Episode 200

Disciple Up #200
Looking Back To Look Forward
By Louie Marsh, 2-24-2021

Intro – Open, then play the opening of episode #1.

The Value of History – a Christian view of history – watching God and man act, as God slowly works out his plan for the age in spite of our sin and folly.

First Episode Discussion of the word Disciple

DISCIPLE

(1) Usually a substantive (μαθητής, mathētés, “a learner,” from manthánō, “to learn”;

Latin discipulus, “a scholar”):

The word is found in the Bible only in the Gospels and Acts. But it is good Greek, in use from Herodotus down, and always means the pupil of someone, in contrast to the master or teacher

In all cases it implies that the person not only accepts the views of the teacher, but that he is also in practice an adherent. A disciple is a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of another, making them his rule of life and conduct.

The word has several applications. In the widest sense it refers to those who accept the teachings of anyone, not only in belief but in life. Thus the disciples of John the Baptist (Matthew 9:14; Luke 7:18; John 3:25); also of the Pharisees (Matthew 22:16; Mark 2:18; Luke 5:33); of Moses (John 9:28).

But its most common use is to designate the adherents of Jesus. (a) In the widest sense (Matthew 10:42; Luke 6:17; John 6:66, and often).

42And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”” (Matthew 10:42, ESV)

It is the only name for Christ’s followers in the Gospels. But (b) especially the Twelve Apostles, even when they are called simply the disciples (Matthew 10:1; Matthew 11:1; Matthew 12:1, et al.).

In the Acts, after the death and ascension of Jesus, disciples are those who confess Him as the Messiah, Christians (Acts 6:1-2, 7; Acts 9:36 (feminine, mathétria); Acts 11:26, “The disciples were called Christians”). Even half-instructed believers who had been baptized only with the baptism of John are disciples (Acts 19:1-4).

The disciple of Christ today may be described in the words of Farrar, as “one who believes His doctrines, rests upon His sacrifice, imbibes His spirit, and imitates His example.”

Jesus used the term disciple but never Christian. The first instance of the word Christian is found in the book of Acts: “The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). Most Bible scholars agree that it is unlikely that the believers themselves thought up the name “Christians.” The early church had other names for themselves, such as “disciples” (Acts 13:5220:121:4) and “saints” (Romans 1:71 Corinthians 16:1Ephesians 1:1) and “brothers” (1 Corinthians 1:91 Peter 3:8).

The name “Christian,” meaning “belonging to Christ,” appears to have been invented by those outside of the church. It was most likely meant as a derogatory term. Only two other times does the word appear in the New Testament (Acts 26:281 Peter 4:16). The idea that the term Christian was originally a pejorative finds some support in 1 Peter 4:16: “However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”

Thoughts on: Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ

  • What does this mean to me?
  • What does this mean to my listeners?
  • How can I improve on this – how can I communicate this better?

 THE “DISCIPLE UP LOW DOWN” From Ep. 1

The Low Down on the “Christian Ghetto.”

When it comes to engaging culture as a Disciple or followers of Jesus there’s several errors that we see over and over again in church history. You can sum them up in three words – Capitulation, Isolation, Communication.

Capitulation.

This is probably the most common response of the church to culture. It’s common because it’s unconscious. We are so absorbed by our culture that we don’t even see how we are surrendering the Gospel to the culture. You can see this in the church of the south that taught slavery for blacks was God’s will. You can see it in the churches in Germany who supported Hitler. Today we see this in churches that almost automatically accept and seek to advance whatever the cause of the moment is. From women’s lib to ecology all the way to gay marriage it’s most common in theologically liberal churches but can be seen everywhere as well.

Isolation is the exact opposite of Capitulation. This occurred quickly in church history. All the monks and people who fled into the desert to live alone or in a small community are examples of this.  All of the pole sitting monks – like Simon the Stylite (now a saint in the Catholic church) who lived on top of a pole for decades. They were known as Pillar Saints and were deemed holy because they disengaged from their culture as much as possible. Ironically in so doing they created their own culture of asceticism. Links on this in the show notes on Discipleup.org.

Isolation comes in degrees of course. There aren’t many people who can completely disengage and live in a monastery.  But we can create a subculture within our own and that’s exactly what we do. We have Christian versions of just about any business you can think of. From Christian music, books and movies, to Christian stores, people are pressured to only partake of those and shun all the bad stuff the world is putting out.

Steve Taylor captured this brilliantly in his song, “Guilty By Association” on his Meltdown album way back in 1984 – when they still made albums by the way –  when he said…

“Only drink milk from a Christian Cow”… what else can I say to that but halle-moooo-yah! Links to Steve’s music are in the show notes at discipleup.org.

My name for this is the Christian Ghetto. By cutting ourselves off from the culture we make it all but impossible to obey Christ’s commands to “make disciples.” Now you might respond, “Hey if we build it they will come.” I say not only is that unscriptural but it’s been tried for centuries and has failed for centuries as well!

