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NOTES ON DISCIPLESHIP
by Dr. Fred Wittman
THE LIFE THAT COUNTS, THE LIFE OF A DISCIPLE!
Mt. 16:18-26; 17:22,23; 20:17-19; 26:30-32; 28:16-20
INTRODUCTION: When reading or studying Scriptures, the tendency is to latch on to the first discovery (the obvious) and never go any further. But if we investigate further, we are rewarded with a deeper understanding of God’s Word and truth. Just as The Lord Jesus Christ did not relate explicitly all that was involved as to how He would build His church in Matthew 16:18-26, so He did not relate how His disciples were to disciple others. There are no explicit instructions given in Matthew 28:16-20 or anywhere else in The New Testament. Yet by the way He spoke to the Disciples, it is evident that He expected them to do it and to know how to go about it. Just how are we to go about it? And why is it so important for both you and me to find out? Because it is one of Jesus’ commandments which we are to obey if we love Him! The Lord Jesus put great emphasis upon being a disciple because it is The Life That Counts. To find out how, we must investigate. We need to discover The Moment or Importance of Discipleship, The Meaning or Implication of Discipleship, and The Method or Impartation of Discipleship.
I. THE WHY - THE MOMENT or Importance of a DISCIPLE’S LIFE.
A. It is The Obedient Life -- The imperative of command (Mt. 28:19).
The Faithful Life!
B. It is The Ordained Life (Jn. 15:8,16).
The Fruitful Life!
C. It is The Orthodox (conforming to established doctrine) Life (Acts 11:26).
The Fundamental (basic, supporting basis of existence) life!
D. It is The Only True Absolute Life
1. It Alone Assures provision for this life and Eternity (Mk. 10:28-30; Ps. 37:25; Mt. 6:33).
2. It Alone Rewards an Eternal Inheritance with Christ (Eph. 1:11,14; 1 Pet. 5:10).
3. It Alone is Rewarded by Christ with:
a. A Crown of Life (Rev. 2:10);
b. Commendation by Christ (Mt.:25:21,23);
c. Reigning with Christ in the Millennium and in Eternity (Rev. 20:4,6; 22:5).
II. THE WHAT - THE MEANING or Implication of DISCIPLESHIP.
A. Mathaytays (n.) - a learner, a learned pupil, a disciple (Acts 11:26).
B. Mathayteuo (v.) - Transitive: to make disciples of, to train others in discipleship,
to disciple, to teach by practice;
intransitive: to be trained in discipleship, to become a disciple-pupil, to learn by practice (Matthew 28:19).
C. Manthan0 (root v.) - to learn by practice in an intimate relationship,
n.b. With reference to the word disciple in the N.T, after death of Judas the
III. THE WHO - THE MUSTER (enroll formally) or Enlistment of Disciples --
Who will enlist? Will You? Jesus calls people to become His disciples today just as he did when He walked the streets, highways, and byways of Galilee and Judea before His crucifixion. His commission to His disciples was two fold! It contained two parts, not just one! Too many today emphasize the first part of His commision to His disciples and stop there. The commision recorded by Mark was, “Journey (the exact meaning of the Greek word translated go) into the entire world and proclaim the gospel as an herald to every creature” (Mark 16:15 APT). However the last words of The Lord Jesus Christ by Matthew give the second part which is just as important as the first part. “Therefore journey and consecutively disciple |people of | all the nations, then baptize them in the name of The Father and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit and repeatedly teach them publicly to keep all things watchfully secure as many as I commanded you!” (Mt. 28:19,20).
IV. THE HOW - THE METHOD or Impartation of DISCIPLESHIP.
Jesus did not tell them how to disciple people because He showed them how. How did Jesus do it? It took time! Three years! He showed them:
B. BY EXPRESSION - in Proclamation: He proclaimed as a herald (Mk. 1:38; Mt. 4:12,17,23 ). He commanded them to proclaim as a herald (Mark 16:15). Many stop here, some preach and baptize converts, not disciples. But we must investigate further (Mt. 28:19,20). He taught them to baptize those they discipled, not just converts!
C. BY EXCLUSION - in Dedication: He taught total commitment (Lk. 9:23-25,57-62).
D. BY EXCLUSIVENESS - in Consecration: He taught exclusive devotion (Lk. 14:25-33).
E. BY EXPECTATION - in Continuation: He taught continuous relationship through The Word (Jn. 8:31).
F. BY EXTENSION - through Reproduction: He taught productivity (fruit-bearing) (Jn. 15:8,16).
G. BY EXPRESSION - in Affection: He taught unconditional love (Jn. 13:35).
H. BY EXPERIENCE and EXHORTATION - in Stewardship:
1. He taught Stewardship in remuneration (Lk. 5:3-7);
2. He taught Stewardship in conservation (Jn. 6:12).
CONCLUSION: The Life of a Disciple is the life that counts. Learn! Love! Let (submission)! Live! Lead! Jesus presented a big “IF.” It is your choice! He will not force, nor will He plead! He discouraged the insincere! We have just seen the Why: The Moment, i.e. the Importance of Discipleship; the What: The Meaning, i.e. the Implication of Discipleship; the Who: the Muster, i.e. the enlistment of disciples; and the how, i.e. the Method, the Impartation of Discipleship. “IF” this is what Jesus meant in ( Matthew 28:19,20) and it is, what will you do about it? To what extent will you go to be a disciple and to disciple others?
THE LIFE THAT COUNTS, THE LIFE OF A DISCIPLE!
A Precise Translation of Pertinent Scriptures by Dr. Fred Wittman
Mt. 4:12,17,23: “Now when Jesus heard that John was delivered over |to prison|, He drew apart unto Galilee. . . . From that time Jesus began to proclaim as an herald and to say, Be repenting! for the kingdom of Heaven is drawing near. . . . And Jesus was compassing Galilee |region| teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming as an herald the gospel of the kingdom and healing every kind of disease and every kind of ailment among the people.”
