Discipleship Part 1: The Call

Luke 14:25-35; Matthew 9:36-10:1, 28:18-20; Acts 2:42-47, 6:1-7

1.  Reaching the lost was the primary goal of the early church in the book of Acts, and an integral part of each believer’s life. In the beginning, the early church in Acts grew not by addition but by multiplication and with power (Acts 2:42-47). The person was transformed and then became an active disciple. Decisions without discipleship causes us to think that we are obeying Jesus’ Command when, in reality, we are disobeying the full Command of Christ. If the primary activity of the church is to make disciples than it begins with the ability to effectively lead someone to Christ. (John 4:1-42; Acts 8:26-40)

2.  The word “disciple” means a DISCIPLINED LEARNER. In Bible times, teachers had disciples, not just students. Knowledge was not something sterile and separate, but a mixture of the teacher’s spirit and passion as well.

3.  The Apostle Paul was a devout disciple, brought up at the feet of Gamaliel to be “zealous toward God” (Acts 22:3) and when he became a follower of Jesus Christ, imparted this passion to others like Timothy. (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

4.  The first step in becoming a disciple is our SURRENDER to the Lordship of Jesus. Our will must bow to His Will in defined and open commitment. This requires a renewing of our way of thinking. (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:22-24)

Although many were present, the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 7) seems to have been taught primarily to His disciples. The central theme is summarized in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect (adult, full-grown, fully completed growth), therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Following is an overview of discipleship characteristics from that powerful sermon.

1. Jesus taught His disciples deeper Truth and accountability. (5:1-12)

2. As a representative of God’s Kingdom, a disciple has a Divine RESPONSIBILITY to influence our world. How we respond to that challenge affects the world around us. (5:13-16)

3. The Ten Commandments deal with OUTWARD BEHAVIOR, discipleship deals with the attitudes of the heart. (5:17-48)

4. Discipleship seeks to please God not the applause of men. (6:1-18)

5. Discipleship is having a correct attitude towards the wealth of this world. It plants towards eternity, it understands the destructive behavior of dual lordship (God and mammon) and fully trusts in the faithfulness of God to provide. (6:19-34)

6. A disciple first judges his OWN LIFE before he judges another’s life. (7:1-5)

7. A disciple treats others the way he expects others to treat him. (7:7-12)

8. A disciple understands the ROOT-FRUIT principle. (7:15-23)

9. Obedience to Christ’s Word brings blessing; disobedience or ignoring His Word brings destruction. (7:14-29)


The following are five areas of a disciple’s life in the form of a covenant. Realizing that these can only be accomplished in the power of the Holy Spirit we endeavor practice these principles in spite of our weakness.

1. Love Christ first in my life.
  • Luke 14:26 “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.” (Also Revelation 2:4-5)

2. Surrender my ways to Him and acknowledge His absolute Lordship in me.

  • Luke 14:27 “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
  • Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

3. Abide and be trained in His Word, the Bible, and to keep it as the standard of my life.

  • John 8:31 “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.”
  • John 17;17 “Your word is truth.”

4. Love my Christian brothers and sisters with God’s love.

  • 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 all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
  • Matthew 22: 37-40 “… And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’…”
5. Make disciples who follow Christ with the same passion I follow and obey Christ.
  • Matthew 28:18-20 “… 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.”
  • Acts 1:88 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

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