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DCLM Search the Scripture 27 March 2022 Adult | Lesson 13

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DCLM Search the Scripture 27 March 2022 Adult | Lesson 13

ADULT STS LESSON 13 | The Cost of Discipleship

MEMORY VERSE: “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14:26

TEXTS: Matt 8:18-22; Mark 8:31-38; Luke 9:57-62; 14:25-35

DCLM Search the Scripture 27 March 2022 Adult | Lesson 13 MESSAGE

A disciple may be described as a person who learns from a master, aims to be like him and often with the intentions to teach others also. Discipleship is very central to Christian growth and witness. The test of a true Christian is in his commitment to being like our Lord, Jesus Christ: “…every one that is perfect shall be as his master” (Luke 6:40).

Being a disciple of Christ involves an active process of learning, study and a prayerful exercise of self- discipline aimed at discarding an old lifestyle and imbibing the virtues taught and demonstrated by Him. The Lord reveals that discipleship has its costs and demands. His explanation of discipleship was not aimed at scaring those He called to follow Him but for them to be purposeful in their decision based on clear understanding of its price and prize before enlisting. Adult DCLM Search the Scripture 27 March 2022

1. THE CALL OF DISCIPLESHIP

Matt 8:22Luke 9:60Matt 11:28-301 John 2:6Heb 4:16

“But Jesus said unto him, follow me; and let the dead bury their dead” (Matt 8:22). Christian discipleship begins with heeding the call of Christ to follow Him. A sinner must first awake to the truth of his hopelessness and perdition without Christ. It is only after salvation that discipleship begins. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest upon your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30). DCLM Search the Scripture 27 March 2022 Adult

The yoke of Christ is lined by His grace and love. Christ commands everyone who has come to His saving knowledge to take His yoke and beat His burden which are comparatively easy and light. This requires that every disciple conscientiously conducts every detail of His life according to the precepts taught by Christ.

He must manifest a willing and cheerful obedience to His commands. The process of studying, learning and imbibing the teachings of Christ constitutes the practice of discipleship. In this sense, discipleship is a lifetime commitment to be like our infallible Master, because “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk even as he walked” (1 John
2:6).

The implication is that the true disciple must learn Christ’s example of total, unquestioning submission to God in all things. A sincere disciple seeks the help of the Spirit of Christ which he received at salvation and constantly resorts to “the throne of grace” (where he) may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16).

DCLM Search the Scripture 27 March 2022 Adult

2. THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

Matt 8:18-22Mark 8:31-38Luke 14:25-35Heb 11:8,24-26Gal 2:17Rev 21:7

“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34). Christ expects all who desire to be His disciples to first understand its implications. “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?… Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?” (Luke 14:28,31).

His intention, no doubt, is to prepare would-be disciples’ mind at the outset, to toughen their resolve and ensure their eventual successful discipleship. Half- hearted followers, who have not counted the cost and who fail to understand that discipleship is not cheap, easily fall by the way side or get disqualified for not meeting its demands. From Christ’s teachings, discipleship entails:

i. Righteous lifestyle and humility to learn from Christ.

ii. A readiness to ensure material deprivation and willingness to get along with little physical and material comfort as serving and following Him an eye to material wealth or physical comfort, Christ warned: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matt 8:20).

iii. Inflexible resolution to always put obedience to Christ first. The disciple’s love for Christ and submission to His will and doctrine must be topmost priority. His attachment and loyalty to his Lord must be stronger than the bonds of any human relationship. “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).

  • DCLM Search the Scripture 27 March 2022 Adult

iv. Discipleship requires a ready and cheerful willingness to part with any comfort or interest that stands as obstacle between believers and Christ. “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).

This trait should be in the lives of those who have heeded God’s call to salvation. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went” (Heb 11:8). Moses despised the comforts and prestige of Pharoah’s court in preference suffering with the people of God (Heb 11:24-26). Adult DCLM Search the Scripture 27 March 2022 | Lesson 13

v. A disciple must have a settled resolution that there will never be a justification for denying or dishonoring Christ by his actions or inactions. Even if he stands the risk of being disowned by his parents, family, friends, relatives or business customers. “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).

vi. A disciple must have hatred for sin and willingness to forgo conflicting personal preferences, pleasure, ambitions and goals just to maintain his loyalty and commitment to Christ. “If any man come to me, and hate not… his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). The cost of discipleship taught by Christ should not discourage anyone. His purpose is to prepare our minds to preserve in times of hardship, suffering and temptation. That is why He illustrated the price of discipleship with building and prosecuting a war.

