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Spiritual Revival to Go

John Stanton
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This presentation looks at the big picture of discipleship and how it connects to God’s Old Testament model of taking salvation to the world. As the church today embraces the great commission, we will rediscover Christ’s plan for finishing the work.

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  • May 12, 2017
    8:00 AM
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Father in heaven please be with us here and guide us through this topic this morning in Jesus' name. The church was established two thousand years ago. And we're still here. And I know that there's prophecies to be filled and there's a time line that God has but as you know. Time doesn't extend beyond eighteen forty four right and so since that time it's been over around one hundred seventy years we are still here. And so the church has a work to finish and I know that at times we've had our ups and downs but I think it's I think God is calling us to get back to the basics and to finish the work that he gave us through his methods Amen. And so I want to share with you a few things today in regard to that. The upper cumbia conference several years ago got all the pastors together and church leaders from around the conference and they asked him one question What is the elephant in the room. What is it that is not allowing us to finish the work and what we answered with that answer is was pretty much unanimous across the board was that in active members where the elephant in the room members that were not active in their walk with God as disciples and so it was something that I think we saw and recognized at that time that it was important to address I'm not sure we've addressed it as well as we could have but certainly it's time to understand that that is the elephant in the room that's what we're facing today. Let me start off with a statement and I want to really let this ring or echo throughout my presentation both today and tomorrow morning and that is this if the church did discipleship right. Evangelism would largely take care of itself. It would take care of itself. Even when we think of. Eventually when we typically think of public meetings bug and evangelist in sharing our troops are distinct trues and then they accept those and embrace the Avonex message but I think discipleship. Addresses more than just have had a list of meetings and addresses how we live our lives. There are many implications here for the church today in regard to discipleship because it is an intrinsic element of the church it's built into its D.N.A. from its inception this is the way Jesus designed his church to function. I think the church is success in ministry depends on the level of discipleship assimilation within the church and how it is done both organizationally and individually as members there's an organizational need to structure each local church as a disciple making church one that's conducive to that and then for the members to embrace that and that takes vision. And takes the leaders of the church not just the pastor to really establish that vision in the local church. Statistics have shown from the North American division this is about three years ago I was in two thousand and fourteen that fifty percent of our pastoral workforce was eligible for retirement would become eligible for retirement over the next decade. Fifty percent. Now we're about three or four years from then. Three years from then so we're looking at the next seven years and there's a bit of a bottleneck actually of pastors that have not retired but have already become eligible to retire too so we're looking at a couple things here that is going to change the dynamic of the church in North America. My question to you would be Is this a good thing or a bad thing. Kind of interesting question isn't it because you can look at it is well well we're going to be in trouble. Where is our leadership or shepherding Where is that going to come from. Because there aren't nearly enough people coming through seminary to fill those vacancies. But in some respects it can be very much a good thing because why because the members themselves will be forced to take up the work without relying on the pastors and then begin to work with Jesus to finish it as he designed You see there's a negative correlation between discipleship and Pastor dependence. The more pastor depend of the church is right the less discipleship is happening. But we need to get back to the model where the leadership of the church is equipping members for ministry and they're engaging in that ministry every day in natural ways that fit within their life. Jesus said For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost this is probably the greatest statement in Scripture of his mission. He came to save lost people he must bring salvation to all the world is the reason why he came we find in the upper room speaking to the disciples He says these words from John fourteen Most assuredly I say to you he who believes in Me the works that I do he will do also what is Jesus saying by that he saying My mission is your mission the works I began your to continue to do and in fact he said greater works than these he will do because I go to my father not greater in the quality of work but the greater in number because he's multiplying his ministry through his disciples. And whatever you ask in my name that I will do that the father may be glorified in the Son If you ask anything in my name I'll do it he spoke these words in the context of discipleship not just ask me