Feb. 16, 2003 broadcast
Are You a True Disciple of Christ?
by George Sinkie
And welcome to the Berean Break. My name is George Sinkie and
this program is brought to you by the Lords church here in Mitchell,
SD. I want to encourage you to take out your Bible and follow along
as you listen to the program today. The text we will be discussing
in a few moments is based out of the book of John chapter 8:31-32.
As we begin, lets go to God in prayer,
Great and loving God in heaven. We
come to You now seeking to know Your will for our lives. We are so
thankful that You have given us Your word, which reveals that will for
us. Help us now to open our hearts and our minds to You. May
we be diligent to study Your word and learn from You. We thank You
for Jesus. And it is in His name we pray, AMEN !!
As we get into our lesson today you
may remember I mentioned a passage in the book of John 8:31-32 earlier.
Here Jesus said:
31 Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had
believed Him, If
you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
32 and you shall know the truth, and
the truth shall make you free.
A disciple is a learner. The Jews
who were taught by John the Baptist were called Johns disciples in
25 There arose therefore a discussion on the part
of Johns disciples with a Jew about purification.
The people who believed in Jesus and followed
Him were called disciples of Jesus in John 18:1.
1 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth
with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden,
into which He Himself entered, and His disciples.
The Jews who were clinging to the law of
Moses, but refused to believe in Jesus, considered themselves to be Moses
disciples in John 9:28.
28 And they reviled him, and said, You are His
disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.
Getting back to John 8, notice Jesus said,
If you abide
in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.
There is a big difference between a disciple and a true
disciple. The people who learned enough to believe in Jesus
were considered His disciples. But notice the phrase truly disciples.
The word truly here means in reality, or most certainly.
One may be called a disciple without being that in reality. Well
friends, what exactly does it mean to be truly disciples? How can
I be a true servant, a true learner, a true follower of Jesus Christ?
First of all, to be truly disciples one must
continue in the word of Christ. Some take the word of Christ lightly.
They are not willing to be bound by the Lords teaching. They
are determined to believe what seems good in their own eyes. They
rely more on human wisdom, in their man-made creeds and catechisms, than
on the divine word. They follow Christs word only when it happens
to coincide with their own preconceptions, notions, and thoughts. This
is contrary to New Testament teaching. Paul taught in 2 Cor. 10:5
5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty
thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought
captive to the obedience of Christ.
We are to take out thoughts captive, not
follow them wherever they lead. Whether we respect and continue in
the word of Christ or not, it will judge us in the last day. In John.
12:47-48 Jesus said:
47 And if anyone hears My sayings, and does not keep
them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to
save the world.
48 He who rejects Me, and does not
receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will
judge him at the last day.
To be truly disciples we must love the Lord
more than all else. Many people are unwilling to pay the price required
in true discipleship. They want to be disciples on their own terms,
not on the Lords terms. They are unwilling to take a stand for
Christ and the truth if it means being criticized and ridiculed by friends,
business associates, or relatives. No one is a true disciple unless
he stands ready to part with anything or anyone who may come between him
and the Savior. In Luke 14:26-27 Jesus said:
26 If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own
father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes,
and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
27 Whoever does not carry his own
cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
Immediately after these statements, Jesus
illustrated how we must be willing to count the cost. In v. 33 of
the same chapter Jesus said:
33 So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple
who does not give up all his own possessions.
To be truly disciples we must bear fruit.
Jesus spoke of Himself as the true vine, the Father as the husbandman
(vinedresser) and the disciples as branches growing in the vine. In
John 15:1-8 Jesus said:
1 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
2 Every branch in Me that does not
bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes
it, that it may bear more fruit.
3 You are already clean because of
the word which I have spoken to you.
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the
branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither
can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 I am the vine, you are the branches;
he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from
Me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not abide in Me,
he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and
cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If you abide in Me, and My words
abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.
8 By this is My Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
To abide in Christ requires that His words
abide in us. If we ignore His words and practice what He has not authorized
in religion, we make ourselves unfruitful. We must keep His commandments
in order to abide in His love. In John. 15:10 Jesus said:
10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in
My love; just as I have kept My Fathers commandments, and abide in
To be truly disciples we must love others
who are true disciples. Jesus said in John 13:34-35:
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love
one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35 By this all men will know that
you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
The apostle John also wrote in 1 John. 4:20-21:
20 If someone says, I love God, and hates
his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom
he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
21 And this commandment we have from
Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
Love prompts true disciples to help each
other. True disciples will be willing to go out of their way to help
others. They will look for opportunities to serve & glorify God
in this way. We also demonstrate love for other true disciples when
we call sin for what it is sin! This is not always pleasant.
Paul strongly rebuked the Christians in Corinth for their sins because
he loved them. A true disciple in Christ will be willing to accept
constructive criticism. He will learn to love the one who came to
his aid. Unfortunately, this spirit has been lost in the modern religious
world as the majority of religious people are willing
to tolerate deviance so that no one will be offended. As a result
we have many who are called disciples of Jesus Christ
but are not truly disciples.
bottom line is that it is not enough to only be called disciples of Christ.
Let us learn to demonstrate before others that we are truly His disciples.
What about you? Are you a true disciple of Christ? Are
you a part of His church the church that He died for the church
that He purchased with His blood? The church of Jesus Christ does
exist today and you can be a part of it! If you are interested
in becoming a Christian a true disciple of Christ then give
us a call. God has made it very simple for one to become a Christian.
One must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Jesus
said in John 8:24 unless you believe that I am He you shall surely die in
your sins. One must repent of his sins. In Luke 13:3 Jesus said unless
you repent, you shall all likewise perish. One must confess that Jesus
is the Son of God. Paul said in Rom. 10:9-10 - that if you confess
with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised
Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes
unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
One also must be baptized in water for the remission of his sins in
order to receive eternal salvation. In Acts 22:16 Ananias told Saul:
And now why
are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling
on the name of the Lord.
We want to
hear from you. If you have any questions about todays program,
or about how to be come a Christian, please get into contact with us.