Mt. 10:24,25: “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a bondslave above his lord. |It is| sufficient for the disciple that he become as his teacher and the bondslave as his lord. . . .”
Mt. 11:29,30: “Carry off My yoke upon you& and learn by practice from Me because I am meek and humble in heart! And you& shall find refreshing repose for your& souls. For My yoke is kind and My burden is light weight.”
Mt. 28:19,20: “Therefore journey and disciple all the nations and baptize them into the name of The Father and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit and teach them to keep watchfully secure all things as many as I commanded you&. And lo! I Myself am continually with you& all the days until the consummation of the age. Amen!”
Mk. 3:13,14: “And He ascends into the mountain and summons to the face of Himself whom He Himself was determinedly willing; and they came away to the face of Him. And He endorsed twelve in order that they be with Him and that He send them with commission to proclaim as an herald . . .”
Mk. 16:15: And He said to them, Journey unto the entire world and proclaim the gospel as an herald to every creature!”
Lk. 5:3-7: “Then after embarking into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, He asked him to launch out to sea a few |cubits| from the land. And after sitting down, He began teaching the crowds out of the boat. But as He stopped speaking, He said to[the face of] Simon, Launch out to sea into the depth! And lower your nets for a catch! And Simon answered and said to Him, O Master, although we have wearied in labor throughout the whole night, we caught not one thing; but on the basis of Your declaration I will lower the net. And when they did this, they enclosed a large multitude of fishes, but their net was being torn into parts. And they made a summoning gesture to their associates, the ones in the other boat, in order to come and to take hold together with them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they are being submerged.”
Lk. 9:23-25,57-62: “And He was repeatedly saying to the face of all, If (and it is true) anyone determinedly wills to come after Me, he is to utterly deny himself! And he is to carry off his cross daily! And he is to continually follow Me! For who ever determinedly will to save his natural life shall lose[destroy or perish] it; but who ever lose[destroy or perish] his natural life for My cause, this one shall save it. For what is a human being profited by gaining the whole world, but losing[destroying or perishing] or suffering loss of himself? . . . Now it came to pass that, as they journeyed in the way, a certain one said to |the face of | Him, O Lord, I will follow You& where ever You depart. And Jesus said to him, The foxes are having lairs and the birds of the Heaven are having roosts, but The Son of Man[The Human] is not having |a place| where He may bow His Head. Then He said to another, Continually follow Me! But he said, O Lord, grant to me to depart and to bury my father first! But Jesus said to him, Permit the dead ones to bury the dead ones of themselves! But you yourself depart and continually announce abroad the kingdom of God! Then another also said, O Lord, I will follow You , but first grant to me to bid farewell to the ones in my house. Then Jesus said to[the face of] him, Not one applying his hand upon a plow and looking unto the things in back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Lk. 14:25-33: “Then large crowds journeyed together with Him. And he turned and said to hem, If (and it is true) anyone comes to[the face of] Me and does not hate the father of himself and his mother and his wife and his children and his brothers and his sisters, yet in fact even the natural life of himself, he is not able to be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and continually come after Me, he is not able to be My disciple. For who out of you, determinedly willing to build a tower, certainly after sitting down first, he calculates the expense, does he not? if (and it is true) he has the things for the purpose of completion. That lest ever, after he laid down a foundation and he is not prevailing to finish out, all the ones observing begin to mock him, saying, ‘This human began to build and he did not prevail to finish out.’ Or what king, journeying to engage another king in war certainly after sitting down first, he deliberates with himself, does he not? if (and it is true) he is powerful by means of ten thousand to meet up with the one coming against him with twenty thousand. Otherwise indeed while he is yet far off, he send an embassy and asks the things toward[the face of] peace. Therefore in this way every one of you who does not bid farewell to all the possessions of himself, he is not able to be My disciple.”
Jn. 6:12: “Then as they were satisfactorily filled, He says to His disciples, Gather together the fragments which be in abundance in order that nothing perish!”
Jn. 6:45: “It is standing written in the prophets And they all shall be taught ones by God. Therefore everyone who heard from The Father and is discipled is coming to me.”
Jn. 8:31: “Then Jesus was repeatedly saying to[the face of] the Jews |who| had committed trust to Him, If (and it may be) you& yourselves abide in The Word belonging to Me, truly you& are My disciples.”
Jn. 13:35: “By means of this all |people| shall know for themselves that you are My disciples if (and it may be) you& continually have love among one another.”
Jn. 15:8,16: “In this My Father is glorified, that you& bring much fruit and you& shall become disciples to Me. . . . You yourselves did not elect Me for yourselves, but on the contrary I Myself elected you& for Myself and I ordained you& that you& continually slip away and continually bring fruit and |that| your& fruit continually remain in order that whatever things at all you& petition The Father in My name He give |them| to you&.”
Acts 11:26: “Now it came to pass, for a whole year they were gathered together in the church and taught a considerable crowd. And as a result the disciples were identifyingly[indicating one’s business or occupation] named Christians first in Antioch.”
Col. 1:7: “. . .according as also you& learned by practice[discipled] from Ehpahfrâhs, the beloved fellow bondslave of ours, who is a faithful domestic[deacon] servant of Christ in behalf of you,”
Heb. 5:8, 9: “. . .even though being Son, He learned by practice the obedience by which things he suffered. And He, being made perfect, became The Causer of Eternal Salvation to all the ones continually obeying Him.”
| | understood $singular &plural +masc. ^fem. ~neut. /the
[ ]basic meaning italics = Center column reference in A Precise Translation
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