For the week commencing 13th October 2019
Notes for next Sunday’s sermon – “Why make disciples?”
We continue with the next week of our series called “We exist to glorify God by making disciples…”
Here’s the outline:
13 Oct …but what is a disciple?
20 Oct …why make disciples?
27 Oct …how are disciples made?
Noosa tri weekend – will be a one-off sermon, not in this series. Sunshine service, 5pm, Sat, 2nd Nov
10 Nov …the cost (of discipleship)
17 Nov …why disciples stagnate
24 Nov …how disciples grow
Day 1: Read John 1:35-50
The reason we want to make more and more disciples of Jesus is this – “because God’s goal for the whole world and the whole of human history is to glorify his beloved Son in the midst of the people he has rescued and transformed.” (The Vine Project)
We make disciples as part of God’s saving work for the entire world! Remember God is at work in the world to rescue a people who will worship and honour him. We make disciples as part of that great work of saving the world!
As Jesus began his ministry, he chose ordinary men to walk with him, learn his ways, live with him, become his disciples and spread the Good News of salvation through him. He chose ordinary men to ultimately do extraordinary things.
Just as the first disciples were called to follow, the same calling is ours today. Just as Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, to bring him to Jesus, so are we to help people to know and follow Jesus.
We make disciples to carry on Jesus’ ministry, and to make known that through Jesus, we have forgiveness, love, eternal life, salvation and life in his kingdom on earth through his righteousness.
As our understanding of the gospel takes a grasp on us, we long for others to be saved and see them come into relationship with Jesus. While we are not all gifted to be evangelists, or teachers, we are all disciples, who share a passion for others to become disciples.
DAY 2: Read Ephesians 2:1-5
So we must carry the message to others, but what is at the centre of the message?
Jesus, dying in our place! On the cross God treated Jesus as if he had committed, personally, every sin ever committed by every person who would ever believe. But he was guilty of none of them. He bore our sin, so that his righteous life could be credited to our account. It is this substitution that is at the heart of the Christian Gospel.
This substitution evolved from God’s love for us; we read in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” We are no longer dead in our transgressions and sins; we are alive with Christ. We must never forget that we were transgressors (rebels) and sinners (failures), following the “ways of this world…… gratifying the cravings of our flesh”, lovers of darkness, followers of Satan “the ruler of the kingdom of the air.”
We rightly deserved God’s wrath, yet as Paul explains, God’s reasons behind reconciling man to himself are his rich mercy and his great love which he extended to us. His love is so great that it extends to the unlovely; to sinners. Therefore, we must stop trying to make ourselves lovable to God, and simply receive his great love while recognizing our unworthiness. This is God’s grace – glorious, liberating, life-giving grace! Rejoice today that you have been called to be a disciple of Jesus!
DAY 3: Read Ephesians 2:6-10
In this reading we see the past, present and future of God’s work of individual reconciliation. We were dead in sin and now saved. As we read in John 5:24 “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” We no longer belong to the realm where death reigns supreme, but to the realm of life.
This is the work of God’s grace, and it in no way involves our merit. Our salvation, our rescue from spiritual death, is God’s work done for the undeserving. As Christians we now have a new place for living; our citizenship is in heaven, and we sit in the heavenly places since our life and identity is “in Christ Jesus.”
In the future, God will continue to show “the incomparable riches of his grace” to us. He will never stop dealing with us on the basis of grace and will continue to unfold its riches to us through eternity.
Paul continues in verse 8 to remind us that salvation is a gift of God; we are saved not by our faith, but by grace through faith. Yet even faith is a gift from God. We cannot believe in Jesus unless God does a prior work in us. By grace we receive the power to believe. If salvation was the accomplishment of ourselves in any way, we could boast about it. However, under God’s plan for salvation, he alone receives the glory.
We are God’s workmanship and his love is a transforming love; transforming lives to produce good works. Yet these good works are a response to God’s grace, not that which earn God’s grace! Praise God today and use this day to do the good work which God has prepared in advance for you to do!!
DAY 4: Read Matthew 28:18-20
Why am I here? To glorify God by making disciples. Why? Because Jesus commanded it.
By what authority? All authority in heaven and earth.
This commission is given in light of the authority of Jesus. It is his authority that sends us out, and his authority that guides us and empowers us.
We are commanded to “make disciples” – men and women who, empowered by the Holy Spirit, introduce people to Jesus, then walk alongside them, pray for them, fellowship with them and help them to grow in their faith and ultimately become disciples that then bring others into relationship with Jesus.
The disciples are told to baptise them “in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” reinforcing the doctrine of the Trinity, one True God, existing eternally as three distinct Persons.
Finally, they are instructed to teach, the content of which must be “to obey everything I have commanded you.” He gave his disciples a mission, to continue his work on this earth – as we read in John 20:21 “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
Jesus’ final promise to the disciples, to be with them always “to the very end of the age”, reminds us that he was not sending them out alone; his constant presence was more than enough to strengthen and guide the them as they obeyed him in making “disciples of all nations.”
By Marg Hansen