Discipleship And The Resurrection
11 APRIL 2021 | TRADITIONAL SERVICE
REV DR TAN SOO INN
Scripture Passage: Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (VIDEO)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | There is a mistaken perception of a two-tier approach where a person can either be a convert by minimally praying the sinner’s prayer (Level one), or a disciple who is salt and light (Level two). Such a view has weakened the church. It had led many to believe that it is optional to follow Christ as a disciple, and many choose not to. Consequently, the impact of the church on society is not what it should be.
Scripture reminds us that it is a choice whether we want to follow Christ. The 11 disciples worshipped Jesus as God because of His resurrection, which is unique proof of His unique claim to be the Messiah. The resurrection is a key component of our Christian belief. Worshipping God involves surrendering our total selves unto Him. Christianity is not an easy faith. To follow Christ is, at some point, going to cost you. We are Christians not because it is easy, but because it is true. Jesus died and rose again. This gives credibility to His message and claims.
It is noted from the passage that some of the 11 doubted. It was not that they disbelieved, but some of them had questions because it was such a major paradigm shift from the Jewish belief in only one God. When believers at times grapple with doubts, the church need not feel threatened, but can allow space for questions too. God is big enough to entertain our questions.
The disciples were feeling guilty for deserting Christ at Calvary and it was Jesus who approached them with forgiveness (v18). Indeed going back to Galilee was an opportunity to start afresh. Galilee was where Jesus and His disciples first began their public ministry. Have there been times when we too failed big time and needed a fresh start? Christ offers us forgiveness and a fresh beginning when we return to Him. God is bigger than our failures. His grace is the last word.
Satan had tried to tempt Christ with all the kingdoms of the earth. But Jesus resisted and was obedient to the cross and resurrection. This gave Christ the authority over all of heaven and earth (v18). When we are tempted, let us remember that God ultimately wants to give us so much more, as He himself receives so much more.
If we believe that Jesus has all authority, then we must obey Him. As a follower of Christ, how do we respond to what God tells us to do? God’s heart is for all peoples so we are to make disciples of all nations (v19). The disciple begins his or her journey through water baptism. The disciple’s journey is one of learning and obeying the Word of God.
We are all disciples and learners being transformed to be like Christ. The Almighty God promises to always be with us, enabling us to be disciples and to make disciples. Let us, as a church, re-dedicate ourselves to the path of discipleship to follow Christ in His strength, and to make disciples of all nations/peoples.
(Sermon Notes by Denis Koh)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. Consider how God has spoken to you through this sermon What are 3 points that stood out for me in this sermon?
2. What are 2 questions (or things) that I struggled with?
3. What is the 1 promise that I may rest on, or 1 thing that I may do?