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Jesus Christ – Body Builder IX
Worshipping Disciples Make Disciples
Thistletown Baptist Church
February 7, 2010
a. We are looking at what the NT teaches us about the church.
i. This is now week 8 and what we have done is consider the definition of a disciple. The church is made up of followers of Jesus Christ. These followers are called disciples and Jesus says some very powerful things about what a disciple is. The point of those seven weeks is to get you to examine yourself and see if you have the marks of a disciple.
(1) So far
(a) Knows who Jesus is – The Christ, the Son of God – Mt. 16:18
(i) Do you have a biblical view of the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you serve Him as the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed of God, a real man who really lived and really died and really became one of us? Do you worship Him as the eternal son of God, the Lord of glory, the Creator of all things, the One who alone can deal with sin and who will receive the worship of multitudes in glory? No? Then you are not a disciple of Jesus Christ, which means that you are not saved, which means that you are still under the righteous judgement of God
(b) Takes up his cross daily and follows Christ – Mt. 16:24-28
(i) Have you taken up your cross to follow Jesus? Have you died to yourself so that you can live for Him?
(c) Loves his fellow disciples – John 13:34-35
(i) Do you love the followers of Jesus? Do you have the marks of love that will arise from the heart of those who love others?
(d) Fasts for the return of Christ, the conversion of sinners – Mt. 9:14-15
(e) Will be like his teacher – Mt. 10:24-25
(i) Have you known the disagreement, the opposition, that is inevitable for those who follow Christ?
(f) Hates his father and mother – Luke 14:25
(i) Is Christ the most precious thing in the world to you, even more precious than the closest relationships that oyu can possibly have?
(g) Abides in Christ and bears fruit – John 15:1-11
(i) Do you abide in Christ and are you bearing the fruit that Jesus said true disciples will bear?
The NT is clear that all these marks, except one, are crucial marks of being a follower of Jesus Christ. The one exception is fasting. And while we are not told that all disciples of Christ must fast as evidence of their faith, Jesus does say that His followers will fast after He is gone from the earth. So fasting is a mark of followers of Christ.
The church is made up of followers of Jesus Christ. Disciples, and disciples only are in its membership. It is not a service club that people join in order to help people. It is not a community organization designed to make the neighbourhood a better place to live. It is not an friendship circle that people go to, to enjoy fellowship with others. It will do all those things and more because of what it really is. It is a group of people who have been bought by Jesus Christ out of a life of rebellion against God and brought into the worship of God. It is the body of Christ, the family of God, the bride of Christ, the temple of God. It is a group of people who have discovered the reason for their existence and live for the praises of the One who revealed it to them. It is that for which Christ sits as the victorious ruler over all of creation. The church is a marvel. And there is nothing that gives greater joy than being a part of it. And nothing has caused me more grief and heartache than working in it. But there is nothing more glorious than the church of Jesus Christ, the people of God. And one day He will make it even more glorious and it will be without stain or wrinkle; sinless, glorified, conformed to the image of Christ. Jesus loves the church and we must love it too.
b. So now that we have considered who it is that makes up the church, where do we go from here? We go to Acts 2:41-42.
i. “Those who received his word” – this is conversion. This is the beginning of these people as disciples of Jesus Christ.
ii. “Were baptized” – this is the first mark of a person after he becomes a believer in Jesus Christ. After he repents and is forgiven the first thing we see is that they were baptized.
iii. They were added [to the church] – the second mark – membership in a church.
iv. Devoted to the teaching of the Apostles – this is where we will spend the bulk of our time together
v. Devoted to the fellowship
vi. Devoted to the breaking of bread – the Lord’s Supper
vii. Devoted to prayer
Those are the essential marks of the church and that is the pattern we are going to follow.
I had every intention of beginning to talk about baptism today (The web site was not lying to you). But I decided to look at one more thing before we start into baptism.
