A DISCIPLE OF JESUS. Lesson #5. In our previous lessons we have looked at the Biblical teachings on. . . The Beginning of the Christian Journey Becoming Equipped for the Christian Journey The Ultimate Goal of the Christian Journey The Process of the Christian Journey.
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THE JOURNEY OF DISCIPLESHIP
Our New Testament was first written in the Greek language which was the market language of the Roman Empire
The following two statements by Jesus provides good examples:
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.’”John 8:31.
“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”John 15:8.
It also helps us to consider that there were disciples of John the Baptist.
“Then the disciples of John came to Him. . .” Matthew 9:14.
The twelve apostles of Jesus were normally referred to as “His disciples”
“And when He (Jesus) had called His twelve disciples. . .”Matthew 10:1.
In the book of Acts devout believers in Jesus are commonly referred to as disciples.
(See Acts 6:1, 2, 7; 14:20, 22, 28; 15:10; 19:1)
The following statement by Jesus gives the answer:
“. . .If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
(Also Matthew 10:38; Mark 8:34).
Most of us will agree that this is the most challenging requirement that we could ever be called upon to make.
And yet, Jesus said on another occasion,
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10.
1). We must recognize that all mankind are born spiritually dead.
“For as in Adam all die. . .”1st Corinthians 15:22.
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
Romans 5:12. (Also read Romans 3:9-20).
“…Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Romans 6:6.
“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:11.
“For he who has died has been freed from sin.” Romans 6:7.
“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.”
Colossians 3:9, 10.
Take up your cross daily.
A cross is an instrument of death. This signifies that we are to spiritually crucify our fallen fleshly nature every day by faith. The question arises as to why this is necessary every day.
The obvious answer is “because our fallen fleshly nature has a resurrection every morning.”
We need to hang it on the cross early.
On the positive side we must learn about Jesus if we are going to be His disciples. From our relationship with Him, His teachings and actions in the Scriptures and the illumination of the Holy Spirit we must learn everything we can about Jesus.
Jesus was and is God.
He answered the Jewish leaders seeking to kill Him,
“Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
With this answer Jesus identified Himself as Jehovah God Who Moses requested to reveal His name.
“And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. . .”
Exodus 3:13, 14. (See also Revelation 1:4-8).
As God, Jesus is holy, righteous, just, and good. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, eternal, true and unchangeable.
The Hebrew word translated into English as “Messiah” and the Greek word translated “Christ” have the same meaning which is “anointed one.”
The Scriptural meaning is that Jesus was chosen by God, authorized by God and empowered by God. As the Messiah/Christ, Jesus was anointed to be God’s chosen Prophet, Priest and King.
(See Deuteronomy 18:15-19).
Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom during His first coming (See Matthew 4:17).
He offered Himself to Israel and they rejected Him and provoked the Roman authorities to crucify Him. His offer to establish His kingdom with Israel was withdrawn and postponed until His second coming when He returns in power.
Jesus is affirmed to be appointed by God, the Father 17 times in the book of Hebrews. Some of His major works are:
He offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of
mankind “once for all.”
Hebrews 7:27; 9:11, 12, 26-28, 10:10-14.
Hebrews 7:22; 8:6-13; 12:24; 13:20.
As the . .One Mediator between God and man. . .”
(1st Timothy 2:5) He is sympathetic with our weaknesses so that we can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Jesus rules over His kingdom in mystery form during the church age.
This is the principal time He gathers citizens for the kingdom of God in power. It includes gentiles as well as Israelites. Jesus shared with His apostles
John 10: 15-16.
Jesus also gave “The Great Commission” to His disciples,
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.. .”Matthew 28:18, l9.
Jesus gave John the following vision:
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. . .” “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Revelation 19:11, 16.