The Terms of Discipleship
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
This morning I want to speak to you about discipleship. And I want to remind you that a disciple is someone who has a desire "to know Him and to make Him known." A Christian disciple is one who follows Christ, one who submits to His authority, one who hungers to learn His truths and follow through obedience.
Someone has said, "As the soldier follows his general; as the servant follows his master; as the scholar follows his teacher; as the sheep follows its shepherd, just so ought the professing Christian to follow the Lord Jesus Christ."
Dear church. God is continuing to convict me in my ministry to quit making decisions for the sake of making decisions and get to making disciples. I'm coming to see more each day that the only people who matter in any local church, in order to carry the burden of prayer and of ministry and of evangelism, are disciples.
Frankly, I don't want to be found guilty of calling people to a church membership which in many cases is no more than a cheap substitute for discipleship. What this church needs is not necessarily more church members, but more disciples. In fact, we need to be busy making disciples out of the church members we already have. There is a ministry we've got to have in our churches today of Christianizing the Christians.
Now, let me ask you a question. Are you a disciple or are you just a church member? This morning we're going to be thinking about the terms of discipleship. First of all, in the life of discipleship there must be
I. No Rival To Jesus Christ
Jesus said on one occasion, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26).
In other words, there is to be no rival to the place Jesus Christ is to have in your life and mine.
We're to love God; we're to love the Lord Jesus Christ; we're to love the Holy Spirit; we're to love our great triune God above all else. Jesus Christ is not just to be present in your life or prominent in your life, but preeminent in your life. He is to reign without a rival in your heart.
Abraham of the Old Testament demonstrated that the Lord was without a rival in his heart when he proceeded to offer his beloved son upon the altar of sacrifice to God.
You remember the story in Genesis, chapter 22. God put Abraham to the test. God said, "I want you to take that boy, your only son, the one that you love." I don't know. Perhaps Abraham was just about to make an idol out of his son. I mean, he had waited so many years for him. He is well past a hundred years old. He knows that he doesn't have many more years to live. His whole life and his hopes and aspirations and ambitions are wrapped up in the life of that boy. He was his son of promise.
Have any of you men got an only son? Have any of you parents got only one child? Why, that child is the apple of ...
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