And then there’s communication. This of course is what we’re supposed to be doing. Being in the world but not of it. Engaging our culture, understand and taking part in it when and where we can with a clear conscience. Being light in the ever increasing darkness instead of hiding our light under a basket that’s hidden inside our little Christian Ghetto.

Communication is rare because it’s hard and complicated. We won’t always agree with each other about what we should be doing. How do we show our world that God loves them but does not approve of what they do?

We must engage and engage with them in way that they find meaningful. If that makes us feel uncomfortable then that’s the price we must pay to really love the world that way Jesus does. The incarnation and redemption on the cross was anything but comfortable or acceptable for that matter.

If we really are followers of Jesus then we must be willing to go to any length to, in the words of an old hymn, “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.”

In the end engaging the culture isn’t about the culture or you and me at all. It’s all about them, those outside of Christ. They are ones we must bring to Jesus. Their souls are what’s at stake. We cannot and will not be able to do that if we choose to remain safe, sound and comfortable in our little Christian Ghettos.

So disciple – are you willing to Disciple Up, what are you willing to do to rescue the perishing?

And that’s my Disciple Up Low Down on the Christian Ghetto. Let me know what you think by e-mailing me at louie@discipleup.org.

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Episode 197

Disciple Up # 197
A Disciple’s Identity Pt. 4: Staying Hungry!
(Plus the Coup In Burma)
By Louie Marsh, 2-3-2021

1)    I seek God’s righteousness NOT MY OWN since I have forsaken self.

 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.  Matthew 5:6 (ESV)

 This is the key stone in the arch of the Beatitudes. A Christian mourns his own righteousness and seeks that which only comes from Jesus. If I have His righteousness then no one else’s matters

21  But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22  the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: Romans 3:21-22 (ESV)

  • What is righteousness? Righteousness = approved; Rightness = accepted
  • I don’t hunger for BLESSINGSbut for righteousness.

We hunger for a righteousness we don’t have. It is not our own.

  • This cannot be part of my character if I’m a moralist.

Moralist – very upright, smug, self-righteous

Christian – meek and moral, humble and at peace with God and others

Moralists can do the first 3 beatitudes but not the 4th.

2)    My hunger is huge – I want ALL GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Accusative case here = whole loaf

Genitive = of  – this mean perfect righteousness not just partial.

21  so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21 (ESV)

30  And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 1 Corinthians 1:30 (ESV)

35  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35 (ESV)

We all sense the truth of this passage before we’re taught to ignore it.

Article Sited:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/january/covid-19-religion-survey-pew-pandemic-strengthened-faith.html

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 188

Disciple Up # 188
A Disciple’s Identity Pt. 2 – Mourning
By Louie Marsh, 12-2-2020

Intro. First in this series was back in Episode 185. Today we’ll continue with part two.

4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4, ESV)

  1. I) THE ROCK BOTTOM REALITY
  2. A) Blessed.

1, Can be translated “Happy”, but that is misleading, since happiness is a subjective emotion dependent on circumstances

2, In the Bible blessing is something a greater does for a lesser, it is an objective reality, and it’s given as a gift it’s not earned.

3, Perhaps the best way to think of blessed is the translation “Congratulations.”

a, Jesus is saying that God thinks these things are good, even tho we might disagree!

  1. II) Happy Are the Unhappy?

                     1, This follows on the heels of the 1st Beatitude and can only be understood in light of it.

2, Once we see and confess our spiritual poverty, that isn’t the end of it.

a, We are also called to mourn over it.

b, The extent of sin in our lives should be a cause of great grief to us.

3, In our rush to become “Happy Christians” we usually rush past this and hurt ourselves in several ways…

a, We make light of sin, and never take the time to see how deep it’s hold on us really is.

b, By papering over our weaknesses we set ourselves up for future failure.

c, By belittling sin we also never really understand the true extent of God’s comfort – His Grace.

Those who Mourn – I ADMIT my problem is sin.

 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 (ESV)

Problems are spiritual and in the Bible spiritual problems are called sin. Sin is my core problem in life and it impacts everything.

I must admit it’s sin! Like a 4 year old child who refuses to hold his parents hand to cross the street and instead darts out into traffic. The child dies because he refused to admit he needed his parents to control and guide him.

  • Spiritual mourning is REPENTANCE.

10  For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 (ESV)

  • I can go two ways with this:

o   Focus on SELF – God has forgiven me but I can’t forgive myself.

This is self pity

o   Focus on JESUS – forgiven, lifted up, empowered

 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4 (ESV)

COMFORTED

A form of the word Jesus used for the Helper or Comforter in John:

16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16–17, ESV)

So we are comforted not by mere words or emotions, but by the presence and ministry of the Spirit of God Himself.

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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