A Disciple of Christ Acts 11: 26 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Acts 11:26 we find that “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” They were called Christians because they were followers of Christ. Today, there are many who are called Christians but they are not disciples. They don’t follow Christ the way that the disciples did. So, we need to go back and see what it means to be a disciple of Christ. A disciple of Christ:
Denies himself – Matt 16:24 – if you want to be a disciple of Christ you must deny yourself. That’s tough to do in this day and age [2 Tim 3:1-5]. You relinquish your life and control of your life. You present your body a living sacrifice to the Lord so that he can accomplish his will with your life [Rom 12:1-2]. When the Lord chose his disciples, they left their nets, Matthew left his receipt of custom, and so forth.
- The disciple is not “me first” – Lk 9:59-61 – these potential disciples in Luke illustrate the problem with Christians. They want “me first.” And the Lord wants you to deny yourself.
Takes up his cross – Matt 16:24 – this is your personal cross. This is the cross of Gal 2:20. You are crucified with Christ so that he can live his life in you. This is how you fulfill Phil 2:12-13. As one preacher said, “this is where your will and the Lord’s will cross.” You give up your will to do his will. You saw this with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane.
Follows Jesus – Matt 16:24 – you follow him in his words [Ps 119:105]. You follow his Spirit [Rom 8:14]. You follow his example [1 Pet 2:20-21]. You trust him [Prov 3:5-6; Ps 37:23].
- The disciple is as his master – Matt 10:24-25 – he’s not above his master. He serves the Lord; the Lord doesn’t serve him. We follow and, thus, we can expect the same treatment that he received. You know how I know that most Christians aren’t disciples. They aren’t being persecuted [2 Tim 3:12].
Forsakes all that he hath – Lk 14:26-33 – after he has counted the cost. You must count the cost of discipleship and be prepared to put it all on the line for the Lord. A man must be ready to hate his family and his own life to be a disciple of Christ [in the sense of Matt 6:24] because he cannot serve two masters.
Conclusion: and when he has done these things, he is then part of the greatest family in the world [Matt 12:46-50]. Are you willing to count the cost these next couple of weeks? That’s what you should do right now. And then after you have counted the cost you should get with God to see if you are going to be “me first” or Jesus first. If you decide to follow the Lord, then do it. And then you will be a Christian who is a disciple of Christ.