I. Jesus commanded us to make disciples, not converts
A. Matthew 28:19-20
: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the
- Ten translations of Matthew 28:19 use some variation of the word disciple to translate
the Greek word MATHETEUO, which was translated “teach” in the King James Version.
MATHETEUO means “to become a pupil; transitively. to disciple, i.e. enroll as a scholar”
a. This same Greek word was translated “instructed” in Matthew 13:52, which
says, “Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the
kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth
out of his treasure things new and old.”
b. Vine’s Expository Dictionary says the Greek word MATHETES (from which
MATHETEUO is derived) means “‘a learner’ (from MANTHANO, ‘to learn,’ from
a root MATH-, indicating thought accompanied by endeavor).”
- In Matthew 28:20, the word “teaching” means to give instruction.
- Preaching proclaims.
- Teaching explains.
B. Evangelism is preaching, but discipleship is teaching.
C. Jesus made disciples, not just converts.
- Matthew 4:23: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues.”
- Matthew 9:35: “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in
- Matthew 11:1: “And it came to pass when Jesus had made an end of commanding his
twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.”
- Matthew 21:23: “. . . came unto him as he was teaching.”
- Matthew 26:55: “I sat daily with you teaching in the temple.”
- Mark 6:6: “And he went round about the villages, teaching.”
- Mark 10:1: “And, as he was wont, he taught them again.”
a. The word wont comes from a Greek word meaning “to be used (by habit or
b. It was translated “custom” in Luke 4:16 and “manner” in Acts 17:2.
- Luke 5:17: “And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching . . .”
- Luke 13:10: “And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.”
- Luke 13:22: “And he went through the cities and villages, teaching.”
- Luke 21:37: “And in the day time he was teaching in the temple.”
- Luke 23:5: “He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry.”
- John 6:5-6: “When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto
him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And this he
said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.”
D. The disciples taught.
- Acts 2:42: And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and
in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
- Acts 5:42: And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and
preach Jesus Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 4:17: For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved
son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be
in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
E. Evangelism did take place without discipleship, but that was the exception rather than the
- Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch – Acts 8:39: “And when they were come up out of the
water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and
he went on his way rejoicing.”
- Paul’s method – Acts 20:31: “Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of
three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”
F. Example: Feeding of the 5,000 – Mark 6:38-44
II. Characteristics of disciples:
A. Must love God more than anyone, anything, or even self
Luke 14:26-38: “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. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my
disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and
counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
29 Lest haply, after he hath laid
the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying,
This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 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? 32 Or else, while
the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of
peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he
cannot be my disciple.” Total commitment.
2.Matthew 10:37-38: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of
me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that
taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” Relative hatred.
3. Self-centeredness: the root of all grief
B. Must be able to endure hardship/persecution
- 2 Timothy 2:2-4: “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. 3 Thou
, therefore, endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth
entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen
him to be a soldier.”
- Matthew 10:24-25: “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his
lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call
them of his household?”
C. Must love others
- John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I
have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are
my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
2. 1 John 4:8: “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
D. Must bear fruit
- John 15:8: “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my
- John 15:16: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye
should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye
shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
E. Must continue in God’s Word
- John 8:30-44: “As he spake these words, many believed on him. 31 Then said Jesus to
those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples
indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They
answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how
sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto
you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the
house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye
shall be free indeed. 37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me,
because my word hath no place in you. 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father:
and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 39 They answered and said unto him,
Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would
do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the
truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 Ye do the deeds of your
father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even
God. 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I
proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do
ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your
father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the
beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh
a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
- Acts 6:7: “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied
in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” DISCIPLESHIP
III. The solution? Make disciples.
A. May vary from person to person and church to church
- Isaiah 28:10-13: “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon
line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11 For with stammering lips and
another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 To whom he said, This is the rest
wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not
hear. 13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon
precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go,
and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” DISCIPLESHIP
- Luke 1:3-4: “It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all
things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That
thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” DISCIPLESHIP
- 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
C. Mentorship—can’t be a pupil (disciple) without a teacher or mentor. Self-taught is more
like Paul (apostle).
Need baptism of the Holy Spirit.
We become disciples through meditating in the Word of God, which is the incorruptible seed
(1 Pet. 1:23).
We become disciples through meditating in the Word of God, which is the incorruptible seed
(1 Pet. 1:23).
Matthew 10:42: “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold
water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” DISCIPLESHIP
Acts 11:26: “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass,
that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the
disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
Some of Paul’s instruction to his disciple Timothy:
1 Timothy 4:12-16: “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the
believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come,
give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Neglect not the gift that is in
thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear
to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this
thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
I. Quit blaming others/accept responsibility
II. Lead by example.
III. Study the Word.
IV. Exhort others.
V. Get your doctrine straight.
VI. Operate in your gift and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
VII. Have others impart into you.
VIII. Meditate on the things of God.
IX. Be totally committed.
X. Mind your own business (Matt. 7:1).
XI. Reach yourself before you reach others.
You have to continue in God’s Word to be a true disciple (John 8:31). God’s Word is the
seed of the kingdom (Mark 4:14 and 26-30). God’s Word is the incorruptible seed (1 Pet.
1:23 [sperma]). This is how we have God’s DNA implanted in us.