God's truth for today's world

Building Disciples Message Introduction

In our message series “Basic Training”, we are focusing on the aspects of God’s Word that are essential for a believer to know and put into practice. As you learn and follow God’s instructions, you will grow spiritually. You will grow in your effectiveness in carrying out God’s plan and purpose for your life.

Hebrews 5:12-13 (NIV)  In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!  Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.

Here we see that God desires all believers to be teachers. In other words, every believer should grow so that they can teach others the truths of God’s Word. However, in the case of Hebrews, the believers had not grown, they were still infants. Rather than being able to teach others, they needed to be taught the elementary truths of God’s Word over again. So, it’s not enough just to know these truths that we’re covering in Basic Training. God is calling us to put them into practice in our own lives and to teach them to others.

Today, my message is entitled “Building Disciples.” What is a disciple? A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ, someone who has committed their life to Him and chosen to obey everything that He commands. Let’s look at Matthew 28:18-20, commonly called the Great Commission. These verses are my and Carol’s life verses. The reference is inscribed on the inside of our wedding rings.

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Since Jesus has all authority, we must obey His command to go and make disciples. There are four commands in these verses, but the main emphasis is on the command translated here as “make disciples.” Most often these verses are used to encourage people to be witnesses and that is certainly part of what Jesus commands. However, He is talking about much more. Our job is not done when someone believes or even when someone is baptized. The command to make disciples also involves “teaching them to obey everything Jesus has commanded.” That is a process, that ultimately will lead the person discipled to grow to where they can lead others to Jesus and disciple them. Every believer should be involved in being discipled and discipling others. Next year, we’ll be offering new discipleship opportunities for everyone at Life Church. Opportunities to be disciples and to disciple others. We want to be a church that builds disciples to reach St. Louis.

This morning, we’re going to look at a passage from 1 Thessalonians 2. Let’s summarize the background. Paul had shared the Gospel in the city of Thessalonica. Many believed, but the persecution from jealous Jews was so severe, the Paul had to leave the new believers. However, Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to help and send back a report to Paul. The chapter that we’re going to be looking at this morning was written by Paul to the church in Thessalonica after he received Timothy’s report. We’re going to learn how to build disciples.

Message Audio, Outline & Study Guide

Basic Training Message Series

 

Giving Your Resources (1 Chronicles 29)
Breaking Barriers (Acts 10)
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