anything and I'll just do it. It's that if we step out to do the works of God and we ask him. To be with us he will be there with us it's not a great promise. This verse speaks of the what not necessarily the how. We'll address the how more tomorrow. But let's take a look at the words of Paul here who's speaking to the church in Ephesus he says he himself and that is Jesus gave some to be apostles some prophet some of Vangelis some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of what ministry for the edifying of the Body of Christ number one who's doing ministry here. Within the church. The Saints. Who's equipping them for ministry. Jesus through his leaders I don't think the key here is that we identify all of the individual apostles prophets and I don't think that's the intention of politics what Paul is saying is church leaders equip the Saints for ministry it's time to get going. And I think his last statement there about edifying the church this activity is probably the strongest impetus for spiritual revival and growth of the church it's what edifies and builds the church that he's equipping of the saints in the Saints in gauging in ministry. If the church there strays from God's intended purpose what happens. He said to be a natural waning of spiritual strength and health of the church as well in fact I believe it's one of the reasons why we're Laodicea today what is the proclamation God comes down and gives a message to through John to lay or to see any says I know your works what are the what is the issue with Laodicea. Their works are neither cold nor hot we are complacent. We're complacent. There's a life cycle. For every church. It starts with vision. You set goals ministry you experience growth. But human nature is once that growth happens and you say wow this worked past tense. You begin to get into this plateau which becomes a slippery slope because if you stay there too long the tendency can be to go down to the other side and experience then maintenance and. Polarization and then death I've been doing church consulates around this conference of churches for quite a while last five years and I found as we've come into some churches that they are already dead and don't know it. The job is to get back to here. Because if you're constantly doing these things casting the vision setting goals doing ministry experiencing growth you won't get in this plateau to the maintenance mode which I think we're finding most of our churches a lot of our churches at least in today. So let me share with you a quotation here from historical sketches page two ninety one. Is this minister should not do the work which belongs to the church thus wearing themselves and preventing others from performing their duty they should teach the members how to labor in the church and in the community. Now the challenge there is members don't always want to do that at least the very uncomfortable in doing that and we'll talk about that here a bit more tomorrow as well. But he says this work has been neglected this equipping this training piece has been neglected is that any model that God does not visit the churches with greater manifestations of his power when so large a number are shot into themselves engrossed in their own interests. It is thus that their piety becomes tame and weak and they become bigoted and they grow bigoted and self caring but notice what the solution is it isn't working for others that they will do what keep their own souls alive. If they will become cold labors with Jesus that's discipleship we shall see the light in our church is steadily burning brighter and brighter sending forth its rays to penetrate the darkness beyond their own borders. We've been praying for spiritual revival as a church as an initiative I mean they initiated we got to pray for revival for over a decade now. And praying is an important step with revival it's the beginning it's the dependence on God saying Lord we can only do with your help. But discipleship is cooperative it's responding to God's call if we just sit there after we pray and we don't do anything we don't begin to work in his field. Then the revival can't follow through it can't be nurtured and that can't be grown. The Holy Spirit can both be nurtured and quenched right. And we choose which direction it goes in our lives. But the spark of course comes from prayer and so we don't doubt that we don't know that but I want to encourage all of you today in your respective churches to take a look at revisit again discipleship on a broader scale and how you can organize. To to make disciples and to grow disciples of Jesus and I'll give you a plan a model of that tomorrow morning. I had a pastor friend of mine who I spoke with just recently in fact the pastor of this conference for many years told me a story of his first meeting with Richard's senior years ago he was a he was attending theology undergraduate theology school down at last year and elder Richards came through for a week of prayer and he had a chance to go pick a Little Richard's up one night and take him to the meeting hall and of course he's a student he's wondering what can I say profound elder Richards I mean this is the man of God and I'm a little nervous about this what do I say so he picks about a Richards brings. In the car and I couldn't think of much else to say but he said these words I asked him this question he said no to Richards So what's it going to take to finish the work. And he said without a beat without missing even a moment elder Richard said lock up all the pastors. Now this does not mean the pastors are doing a bad work it doesn't mean that pastors are a barrier to finishing