Gospel Meeting                Joshua Thornhill Index

Learning True Discipleship

What Is Discipleship?


Introduction: Most of us would describe ourselves as disciples of Jesus. While we all may use that term do we truly understand what is involved? This week I would like to study with you what true discipleship is all about.


I. Defining Discipleship:

A. Any follower of Christ, a pupil or a follower. A follower of the doctrines of a teacher. A follower of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.

B. Discipleship goes far beyond simply following:

1. “Means more in the New Testament than a mere pupil or learner. It is an adherent who accepts the instructions given to him and makes it his rule of conduct.” Jesus had disciples in the sense that they believed and make His teaching the very basis of their conduct. Zodhiates, pg. 936

2. Spoken of as imitators of their teacher.                                                             


II. What Is Discipleship?

                A. Being a disciple means being different from the crowd: Matthew 7:21, James 1:25

                B. Genuine discipleship is observable: John 13:35, 15:8, Luke 6:40

                C. Discipleship is not a 9-5 job but our whole life: Galatians 2:20


III. The Cost of Discipleship:

                A. We must count the cost: Matthew 16:24-26, Luke 14:28-32, Matthew 25:46

B. Letting Go Of Self: Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34

                                1. Deny Self: to deny sinful self; ungodliness, and worldly lusts. Forgetting one’s self.

                                2. God demands self-denial: 2 Peter 1:6, Galatians 5:23, 1 Corinthians 9:25

                                3. Why deny self? Proverbs 14:12, Jeremiah 10:23, Isaiah 55:9-10

                C. Take up Your Cross: Matthew 10:38, 16:24, Mark 8:34

                                1. The cross was an instrument of death and total sacrifice thus refers to giving your whole life to God.  

                                2. We must live as Jesus lived: 1 Peter 2:21, 1 Corinthians 11:1

                                3. We must allow ourselves to be transformed into the image of Christ: Romans 12:1-2; Romans 8:29

4. Take us your cross DAILY: Luke 9:23, Matthew 6:11, Acts 2:46        

                D. Lose Your Life for Christ’s Sake: Matthew 10:39; Marks 8:35, Luke 9:24

                                1. If one holds his own life so dearly that he wants to please himself, he will lose his life eternally.  

                                2. Living for self will cause one to lose their life: Matthew 19:16-22, Romans 1:28-32

                                3. Living for Christ is the only way to find life: 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, Philippians 1:21

                                4. Is hell worth it? Matthew 16:26

                E. Hate Father and Mother, Family: Luke 14:26, Matthew 10:34-37

                                1. To love God more than anyone else, to love others less than God. Genesis 29:30-31

                                2. God wants fully committed disciples: Matthew 19:29, Luke 18:29-30

                                3. We must seek God above all else: Matthew 6:33, 1 Peter 3:15 (Sanctify, make holy, set apart)

                F. Follow Jesus with Unwavering Commitment: Luke 9:57-62

                                1. First man was impulsive: Mark 4:16-17, Luke 9:58, Matthew 10:21-22

                                2. Second man was a procrastinator: Acts 6:2, Luke 14:23

                                3. Third man was wavering in commitment: Colossians 3:1-3

                G. Forsake All That You Have: Luke 14:33

                                1. Leaving all to follow Christ: Mark 1:16-20, Matthew 19:27-30

                                2. Consider the rich young ruler: Matthew 19:16-22

                                3. Counting all things loss: Philippians 3:7-8, Hebrews 12:1

                H. A Religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing is worth nothing.


Conclusion: Being a disciple of Jesus will cost you your whole life. Jesus doesn’t ask for much, He just asks for everything. Let us be willing to give all for Christ.