Sermon:  Fruit of Discipleship

Summary:  One of the most common words for Christians in the New Testament is
“disciple,” which means follower.  If we are followers of Christ, we will manifest the it
through abiding in the word, bearing fruit, and love.

Know:  Being a Christian is not about wearing the name, but about following Christ,
especially in bearing fruit

Feel:  The desire to be like more Christ

Do:  Reflect on the most prominent “fruit” in your life and whether it is a sign of discipleship
or not.  Determine what prevents the fruit from growing and multiplying in your life, and
what it would take to remove it and allow God to cause greater growth in your life.

Text:  John 8:31; John 15:5-9; John 13:34

Scripture Reading:  Luke 9:23-24

Meditation Scripture:  Luke 9:23-24

1.  Man took wife out hunting for deer, never seen one.  Brown, four legs
	a.  Have to watch out, some people take your deer
	b.  Split up, little later, gun shot, found wife pointing gun at man arm it air
	c.  “Okay, okay, you can have the deer, just let me get saddle off it”
2.  Certain things you need to recognize.  Do you recognize discipleship?
	a.  Disciple means follower
	b.  Most common word for Christians in the New Testament
	c.  We are called to be disciples
3.  A disciple of Christ is one that follows Christ, has specific traits
4.  Specific discipleship traits		

I.  Abide in the Word  (John 8:31)
	A.  Abide, Live or Remain in the word
		1.  ILL:  Kids playing. “Why is your grandma always reading her Bible?”  
		     “Shh, she is cramming for her finals”
	B.  Have to constantly read.
		1.  Cannot have a relationship with someone unless communicate
		2.  Pray to God, communicate to him.  Read Bible, let him communicate
		3.  James 1:21-24 - 
			-Word Implanted - (must germinate, become a part of you and grow)
			-Be doers and not just hearers (many scholars who are not believers)
	C.  ILL:  Mirror illustration - Look at mirror in the morning
	D.  Disciple outside of the word is like a fish out of water
		1.  Cannot survive outside your element
		2.  When astronauts went on moon, they brought their own oxygen.  They 
		     were out of their own element and could not survive outside of it.
		3.  We not of this world  (cannot survive out of our own element - the word)
		4.  Problem is that many of us are trying to survive without it
			-Many are spiritually gasping for air
			-Some have nearly passed otu spiritually

II.  Bear Fruit (John 15:5-9)
	A.  Bearing fruit is a proof of discipleship
	B.  What is fruit  (making mnore disciples?)
		1.  Fruit (singular) of the Spirit (Gal. 5:19)  (can’t have one without the other)
		2.  Fruits of repentance  (Mat 3:8)
		3.  Fruits of the Gospel (Rm. 1:13 ; Col. 1:6)
		4.  “know them by their fruit: (Mt. 7:16)
		5.  Conclusion:  Fruit is the outcome, or what is produced
	C.  ILL:  How can you tell an apple is an apple?  Look at it!  Taste it!
	D.  What sort of flavor do you leave in the mouths of the people around you
		1.  Do they taste love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, 
		      faithfulness, gentleness, self control?
		2.  Do you plant the gospel in their hearts so it can bear fruit in their lives?
		3.  You are known by your fruit!  What kind is it?

III. Love (John 13:34)
	A.  Jesus calls us to love one another
	B.  Text:
		1.  Christian love a new command 
			a.  The Law already said to love your neighbor as yourself
			b.  But Jesus said love one another “as I have loved you”
			c.  Did Jesus love us as he loved himself, NO, he loved us more
		2.  Christian love is selfless love (a virtue)
			a.  We sometimes say “I love apple pie....”
			b.  World says “I love you because...”(not big deal, can’t help but love)
			c.  Christian love says “I love you in spite of...” (conscious decision)
			d.  Christian love not based on being returned (Jesus loved this way)
		3.  Christian love is un-natural (actually it is supernatural)
			a.  “Agape” not hardly used outside of Bible
			b.  Most common word used in the New Testament for love
			c.  Conclusion is that there is something different about “agape”
			d.  Agape “un-natural” by worlds standards, because loving un-lovable
		4.  Christian love goes the distance
			a.  To many relationships today not based on agape love
			b.  Result are broken families, divorce, hatred, murder, etc.
			c.  ILL:  At camp, wrap up potatoes in tinfoil and throw them in the fire
				-If fake plastic ones, they will melt, smoke and stink
				-If real, become soft and delicious.  We even mashed them
				  together to make mashed potatoes.  So good.
			d.  Agape love like real potatoes, - Turn up heat, and even beat them
			     up, they don’t stink, they mash together into something pleasing.  
			e.  Adversity only serves to bring them closer together.
		5.  Christian love is in the Light
			a.  Used to think light meant clearer understand (way used in Engligh)
			b.  Always speak of eternal life in terms of length, (for-ever and ever)
				-If that’s what eternal life is, then living in hell is a form of 
				  eternal life
			b.  I John 2:11 - “The one who loves his brother abides in the light”
				-The quality of eternal life is LOVE
				-Walking in the light (I John 1:7) means also walking in love
				-I John 3:14 - “He who does not love abides in death”
	C.  ILL:  In Korea used to have blackouts
		-Get dark, would whisper, where are you, grab hands and be scared
		-Things were the same as before, but suddenly people felt alone, even in the 
		  company of others.
	D.  You cannot be a disciple and not love one another
		1.  How are you goin to express this mashed potatoe love
		2.  Not by being in the same potato sack, have to be heated and mashed 
		3.  Need to visit for visit’s sake (what do you want?  just to come and see 

1.  A disciple of Christ has distinct traits, these are only three
	a.  There should be no wondering what a disciple looks like
	b.  He is in the word, he acts on it and bears fruit, and he loves God and brethren
2.  Which trait challenges you the most?
	a.  Live in the word - Try a chapter a day, underline, write, share, talk about it
		- If not growing, maybe not in the word.  
		- Need to be implanted.  If implanted will.....
	b.  Bear Fruit - What does your fruit say?  How are you serving God?  Ministering?
	c.  Love - A true test of discipleship.  
3.  After all, God loved you so much that he gave you what is most precious to him - Jesus
	a.  Gospel
	b.  Invitation

Questions for Small Group Discussion