It is reported that Jesus Christ has four hundred million Disciples throughout the world today and hopefully you are one of them. A Disciple of Jesus, is someone who follows, learns and is loyal to Jesus regardless of the cost.
"And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."
It is true that Jesus wants everyone to be His Disciples.
"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Disciples of Christ must experience salvation.
God the Father looked upon humanity and saw what satan had done to mankind. From the time of Adam until then, about four thousand years, he satan had targeted and attacked man in all areas of life. He had tormented mans body with every conceivable type of sickness and contaminated mans mind with thoughts of sin, violence, confusion and evil. He disturbed, disrupted, distorted and destroyed the equilibrium of mans emotional state and men and woman became children of wrath. Man's will capitulated, became weak and became enslaved to the lusts of the flesh.Ephessians 2:3
'Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.;
God looked upon a helpless, dying humanity and with immeasurable love said -"I will help them."
God's amazing love:
God the father had an only son whose name was Jesus. He decided to give His Son to the world to save mankind.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Jesus was born about two thousand years ago in the town of Bethlehem. He lived a perfect sinless life, overcoming all the temptations of sin that satan tempted Him with. After He was baptized in the Jordan river He commenced His ministry and revealed Gods saving and healing power to the world. We read about this in the first four Bible books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. At the end of three and a half years of ministry, Jesus willingly sacrificed His life to procure the salvation of mankind.
What an incredible price Jesus paid. Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane just outside Jerusalem and put on trial. He was rejected by the Jewish leaders as the Messiah, and sentenced to death. In spite of His innocence, the Sanhedrin, Jewish Council members mocked and spat on Him. The battalion of Roman soldiers punched and violently tortured Him. His clothes were torn off His bleeding, bruised and battered body and the flesh on his back was cut and torn off by the thirty-nine lashes of the cruel roman whip. The roman soldiers nailed His hands and feet to a wooden cross and crucified Him on a hill called Golgotha, the place of a skull. There Jesus bled and died for our salvation. He gave His precious Blood to redeem man.Isaiah 53:5
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there; And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
Jesus arose from the dead on the third day after His crucifixion.
He conquered sin, death, walked out of the tomb and appeared to many of His Disciples.
And seeing two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
Jesus was exalted after His resurrection by God His Father.
Jesus ascended into Heaven to sit at the righthand of God, with great power and authority.
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus then appeared to His Disciples and said this about Himself.
"All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
He had overcome the six major enemies of mankind, namely:
Satan, Hell, Sin, Sickness, Poverty and Death.
Jesus provided complete salvation for every person who would believe in Him.
To experience this salvation a person has to do six things:
- Believe that Jesus Christ can save you.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
- Accept Jesus Christ into your life as your lord and Savior.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him."
- Ask Jesus to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:7-9
The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- Ask God the Father to receive you and be born again into His family.
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
- Ask God to write your name in the Book of Life.
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life."
- Then confess with your mouth that you are Gods child.
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, thou shalt be saved."
Disciples of Jesus must be water baptized.
Baptism requires obedience.
Jesus commanded that those who became His Disciples were to be baptized.
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:'
They were to follow His example and be immersed in water, like He was.
"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:"
He was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River and when He came up out of the water, God spoke out of Heaven and said that He was pleased with His Son.
When we are baptized we bury our old life.
"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
Baptism brings deliverance.
The children of Israel experienced complete deliverance from Egyptian bondage, when they passed through the Red Sea. It is an example or type of our baptism.
1 Corithians 10:1-2
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
When we are saved, there are many things that pertain to our old life, that are not becoming of a Christian and we must experience deliverance from them.
Disciples of Christ must be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Once a Believer has been saved and baptized, they become a candidate to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
This gift gives us spiritual power.
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:"
This gift gives us an anointing.
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power:"
This gift gives us a Heavenly language. All children learn to speak the language of their natural birth. God gives His children the language of Angels.
1 Corithians 13:1
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels."
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
This language is mysterious and cannot be understood by man.
1 Corithians 14:2
"For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries."
True Disciples of Jesus Christ bear spiritual fruit.
"Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."
In order to do this:
- Disciples read their Bible.
The Bible is Word of God. It is God speaking to us. It contains all the good news of what God has done and will do for us. As we read it, it has a washing, cleansing effect upon our minds and lives.
"That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word."
It also is spiritual bread that feeds us.
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
Read your Bible every day!
- Disciples pray.
1 Timothy 1:8
"I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."
