What is a disciple?
• One who follows one’s teachings as the disciples of John (St Matthew 9:14)
• A personal follower of Jesus Christ during His life, especially one of the 12 Apostles (St Matthew 10:1-4)
• A follower or learner of a teacher or leader that is a personal follower of Jesus Christ and His teachings drawn to Jesus by the Spirit of God.
• All who manifest that they are His disciples by abiding in His Word, St John 8:31-32
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
St Mark 8:34-35 34 And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
• Becoming or being a disciple requires gain through losses.
• Becoming or being a disciple is the inner life of a believer that starts in the heart of the Soul of the spirit man.
• Becoming or being a disciple is not only just a pupil, but an adherent person (someone who supports a particular person’s set of ideas, or party); hence (for this reason) they are imitators of their teacher; they become the teacher.
• Discipleship is for the inner man (Soul) that has been awakened by the heard Word of God.
• Discipleship and membership are not the same!
• In fact Paul uses the natural body as a metaphor describing the Church as one body with many members. His description is detailed of a diverse people (believers) connecting together like the natural body through their common commitment to Christ.
• Our commitment to Christ and in Christ that connects all-born again believers together as one body with members working, operating, and functioning together as one body.
• This includes all races, creed, color, or culture!
• Your commitment to Christ and in Christ should tell you how you are to function, operate, and work in the Body of Christ; your commitment should tell you the type of body member you are and how to work with the other members of the Body.
1 Corinthians 12:23-28
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
• The parts of the body that are considered weaker are still a necessity for their part in the Body (verse 22).
• Those parts of the Body that we consider ignoble (not honorable in character or purpose) we are to invest them with additional honor, and our unseemly parts (of behavior or actions not proper or appropriate) and those unsuitable (not fitting or appropriate) for exposure are treated with seemliness (the quality or state of being especially suitable or fitting), for which our more presentable parts do not require (our comely parts have no need. Comely defined here as agreeable, suitable.)
• BUT God has tempered the body together (harmonized, and subtly proportioned the parts of the whole body) giving by giving the greater honor and richer endowment to the inferior (lower in rank, status, quality or ability) parts which lack apparent importance.
• As I always say it is important to know your function and operations in the Body of Christ. If not everyone will be trying to do the exact same thing when in fact that is not what you are called to do.
• God has given more abundant honor to the parts of the Body which lack honor, recognition, and are working behind the scene.
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
• Schism defined here as a split or division between strongly opposed sections caused by differences in opinions or belief.
• For example, when members of a church congregation disagree and divide into two separate churches based on their different beliefs.
• Man-made denominations are really a schism because it divides and disagrees based upon different beliefs and interpretations of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
• This is how you know that you are in the Body of Christ because when one member of the Body suffers all the other parts of the Body shares in that suffering; if one member of the Body is honored, all the other members of the Body share in the enjoyment with that member.
• This is how you know if you are walking in the Spirit, with spiritual discernment to know the need of the whole body, and not just who you favor or who you know from years of experience with them.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
• We are the Body of Christ collectively.
• The Body is Christ’s Body and we are individually members of it, with each of us with our own place and function in His Body.
28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
• God has appointed some in the church for His own use.
• Apostles as special messengers; Prophets inspired preachers and expounders; Teachers; then wonder-workers; then those with ability to heal the sick; helpers; administrators; Diversities of tongues speakers in different unknown tongues.
• Jesus never used the word “members”.
• Over the centuries the mixing culture, government and church together, the Church came to see itself more like an organization than an organism.
• Organizations and institutions describe their constituents as members with rights and privileges when they pay membership dues. Membership dues give them access to the privileges these dues provide.
• Language shapes our self-perceptions and identities. Word terminology is so important in Salvation!
• The Church is a living organism; the Church is the Body of Christ with Christ being the Head of the Body; the Church is the Bride of Christ; the Church is Heavens local government in the earth; the Church is God’s administrative agency on earth to execute Heavens dictates in its territory: Earth.
• The Church is the legal agency of God in the earth. God establishes authority, but His agency carries out His Will as the Church.
• If the Church ever leaves, the earth has lost Heaven’s influence!
• Nothing and no one can destroy the Church!
• Don’t be fooled by what you see, here, or feel; don’t let the media (news, social, family, friends, or foes) fool you about the Church and its spiritual existence in the earth.
• St Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
• The gates of Hell, death, and the grave shall not prove to be more powerful than the Church.
• The Church will always be victorious!
• Disciples have a servant’s heart.
• Disciples serve! Serving is intrinsically (belonging naturally; essential) to their identity as a disciple.
• Serving becomes natural as a disciple.
• Disciples don’t question whether they should or will volunteer, they simply do.
• Members are afar off from the Spirit of God because they lack the knowledge of knowing God.
• Members and their membership are about their rights and privileges; what they “feel” like they should do verses what they need to do. And if they don’t “feel” like they are being treated equal or right they simply leave and say they have been “church hurt”.
• Members and their membership are all about their rights and privileges from their giving.
• A disciple follows and imitates the Model Jesus.
• Discipleship is self-denying and cross bearing, St Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
• Discipleship is leaving all, St Luke14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
• This is the real reason many believers become comfortable in their walk in Salvation. They won’t forsake ALL!
• Disciples must bear fruit: the Fruit of the Spirit.
• Fruit is a disciples proof and evidence of being a hearer and a doer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Jesus said by their fruit you shall know them, St Matthew 7:17-18.
• Jesus said that every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
St John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
• A disciple bears fruit that will glorify the Father, exactly as Jesus bore.
• Your commitment to Christ and in Christ will reveal your discipleship in Christ.
• Disciples must possess the mind of Christ.
• The blessings of the Lord are promised to the followers of Christ: spiritual knowledge is promised when we follow to know the Lord, Hosea 6:3
• A disciple will walk in the Light of Christ possessing the light of life, and not in darkness St John 8:12.
• A disciple has a trained, disciplined ear to hear and be led by the still small voice of the Spirit of Christ, St John 10:27.
• We hear His Voice, He knows us and we follow Him.
• A disciples inheritance is the heavenly honor of being where Jesus is and being honored by the Father when we serve and follow Christ, St John 12:26
• Christ Jesus suffered for us all, leaving us an example of Himself that we should follow His steps which is His Divine example, 1 Peter 2:21.
• No other example of man will comply with the example of Christ Jesus and the order of God put into motion through Salvation.
• Discipleship is the inner life of the new creature in you set and demonstrated by Christ Jesus in you.
Wednesday, May 25, 2022