On Sunday, Pastor Steve Brown, the Rock U and Boot Camp Director, taught us all what it really means to be a disciple of Jesus.
It's possible to be a Christian and not be a disciple of Jesus. And it's even possible to be a Christian and not even know what a disciple is.
The Test in Heaven
When we get to heaven, there's gonna be a test. Some people who get to heaven might not know this.
If we're gonna be tested by Jesus, we're gonna want to know what's on the test.
Did Jesus say go and make "believers" of all nations? Did Jesus say to go and make "Christians" of all nations. No. He said go and make "disciples" of all the nations.
Being a Christian is Different than Being a Disciple
Becoming a Christian means faith alone in God alone. That's it. God does most of the work. We just have faith that He is God and ask Him to forgive us
If you want to be a disciple, God gives us seven conditions. By following these conditions, when we get to heaven, we are likely to hear, Well done, good and faithful servant. Matthew 25:23
In other words, just being a Christian doesn't cut it. We need to be good stewards.
Living an Abundant Life
Do you want heavenly rewards? Do you want to be blessed? Do you want to live an abundant life on earth?
Abundant life comes through sacrifice and obedience. Don't be fooled. Jesus wants to give you an abundant life. But it will require you submitting yourself to Christ.
Now living an abundant life doesn't mean that there won't be problems in your life. It just means that if you're walking with Christ, He will give you the strength and ability to overcome them.
Make Jesus Proud
In 1 John 2:28, John the Apostle is speaking to Christians, and He says, Now little children abide in Him (Jesus), so that when He appears we may have confidence and not shrink away.
Jesus is looking down on us from Heaven. And He wants to be proud of us. After we have been saved from our sins and our past, we are called to live like disciples.
How awful would it be if we lived life in the same hopeless way as we were before Christ saved us?
The War Within
After you get saved, you're flesh and the Spirit wage war on you. The flesh wants to destroy you. It wants you to keep doing the things you were doing before you were saved. The Spirit, on the other hand, wants you to do what God wants you to do.
Every day, you have a choice, to decide whether you will side with the flesh or the Spirit. Being a disciple means siding with the Spirit.
The 7 Conditions of Being a Disciple
1. A disciple holds Jesus as the object of highest affection. Luke 14:26
In a hyperbole, what Jesus is saying is that your love for God needs to be so great that your love for anyone else looks like hate in comparison. Is God number one in your life? If our love for God is in the right place, then our relationship with others will inevitably be in the right place. It's a matter of priorities.
2. A disciple allows himself to be conformed to His will. Luke 14:27
We need to understand that there is a war going on within us. What boundaries or walls do we put up to prevent ourselves from submitting to the flesh? Do we have accountability? Do we have people in our lives who can ask us the tough questions? We have to crucify the sins our life, whatever the cost.
3. A disciple patterns his life after Jesus Christ. Luke 14:27
Simply stated we must tell God, "not my will, but thy be done." Some of us live always constantly doing everything we want to do, and not even considering what God would have us do.
4. A disciple stewards his possessions rather than clinging to them. Luke 14:33
This doesn't necessary mean that you have to give away all your possessions. Instead, recognize that everything you have is a gift of God, and make sure to be a good steward of what God has given you the opportunity to oversee whether that's your time, or money, or possessions, or relationships.
5. A disciple abides in God's word. John 8:31
You must be reading the word, regularly. And also, don't just be hearers of the Word, be doers of the Word also.
6. A disciple loves other followers of Jesus. John 13:35
We must choose to love others. This doesn't necessarily mean that we have to like everybody. That would be impossible. Must try to see others the way God sees them. Remember, you too are often times unlovable.
7. A disciple bears much fruit. John 15:8
Know the fruit of the spirit first. Then use the fruit of the spirit to evaluate your own life. Fruit is the mark of a disciple.
Submit to the lordship of Jesus in every area of your life. It might seem tough. In fact it is impossible without God. But with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
Practice obedience and surrender this week, and don't be content with being a Christian. Become a disciple.
Being a disciple is something we're all commanded to do. It will make our Father proud of us. It will be a testimony to our friends and family. And it's the only real way to live an abundant, joyful life.