Prayer is one of the most important things that a Believer should do and it is a conversation between them and their God. In prayer we do the following:
- We praise and worship God.
- We ask Him to help us.
- We let Him know what our needs are.
- We pray for others.
The important decisions in prayer are deciding when to pray, what to pray for and how to pray.
We need to choose an appropriate time to pray.
We can pray:
- At the beginning of our day.
- When we close our day.
- When we enter a Church service.
- In thanksgiving when we eat a meal.
- When we feel a need to or when others ask us to pray for them.
There are different modes of prayer:
We can pray kneeling, standing, sitting or walking.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
"Pray without ceasing."
- Disciples attend Church.
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together."
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
We attend a church service for the following reasons:
- To gather with other Believers.
- To fellowship with them.
- To sing, praise and worship God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
- To be taught the Word of God.
- To pray.
- To give to God.
- To experience Gods Power.
- To have Holy Communion.
God tests our faithfulness and is pleased when we faithfully attend Church services.
- Disciples participate in the Lords Supper.
The lords Supper is also known as Holy Communion. Believers gather around the Lords Table and commemorate His death and resurrection. Paul taught us how do participate.
1 Corithians 11:23-28
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
The emblems on the Lords Table that are served are "Bread" and "Grape juice". The bread represents the Body of Jesus. The grape juice represents the Blood of Jesus.
Before we participate, we are told to examine ourselves and if we have committed any sin, we can ask the Lord to forgive and cleanse us. This will ensure that we are worthy to partake. When we eat the bread, we remember with thankfulness, the Body of Jesus that was crucified for us. When we drink the grape juice, we remember the Blood of Jesus that was shed for us. This practice is the keeping of a New Covenant with Jesus and if we are sick, we can ask for healing because it is one of our benefits in this Covenant.
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, and with his stripes we are healed."
- Disciples are witnesses for Him.
It is important for Christians to testify to others about the wonderful things the Lord has done for them. We need to give others the good news of salvation, deliverance, healing and restoration that Jesus has provided for them.
We are told to witness everywhere.
"And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
We should not be ashamed of witnessing to others.
"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed."
- Disciples are good stewards.
We are to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us. We need to use all the Godly counsel we can, to ensure that we work wise with the finances, assets and possessions, God has given us. The time that we have been given by God must also be used wisely.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
It is very important that we financially support Gods Kingdom with our finances. God tests our faithfulness to see if He can depend on us having a cheerful, giving attitude.
2 Corithians 9:6-7
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
- Disciples of Jesus are in spiritual warfare.
Disciples of Christ should realize that the moment they became a Christian they enter into warfare with their arch-enemy satan and his kingdom. He will use everything at his disposal to cause their destruction, defeat and demise.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
We are warned by God about this and told to take up the weapons that He has given us to defeat satan.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.
We are given the assurance of victory, by God;
1 John 5:4
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
1 John 4:4
"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because grater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
- Disciples of Christ successfully do their Heavenly Father's business.
As Disciples of Jesus Christ, each of us has our own individuality. We are personally known by God. He knows everything about us.
O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. God knows our;
Nature, Personality, Talents and Abilities.
God sees them and has a very special plan and purpose in every one of our lives.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
We need to as soon as possible, understand and do what He has called us to do and successfully accomplish our Heavenly Fathers business.
- Disciples of Christ are preparing and waiting for His return.
Jesus promised that He would return in the last days to rapture the Members of His Church to heaven.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Jesus said He would come unexpectedly, and not everyone would be ready for His coming.
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Paul described how this would take place.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
To be a true Disciple of Jesus costs something and we need to be willing to pay the price.
Sacrifice, persecution and hard work.
"Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
"And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me."
Take this challenge to be a true and faithful Disciple of Jesus Christ. Count the cost, totally surrender yourself to the will of God and enter into the calling of God in your life.
- How many Disciples of Christ are there in the world today?
- What must people do to become a Disciple of Christ?
- What was Jesus sent by God to do?
- What price did Jesus pay to procure salvation?
- What happened on the third day after that Jesus was crucified?
- What happened to Jesus after His resurrection?
- What major six enemies of mankind did Jesus overcome?
- What six things must one do to acquire salvation?
- How should one be baptized?
- What does baptism bring?
- What three things does the gift of the Holy Spirit give?
- What six things must a Disciple do to bear excellent spiritual fruit?
- When will Christ return for His Church?
- How will this take place?