• Download

“What Is a Disciple? Part 3”

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

We’re continuing our series called “What is a Disciple?” This week we are on our third and final sermon in this three-part series. Today’s sermon is called “Part 3.”

Remember, a disciple is a follower of Jesus. We want to know what it looks like and feels like to be a disciple at First Baptist Church Bartow.

Here’s what we learned about being a disciple thus far:

A disciple experiences spiritual growth.

A disciple is part of a big group.

A disciple is part of a small group.

A disciple participates in Christian fellowship.

A disciple will serve others.

There are two more aspects of a disciple that are on your card.

So, let’s learn about these other two aspects of being a disciple. Before we do, let’s go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to speak to us.


We spoke last week about the reality that a disciple will serve others.

You see, to be a disciple means to be others-focused. Well, in addition to serving others, we’re going to talk about two additional others-focused traits of being a disciple.

First, . . .

‌I. A disciple will reach others.

Followers of Jesus are to be about the business of reaching others with the love of Jesus.

From the very beginning of the ministry of Jesus, He was sending out His followers to reach others.

So, as we speak of discipleship, we should know that A disciple is always on mission.

Each and every day, each and every moment, we should ask ourselves how we can accomplish the mission of Jesus.

I like to explain it this way: we should always have our gospel radar on.

What does a radar do? A radar detects something when it is present, right? Whether it’s a speeding car, a vessel of sorts, bad weather, or whatever, a radar detects something.

So also, we should be on mission all the time, able to detect when there are opportunities to share the love of God with others, and share the explicit message of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.

As a reminder, the gospel message is that God is real and He is holy; we are sinners who are separated from God and doomed for eternal punishment; God showed His love to the world by sending His Son, Jesus, to live a holy life, die on the cross for sinners, defeat death and sin by rising from the dead, and ascend back into heaven to be with the Father; and we can be forgiven of our sin through trusting and following Jesus.

So, we should be ready to share the love of God and the message of God.

As we think about being on mission, we must never forget that Jesus commissioned us to go in Matthew 28:19–20. He said, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus also said in Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

We are to go. We are to be witnesses.

As we go, we must remember that A disciple is purposeful in sharing the gospel.

We’re not just to go and see what happens. We are to purposefully be on mission.

We are to go, we are to teach, we are to baptize, and we are to be witnesses. These are all purposeful actions.

Also, we are to be ready to share the gospel at all times.

The apostle Peter, one of Jesus’ first disciples, said in 1 Peter 3:15, “but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”

Jesus said in Matthew 5:14–16, “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

Brothers and sisters, are you ready to share the gospel message? Do you know the heart of the gospel?

Are you ready to be a light so that others may glorify God in heaven?

We have plenty of resources available for you to know the gospel and learn how to share the gospel.

We have gospel presentations on our invitation postcards. We have gospel presentations included in the front page of all of our curriculum books for small groups. We have several different sermons on our website that teach how to share the gospel (just go to “Resources,” then “Sermon by Series,” then “Sharing the Gospel”). You can listen carefully as I share the gospel every single Sunday in my preaching. We have numerous ways that you can prepare yourself to share the gospel.

A disciple should be prepared and ready to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. You and I should be prepared, and we should be purposeful in sharing the gospel.

We cannot be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ if we do not reach others.

A disciple will reach others.

Also, . . .

‌II. A disciple will develop others.

We mentioned this passage last week from Proverbs. Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another.”

So, we need each other to develop one another.

Now, we’ve already talked about a disciple being part of a small group, but this is something different. What we’re talking about here is more about getting into each other’s business and helping each other become more like Jesus on a more personal level.

Now, some of you may think, “Well, I’m not sure that I like that too much.” Well, do you want to grow as a disciple? If you do, you should welcome being developed by others.

Think about this for a moment. This reality of wanting to develop in a greater way is something we already know about in other arenas, right? Anglers and hunters will share tips and stories in order to become better anglers and hunters. Artists will observe other art, and perhaps learn from other artists so that they can develop into better artists. Preachers will learn from other preachers. Teachers will learn from other teachers. The trade industry will have apprentices who learn from master tradespeople.