The Lord has promised, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things…” (Rev 21:7). When fully understood, this promise by Christ far outweighs any temporary sacrifice of His disciples. An intending disciple must consider both the cost and the benefits (Rom 8:18). Moreover, it is in following Christ, learning from, and acting like Him that we become useful as salt in seasoning our world. DCLM Search the Scripture 27 March 2022 Adult

Unwillingness to pay the price of discipleship displeases God and disqualifies one from His kingdom. Some have desire to “inherit eternal life” (Mark 10:17) but when Christ demands the price of discipleship by saying “go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up thy cross, and follow me” (Mark 10:21), they become sad. Lacking entire consecration, absolute surrender and total commitment to the Lord, the rich ruler was disqualified. His problem was his wrong attitude to wealth, which is still the bane of many people today (Mark 10:25).

Adult DCLM Search the Scripture 27 March 2022 | Lesson 13

Every believer should therefore, pray for grace to, one, shed the load of legitimate possessions that inhibits full loyalty and obedience to the Lord;

two, open storehouse of his hoarded resources unto the poor (1 Tim 6:18);

three, overcome the temptations and snare of foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men into destruction and perdition (1 Tim 6:9);

four, trust only in the living God who gives us all things to enjoy (1 Tim 6:17);

five, adjust his value system and re-order his priority in favour of heavenly treasures (Col 3:1,21 Tim 6:17);

six, deny self, bear his cross daily and follow Christ as a disciple (Luke 9:23Mark 10:21); and

seven, be steadfast and unmovable in the service of the Lord (1 Cor 15:58).

DCLM Search the Scripture 27 March 2022 Adult

3. COMFORT AND HOPE OF CHRIST’S DISCIPLES

Luke 9:57-62Rom 8:182 Cor 4:171 John 3:2Rev 3:12,211 John 5:3Matt 19:27-29

It will be a tragic misjudgment to decline to be Christ’s disciple and deny oneself the glorious privilege of a close walk with the Saviour on account of the difficulties associated with it. All who make Christ their Saviour and acknowledge His lordship by living daily as His disciples will partake of His future glory. “For I reckon that the suffering of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18).

Whereas the discipline and rigours of discipleship are but light afflictions “and for a moment”, they “worketh (for the disciple) a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory:” (2 Cor 4:17). The joys of those who devote their thoughts, words and deeds to ensure conformity to the precepts of Christ will surpass the sweetest and dearest comforts on earth. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

Apart from the hope of glory in the next world, a disciple has the present pleasure of a vibrant spiritual life, the joys of answered prayers and miracles of divine intervention in his life and circumstances. There is nothing in the ‘yoke’ of discipleship that makes the life of a disciple bitter or hurtful.

The commandments of Christ are very reasonable in themselves and truly beneficial to the disciples both here and hereafter. “Then answered peter and said unto him, Behold we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of glory, ye also shall sit upon the twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribe of Israel” (Matt 19:27,28).

From the words of Christ, it is clear that there will be more than adequate compensation to true disciples for suffering indignity of reproach in the course of allegiance to the doctrines of Christ. These exceedingly great and precious promises are not only for the twelve disciples but for everyone who will be a true disciple (Verse 29). Paul the apostle declared: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor 2:9).

For the believer who steadfastly endures till the end, there are crowns awaiting him. This should propel and motivate all believers to spare no effort, resource or relationship in defence of their faith and in the pursuit of the good commission, knowing full well that their “work shall be rewarded” (Jer 31:16). DCLM Search the Scripture 27 March 2022 Adult

QUESTION FOR REVIEW:

  1. Who is a disciple and how does a person become a disciple of Christ?
  2. Identity some character traits in the lives of any two saints that enabled them
    to serve God successfully.
  3. Why does Christ underline the costs and sacrifice involved in being His disciple
    to intending disciples?
  4. Enumerate the costs of being a disciple of Christ.
  5. Mention some benefits of being a disciple of Christ.
  6. How can a disciple remain faithful to the end?
  7. What is the hope of Christ’s disciples?
Thanks for studying Today’s DCLM Search the Scripture 27 March 2022 Adult

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