Cultivating His Faithfulness Through Discipleship September 28, 2019    (Presented by DHM)          
Christ is Your Teacher and all of you are Brothers – Matthew 23:8  In Discipleship there is not a leader and a student, but both are students turning to Christ together. Disciple (noun) “machetes” Thought accompanied by endeavor. One who intentionally learns. One who adheres to the teacher. One who binds himself to the master in order to acquire knowledge. Disciple (verb)
to teach, train, educate, instruct, correct, cultivate, govern.         
Colossians 1:28-29 NIV  “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”  The Message  “We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me”               
The Heart of Discipleship – Jesus   It is Him we proclaim.  His Name, His Divine Nature, His worth, His pre-imminence.  Colossians 1:27 “To them (God’s people) God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory!”   John 3:30 “He must increase and we must decrease.”               
The Method of Discipleship
Teaching and warning with all wisdom.  Colossians 1:28 “We wisely warn everyone we meet, and we teach everyone we can, all that we know about him…” (JB Phillips)  As we disciple others, we must continually seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance. We must be spending regular time as His disciple under the Word and in prayer. Any time we teach or warn, we must make sure we are doing so in submission to Him.               
The Goal of Discipleship 
To present everyone mature in Christ. The goal of discipleship is to make disciples and for all believers to “grow up into Him who is the head so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.   (Eph 4:11(b)-16)               
Mature, Complete, Perfect   Mature (Webster’s 1828): perfected by time or natural growth; brought to perfection through experience; completed, prepared; ready – like a woman who is fit to be married.  Meanings of 6 Greek Words that are used for mature (Hebrews Study week 7) — having reached its end, full grown, complete, completeness, completely, completion, perfect, perfection, fulfillment, without wavering to the end, to accomplish properly, to bring to its conclusion, the final phase, to consummate, like a “telescope that unfolds”: extends one stage at a time to function at full strength/at capacity/with effectiveness               
Signs of Maturity: Being a Disciple — Putting Jesus first in all things Mark 8:34-35 (The Way of the Cross)  34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. Following Jesus teaching. John 8:31-32 to those who had believed Him, Jesus said, if you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples.              
Signs of Maturity: Being a Disciple — Abiding in Him so we can bear fruit (multiply, reproduce) John 15:5, 8 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing…This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. Loving others. John 13:34-35 a new command I give you – love one another. As I have loved you so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.              
Discipleship: Be Imitators Galatians 3:23-29 (The Message) “By faith inChrist you are in direct relationship with God. Your baptism in Christ was not just washing you up for a fresh start. It also involved dressing you in an adult faith wardrobe—Christ’s life, the fulfillment of God’s original promise.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6 “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” Luke 6:40 “the student is not above the teacher but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher. ”              
Discipleship: Be Encouragers Heb 3:12-13, “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Heb 10:24-25  “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”                
Discipleship: Be Replicators Making disciples of others John 17:20-21 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” Matthew 28:18-20 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been givento me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”               
Discipleship: Be Transformed 2 Cor 3:18 — “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. ”               
The heart of discipleship is Jesus. The method of discipleship is teaching and warning with all wisdom. The goal of discipleship is to present everyone mature in Christ. And finally, the power for discipleship…             
The Power for Discipleship 
His energy that He powerfully works. Col 1:29 “I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.” — “toil” (Greek) = to grow weary, tired, exhausted; to labor with wearisome effort.  “struggle” (Greek) = the strenuous exertion that goes into an athletic competition or a fight. We must continually come to the Lord and ask for His energy and power. While we do exert our energy, it is only the power of God that transforms hearts and lives.                
Genesis 28:3
May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase yournumbers until you become a communityEphesians 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.