Disciples Overcome

Sermon Passages: Luke 7:18-23; 4:16-21; Matt. 10:1-8; Luke 10:1-3;17-20; 2 Cor. 5:17;

Sermon Notes

Vision for the future requires change today. If we expect a disciple-making movement, the movement will only happen if everyone catches the vision and makes it their own.

To recap, we've discussed three paradigm shifts in our thinking:

  1. All Christians are called and equipped to be disciple-makers.
  2. Growth focuses on your next step and does not despair by attempting to jump to step 50.
  3. Mutual discipleship requires relationships that allow self-disclosure and challenging accountability.

In order to invite people into the vision of the movement Jesus started, we have to know what we're inviting them into. In Luke 7:18-23, Jesus points to ways in which his kingdom has started to change the world. His healings, exorcisms, and other miracles show that salvation is not just about Hell insurance or the Eternal Retirement Plan. Salvation is joining Jesus' work in undoing the Curse.

Jesus didn't just come to die. He came to recruit disciples and start a movement that is a foretaste of the new creation yet to come. In this movement, people are healed, peace is restored, and Jesus reigns.

What do Jesus' healings have to do with disciple-making? As we see in Matthew 10:1-8 and Luke 10:1-7, disciples are sent out to do Jesus' miracles. This is to show that the kingdom of heaven has come and is coming. It is a glimpse, a movie trailer, or a taste of the full coming of the kingdom yet to happen.

Christianity isn't about chilling and hanging out waiting for death or the Second Coming. It is a call to a very active agenda change. Our lives are no longer to be spent on pursuing a 401k or a comfortable retirement. Our lives are for the sole purpose of bringing in the kingdom. Instead, we have been made into new creations (2 Cor 5:17).

So, what does this look like? Jesus says his disciples will heal, cast out demons, and do miracles. Is that what we're supposed to do?

Jesus' description of the disciple-making movement of the "Kingdom come" is a picture of overcoming darkness. Our lives should be dedicated to helping people heal from physical, emotional, and spiritual turmoil. Our culture is ripe with broken relationships, people battling depression, guilt-ridden individuals. Sharing Jesus' love, we will come alongside them to bear their burdens and help them heal.

When do we cast out demons? It isn't biblical to go around like many Televangelists casting out demons like a circus. Rather, Satan is described as the father of lies and deception. Where are people lying to themselves. Where are people excusing their bad behavior or beginning a relationship with an abusive person? Where are people saying, "I'm okay," when they aren't? Satan is known as the accuser. Where are people living in shame and guilt and need the freedom of the grace of the gospel? Who around you is trapped in a legalistic, condemning religious atmosphere? Satan encourages oppressive pride, exploitation, narcissism.

Be a healer by getting involved in the lives around you. We can't say "become a disciple-maker" because if you're a Christian, you already are one. The question is rather whether you are fulfilling your role or sitting back and waiting for retirement.