles after His resurrection, for us today?

  • This may seem like an odd question to ask, but as we continue to study the Bible together, I think it will become increasingly clear as to why we need to clarify this.
  • Yes! The Great Commission is our mission today in the Church Age.

We have just started a new church and we have spent the last two or three months studying what the Bible has to say about our purpose and mission as a church (and as members of the Church).

  • Our purpose: God has placed us here to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.

But, how do we do that? That question addresses our mission…

  • Our Mission: To be and make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • (John 17.4) In order to fulfill our purpose on earth, we have to finish the work God gave us to do.
  • That work is the work of being and making disciples, which includes both evangelism and edification.
  • (Mat 28.18-20) This mission was given by the Lord and is commonly called the “Great Commission.”

So, what's the problem with the Great Commission and us today in the Church Age?

  • The Great Commission was given specifically to Israel under another dispensation.
  • And because of this, there are some today who say that the Great Commission does not apply to us.
  • That's what I want to look at today and also in our next message next Sunday. Let's consider first the Great Commission in it's context and then see how it can and does apply to us today.

Anachronisms

Downloads: sermon notes | no audio

Discipleship Message #11: The Great Commission in its Doctrinal Context

(Note: This sermon series was preached at the beginning of the new church plant, Harvest Baptist Church.)

This is the last message in the series on Discipleship: The Mission (there is no audio file this week). In this message we tale a look at the Great Commission in its doctrinal context. If we don't understand a little bit about the doctrinal context of the Great Commission we are going to find ourselves guilty of twisting Scripture (wresting it out of its proper context) and committing “anachronistic” errors by placing people and events our their proper historical and chronological location.

Our focus question for this study is this: Is the Great Commission for us today – is it specifically and doctrinally for Christians living the in Church Age? In the last message we talked about the “general principals” of the Great Commission and how they apply to us. In this message we focus on the specific, doctrinal details of the Great Commission, and we use Matthew 28.18-20 as our base text.

The key to understanding the Great Commission is Matthew 24. Both the Great Commission and Matthew 24 deal with the preaching of the gospel. Both the Great Commission and Matthew 24 deal with the preaching of the gospel to all nations. The Great Commission in Matthew 28.19-20 is almost identical to Matthew 24.14.

The Great Commission in the Gospels (and in Acts 1.8) is historically, doctrinally, and specifically for the Tribulation, the period of time just before the “end” when Jesus returns. To say that the Great Commission is historically and doctrinally for the Church, the Body of Christ, is to commit an anachronistic error because no one at that time knew anything about the Church (God did not reveal the Church until Paul). The Gospel the Apostles were commanded to preach in the Great Commission is the “Gospel of the Kingdom,” not the “Gospel of the Grace of God” preached by Paul and by us during the Church Age.

Take some time and read through this study. Have your Bible handy so you can compare Scripture with Scripture and see exactly what the Word of God says.


topical_discipleship.txt · Last modified: 2020/04/26 13:54 by gregkedro