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True Discipleship Mark 8:34-38. Doubtlessliving.com. Favorite Game?. What is your favorite game to play with your friends and family? What makes it your favorite game? Why? Why do people like to play games in general ?. Is the Christian life a game?. What I s Discipleship?.

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favorite game
Favorite Game?
  • What is your favorite game to play with your friends and family?
  • What makes it your favorite game? Why?
  • Why do people like to play games in general?

Is the Christian life a game?

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what i s discipleship
What Is Discipleship?
  • Many people today profess to be Christians and claim to be disciples of Christ, but are they truly?
  • What exactly is a disciple and what does true discipleship look like?
    • By definition, a disciple is one who accepts the doctrine or teaching of another. Therefore, discipleship is the practice of spreading the doctrines of another.
  • But, do these words accurately describe Christian discipleship? Is discipleship simply telling someone else’s stories? Is it simply a game of pass-it-on?

3

disciple christian
Disciple ≠ Christian
  • True discipleship is a serious matter and the first thing we need to understand is that the words disciple and Christian are NOT synonymous.
  • One doesn’t have to be a Christian to be a disciple and every disciple is certainly not a Christian.
  • Throughout history many leaders have inspired sacrificial devotion from their followers.
  • Each of the madmen on the left inspired followers or disciples who were willing to endure great personal sacrifices on behalf of their leader.

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christian discipleship
Christian Discipleship

So then, how are disciples of Christ different from the disciples of these madmen?

What makes Christian disciples different?

What characterizes and distinguishes true Christian discipleship from the practices of other followers?

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true discipleship
True Discipleship

34Summoning the crowd along with His disciples, He said to them, “If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. 35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me and the gospel will save it. 36For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his life? 37What can a man give in exchange for his life? 38For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

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true discipleship is voluntary
True Discipleship Is Voluntary

Jesus began by saying “If anyone wants”which highlights the first principle of discipleship: true discipleship is voluntary. 

  • Disciples of Christ exercise free will in choosing to follow Jesus, unlike the disciples of other leaders throughout history who were forced or coerced into service.
  • Jesus desires that we follow Him willingly and freely by the voluntary exercise of our own will, consciously submitting our will to His will.
  • Also note that true discipleship is open to anyone and everyone who has the will to follow Jesus.  Jesus said “If anyone” which indicates he was talking to the entire crowd not just the Twelve disciples.

“If anyone wants to be My follower…

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true discipleship involves personal sacrifice
True Discipleship Involves Personal Sacrifice
  • For those who choose to follow, Jesus stated two requirements which are bound together and cannot be separated.
  • True followers of Jesus must do both of them, they are not mutually exclusive.
  • One is stated negatively and one is stated positively but both are imperative commands. 
  • True disciples of Christ will be both:
    • Self-denying, and
    • Self-sacrificing.

“…he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.”

The Disciple’s Cross

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requirements of disciples
Requirements of Disciples

Self-Denial

Self-Sacrifice

Self-sacrifice does notmean:

Suffering as Jesus did,

Being crucified as He was, or

Stoically bearing life’s troubles.

Self-sacrifice involves:

Decisively saying yes to God’s will & way and no to our will & way

Complete submission & obedience to God’s will as revealed in His Word,

Willingly and freely accepting whatever comes to us in God’s will as a follower of Christ.

  • Self-denial does not mean:
    • Dying as a martyr,
    • Deny “things” (i.e. asceticism), or
    • Denying our own personality.
  • Self-denial involves:
    • Turning away from self-centeredness and self-interest.  
    • Consistently saying no to selfish desires, personal interests and earthly securities.  
    • Adopting an “others 1st” attitude

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disruptive discipleship
Disruptive Discipleship

True discipleship is disruptive, if we are to truly follow Jesus and Savior and Lord we cannot maintain the status quo of life. 

Our lives must be focused on Christ and not ourselves and in so doing we will become “others focused” just as He was. 

This type of discipleship requires absolute commitment.

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true discipleship demands absolute commitment
True Discipleship Demands Absolute Commitment
  • Jesus teaches that to save our life we must be willing to lose it. 
  • True discipleship comes when one leaves behind old allegiances to this life and self-interest and pledges allegiance to Jesus and a new lifeas His disciple.
    • The one who chooses a self-centered life in this world over the selfless life required of Jesus’ disciples will ultimately lose his life to eternal ruin. 
    • A person who “loses” his life in allegiance to Jesus by accepting His requirements will preserve it eternally.

35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me and the gospel will save it. 36For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his life? 37What can a man give in exchange for his life?

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a matter of life or death
A Matter of Life or Death

Jesus is very clear in this passage; this is a matter of paramount, eternal importance. 

Choosing to follow Jesus and submitting to His requirements demonstrates to the world that we are truly His. 

If we are unwilling to identify with Him then He will be unwilling to identify with us.

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true discipleship requires total loyalty
True Discipleship Requires Total Loyalty
  • Can we be a true follower of Jesus if we stay in the shadows and hope no one notices?
  • Following Jesus requires us to choose sides and declare our allegiance, publicly.
  • If we’re “ashamed” to let people know that we’re a follower of Jesus then can we be a true disciple?
  • True discipleship requires total loyalty to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

“38For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

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the meaning of discipleship
The Meaning of Discipleship
  • Discipleship is not a game, it is a serious life and death matter of eternal significant.
  • As we have seen today, true discipleship is:
    • Voluntary and open to everyone
    • Marked by personal sacrifice
    • Disruptive to the status quo
    • Dependent upon absolute commitment to Jesus
    • Characterized by bold loyalty to Christ

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true discipleship starts now
True Discipleship Starts Now!

To learn more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ visit: doubtlessliving.com/how-to-experience-saving-faith/

If you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then boldly follow Him and tell others about Him.

If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus then it would be my great privilege to introduce you to Him today.

As long as you have breath in your body, it is never too late to follow Jesus.

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