As we begin 2014, MorningStar is taking a month to examine the key teachings of Jesus to the church that are to define who we are and how we live in this world. This first message looks at Matthew 28:18-20, the Great Commission, seeking to understand and act upon Jesus words to go and make disciples.
We live in a world that determines the greatness of a person by the number of people that serve them. However, D. L. Moody once said, “The measure of a man is not how many servants he has, but how many men he serves.” Moody’s words are a great summation of the message of the Gospel of Mark. Jesus shares the original version of this quote in Mark 10:45, setting the tone for His entire ministry and the lives of those who are His followers. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are here to serve not to be served with the intent of integrating the gospel into every area of our lives. The message of Mark 10:45 is that properly oriented hearts serve like our Savior, Jesus Christ.
“Christian” seems to be a word that gets thrown around a lot these days. It seems as though everyone thinks they’re a Christian today and at the same time everyone wants nothing to do with the term. We find the word planted in front of everything from our nation to music to amusement parks. But what does it really mean to call ourselves “Christian”? Is there any clear answer out there to this question? What does the Bible have to say, if anything, about it? Though the word “Christian” is found only three times in the New Testament the Bible has a great deal to say about what it really means to call ourselves “Christian.” If we claim that title as our own then it means we are a wholehearted follower of Jesus Christ completely devoted to His will and seeking to please Him above all else. Time and again the New Testament affirms this through the use of the most frequently used phrase designating followers of Jesus Christ: doulos of God or of Christ. This series will take a look at that phrase and its implications for our day to day lives.
When Jesus invited people to be His followers of disciples, what exactly did He mean, and how did those who were His earliest followers understand His request and live it out? A survey of the New Testament reveals many terms and phrases that identify followers of Jesus Christ and each helps us understand what it means to be a Christian. Yet, one metaphor is used more frequently than any other. It is doulos of God or of Christ. As we look at the meaning of this phrase and how early followers of Jesus applied it to themselves it becomes clear what it means to be a Christian. To be a Christian demands that I devote myself completely to Christ as His slave.