µ There was once this community surrounded by a dangerous seacoast. Many in the community were heartbroken over the countless lives that were lost each year. One day, enough was enough, and the community members decided they were going to be part of the solution. They built a small field house and donated funds to purchase a helicopter – it became known as the community’s first life-saving Rescue Station. Each week a few devoted community members volunteered their time and resources to focus on saving shipwrecked lives. After a while, multiple persons in the community became members of the station. It became the place to be. But, the field house was small and uncomfortable. So, the much larger group of members purchased cozy furniture, decorated beautifully, maxed out entertainment systems and open for parties and gatherings. In time, people were so enamored with the luxury field house that fewer members wanted to go on rescue missions. It became a social club rather than a rescue station.
- What’s the difference between a rescue station that doesn’t save lives and a church that has only a few members who participate in ministry and missions?
- This message will examine 3 ways to make disciples of Jesus.
EXAMINE Luke 5:1-11, 27-28; 6:12-16
Jesus made disciples through proclamation encounters (4:42 – 5:1-3)
Wherever Jesus traveled he is most often found teaching Scripture. In the previous verses, Jesus says this was imperative to his mission, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God…for I was sent for this purpose” (4:43). Likewise, before Jesus dies and ascends into Heaven, He commissions the disciples “this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations” (24:14) and the command to “teach others to observe all that I have commanded” (Matt 28:20). Luke says, “repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (24:47). In other words, the thrust of Jesus’ (and His followers) mission is to teach and preach – proclamation of – the gospel that He came, He lived, He died and He rose.
What is proclamation?
Proclamation is the telling of the gospel. The gospel was central the NT church and it spread like wildfire. As Christians and as a church, we must keep proclamation of the gospel at the forefront of what we do or we will lose our mission.
1Peter 3:15 “but in your hearts honor Christ as the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you”
Do you have to be a preacher to proclaim?
The majority of the miracles and proclamations of Jesus and the Apostles were actually outside the synagogue/church. The gospel is meant to be proclaimed in the marketplace of ideas and in community neighborhoods.
1 Peter 2:9-12 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you. Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do evil, they may, by observing your good works, glorify God in a day of visitation.”
ð Jesus preaches in Peter’s boat & business. Use your resources to further the spread of the gospel.
ð Ask God for opportunities to share the gospel and lead someone to saving faith.
Jesus made disciples through practice environments (5:4-8).
Jesus is drawing a crowd as he teaches. So many are surrounding Jesus that he decides to get into a boat. This move also helps project his voice, as sound waves move along the water. After Jesus’ teaching, he provides a living lesson for Peter and the disciples. Jesus tells Peter to cast the net into the water for a catch of fish. Ironically, Peter and his business partners had been fishing all net without a single catch. And these are professional fisherman – taking instructions from a preacher! But, because Peter has respect for Jesus he obeys. And when they do their catch is overwhelming, filling the boat to almost sinking it. Peter realizes his faith was weak and bows in humility toward Jesus. If he didn’t obey he would have missed the truth of Jesus’ teachings.
Teaching is meant for transformation. If what you learn about God does not impact the way you live your life then you are wasting your time. Christianity is more than academic knowledge of beliefs. The Christian faith is meant to be applied. Theological roots transform into spiritual fruit and godly practice.
James 2:22b, 26 “faith is completed by your works…for as the body apart from te spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”
2 Timothy 3:15-17: “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
ð ROOTS -> FRUIT;
- Peter didn’t feel like obeying but did anyways. Sometimes we have to act in contrary to our feelings in order to do what is right and beneficial for an eternal perspective. Emotion follows motion.
ð Each Sunday you should walk away asking, “So what? How can I apply what I heard today in Scripture?”
- Jesus said, “Do not give dogs what is holy and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you” (Matthew 7:6).
- Is there treasure and pearls that you are leaving in the church parking lot?
- TESTIMONY: Last week someone said they took away “I have found my New Year’s Resolution! Often times we turn to Jesus as a LAST resort in our times of need. He is so mighty and powerful that we need to start turning to him as our FIRST resort! He can make a huge difference in our lives if only we let Him (and have faith that He can and will answer our prayers). I’ve already started with it! Thanks for the reminder…”
ð Consider going on SENT 2012 Missions. This would be a tremendous environment to apply your faith.
- When we obey Jesus we can look forward to a multitude of blessing in our boats.
Jesus made disciples through partnership experiences (5:9-11; 5:27-28; 6:12-16)
After Jesus taught the crowd through proclamation and Peter through practice, he called other disciples. Jesus understood that discipleship best happens in groups. Learning happens in community and teamwork. Jesus called a group of men to “follow him” and be “fishers of men”. There were twelve apostles: Peter & Andrew, James & John, Philip & Batholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James & Simon [Nathanael] (the Zealot) and Judas [Thaddaeus] (son of James) and Judas Iscariot. These men were all different – fishermen, tax collectors, zealots…; yet the joined together under God’s grace for God’s glory to the good of humanity.
Once again, the best way to follow Jesus is not alone. God made you to be with others. The purpose and beauty of the church today is to remind us we have a partner. These disciples left everything to follow Jesus and they relied on each other, and ultimately in Jesus, to continue the path God marked for them.
ð Have spiritual partners to help you follow Jesus and be fishers of men.
“For the body does not consist of one member but of many” 1Cor 12:14
“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today’, that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13
How can you follow Jesus and be fishers of men?
ð Listen to the Fishing Expert – JESUS.
ð Bring a friend, fishing can be lonely – PARTNERS WITH OTHER BELIEVERS [BIBLE GROUP]
ð Go where the fish are – UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT AT CHURCH.
ð Use the right bait – SHARE THE GOSPEL
ð Be patient – TRUST GOD’S TIMING
ð Fish as if it was your livelihood – DON’T GIVE UP