Converge – Week 2; The Gospel and the Disciple

For our eight week summer study on Wednesday Night we are drilling down on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. After all, He commanded that we make disciples. And who was He talking to at that moment? The disciples. So disciples should make disciples. What does that mean? How do we do it? How do we apply discipleship to every category of the lives we live everyday? These are the questions we are looking at together. In week 2 we asked what is the connection between the gospel and discipleship and what are the dangers of divorcing the two? These are summary statements for an outline, but if you missed the discussion and what more description and instruction, you can get all the content on our podcast at www.eagleheights.com.

 Last Week: What is a disciple?

The Importance of trying to define what a disciple is: “We can always say we are successful if we can’t define what success is.”

  • “A committed follower of Jesus learning to grow in Christ-likeness so they can evangelize and train others to evangelize and train others.” John Kelsey OUBSU
  • A person wanting (­­­­­­attitude) and learning to follow Christ (action) with all of their life for the rest of their life (extent/scope).”

Biblically, what’s right and helpful about these definitions?

What is wrong with (missing from) these helpful definitions?

1.        Seem Individualistic.

2.        No passing on of the Christ life. No multiplication.

3.        It looks like and could be legalistic. Works/Performance based.

A synthesized and fuller definition:

A person who is truly saved by faith in Christ (condition), wanting (­­­­­­attitude) and learning to follow Christ (action) with all of their life for the rest of their life (extent/scope) and passing the life of Christ on to others (legacy).”

What is the gospel?

Simply, the gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ lived perfectly, died for our sins and was raised victoriously conquering sin and death (1 Cor. 15:1-8).  

 Describing the good news:

  • Historical fact (1 John 1:1-4).
  • Perfect and Present “Once for all” “It is finished”. There’s nothing I can add to earn, but it can change who I am in Christ and therefore how I live for Christ.
  • Impossible for me to do. Why? Because of the previous. I can live in response to the gospel, but I can’t live the gospel. Only Jesus can die, resurrect and mediate. All I can do is respond with glad obedience.

The gospel is good news, not good advice. But it is news that:

  • Needs a response. We must respond. No response is a no response

What are the consequences for discipleship of neglecting the gospel?

 1.        Personal – How will a gospel-less discipleship impact my trying to be a disciple?

  • Beat myself up when I don’t act like a disciple. Earn approval.
  •  I develop a God’s going to get me mindset and lifestyle = fear.

2.        Other People – How will a gospel-less discipleship impact the way I treat others?

  • I beat others up. Pride creeps in. I become a Pharisee.
  •  I expect people to be like me and not Jesus. I compare and judge.

 So we must first be saved by responding to the gospel.

We need to be disciples.

We need to continue to learn how to apply the gospel as a disciple, to our discipleship.

 Key Question: How do the gospel and discipleship fit together? ILL: A Tree

  • 2 Cor. 5:14-15. The gospel should cause us to want to be disciples of Christ rather than having to to be a disciple of Christ.
  • 2 Peter 1:1-11. Discipleship is empowered (VV. 3-4) by the gospel, but the disciple must make every effort (VV.5-8). “Nothing in the life of the disciple takes care of itself (Romans 8:13; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:5; 1 Timothy 4:7-10; 1 Timothy 6:12; Luke 13:24). We must trust and obey. It’s both.

“Jesus has satisfied my debt, which is exactly why I can’t be satisfied with anything less than living for Christ.”

One Thing – What is one thing that you need to change your mind about so that you can obey Christ for God’s glory, the good of others and your joy?  James 1:22

About brentprentice

Brent is the lead pastor and one of the Elders at Eagle Heights in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He has been married to Lacey for 14 years and together they love two sons, Luke and Elijah, and a daughter, Bella.

Posted on June 9, 2011, in Converge - Discipleship. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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