Verge 13, Session 1
In Matthew 4, we see Jesus calling his first disciples. The conference speaker, whose name is not listed in the program (how refreshing), sums up what disciples look like today. According to one recent poll:
- Four out of every five Americans identify themselves as Christians
- Less than half go to church regularly
- Less than half believe the Bible is the Word of God
- . . . The list goes on and on
Amongst Americans who consider themselves to be more enlightened Jesus followers, most believe:
- Good people go to heaven
- Muslims worship the same God as Christians
- . . . And lots more shockingly, unbiblical worldviews
In the words of Martin Luther, "What does this mean?" It means that statistics demonstrate there are lots of folks out there identifying themselves as followers of Christ who are not disciples in a biblical sense. But that is the law. Where is the gospel? The gospel was the best part of his message. It is in Matthew 1-3.
In Matthew 1-3, our speaker highlights at least twenty pictures of who Jesus actually is, His majesty and glory, and it is nothing less than awesome:
- Chapter 1: Messiah, King, Chosen One, Incarnation, Two Natures, Fully God, Fully Man, Savior of the World, Most Important Figure in All of History
- Chapter 2: Object of Worship, Sought by the Wise, Feared by Kings, Protected by Angels, Leader of a Second Exodus out of Exile, Spoken of by the Prophets
- Chapter 3: The Coming King, Righteous Judge, Loved and Sent by God the Father from the Foundation of the World
Roughly paraphrased, when Jesus calls his first disciples in Chapter 4, "He is not a poor, puny savior begging to be accepted. He is the promised Messiah. A Savior full of power and glory, worthy of total abandonment and complete submission." When Jesus says, "Follow me," everything in these men's lives would be changed because of their encounter with THIS Jesus.
In contrast, what does it look like to be a disciple of THIS Jesus?
- To live with radical abandonment for His glory
- To live with joyful dependence on His grace
- To live with faithful adherence to His person
- To live with urgent obedience to His mission
None of this makes sense unless one knows who Jesus really is. Because we don't know Him, a casual association with Jesus without embracing the cost of discipleship is popular in America today. It's too risky to abandon comfort, career, possessions, and position for our begging, puny Jesus, and we don't really see the need. So we don't. But, the casual, cultural Christian lifestyle is even more risky. With abandonment to Jesus Christ comes the adoption as sons. We have been invited to follow Him.
What is God saying to you?
What are you going to do about it?
Who are you going to share it with?