2. Jesus commissions the Whole Church for all Time
a. Matthew 28:18-20 – Before we get into the matter of baptism as the second mark of the church I want to note a few things with you out of Jesus’ last piece of teaching to His disciples before He ascended to heaven.
b. First, note that these words that Jesus utters here are not just directed to a little group of men. They are directed to the whole church for all time. If this is merely to the disciples of Jesus day then we have no warrant for giving the Gospel at all. Disciple making and baptism and teaching the doctrines of the faith would have died with the Apostles. (And make no mistake – there are no living apostles, no matter what you find written on the church sign.)
c. We know it is given to the church because of the phrase “I am with you to the end of the age” in verse 20.
d. So what Jesus is saying to the church here is that the church, people of God, has the task, as the people of God, to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them everything they need to be taught to live for the glory of God. This is the church’s mission.
But as I was preparing this, this week, I noticed that there is something else that needs to be said before we start into baptism as part of the church’s mission. We need to talk about the church’s purpose. “Well, Ken, aren’t purpose and mission the same thing?” No, dear ones, they are not. The purpose of the church is the reason we have been saved. The mission of the church is what we do to bring people into being saved so that they can have that grand purpose as well. And we see that grand purpose in this text.
3. They Worshipped Him – Matthew 28:17
a. Verse 16 tells us that the eleven apostles went to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him they worshipped Him. The command to make disciples in verse 18-20 is given to the whole church for all time. Then is it not also true that what we see of these men in verse 17 is true of the church as well? These men, represent the whole body of Christ. And before the church gets its marching orders from Jesus, it is at worship. See this in Acts 13:1-3 as well. You can even see a hint of it in Mt. 28:1-10. See Luke 24:50-52 – and they worshipped Him until the Holy Spirit was given and they went out on a mission to win the world to Jesus Christ.
i. proskuneo, “to make obeisance, do reverence to” (from pros, “towards,” and kuneo, “to kiss”), is the most frequent word rendered “to worship.” It is used of an act of homage or reverence
ii. Can we just note here that Jesus does not stop them from worshipping Him? He does not stop them because He wants them to worship Him. And He wants them to worship Him because He is worthy of it and the reason He came into the world in the first place was to make worshippers out of those who were slaves to sin and worshipping everything BUT Him. See Jesus in John 20:28. But see the angel of God in Revelation 19:9-10 .. .
b. The church is a worshipping community. It is first and foremost a worshipping community.
i. The church lives for the glory of God, not itself. It wants God glorified through its successes and its failures. It cares more for God’s glory than its reputation, than the poor, than the lost. Don’t misunderstand. We care for the lost. Our hearts are broken for the lost. But if we love them more than Him we have committed the greatest sin that can be committed – idolatry. But what the Scriptures teach us is that ot has the reputation it has because of its worship. It helps the needy as an act of worship. It seeks to win the lost as part of its task to bring the world to worship God.
ii. What did these disciples do? They didn’t build a building and put some pews in it and seek out instruments and a praise band and start singing. They bowed, and they lifted their voices to Jesus and acknowledged Him as their Lord. And it is not unitl then that Jesus commissions them to go and make disciples.
(1) “When God is not truly worshipped, He cannot be truly served, no matter how talented, gifted, or well intentioned His servants may be.” – John MacArthur Jr.
iii. TBC exists to declare, from its heart, in word and deed, the magnificent worth of God. This is what those disciples were doing. And this is what we want TBC to do. It is all about Him. The church is all about Him. It is His church and the thing of first importance to Him in the church, in this church, is worship.
iv. Worshippers is what Jesus came to produce – Romans 15:8-9
(1) God seeks out worshippers – John 4:24
(2) Worship is what lost people will do when they hear the Gospel in a language they can understand – I Cor. 14:25
(3) Worship is what the wise men travelled so far to do – Mt. 2:2
(4) Worship was the purpose of the miracles – Mt. 14:33
(5) Worship is the activity of heaven – Rev.4:10, 5:14, 7:11, 11:16, 19:10
(6) The first commandment is about worship – Ex. 20:3
(7) Living the Christian life is one grand act of worship – Romans 12:1-2
(8) Worship is why God chose us – I Peter 2:9
(9) Worship is why we are saved – because outside of the grace of God in Christ we cannot do what we were created to do. Eph. 1:6, 12, 14
(10) Our unity is so that God will be glorified and that is worship – I Peter 4:15-16
(11) We do good in the world so that God will be worshipped – Matthew 5:16
(12) Our suffering unfairly is so that God will be glorified – I Peter 4:16
(13) When Jesus comes the response will be universal worship – Phil. 2:9-11
c. True worship is what will send us into the world with joy to make disciples – you know why you do not witness of the Gospel? You know why you are ashamed to speak for Him when the opportunity arises? You know why a church does not make disciples as it is commissioned by Christ to do? Because of an absence of true biblical Christ centered, Spirit filled, God honouring worship. Because our hearts are not bursting with love to our God. Dear ones, answer me this: Do you think that you will have to be told to worship God when you get to heaven? Our task now is to grow more and more to the point that the worship of God is less and less a duty and more and more a delight.
