The Lesson of Discipleship and the Cost Involved

Bible Book: Matthew  5 : 1-16
Subject: Discipleship
Series: Discipleship

In “Becoming A Christ-Centered Disciple-Making Church” Let’s Consider...

“1. The Lesson Of Discipleship And The Cost Involved”

Text: Matthew 5:1-16; 6:19-34

Theme – Purpose - Introduction

Theme: Today we begin a series of sermons on “Becoming A Christ-Centered, Disciple-Making Church.” Our study cannot be exhaustive, but we do want to consider a few things that are clearly recognizable as principles of discipleship. While there is no single passage that comprehensively deals with discipleship principles, we do find a great source of relevant instruction in what has been called the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5 thru 7. The first four sermons of this series will emphasize “The Lesson Of Discipleship” from this section of scripture, and today we’re dealing with “The Cost Involved.”

Purpose: What does it cost to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? What is required? The objective in this sermon is to emphasize three tools that are found with equal certainty within every person who comes to Jesus as a disciple. In order to be effective, these tools must be handed over to the Carpenter of Nazareth as He builds His church.

Introduction: When it comes to home maintenance and repair, I am not very handy at all. My Dad, on the other hand, seems to have no limit in his ability to fix things; so over the years, whenever my parents have come to visit, I’ve had a list of projects with which I needed Dad’s “help.” The first thing Dad always does is determine what tools are needed and what it will take to complete the task at hand. The first thing I always do is retrieve my little bag (no box for me) of tools for Dad to use.

In our text, a similar scene unfolds. When Jesus’ “disciples came unto Him” in Matthew 5:1 and as “He opened his mouth, and taught them” (vs. 2), He began by explaining to them some of the tools that would be needed in His building project.

Main Message

A. Being A Disciple Involves Our Will

G. Campbell Morgan wrote that a preacher “may travel along the line of the emotions, but he is after the will.” This was Jesus’ motive in the “Beatitudes.” He referred to the “poor in spirit” (vs. 3), “they that mourn” (vs. 4), and “the meek” (vs. 5) and thus emphasized those whose will is surrendered in a spirit of humility. Those that “hunger and thirst after righteousness” (vs. 6), “the merciful” (vs. 7), and “the pure in heart” (vs. 8) are those whose will is surrendered in holiness. “The peacemakers” (vs. 9) and the “persecuted” (vs. 10-12) have surrendered their will to God in order to pursue harmony with their fellow man. And “blessed” are all whose will is thus surrendered to God!

B. Being A Disciple Involves Our Witness

Let’s consider the impact of the Christian witness. Jesus said that we are “the salt of the earth” (vs. 13). As salt, we make people thirsty for the gospel, and we serve as a preservative from corruption. Pliny the Elder said, “A civilized life is impossible without salt.” Let’s also consider the illumination of the Christian witness, for we are also “the light of the world” (vs. 14-15). Matthew Henry said, “The world sat in darkness; Christ raised up his disciples to shine in it.” Then let’s not underestimate the importance of the Christian witness, for Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (vs. 16). Our witness ultimately brings glory to God!

C. Being A Disciple Involves Our Wealth

Let’s look ahead to Matthew 6:19-34 where Christ first speaks of our treasure. What did Jesus mean when He said, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (vs. 20)? Warren Wiersbe wrote, “It means to use all that we have for the glory of God.” Then Christ described wealth as a taskmaster. When it comes to the proper use of finances, who is your master: God or greed? “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (vs. 24). In verses 25 thru 34 Jesus magnified that our relationship with finances needs to be a relationship of trust towards God. As a disciple of Christ, we cannot be consumed with money and material possessions, but we must “seek... first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness” (vs. 33).


This analogy of building is not a foreign concept in the scriptural context. For a moment, let’s fast forward to the end of the “Sermon on the Mount.” In Matthew 7:24-25 the Lord said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”

Do you want to be a disciple who can stand in the midst of the floods of adversity and the winds of trouble? If so, you must hand over your tools and resources (all that you are and all that you possess) to the Master carpenter – the Lord Jesus, and you must follow the blueprint of His word. That is the cost involved in being a disciple.