From the first generation, “the disciples were called Christians” (Acts 11:26). Christ commissions, “make disciples of all” (Matthew 28:19).
WHY be Christ’s disciple?
Christ says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Why don’t folks experience life abundantly?
They are “darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:18). Such hardness indicates what God calls sin. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), “separated from Christ … having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).
The ONLY WAY to God’s offered life is His only Son, Christ.
“He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3). “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19). “Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8), and “has been raised from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:20).
“He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (1 John 5:12). “There is salvation in no one else” (Acts 4:12). He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). Knowing these facts isn’t enough.
HOW to be Christ’s disciple?
“But as many as RECEIVED Him [be His disciple], to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Christ explains how (Matthew 28:19-20):
…”BAPTIZING them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. This is when someone “went down into the water” and “came up out of the water” (Acts 8:38-39), “not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but the appeal to God from a good conscience” (1 Peter 3:21).
…and teaching them TO OBEY everything I have commanded you” (a mindset).
We receive Christ as SAVIOR …
…from God’s “enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10)
…from “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
…from sin’s bondage; “our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves” (Romans 6:6).
We receive Christ as LORD…
“God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus” (Acts 2:36) “at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him” (1 Peter 3:22). To receive Him as Lord is to turn from self-will (repenting), confess and honor Him and RELY ON …
… HIS WORD (the Bible) “inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (1 Timothy 3:16) “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword … able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
… HIS SPIRIT “putting to death the deeds of the body’ (Romans 8:13), living out “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-25) and “manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7). …HIS CHURCH, “which is His body, the fullness of Him’ (Ephesians 1:23)