i. This why the prayers of Paul for the church are for the church to know God better. “To know, know, know Him is to love, love, love Him.” Eph. 1:15-19, 3:14-21.
4. But Some Doubted
a. But some doubted – why does this cause a problem? The ESV study note and a few other commentaries maintain that it can’t be these eleven who were doubting. It must have been others who were there with them. They refer to verse 9. But why can it not be a few of the eleven?
b. Add this to your list of why it is you believe the Bible to be true. The resurrection has happened. The disciples have seen Jesus, talked with Him, eaten with Him, touched Him … . Anyone making up a story like that would not include the fact that after all they had seen and been a part of that there would be some who still weren’t sure. And if they did include it in their work of fiction, a little more would be said about it. We would see them turn around. We would have Jesus remonstrate with them about their doubts.
c. What did they doubt? It seems most logical to suppose that they doubted whether Jesus had really risen from the dead. They had seen Him, but now they are wondering if it was real. Maybe it wasn’t really Him. He died. He was buried. And then see the next verse – 18 – “And Jesus came”. And as He got closer they saw that it was indeed Him … .
d. Were these doubters among those who were given the Great Commission? Yes, they were. Some believers think that they have to have all their act together before they can be of any use to God. Would all those who have their act all together please indicate by raising their hands? I thought so. And this is the point. What is it about you that causes you to see that you do not have it all together?
e. How do you think that Jesus responds to that in you. I will tell you. He says “All authority is given to me, in heaven and in earth.” Isn’t striking that the first thing Jesus says to this little band of doubting worshippers is “The authority is mine”. Dear ones, the deciding factor is not you. The Great Commission is not about us having it all together. The deciding factor is Him. Does He still have all authority? Then He can work through you. This is not a matter of excusing sin. But it is to say that if God needs perfect people to do anything in the world then He is not going to do anything. We have a commission. We have a commandment. We have His authority. Do we still have sin? Yes we do. And the ruling authority over all things says “Repent and become more like me. And while you are doing that – go make disciples and baptize them and teach them.”
5. So What?
a. Be committed to really worshipping God – See Matthew 15:7-9. Where is your heart dear one? When you sing are you really worshipping? When you put money in the plate, were you really worshipping? When you pray, is your focus on God and Christ by the power of the Spirit of God?
b. Be committed to making this church a real church of Christ that really worships God in all it does.
c. Serve Jesus this week at school, at university, at College, at work, at home as an act of worship. Do it so that God might be glorified. Pray for opportunities to show a great God to needy people.
d. Pray for a burden to be more committed, more holy, more like Christ, because dear ones, we can do better.
e. Thank God for bringing you to be a worshipper of Jesus. Remember that you are saved by a grace that found you when you were running away from Him. Don’t be so silly as to conclude that God was waiting for you to appear. That will lead you to honour yourself. God wasn’t waiting. He was seeking. Seeking you out to be a worshipper who would worship in spirit and in truth. Be that worshipper.
f. Examine your heart. Don’t think that you worshipped here this morning simply because you were in here singing etc. Worship is from the heart. Worship stats with a relationship with Jesus Christ. Worship is a matter of being renewed by God the Holy Spirit. Worship starts with turning from sin and turning to Jesus in faith and leaving everything behind for the sake of knowing Him. If you haven’t done that, then you have never worshipped. But you can. Jesus will receive you. Come and know Him and know the purpose for which you were put on the planet.