Biblical Discipleship
The Bible’s Pattern for Real Discipleship in the Church


July 3, 2011 PM

Graham Daly

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


        I.            Introduction: The need for Biblical Discipleship (Matthew 28:16-20)

a.       Jesus gave the Church (The 11 Disciples) the Great Commission

b.      The Church has been commanded to teach all nations

                                                               i.      Of their sinful condition and the reality of Hell!!

                                                             ii.      To repent of their sins, to believe on Christ and be saved!!

                                                           iii.      To observe all that Christ had commanded!

                                                           iv.      To follow Jesus and to live completely for Him!

c.       The Great Commission is all about the Church going out into the world, reaching the lost, preaching the Gospel, bringing people to Christ and then teaching and training these people to follow Christ and live as he lived!

d.      The whole purpose of preaching the Bible is first to instruct people of their sinful condition, and their need for the Saviour, and then to train them as Jesus did His disciples

e.       Today not all Christians are true disciples, but every Christian really needs to be a disciple before they can be a real Christian (Acts 11:26) – “And the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch

f.        One of the greatest needs of Christianity is to be discipled - to be taught how to live the Christian life!

g.       Discipleship is greatly misunderstood by Christians these days

                                                               i.      There is more to the Christian life than being saved!

                                                             ii.      The Christian life begins at the cross of Salvation, but the Christian life is “lived out” through Discipleship!

                                                           iii.      Discipleship is what enables the Christian and the Church to grow

                                                           iv.      Discipleship is a crucial component to a Christian’s successful walk with God

h.      Tonight I want to show you the Bible’s Pattern for Real Discipleship and look at some of God’s truths concerning what it means to be a real Disciple of Christ!

    II.            What is Biblical Discipleship?

a.       Before understanding Discipleship, you first need to know what a Disciple is!

b.      A Disciple is:

                                                               i.      A “Learner”–someone who studies and learns

                                                             ii.      Someone who professes to receive instruction from another

                                                           iii.      Someone who adheres to the doctrines of another

                                                           iv.      A follower – someone who follows his or her master!

c.       When we look at the word Disciple as a “noun”, we see that a Disciple is someone who learns and sticks to the teachings or instructions or their master while following them

d.      When we look at the Word Disciple as a “verb”, we know that “To Disciple” someone means to “Teach” or to “Train/Bring Up”

e.       Biblical Discipleship is a continual life-long process where a Disciple is taught, instructed or trained to adhere to the teachings and doctrines of Jesus Christ while following him!

f.        Discipleship is not:

                                                               i.      An activity or A program

                                                             ii.      A series of book-lessons

                                                           iii.      Education or instructions only

g.       Discipleship is:

                                                               i.      An attitude

                                                             ii.      A philosophy – A way of thinking

                                                           iii.      A way of life

h.      Discipleship is an absolute commitment to your master!

 III.            The Importance of Biblical Discipleship (Ephesians 4:11-15)

a.       Discipleship is how the Christians in a Church grow!

                                                               i.      Christ has given the Church some Evangelists, some Pastors and some Teachers

                                                             ii.      Their God Given job is to feed, instruct and teach the flock (Church) of God

                                                           iii.      All of this so that the Christian can grow in the doctrine and teachings of our LORD Jesus Christ

b.      The Ethiopian Eunuch needed to be discipled (Acts 8:26-31)

                                                               i.      New Christians need to be guided through God’s word

                                                             ii.      Mature Christians should have a burden to help a new Christian grow and mature

                                                           iii.      A lot of cultic religions and dead Churches are around today because of a lack of real biblical discipleship

                                                           iv.      People can easily form incorrect doctrines or incorrect views of Jesus’s doctrines because they have not been correctly guided through the scriptures by a mature Christians who have already been biblically trained by another mature Christian

c.        Without discipleship there would be no Church! (Matt 28:16-20)

                                                               i.      Jesus commanded the Church (11 disciples) to go and teach

                                                             ii.      Would this Church be here today if the original 11 disciples did not obey Jesus? If they did not disciple other Christians?

                                                           iii.      The Great Commission is all about Church Planting and Discipling Christians

                                                           iv.      It is clear from the Great Commission that God wants every Christian to be a disciple maker!

                                                             v.      Look at what Paul says to his disciple Timothy in 2 Tim 2:2
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

                                                           vi.      If mature Christians do not teach new Christians how to be Christians, then there will be no mature Christians around to teach new Christians!

d.      Every born again Christian should have a desire to disciple a new Christian!

