Text: 1 John 2:4-6

Text: 1 John 2:4-6 – To know that we are in Christ

4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Introduction: Each person here in this church has a future destiny, either heaven or hell. The evidence that you’ll be in heaven is if you are a child of God, or in another term, a Sheep of the Good Shepherd Jesus Christ. My question for you today is, “Are you a sheep or a goat?” We will go back to this later.

God’s Will is for us to be like Christ (1 John 2:4-6):

Many think that it is okay to remain a “baby Christian” for their whole lifetime. Spiritual growth by conforming to the likeness of Christ is not an optional extra for Christians. Growth is the evidence of life. If a tree is alive, it grows. If an animal is alive, it grows. If a Christian is spiritually, he or she must grow. If there is an absence of growth, then you are dead. “Being alive means growing, and growing means increasing and advancing.” 2 Corinthians 10:15; Eph 4:15; Col 1:10; 1 Thess 1:3; 1 Peter 2:2.

The way that led to the cross. Believers need not and cannot repeat Christ’s unique saving death, but they can mirror his faith, love, piety, obedience, and self-sacrifice, and this pattern of life will give greater assurance “that we are in him”

God’s Plan is for us to belong in Church Discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20):

The problem today is that churches are busier with church activities and fellowship without any emphasis on disciple-making. Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a Christian martyr during the Nazi period—said that a church without discipleship is problematic; it expresses cheap grace.

Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.

Discipleship means adherence to Christ and imitating Christ (Ephesians 5:1). Discipleship is not just another department in the church. Everyone is called to disciple someone.  “We treat the church as a welcoming TV show instead of a family that you are a part of.” – JD Greear

Meaning of “Disciple,” Greek translation μαθητεύω (mathéteuó) – 250 times, means to be the student or follower of someone (Christ); to follow his precepts and instruction; to be like the teacher. (Luke 6:40)

What is discipleship? The goal is to lead others to be like Christ. Why? Christ commanded us to go and make disciples. However, our mistake is that we make it “coming” instead of “going” (Matt. 28:19-20). We need to meet where people are. Another mistake is that we professionalize it. We only let church leaders or gifted people do discipleship. How did Paul discipled Timothy (2 Timothy 3:10-11)? How did Jesus disciple the Twelve Apostles? The answer is holistic—heart, mind, physical, and spiritual. In today’s terms, it is called mentoring.

God’s Desire is for us to be part of His Flock, His sheep: John 10:25-27, Sheep illustration:

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

By doing so, God separates us from the goats (Matthew 25:31-33). Explain why they are being separated.

  • Full of pride
  • Unforgiving and Unrighteous
  • Zero Evangelism
  • Despises Discipleship

Conclusion: Show the Video about Sheep being called by the Shepherd. Go back to the Introduction.


Pastor John Paul Arceno

UCBC New Jersey
August 6, 2023