their work not at all that wasn't what he was talking about he was talking about the fact that the church and its members has become so Pastor dependent. That it's incapable of getting out there and doing the work itself. When we go out to do pastoral placements. There's there's one thing that the church is always asked for in a new pastor. And there is also something they should ask for a new pastor but they don't most of the time but the one thing they always ask for is can he preach. And that's out of a desire to do what to be fed. Feed me feed me feed me feed me. Where the question they should be asking is is he an equip or. Will he empower me in ministry for Jesus. Because if he'll do that. We won't depend upon him so much for the work getting finished but we'll begin to engage and cooperate with Jesus ourselves that I've actually heard churches say to me these comes from two or three church districts they would say if we just had a pastor on our own we would succeed in our town. Wrong view wrong paradigm OK. We can't talk about disciple making without talking about unity. Because unity itself is what. Brings power and strength to the Gospel that we have to share is it any wonder why the devil's working so hard to polarize us today. He knows if we come together what will happen. But if you can divide us. We're going to be stuck we can't move forward with the work you can't finish it and so he's working really hard through any number of things to get us to divide unity is the most important thing within the church I think today. An issue that we're facing. Whatever side you're on on some of these issues unity is first. OK most of these aren't a hill to die on so to speak especially when it comes to lost people throughout the world upwards of well how many billion of them right. Paul says now I plead with you brother and by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind in the same judgment. Now was Paul here speaking of uniformity. Everybody thinking exactly alike that he starts off by saying that you all do what speak the same thing. Not think the same thing although we do need the stablished pillars of truth that we have and we hold dear is a church which I wholeheartedly not only support embrace but I've been defending for many years. Yet at the same time I think well George Patton said it well General George Patton he said if everyone is thinking alike then somebody isn't thinking. And this is where discipleship matters so much today it's the one thing that can unify us because it gives us a unique. Be of purpose. Not uniformity of thought but we have the same purpose of reaching souls for Jesus engaging in his mission of seeking in saving the Lost right and that's what is most important to unify on and I think that work is hindered to a great degree by a lot of the rabbit trails we catch myself in today. From the review and herald one thousand nine hundred two and White says we have many lessons to learn and many many to an learn God in Heaven alone are what infallible you're not going to find perfect people. In the church in fact the moment you arrived it became imperfect. One Amen thank you. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view never have occasion to change opinion will be wet. Disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed. Just won't happen. And unity is more than the absence of conflict or division by the way. I've been to some church and they say we get along so well we never argue or fight I tell you what pastors out there when you have a couple that sits in front of you a young couple usually and they say we have the best relationship we never argue. With the first thing that goes through your head there's an underlying problem here. You mean you never argue or debate or or discuss things maybe expressing opinions that differ. But what we are called to do is get all of our members to use their God given gifts as disciples to share the gospel and a disciple others within the church. Four verses after that verse about equipping the Saints Paul says this he comes back to it. He says the whole body joined in it together by what every joint supplies according to the effect of working by which every part doesn't share. Causes what. Growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love growth comes as a result of everyone doing their part so unity isn't just about not having conflict feeling toward each other it's about working alongside each other unified in purpose. That's when we talk about unity that's what really what we're talking about that's a biblical view of unity one goal one common goal working together to accomplish it unity paves the way for growth. So we're talking about some of the things that we should be doing as disciples in catching this vision this picture of what God intended but what is the disciple let's back up a little bit what is a disciple the Greek word for disciple is Methot is with that is which is student or pupil. The verb form means to learn that's what disciple means Jesus said students are not greater than their teacher but the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher so discipleship is about equipping and training and getting somebody to come along to come along side somebody and helping them to to not only learn the true is that we have as a church but then to engage in the work of the church what happens and this is a great forum for asking this question what happens is all if all you do is eat eat eat eat eat and don't exercise. Your big right what happens if you exercise exercise exercise and never eat. Waste away you get too skinny. Well sometimes we can get it we're out of