February 25, 2021
This week in our Bible study, “ To be a Disciple of Christ,” we are going to look at suffering. Are there consequences for being a disciple of Christ? Is there suffering as a disciple and if so how do I deal with the suffering? First:
ARE THERE CONSEQUENCES FOR BEING A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST?
Timothy answers this question for us in his epistle of 2 Timothy.
2 Tim. 3:12-14, 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them
Do you remember last week we covered the “Great Commision” in Matthew 28: 18-20 when Jesus told His disciples to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations? In Matt. 10:16 Jesus told his disciples, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves”. The rest of chapter 10 (verses 17-43) in Matthew, shows how family members will turn on each other and the world will hate you. Matt. 10:22, 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
John 15:18, 18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.
(1 John 3:10-14, John 7:7)
Knowing the reaction of the world towards Jesus Christ and Christianity, how does that affect your stand or walk with the Lord?
What assurances do you have if you feel the hate of the world falling upon you? (John 16:33; 1John 5:4-5, 1John 4:4)
IS SUFFERING A CONSEQUENCE OF DISCIPLESHIP IN CHRIST?
Remember the Scripture John 15:20 when Jesus said, “If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you”? That’s a pretty big clue that we will endure suffering as disciples of Christ!
Peter tells us in his epistle: 1Peter 4:12-15, 12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
The Lord tells Ananias about Saul (Paul) in: Acts 9:15-16, 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
How has your suffering or fear of suffering affected your relationship with Christ?
We are told in many scriptures how to deal with our suffering. For example in Romans 8:18, 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
In the book of Act, Luke states in Acts 5:40-42, 40 And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Suffering is just a part of being one with Christ. Christ was our suffering servant. He suffered more than any other human being and He did it for you and for me! Suffering doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it can also be good. Christ’s suffering brought us salvation and eternal life. Paul and Silas were beaten, put in stocks and thrown in prison yet they were singing hymns and praising God. We saw disciples earlier rejoicing at their suffering. How we endure suffering is a witness to the Lord.
Jesus said in Matt. 5:10, 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Phil 3:7-11, Phil 1:27-29, 2 Cor 4:7-12)
In what ways can you see your suffering enhancing your relationship with Jesus Christ?
Titus 2:11-15, 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. 15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.
1). USING OUR SUFFERING TO HELP OTHERS
2). REJOICING AS A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST (THE PERKS)