Lesson 15 Making Disciples – Our Highest Calling
Making Disciples – Our Highest Calling
What is our purpose for living?
Matthew 28:19-20: God has given us many callings in life. He wants us to rear our children, help the needy, be encouragers for one another, love our spouses, etc. But none of these is our primary purpose for living. The primary purpose we are left on this earth is to turn more people back to God; to make disciples.
How can I fulfill this calling?
A. Acts 13:2, 3 and 1 Corinthians 9:13-14: We help make disciples when we support financially those who make disciples full time for the good of all people. (Other passages - Galatians 6:6-10; Philippians 4:10-20; Titus 3:12-14)
Note: In the Old Testament God required a tenth of all his people’s income to go to the temple in order to support the “word spreading” ministry. In a sense, it was a religious tax from the mosaic law. In the New Testament God tells us to give proportionately from what he has given us (2 Corinthians 8:10-15). One tenth is a good rule of thumb. Many of us American Christians could give an even greater percentage! Whatever we give, it ought to be a regular part of our devotion to Christ and to be given thoughtfully and cheerfully. (See 2 Corinthians 5:8-9).
Where does my money go when I give to God at Holy Word Lutheran Church?
12% to support gospel ministry
by WELS all over the world
Note: See back page for the ways in which the 12% is used on Synod level.
B. 1 Peter 3:15: We help make disciples when we learn how to tell others about Jesus in our families, neighborhoods, jobs and community.
How should I go about telling others about Jesus?
*There is not just one way to witness for Christ. But below you will find one way it can be done effectively.
GOD’S GREAT EXCHANGE
(ONE WAY TO TELL A FRIEND ABOUT THE SAVIOR)
Our greatest need: to be in the right relationship with God. Are you?
Two questions that can help answer that question for you:
- If you were to die tonight, are you sure you would have eternal peace? (Wait for answer)
If yes reply, “What is it that makes you so certain?” Or, “Let me put it another way.” (then immediately ask the second question)
I no or uncertain, reply “What is it that makes you so uncertain?” Or, “Let me put it another way.” (then immediately ask the second question)
- If you were to die tonight and stand before God, and he were to ask you, “Why should I let you into My heaven?” what would you tell him?
(If the response to these two questions indicates an uncertainty about eternal life and/or a reliance upon works for salvation, you may then say, “From what you have answered it would appear that you may not be in a right relationship with God. If you were, you would be certain of eternal life. God wants us to have that certainty. Could I tell you about GOD’S GREAT EXCHANGE which shows how to get into a right relationship with God?”)
Whatever the situation, the problem will be solved (or you’ll be given the ability to cope with it) when you are in a right relationship with God. This is our greatest need. How can you tell if you are in a right relationship with God? Let me tell you about GOD’S GREAT EXCHANGE:
WHAT GOD DEMANDS
- For a person to be in a right relationship with God he must be holy and have no sin.
Leviticus 19:2 - “Be holy because I, the Lord your God am holy.”
Luke 10:28 – “Do this (love God and your neighbor perfectly and you will live.”
Draw the following on a piece of paper:
WHAT GOD SEES
- God demands that he see no sins, that he see only holiness. But what does he see?
a. Looking at us, he sees people who lack holiness, people who are sinners.
Romans 3:23 – “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
b. He sees people who are deserving of death, not life.
Isaiah 59:2 – “Your iniquities have separated you from God.
Romans 6:23 – “The wages of sin is death.”
Draw on a piece of paper:
- What can we do about this?
a. You might think, “Guess I’ll have to try harder.” (ladder illustration) But that won’t remove sin or make you perfectly holy, will it?
b. Or you might determine to make up for every sin with a good deed (scale illustration)
c. Or, you might think, ”I’m not perfect, but at least I’m better than many others.” (comparison ilkustration) But God expects you to compare yourself to him and his perfect holiness.
d. All such self-help efforts are doomed to failure.
Draw on a piece of paper:
- Only God has the remedy. His remedy my be called GOD’S GREAT EXCHANGE.
a. He sent his only Son into the world to become one of us.
b. His Son lived a perfect holy life – in our place.
c. His Son dies on a cross, paying the wages of sin in our place; for “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) (Here bring out the meaning of “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” and “it is finished.”)
d. His on rose from the grave, guaranteeing our redemption:
Romans 4:25 – “He . . . was raised to life for our justification.”
e. God has credited the perfect life of Jesus and his death for sin to our account:
2 Corinthians 5:21 – “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
f. The result: we have the holiness (Jesus’ holiness) and the removal of sin we need for life. What God requires of us – holiness and sinlessness – God gives to us.
Draw on a piece of paper:
GOD’S GREAT EXCHANGE
5. This new life is yours as a gift.
a. Romans 6:23 – “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
b. God invites you: Acts 16:31 – “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (put your trust and confidence in him as the One who lived a holy life and died for sin in your place) and you will be saved.”
BLESSINGS THAT FOLLOW
6. Once you are in a proper relationship with godmthrough Jesus Christ, then many spiritual blessings from God are yours, such as:
a. Eternal life in heaven
John 3:16 – “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
b. New life right now
John 3:36 – “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life”
c. Freedom from guilt
Psalm 103:12 – “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
d. The “fruit of the Spirit”
Galatians 5:22, 23 – “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
e. Power for godly living
Galatians 2:20 - “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
f. Answers to prayer
Psalm 50:15 – “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you.”
g. Guidance for your daily life
Psalm 119:105 – “Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path.”
h. Strengthening fellowship of other believers
Ephesians 2:19 – “You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.”
i. Assurance of God’s love in every situation
Romans 8:28 – “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.”
While speaking, draw this on a piece of paper:
7. Since faith in Christ and new life in him comes and grows through the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23; 2:2), you need to stay close to God’s Word.
(Here give specific opportunities to do so – worship services and Bible class attendance, Adult Instruction Class, etc. Seek to get the individual committed to a specific course of action – enrollment in the Adult Instruction Class, church attendance next Sunday, etc.
Then continue in prayer for the person and e-visit as necessary.)
If the world were a village of 1,000 people . . .
If the world were a village of 1,000 people, it would include:
• 584 Asians
• 124 Africans
• 95 East and West Europeans
• 84 Latin Americans
• 55 Soviets (including for the moment Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, and other national groups)
• 52 North Americans
• 6 Australians and New Zealanders
The people of the village have considerable difficulty in communicating:
• 165 people speak Mandarin
• 85 English
• 83 Hindu / Urdu
• 64 Spanish
• 58 Russian
• 37 Arabic
That list accounts for the mother tongues of only half the villages. The other half speak (in descending order of frequency) Bengali, Portuguese, Indonesian, Japanese, German, French and 200 other languages.
In this village of 1, 000 there are:
• 329 Christians (among them 187 Catholics, 84 Protestants, 31 Orthodox)
• 178 Moslems
• 167 “non-religious”
• 132 Hindus
• 60 Buddhists
• 45 atheists
• 3 Jews
• 86 all other religions