balance or sometimes we're so focused specially as Aves on absorbing more truth that we're spiritually obese with true. Both. Because we're not exercising it and sharing it with others. We should learn so that we can then do what share right. Ellen White says a disciple is a learner ever learning kind of a good way of putting it a learner ever learned were always to being discipled by Christ and we should always intentionally seek to disciple others to help them learn and grow. The church militant is not the Church triumphant and earth is not heaven. The church is composed of erring imperfect men and women who are but learners in the school of Christ to be trained disciplined educated for this life and for the future in mortal life really the church is the school of Christ isn't. This where we learn and grow as disciples of Jesus. That is the reason why the church was created from the beginning it wasn't a house holy people although it does call those attend church saints we are by virtue of our connection with Jesus. A disciple has received Jesus as both Savior and Lord what's the difference. Savior is one who is redeemed saved you. From death row from the death penalty because of the fact that we're sinners but making him the Lord of our life is different than just receiving him as savior right because lordship has everything to do with following Jesus and living according to his plan as he leads us day by day that is the Jesus disciple relationship. And not only does it need to be embraced by our members but this needs to be embraced by the church how do we instill that in our members because one of the reasons remember one of the barriers for revival is the fact that our members aren't strong end there. Relationship with Jesus in making him Lord and leading them day by day and I don't believe it's because they don't want it I believe they want it. Just don't know how to get there. I love this quote is one my favorite ones from Priest from Christ object lesson she said this as the will of man cooperates with the will of God It becomes what I'm negative. Can you imagine having an omnipotent will. Was On The By the way. All Powerful right someone said to me Pastor It means I'm me potent you're potent I like that too. Whatever is to be done at his command maybe complet in his strength all his biddings are what enabling he's asked me to do something he's going to empower you and through you he's going to help you be successful at doing it right doesn't mean it's always comfortable getting out of that comfort zone that we all have and beginning to work with Christ but he does promise that when you do. You'll be successful at it because he'll be with you not only that he'll give you divine power to make your will as you align that with Christ all powerful praise God Praise God. We need to think bigger. We need to think bigger about Will God can do or wants to do in and through His people whether just day by day plodding along we need to think big. Back to a few genes again efficiency is a lot about discipleship OK back to efficiency again chapter three verse twenty now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us right. This is not talking about heaven it's talking about on earth. So we can do a sit in we abundantly above the all that we ask or think. I don't think that way usually usually I'm. Back the education department my wife were Show us the education super and associate superintendent and she's been trying to kind of shift the mindset of art of our teachers toward a growth mindset. Rather than coming up against a barrier a challenge a kind of stepping back and saying I don't think I can do that to push through it and learn how to do something and become good at it that's the growth mindset this is growth mindset here. And God wants all of us as disciples to have a growth mindset. To think I'm not good at that I'm not maybe ready for that but I can with God's help I can get there and then. With God It's no longer about what we can do it's about what he can do. I love this from Mark Bateson had a blog has a blog here on that blog which is called in a pit with a lion on a snowy day he writes these words I want to share this his vision for our life in Christ what it can be quickly living as if the purpose of life is to write safely a death. Said God sighs goals pursue God ordained passions go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention keep asking questions keep making mistakes keep seeking God stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future stop playing it safe and start taking risks expand your horizons accumulate experiences enjoy the journey find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can live like today is the first and last day of your life don't let WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU keep you from worshipping what's right with God but then sinful bridges blaze new trails criticized by creating royalists about what people think and more about what God thinks Don't try to be who you're NOT be yourself laugh at yourself. Off Don't let fear dictate your decisions take a flying leap chase a lion. Not cool. To wake up that day with that mindset I think is one of the things the desires that God has for us Christ wants us to catch that vision that growth mindset is disciples that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens me right. As we talk here about. The Christ and disciple relationship I want to back up a bit let's go back to the being where did this come from. Let's go back to God sanctuary as you know two major distinctive beliefs that we have a Seventh Day Adventists are the great Conover see perspective