Marks of a True Disciple

04.10.2022 Adult Sunday School

Marks of a True Disciple

Disciples of christ manifest christline characteristics

1. Be Led by the Spirit

a. walk in the spirit

Key Scripture (Galatians 5:16-21): So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[a] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

b. on hearing fruit of the spirit

Key Scripture (Galatians 5:22-26): But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

response to the word

The Apostle Paul's exhortations, that we "live in the Spirit" and "walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25), clearly mean we should, by depending on the power of the Holy Spirit, live a Christlike life. The new life we have as believers in Christ, is the life of the Holy Spirit of Christ in us. Therefore, we are to conduct our lives in agreement with the Holy Spirit. Our sufficiency for Christian discipleship, and all that his means, depends on our reliance on the Holy Spirit.

2. Stop Sinning

a. we are god's children

Key Scripture (1 John 3:1-3): See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

b. live as god's child

Key Scripture (1 John 3:4-10): Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

Response to the word

In the early church, there were people who used salvation by grace as a license to commit sin freely (Romans 6:1-2, 12, 14; Jude 1:4). They reasoned, as some professing Christians do today, that since we are saved by grace, not by good works, it really does not matter how much we sin. This belief and teaching is completely at odds with what the Bible teaches about how Christians ought to live. Holiness is, always has been, and always will be, God's standard of living for His people (1 Peter 1:14-16). We are saved by grace to abstain from sinful living.

3. Love One Another

a. because god loves us

Key Scripture (1 John 4:7-11): Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

b. because god lives in us

Key Scripture (1 John 4:12-21): No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

response to the word

Jesus taught His disciples that, everyone will know "ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35). The love of God is a major theme of John's Gospel, and a major theme of the General Letter he wrote to Christians. John emphasized love, because without God's love for us, and without our love for God and others, there is no Christianity. The early Christians rightly understood that, loving God supremely, and loving others as Christ has loved us, fulfills the law (commandments) of God (Romans 13:8-10). As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to live Christlike, and Christlike living is governed by the love of God.

On Your Own...

Disciples and Christians in the New Testament

In the Bible, disciple is a uniquely New Testament word. The word disciples is found only once in the Old Testament, in Isaiah 8:16. In contrast to that, the words disciple and disciples are found more than 260 times in the New Testament.

In the time of Jesus, a disciple was the pupil of a teacher. Being a disciple meant learning and adopting the beliefs and practices of the teacher. In the Gospels, in addition to the disciples of Jesus, mention is made of the disciples of John the Baptist (Matthew 9:14); the disciples of the Pharisees (Matthew 22:16); and the disciples of Moses (John 9:28).

In the New Testament, those who believed in and followed Jesus, are identified as His disciples. Jesus made clear to people what it would cost them in terms of commitment and personal sacrifice to be His disciple, and He counseled them to count the cost of discipleship. There are examples in the Gospels of people who came to Jesus, offering to be His disciple, but were not willing to meet His requirements. And there are also examples of people Jesus personally called to be His disciple, who would not meet His requirements.

During Jesus' public ministry, those who believed Him to be the Messiah, and sought to learn and follow His beliefs and practices, were called disciples. Then, after Jesus' resurrection and ascension, those who believed in Him continued being called His disciples. As a result, believers in Jesus as the Messiah are identified as believers and disciples in the New Testament.

The disciples of Jesus were not called Christians until about AD 46-48, when "the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch [in Syria]" (Acts 11:26). The name Christian occurs only two more times in the New Testament, in Acts 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16. However, the way in which Peter uses the word Christian, indicates it was in common usage at the time he wrote his first Letter (AD 64-65), Since then, believers in Jesus, and disciples of Jesus, have been called Christians.

Daily Bible Readings

Monday: Sin Begins

Genesis 3:1-13

Tuesday: Sin Punished

Genesis 3:14-19

Wednesday: Sin Passed On

Genesis 4:1-12

Thursday: Sin Covered in Christ

Romans 5:12-21

Friday: Love Covers Sin

1 Peter 4:7-11

Saturday: The Serpent Bound

Revelation 20:1-3