THE DISCIPLE’S CALLING – Fred Henry

THE DISCIPLE’S CALLING
2 Peter 1:1-4
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:  Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be glory both now and forever!  Amen.
2 Pierre 1:1-4
Simon Pierre, serviteur et apôtre de Jésus-Christ, salue ceux qui ont reçu le même privilège que nous: la foi. Ils la doivent à Jésus-Christ, notre Dieu et notre Sauveur, a accordé, car il est juste.  Que la grâce et la paix vous soient données en abondance par la connaissance de Dieu et de Jésus, notre Seigneur.  Par sa puissance, en effet, Dieu nous a donné tout ce qu’il faut pour vivre dans l’attachement au Seigneur, en nous faisant connaître celui qui nous a appelés par la manifestation de sa propre gloire et l’intervention de sa force.  Ainsi, nous bénéficions des dons infiniment précieux que Dieu nous avait promis. Il a voulu, par ces dons, vous rendre conformes à ce que Dieu est, vous qui avez fui la corruption que les mauvais désirs font régner dans ce monde.
2 Pierre 3:18
Au contraire, progressez sans cesse dans la grâce et dans la connaissance de notre Seigneur et Sauveur Jésus-Christ.  A lui soit la gloire dès maintenant et pour l’éternité.  Amen.

PRAYER:  Hear Jesus’ call to follow him in a life-time journey of growing in the grace and knowledge of God … for your glory and your kingdom’s sake … for our good!

Story of Jesus’ coming
The story of Jesus Christ is the story of how he came to earth
to make it possible for us to be related to the living God in a growing way.

As Jesus began his earthly ministry he called people to follow him.
Those people are called “DISCIPLES”

“THE DISCIPLE’S CALLING” is the theme for my message from God’s word to us today.

One of those first disciples was Simon son of John …
Story of Simon Peter’s calling (2 Peter 1:1a)
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ.
Story began many years before when Jesus found them fishing and called them …
(Matthew 4:17-22; Luke 5:1-11)
– “Follow me” – be with Jesus … become like Jesus – LIFE FORMATION
Not just a momentary decision, but a lifetime process.
We call that process “DISCIPLESHIP”
– “From now on you will be catching people” = “Engage others” – LIFE MISSION
– also a process!
We call that process “DISCIPLE-MAKING”
Near end of Jesus earthly life …
(Matthew 28:19)
Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
Years later – Peter wrote 2 Peter.

And many more years later, we are fruit of that calling …
Story of our calling (2 Peter 1:1b)
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ
have received a faith as precious as ours.
Like Peter … we are called by Jesus to a lifetime of …
Formation and Mission – BOTH!
Formation – “discipleship”
– A beginning in faith
– A life-time of growth
Mission – “disciple-making”
Formation part of Discipleship is about …
+ Relationship to God and others
+ Virtues/Life Qualities (2 Peter 1:3-11)
But before we get to that …
Today we focus on the disciple’s relationship to God – 3 RELATIONSHIPS/CALLINGS:

Each of us … CALLED TO BE A SERVANT OF GOD
Story of Jesus and first disciples’s argument about who would be greatest and first.
(Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 9:33-35)
Relationship
Creator and Creature
Lord and Servant
Ruler of the Kingdom of God and Citizen
Behavior – Bible instruction to us
Sacrifice and duty (Luke 17:7-10; Matthew 1:38)
Follow and obey (Psalm 103:20-21; John 12:26a)
Right and fair treatment of others who serve (Colossians 4:1)
Ministry of God’s Word (Jeremiah 26:5; Luje 1:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1; Philippians 1:1)
Cooperation (Isaiah 41:8)
Character development
Humility and true greatness – deal with pride (Matthew 20:20-28; John 13:3-17)
Promise
Father in heaven will honor and bless (John 12:26)
God will strengthen and uphold Isaiah (41:8-10)

CALLED TO BE A FRIEND OF GOD
(Story of Moses – Exodus 33, especially verse 11)
Relationship
Holy God and Estranged people
Friend to Friend
Behavior
Conversation (Exodus 33:11; Psalm 25:14)
Intercession (Job 16:20-21; Isaiah 41:8; Genesis 18:16-33; Matthew 11:19)
Faith and action (John 15:19-17; James 2:21-26)
Character
Love and intimacy (Job 29:4-6)
Promise
Joy (John 15:11)

CALLED TO BE A CHILD OF GOD
Story of Jesus as Son of God and son of man – glory of God and radiance of Jesus – ONE!
(John 1:14,18; Hebrews 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15; Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 17:1-5)
Relationship
Heavenly Father and Adopted children – all who receive Christ by faith are born anew         by the Holy Spirit (John 1:12-13; Romans 9:8)
Brothers and sisters of Christ … and with one another in Christ
ONE! – unity of heart, soul, will, mind, behavior
Behavior
Holy living (2 Corinthians 6:16-18; Revelation 21:5-8)
Be peacemakers – love your enemies (Matthew 5:9, 43-45)
Live by the Spirit (Romans 8:9-21; Galatians 3:23-29; 4:1-7
Accept discipline (Hebrews 12:4-7)
Live in community with one another (1 John; Acts 2: 40-47)
Character
Conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29)
Restored in the image and likeness of God our Creator
– “participate in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4)
Promise
Joy of COMMUNION with God and one another!
+ Renewed privilege of Relationship – “image of God” (Genesis 1:26a, 27)
+ Renewed privilege of Responsibility (Genesis 1:26b, 28) – heirs who                 reproduce and rule … now and forever!

I want to be a SERVANT of GOD! … FRIEND! … CHILD!
– Is there a priority? … order?  No, not 3 levels or stages of growth, but CALLINGS that work     together with JESUS AT THE CENTER!
(2 Peter 1:1-4; 3:18) – First and foremost the story of JESUS!
The story of Jesus Christ is the story of how he came to earth
to make it possible for us to be related to the living God in a growing way.