right the world view that's a very important one and the heavenly sanctuary right these inform many of our doctrines affect if not all of them right. But there's a picture that we haven't yet really come to full understanding of and I want to share a little bit of that with you this morning. Jeremiah seven hundred twelve says a glorious throne set on high from the beginning is the place of your sanctuary God saying sure the heavenly sanctuary was built constructed at the very beginning from the moment God sat on the throne thrown over his universe. It was not originally designed to take care of the sin problem a lot of us think in terms of well it handles the sin issue. Sins are transferred their sanctuaries cleansed the Earth has made new people or cleansed those things those perspectives and that's often what we preach about but going back even further we find that the heavenly sanctuary was more than. Dealing with the sin issue it wasn't even I wouldn't say God didn't understand or know that it was going to happen of course he did but it wasn't designed for that purpose. David King David was enamelled with the sanctuary if you look at through the Psalms talks about it all over and over again in fact we have this picture of King David in trouble for it but what's happening when the sanctuary the tabernacle being brought into Jerusalem remember he's dancing around and he's so happy about it because boy he loved God sanctuary because God well there and here's what he said this comes from Psalm twenty seven verses four to six one thing I desire to the Lord that I will seek that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me his pavilion in the secret place of his tabernacle he shall hide me he'll set me on high upon a rock and now my head shall be lifted above above all my enemies all around me therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in his tabernacle I will sing yes I will sing praises to the Lord the vision the picture that David had of the sanctuary was a place to offer sacrifices in praise to God it was a house of praise and worship. And that David is telling us here that this is God's house he uses several words of course to do this he he describes it as a temple pavilion tabernacle house. In Hebrew the word for Temple is a call which comes from the Samarian word. Meaning great house. Throughout the Old Testament the sanctuary temple is called the house of the Lord. Simply put the heavenly sanctuary is God's house. He's doing a lot of stuff in it but it's God's house it's a place where he invited his creation to come in and to commune with Him And they saying in response to that praise and worship to their god. But something else happening god's have. Long ago and we can find from comparing is equal and I say as accounts of the fall of Lucifer when he became Satan that he was the anointed cherub in God's House referred to here is the holy mountain of God we'll get back to that in just a second here but then he says in Isaiah that I were third and into heaven I was on my throne above the stars of God I will also sit on the Mount of the congregation this mount of God its mountain of God is also the Mount where the congregation assembles. For praise and worship originally designed. But more sinister than that what the devil is actually saying here is I want to take over God's congregation. I want to usurp and get in the middle of this relationship that God has with his people that come to meet in his house and I want to disconnect him them from his house because I want to create a house of worship myself. And then sin came to the world. And the amazing thing about God is this. You know many of us you had invite friends over people over to your house you like to ask them take their shoes off what was the reason for that. And want to keep some of the dirt out of the house right you want to keep your carpet clean and maybe not all of you do this but we certainly we invite people to come over to take off their shoes. God didn't do that with our stuff. God brought our sin into his house to deal with the sin issue. In our stuff into the house of praise where he dwells It's an amazing thought to me over a love of God that goes beyond what we can even imagine a man. But God also has a priesthood. Which in fact and meeting with God at his house but certainly here on this earth his congregation are his people and he refers to them as his priesthood. In the heavenly sanctuary we often like we get caught up in defining symbols and ceremonies you know what does the altar represent what is the Lamb of God represent what is the candlestick What about the oil the Ark of the Covenant all those things. But rarely do we ask this question in conjunction with the high priest Aron and his sons only one high priest at a time he had a common priesthood who served alongside of him throughout most of the year right what do they represent. I'm going to skip forward here a little bit just because I know my time is quickly wrapping up here. We find in Exodus that God creates this or chooses as he delivers of course Israel from Egypt he reminds them that he's chosen them as a special treasure to be a nation of of what kings and. Priests or a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Paul and Barnabas then we find speaking to the nation of Israel the leaders in Israel said these words it was necessary that the Word of God should be spoken to you first but since you reject it and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life behold we turn to whom we Gentiles this is a transitional time from the Nation of Israel as God's people to spiritual Israel the church right we understand this