Mark Dever, January 16, 2014
Truth For Life
Choose whom to work with
Choose your goal
Be willing to pay the cost
I. Whom should I choose?
1. Are they are family member? 1 Tim. 5:8. We have a special responsibility & opportunity for our family. Husband wife, parent child. If you do that well, you will bless others.
2. Are they a Christian? Evangelize non-Christian friends, but do not try to disciple them. 2 Cor. 2:14.
3. Are they a church member? Hebrews 13:7 & 17. We have a greater responsibility for those who are in our own congregation. Consider the damage we may inadvertently do by helping them stay in a bad church.
4. 1 Cor. 14, Titus 2, consider their gender. In public a preacher will disciple a mixed congregation. Yet in personal discipling relationship it is wise.
5. Age: e.g., Titus 2 older to younger. In 1 Tim 5, be especially respectful of the older men. Normally you will disciple someone younger. Again, there are exceptions.
6. Consider someone different than you: Ephesians 2. We are indwelt by the same Spirit, which creates a real unity. That unity trumps so many of the worldly things that divide us. Be careful that not all close relationships are with people like me (age, status, ethnicity).
7. Look for someone who is teachable: 1 Peter 5:5. That spiritual hunger is one of the most important things to look for.
8. Someone who will be able to teach others. 1 Tim. 2:2. Four generations in view: Paul, Timothy, those whom Timothy diciples and whom they will disciple.
9. Proximity: use our time well. Someone who is geographically and schedule-wise available.
Speak with others about the wisdom of your work: to help another grow spiritually and to be grow oneself.
II. Have Clear Aims in View:
A. Help them be more like Christ: But how specifically? Understanding and living.
1. Our life depends upon a message. We must understand that message well.
2. Why we pray, share, etc.
3. We cannot simply talk about life as if it were only about accountability and behavior modification.
4. Discipleship begins with what we understand.
5. We do seek to obey, but we cannot obey what we do not know.
6. Discipleship is mentoring, but it is Christian.
E.g., Dever asked the man to teach Hebrews to him.
Phil. 2:16 holding fast to the Word of Life. You can’t hold fast what you don’t know.
7. We want them to be clear on the Gospel.
8. All proper books are just explanations of The Book.
9. Life-Truth-Life pattern: Life attracts, Truth transforms, Life illustrates and instructs. We learn in order to understand and live.
1. 1 Cor. 11:1 Imitate me. 1 Cor. 4, 2 Thess. 3, 2 Tim. 3, etc.
Jesus calls his disciples to love as his loves. Therefore, we if have followed that pattern, when others imitate us they are imitating Jesus.
2. Phil. 2:14-16: Πάντα ποιεῖτε χωρὶς γογγυσμῶν καὶ διαλογισμῶν, 15 ἵνα γένησθε ἄμεμπτοι καὶ ἀκέραιοι, τέκνα θεοῦ ἄμωμα μέσον γενεᾶς σκολιᾶς καὶ διεστραμμένης, ἐν οἷς φαίνεσθε ὡς φωστῆρες ἐν κόσμῳ 16 λόγον ζωῆς ἐπέχοντες, εἰς καύχημα ἐμοὶ εἰς ἡμέραν Χριστοῦ, ὅτι οὐκ εἰς κενὸν ἔδραμον οὐδὲ εἰς κενὸν ἐκοπίασα.
3. If we are going to effect others how to live, they are going to have be with us. Do what you are doing and bring someone with you. Do hold up a facade, hold up a real life.
4. 2 Tim. 3:10: Σὺ δὲ παρηκολούθησάς μου τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ, τῇ ἀγωγῇ, τῇ προθέσει, τῇ πίστει, τῇ μακροθυμίᾳ, τῇ ἀγάπῃ, τῇ ὑπομονῇ, 11 τοῖς διωγμοῖς, τοῖς παθήμασιν, οἷά μοι ἐγένετο ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ, ἐν Ἰκονίῳ, ἐν Λύστροις, οἵους διωγμοὺς ὑπήνεγκα· καὶ ἐκ πάντων με ἐρρύσατο ὁ κύριος. How much did Timothy learn from watching Paul suffer?
5. A natural thing to do when discipling someone in your own congregation is to use a lesson who have both heard together: it can be discussed as to implications.
6. We want to understand the Truth and live Holy.
III. Pay the Cost: Time, Study, Prayer, Love
Time: Heb. 10:24
A. Take Time, Base it on the Bible, Pray, Love
B. It takes time. All discipling relationships don’t look the same. You don’t need to call it that. You do need to spur one another on to love and good deeds. Since it takes time you will have to deliberate.
1. Friendship plus initiative and commitment even when you don’t prefer is a necessity for discipleship.
2. There can only be few such relationships.
3. Convenience will not entirely obviate cost.
4. Are our examples more valuable when we struggle through hardship, than when we just succeed. Trials are key times in our discipling relationships. Build the relationships before a trial comes about.
5. Base it in the Bible.
C. Pray: We can work, but it is God who gives the growth. Our work cannot change anyone, we can only do the work.
D. Teach/learn to how to pray through.
1. What do they pray about?
2. If God answered every prayer you prayed yesterday, how many of your friends would be converted.
E. Love: all the commands.
1. It is in love that we initiate a relationship. It is love that causes us to risk the rejection at the start of a relationship. It is love to care for another’s growth; and love to persevere (especially when we consider what will face during the relationship).
2. Because we have been loved, we want to love.
3. Charity and Her Fruits.
4. It is love that makes us able to have the humility to be corrected and rebuked. Prov. 27:6
5. Little love makes way for big egos.
6. Do your friends know that you consider their wounds faithful, or do you carry yourself that they will not wound you.
7. It is love that helps us to value the other person as we should.
8. We build relational capital so that we can spend in discipling relationships.
9. It is love that helps us to end discipling relationships: We care not God. We cannot provide everything another needs. It is love that humbles us to know that the other needs not us, but God.
IV. What If You Realize You are Being Discipled?
We are all called to love, which means that we are all called be loved.
Anything we receive we are called upon to spend it upon others.
We must give an account to God for what sermons we have heard, but for the examples among those whom we have lived. Richard Sibbes
If you are a disciple of Jesus, you must be disciple others.
You cannot follow Jesus if you are not discipling others.