                                                               i.      You could be the difference between someone staying in the word of God or not

                                                             ii.      You could be the difference between someone staying in the Church or not

                                                           iii.      You could disciple the next Pastor of this Church!

e.       Biblical discipleship is vital for the local new testament Church to survive through the generations

                                                               i.      Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

                                                             ii.      This applies to Parents training up their children!

                                                           iii.      If you want your children to stay in Church, then you need to teach and train them to stay in Church!

                                                           iv.      It also applies to Christians training other Christians

                                                             v.      If we want Christians to stay in Church, then you we need to teach and train them to stay in Church!


  IV.            The Truth about Biblical Discipleship

a.       You cannot be a disciple of Christ unless you know who Jesus is!

                                                               i.      Luke 9:18:20 – Jesus asks “whom say ye that I am

1.      Some people thought Jesus was John the Baptist

2.      Some people thought Jesus was Elijah

3.      Some people thought Jesus was a prophet

4.      Peter and the disciples knew that Jesus was the Christ of God!

                                                             ii.      Christian – Do you know who Jesus is?

1.      Who do you think Jesus is?

2.      Who is Jesus in your life?

3.      Is Jesus your Christ?

4.      If you are saved, then you should know who Jesus is

5.      If you know what Jesus did on the cross for you, then you should want to follow him, to learn about him


6.      You should be burning inside with a fire to teach others what Jesus has done for you

7.      You need to know who Jesus is!

b.      Discipleship begins with a decision but is confirmed by your actions (Luke 9:22-23)

                                                               i.      Like salvation, real discipleship requires a decision

1.      You have to decide to follow Jesus

2.      You chose to accept Jesus as your Saviour

3.      You need to choose to accept Jesus as your master in order to be his disciple and to follow him

c.       Real discipleship costs (Luke 9:22-23)

                                                               i.      Jesus suffered many things to save you

                                                             ii.      Jesus was rejected

                                                           iii.      Jesus had to die

                                                           iv.      Jesus rose again – He was resurrected!

                                                             v.      Salvation cost you nothing, but it cost Jesus everything!

                                                           vi.      Real discipleship will cost you!

1.      Will cost you your time

2.      Could cost you your job

3.      Will cost you some of your friends

4.      Your plans for your life

5.      Could cost you your family

                                                         vii.      Everyday as a disciple of Christ you will have to:

1.      Deny yourself – Your will, wants, desires and do His!

2.      Take up your cross – A life of sacrifice

3.      Follow Jesus – Do whatever he does, go wherever he goes

                                                       viii.      These are God’s conditions of Discipleship, from his own mouth!

                                                           ix.      God places the conditions of discipleship on us, not the other way around (Luke 9:57-62)

d.      Real discipleship involves hard work (Luke 9:62)

                                                               i.      Real discipleship compared to “ploughing a field”

                                                             ii.      Ploughing a field is hard work – so is biblical discipleship

                                                           iii.      You need to keep looking ahead and focus if you are to plough in a straight line

                                                           iv.      Being a disciple of Christ will require you to keep focus on the path in front of you, to keep looking to where Jesus is so that you walk a straight line through your Christian life


e.        Jesus has to be put first in your life! (Luke 14:26)

                                                               i.      Your love for Jesus has to be high, that your love for others must seem like you hate them

     V.            The Bible’s example for Real Discipleship

a.       Elijah and Elisha (1 Kings 19:19-21)

                                                               i.      Elijah calls Elisha

                                                             ii.      Elisha had 12 oxen – These were his livelihood!

                                                           iii.      Elisha killed the oxen so that he could follow Elijah

                                                           iv.      Elisha left his parents, his job, his house, and his very life!

b.      Jesus calls Simon, Andrew, James and John (Mark 1:14-21)

                                                               i.      Jesus commands these 4 men to follow him

                                                             ii.      He promised to “make them to become fishers of men

                                                           iii.      “Make” meaning to train and teach them – to disciple them!

                                                           iv.      The 4 men immediately left all and followed Jesus

                                                             v.      Following Jesus cost them their time, their jobs, their family, their homes and their plans for their life

  VI.            Challenge: Are you a real disciple of Christ?

a.       The Christian life does not end of Salvation, it begins!

b.      Jesus suffered many things, including sacrificing himself on the cross in order to pay for your sins and to save your soul from Hell

c.       Jesus has called you and said “Follow Me”

d.      Are you following him today?

e.       Is something more important in your life than following Jesus?

f.        Will you follow him no matter what the cost?

g.       Are you willing to sacrifice your desires and plans for Jesus?

h.      Are you prepared to help teach others how to follow Jesus?

i.         Are you a real disciple of Christ?