conceptually when we know. But more than that look at Peter's language speaking of the church coming to him as to a living stone rejected indeed by men but chosen by God and precious you also as Livingstone's Who is he talking to the church as living stones are being built up a spiritual house when he's using this language they are thinking temple. You're thinking sanctuary on earth but Peter's not just talking about on earth he's talking about what we see on Earth is a reality that's occurring also in heaven by faith. It's a holy priesthood he said to offer up spiritual sacrifice is acceptable to God through Jesus Christ my question to you is as God's Living priesthood today his people do we still have sacrifices to offer to him. Yes. They're not of bulls and goats in the blood of animals but they are of life in service for him. This the relationship between Christ and His disciples who became apostles to the church in the growing of disciples through the Great Commission is. A mirror of the priesthood relationship that God had with his people of old the nation of Israel. He doesn't change his method he's just changing his focus of his people because it was always from the very beginning designed to go to the whole world right that's what could chose Israel for to take the message of the Gospel to the entire world. All those passages in those prophecies we see for Israel to happen in the future are now they now pertain to us beautiful. Verse nine Same same chapter but you are chosen generation a royal priesthood a holy nation his own special people why so that we may what proclaim the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous like that is our focus that is our mission as disciples of Jesus. And to disciple as to they may do the same thing right. I wish I had time to go through some of these but I'll just put them up on the screen here briefly the activities of the priesthood the common priesthood bad. Then are the same activities that we have for the church. They simplify holiness reveal God's love character and beauty teach the law have people learn about God in these ways intercede in prayer to be a conduit a blessing to the people OK By the way I will have these slides that I'm going to send to Cindy So if you want them later you can have them OK I see some of your writing is going to be hard to keep up some of this. To attend to the needs of the High Priest our goal is to help also attend to what Christ need is in his work of intercession for the world. It's another thing that boy gets an expanded view of discipleship right. Care for the tabernacle in its furnishings and meet the needs of the congregation find justice for the people OK those are just some of the things that we have but building on this idea of attending to the needs of the high priest there is a link there is a connection between what happens in heaven and what happens on Earth in God's house Jacob dreamed of a latter one of that latter represent Jesus and you had angels descending up and down that ladder showing a connection between what's going on in heaven and what's happening on Earth. That ladder is still Christ and the connection is still there and as a priesthood we still have a linkage with Christ our High Priest and ministry and helping him to administer the benefits of the atonement from the cross. Are you understanding this expanded view of discipleship this is just to me this excites me I love it this picture it's beautiful and so let's let's read this from Paul this passage from second Crimmins with a little new a few new eyes to see if you can find his language in the connection here now all things are of God who is reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and is given us the ministry of what. Reconciliation that word reconciliation is connected to the work of Atonement at one ment to bring two together we are minutes. During along with Christ as COLETTE LEBER is with him as disciples in his work of Atonement he provides the atonement we make sure that message gets out to the people so that they can be reconciled to God beautiful. That is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself not imputing their trespass to them and is committed to us the word of reconciliation now when we are what ambassadors for Christ as though God were pleading through us we implore you on Christ behalf be reconciled to God This is the same work of the priesthood. Making sure that the people were reconciled to God. And if all we do is just absorb information find out how we can be saved not making sure we do this or that or connect with people that might defile us we're not going to even get close to embracing the picture of discipleship God intended for us. Yes we're to keep our lives undefiled from the world but at the same time we're still to be in the world reconciling the world to God. From the book the splendor and shadow to shadow that which God purposed to do for the world through Israel the chosen nation he was for he will finally accomplish through his church he has laid out his vineyard to other tenants or lent let out his vineyard other tenants who faithfully give him fruits of their seasons these witnesses for God are the spiritual Israel and to them will be fulfilled all the covenant promises made to his ancient people. Beautiful words and wonderful reminder. From Micah chapter four one and two just explain continue to expand on this view you can see it's all through Scripture. Now I shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house. Similar language that we've already learned right the Mount of the congregation the Mountain of God The mountain is where what resides. God's