The idea of someone learning and developing by spending intentional time with someone else is something that all of us know and understand. So, why should it be any different in the church?

In this sermon series, we’ve already read several verses that speak about developing each other.

Remember 1 Thessalonians 5:11 that says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.”

You may recall Hebrews 10:24, which says, “And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works.”

So, disciples should be about the business of developing one another.

As we speak about development, let’s first recognize that A disciple is being developed by other Christians.

We should all seek to be developed by other Christians. First of all, this is an act of humility. Further, God has designed us to be developed by other people.

Listen, none of us have totally arrived where we are super Christians or beyond spiritual growth.

I’m so grateful for godly men and women in our church, and in other parts of my life, who help me become more like Jesus.

There are those who inspire me to develop my prayer life. There are those who inspire me to develop my knowledge and memorization of Scripture. There are those who inspire me to be a better husband and father. There are those who inspire me to be active in sharing the gospel. There are those who inspire me to be more patient, or more wise, or more loving. There are those who inspire me to be more compassionate with others. There are those who inspire me to be a better pastor. There are those who inspire me to develop more as a Christian.

What about you? Do you have people like that in your life?

What’s cool is that when we submit ourselves to being developed by others, it is a sign of humility. It’s a recognition that we need other people and that we don’t have it all figured out.

Let me help you out on this one: You don’t have it all figured out, and neither do I. We need each other.

So, a disciple is developed by others.

So also, A disciple is developing other Christians.

You need to be developed by others, and you need to develop others.

No matter where you are in your Christian walk, you should think about how you can develop other Christians.

Listen, if you are a follower of Jesus, there are people who need you in their lives. God has designed the church to operate in such a way that other people are relying upon people like you to help them develop in their walk with Jesus.

Remember the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:25–27: “so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it.”

So, we were designed to suffer together and thrive together. We need each other, and we need to develop each other.

So, I ask you, brother or sister: Who are you developing? Who is developing you?

Now, you might say, “Pastor Matt, how do I even get started with this act of development?” Well, I’m glad you asked!

Here are a few suggestions on how you can be developed or develop others:

Reach out to someone in your small group for intentional pouring into one another outside of Sunday morning.

Join one of the several discipleship groups that we have. We call these D-groups.

Start a new D-group. We have 8-10 men trained in how to lead a D-group and dozens of women trained in D-groups.

Invite one or two people to a meal or coffee meeting to talk about life, talk about the Bible, and pray together. By the way, this should be done with someone who is the same gender as you and should not be done alone with minors. Part of being godly means being safe and wise.

Have intentional conversations, even in passing, where you offer to pray for someone or ask them how they’re doing in their walk with Jesus.

On a minimal level, you can call someone, text someone, email someone, or write someone a note to encourage them in their walk with Jesus.

Similarly, you can simply find someone who is spiritually mature and ask them a question about their faith. Ask them how they are so patient. Ask them how they are so kind. Ask them how they know the Bible so well. Seek to be developed by that person, even in a small way.

A disciple of Jesus should develop others.

That takes us to our bottom line for this entire series:

‌Bottom Line: Discipleship is intentional and important.

At First Baptist Church Bartow, we exist to develop disciples who love God, love the church, and love others.

We exist to develop disciples.

What does a developed disciple look like?

A disciple experiences spiritual growth.

A disciple is part of a big group.

A disciple is part of a small group.

A disciple participates in Christian fellowship.

A disciple will serve others.

A disciple will reach others.

A disciple will develop others.

This is our mission: to be disciples and to develop disciples.

Challenge yourself this week in this one way.

‌Weekly Challenge #1 – Consider where you stand as a disciple.

Ok, we’ve gone through the entire series. Where do you stand?

Take some time this week and consider where you stand as a disciple. Evaluate yourself.

Keep these cards and reflect upon them often. Church, we’re going to continue to seek to develop disciples. So, let’s do it together, starting with ourselves.

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER: The text contained in this sermon is solely owned by its author. The reproduction, or distribution of this message, or any portion of it, should include the author’s name. The author intends to provide free resources in order to inspire believers and to assist preachers and teachers in Kingdom work.