Credibility in Discipleship

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We’ve been talking about Discipleship… being called by God, Committed to God, Counting the Cost of being, having Confidence as a Disciples, The Conditioning of a Disciple and Challenges we will face as Disciples. We have two week left in this series… Today we are going to talk about our Credibility as a Disciples and next week the Command given for all to make Disciples.
The text for this morning talks about what it truly means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. That person ‘Imitates’ Christ. Walks like him, talks like him, lives like him, loves like him.
Illustration - I’ll never forget the moment a colleague of mine came to me and said, “I hear Trinity (the church I was serving at the time) is a model church.” My response was like that of a deer in headlights… i didn’t know what he was talking about. Then after a few minutes he said, “our goal here at Hillcrest is to be the real church, not a model church. He was playing off he word model as if it was just a few plastic pieces glued together to make it look like a real church.
Todays text Talks about being a Real Disciple. To be respected as a Disciple of Jesus Christ, we need to be credible…

Credibility in Discipleship

John 13:35 NIV
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Be Imitators of Christ

Be Imitators of Christ

Therefore be imitators of God, as dearly loved children.
1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
Ephesians 5:1 NIV
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children
Ephesians 5:1 NIV
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children
Reemember who Jesus is…
Remember when Jesus said, He who as seen me has seen the Father.
I and the Father are one.
We are to be imitators of Jesus!
Matthew 5:48 NIV
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:48 NIV
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Perfection involves two main ideas: wholeness and purity. Wholeness is related to perfection because when someone or something is perfect, that person or thing is complete and entire. It means that nothing is lacking. I perfection comes from God being in us and with us! In other words we will not be able to complete ourselves, but God can and does… Our goal is to be imitators of Christ’s love for us to others…
Know what our position is in the Family of God the Father… verse 1 “…as dearly love children.”
A child will show himself to be a true child by wanting to grow up like his father.
A child will show himself to be a true child by wanting to grow up like his father.
How will people know you are a disciple of Jesus Christ?
Who am I to love?
John 13:34–35 NIV
“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.”
John 13:34–35 NIV
“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.”
John 13:35 NIV
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Walk in Love

Walk in Love

Ephesians 5:2 NIV
and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:2 NIV
and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
How has Christ loved us? First and foremost he loves all that he has created.
He demonstrated that love while we were yet sinners, he died in our place for our sins. ;
He demonstrated that love while we were yet sinners, he died in our place for our sins. ;
Galatians 1:4 NIV
who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
Our Aim…
1 John 3:16 NIV
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
Forgiveness

Be a Fragrant Offering

- “Be kind and compassionate to one another...”
2 Corinthians 5:15 NIV
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
Present yourself to God daily - Pray the lords Prayer
Live a life of Obedience “I have come to do your will, my God.” (vs 7)
Fragrance of …
Forgiveness
Colossians 3:13 NIV
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Unselfish
Judgement
Philippians 2:4 NIV
not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Hospitality
Romans 12:13 NIV
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Generousity
Through the Holy Spirit God refashions believers in the image of his son, who is set before them as a model of the form of the redeemed life.
Jesus said,
John 13:15 NIV
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
Love is the essence of God’s nature. Paul uses the word “Offering” which means “to bring” … and in relation to the cross, Christ presented himself as a ‘sweet’ smelling offering. Suggesting that it was “Pleasing” to God.
We are challenged to be a pleasing aroma to God by the way we show his love to other people.
We have been blessed with and by God’s love. It is meant to share: to give it away! Love is jus like a magic penny hold on tight and you won’t have any; lend, spend it and you’ll have so many they will be rolling all over the floor.”
We are to resemble Him in His goodness; in grace, and especially love.
1 John 3:16 NIV
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
As the human family is the context for growth and intimacy, so the family of God is a context in which God’s love is expressed to welcome each other and to help each other grow.
Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher’s commentary (p. 919). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
The Teacher’s Commentary 143: Eph. 3:1–5:2—One Body, One Family

Christ alone is Head of the church. We look to Him for direction and guidance. What is His goal? Scripture tells us that Christ continues His work in our world. He is absent in one sense, seated at the right hand of God (1:20). Yet in another, He is physically here, alive and active in our century. Christ is in heaven, but His body lives and moves on earth. We who have been “created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (2:10) carry out God’s hidden plans. You and I, together with all believers, are called to be a contemporary incarnation of the living God. Christ reveals Himself in human flesh, the human flesh of His living church.

Conclusion:

Have you been moved by God’s love for you? By His Grace to you? have you been able to somewhat grasp how much He loves you and others, even with all our faults and failures; above all, our sins? Sins of Lust, pride, hatred, prejudice, malice?
Chose to be like Jesus!
Chose to Love like Jesus!
Chose to be kind to one another
Chose to forgive those who have sinned against you!
Chose to everything in the eyes of God that He created you to be… a person with God’s heart!
What Paul is giving to us from God is an authoritative command! Something that demands ‘immediate’ attention!
If you are not making it your primary purpose to imitate God’s love, grace, and forgiveness towards others, you are to begin NOW.
If you are not walking in love towards others: if you are using words like I hate that person or I can’t stand that person, they your heart needs to be repaired. The blood flow is incorrect.
I you are a stench towards someone else, what are you doing to get rid of the odor? if someone else is a stench to you, what are you doing to love that person as Jesus Love you?
In 4:32 and 5:2 an imitator of God is defined as one who (1) forgives, and (2) walks in love and selflessness like Jesus. These actions establish and maintain unity (cf. 4:2–3). Believers must strive for the corporate good of the body, not individual rights, privileges, or freedoms (cf. 4:3).
Utley, R. J. (1997). Paul Bound, the Gospel Unbound: Letters from Prison (Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon, then later, Philippians) (Vol. Volume 8, p. 124). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.

As members of the family of God, it is our duty to put on the family likeness by walking as obedient children, and in full yieldedness to the Holy Spirit. Only as we are flexible in His hands may we be victorious in our walk, sincere in our worship or successful in our work.

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