house. OK the Mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains and should be. Exalted above the hills and people shall flow to it. Mike is not referring to prophetically what happens in heaven he's talking about what's happening here. But the church that is a right set on a hill is still referred to as the Mountain of the Lord's house on earth. Many nations shall come and say Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord to the house of the God of Jacob he will teach us his ways and we shall walk in his paths for out of Zion the law shall go forth and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem this prophecy was spoken of. In regard to the church in the latter days. So what does it mean for us today what did Jesus say about discipleship. He gave some important he did some important things in disciple and others or some principles that he used I wish we had time to spend on each one of these but essentially had seven principles that he followed in disciple in the twelve. I would say that you know some have asked what is difference between mentoring someone in discipleship and coaching someone as a disciple there's a difference I would say that Jesus mentored the twelve but he coached the seventy. You understand what the difference would be then there's a close coming along side of the twelve showing them by example and doing things to help really not only solidify the relationship but really in still that in them for their work of transition out of the church as leaders where he coached his other disciples He had many followers be on the twelve but he wasn't as close knit and connected with them because he couldn't be as it as a disciple maker. But he gave four conditions of discipleship and these all come from the Gospels these are conditions these are things were Jesus said If you do this you'll be my disciple or if you do not this do this you cannot be by my disciple there are several statements like that but here are the four of them just so you get a well rounded perspective of Jesus and his conditions for decide. Bullshit left forgotten people I would say this person foremost and then God have a love for God in people. Because there are a lot of people that know a lot of stuff about the Bible but they act like the devil. We've all run into a few of them. Number two commitment to follow Jesus. Is a commitment to take up our cross to lay everything of our life behind us and to follow him Number three there's obedience to God in His Word is a desire to read the word and incorporate that in our lives to obey him and to follow him as a learner of Christ disciple And then lastly faithful fruit bearing there's fruit that's expected. Of every disciple. That follows Christ. There's also a spiritual balance Jesus spoke of a spiritual balance in discipleship. Speaking with the woman at the well he talked about you worshippers that his father is looking for who worship him in what spirit and truth and sadness we often emphasise which one truth. But this isn't this isn't the either or this is both in harmony together. In fact. Paul wrote these words God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth so both are important with us to live in the spirit and the truth boy time is short so I can't talk about that more I wish I could but I want to end with this text because I think it's very appropriate isn't it so I make an appeal to you Romans twelve one now with what we've talked about here let's just read this let's read this together because the language is going to bring back to you this idea of the priesthood as disciples of Christ today and what we do in offering ourselves to God OK let's read it together therefore I urge you brothers in the view of God's mercy to offer your bodies as living side. Holy and pleasing to God This is your spiritual act of worship he James Version says your reasonable service but the same idea the way we serve God is also the way we worship him. Back when Jesus spoke of worshipping in spirit and truth he wasn't talking about gathering together in a specific building and how it's done he was talking about how you lived your life from Sunday through Sabbath. It wasn't just about the worship service. So we are to offer ourselves he calls us as His disciples we are to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God as His priesthood whereby then he can use us and work through us as we worship him not only in spirit and truth but every day of our lives in what we do I encourage you. Guys disciple his you learn here throughout this day and tomorrow to keep this expanded view of discipleship in mine and I would say if you have a desire for me to come out and present this to your local church I am filling up appointments fairly quickly in coming around and sharing these things hoping that we might instill this culture of discipleship discipleship in our local churches to light a fire again for revival spiritual so desperately need Amen let's close with prayer Father in heaven. We see a bigger picture this morning about what it means to be a disciple and where it came from in your plan for this world what a privilege it is for us to serve you as disciples we pray pray Lord now that you would teach us today and tomorrow how that might look in our lives and how we can use the gifts you've given to each of us as we offer ourselves to you that you can use us to work in and through our lives to share this amazing beautiful gospel that we have of Jesus and his with the world we thank you Lord for your being here today with us. Site dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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