A Culture of Disciple-Making
Part 1 | “I will build my church”
A Culture of Disciple-Making
culture = “the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time; the attitudes, behavior, opinions, etc. of a particular group of people within society” (Cambridge Dictionary)
disciple = following > learning > becoming
Should all local churches have a culture of disciple-making?
(What are alternative cultures local churches have instead?)
How can all local churches pursue a culture of disciple-making?
(What reveals that local churches are pursuing a culture of disciple-making?)
Four Key Passages
- Matthew 16:13-20
- Matthew 28:16-20
- Acts 1:1-11; 2:1-47
- Ephesians 4:1-10, 11-16
- This passage begins with Jesus asking his disciples about His identity—both who they think others say He is and who they say He is.
- Jesus stresses the importance of a personal and accurate recognition and acknowledgment of who He actually is.
- At the same time, Jesus asserts that, while personal, and accurate recognition and acknowledgement of who He actually is ultimately comes from God.
- Jesus confidently promises that, upon this—the revealing and confessing of accurate identity of the Christ—He will build His church.
-- it’s yet future (at this time in Jesus’ life)
-- it’s as good as Jesus’ word (that is, it’s guaranteed)
-- it’s a new sort of entity (that, by implication, includes confessors)
-- it’s His (it belongs to Him)
-- it’s to be built
-- it’s to be built by Jesus
-- it’s to be built on the revealed and confessed identity of Jesus Christ
-- it’s a singular entity
-- it’s unstoppable
-- it’s lead by those who have been granted a measure of authority
So, the church…
…isn’t a single human
…doesn’t have an active purpose, per se
…isn’t the same as the kingdom (but is related to it)
…doesn’t hinge on a single human (other than Jesus Christ)
Jesus indicates that His identity—and, by implication, His promise of building His church—is inseparably related also to His suffering, death, and resurrection.
Jesus further makes it clear that anyone—including Peter, and, by implication, any future confessors of His accurate identity—who aims to follow Him, must actually follow His manner of life.
This passage reveals the first clear indication of Jesus’ plan for His church.
This passage also indicates the significance of the church to Jesus’ plans, as it relates to both His impending death and resurrection and His desire for His current and future followers.
The Significance of the Church
Who is Jesus Christ…in relation to God’s plan?
What is the church…in relation to Jesus’ plan?
The Bible doesn’t say that…
…Jesus will build __________ (Matthew 16:18), or
…He purchased __________ with His blood (Acts 20:28), or
…He has become the Chief Shepherd of __________ (1 Peter 5:4), or
…He is waiting, as the Groom, to receive __________ as His Bride (Ephesians 5:25-27), or
…He will destroy you if you destroy __________ (1 Corinthians 3:17)