Foreword on “The Lifestyle of a Disciple”

The Lifestyle of a Disciple is a study of Matthew 6-7, the teaching commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount. It follows The Making of a Disciple, which is a study of Matthew 5. The Sermon on the Mount is, in essence, an explanation of Matthew 5:17, the scripture in which Jesus spoke of fulfilling (explaining) the Law. In these three chapters, we see God’s heart and intentions behind the laws He gave to His people in the old covenant.

The Sermon on the Mount is about God’s righteousness manifested through human lives. It is an explanation of what God expects of His new covenant people. We who have embraced Jesus’ salvation need to know what He requires of us! It is important that we learn this material in our training as the Lord’s disciples. In order to share in the benefits of our Father’s family and kingdom, we must also share in His nature. We must learn to conduct ourselves in ways that please Him.

In Hebrews 12:10, we are told that God, as a loving Father, disciplines us for our good so that we may share His holiness with Him. What a wonderful promise! As we yield to God’s training and discipline, we will eventually look just like Him! We will love what He loves and hate what He hates. His values will become our values, and His priorities, our priorities. We will not only belong to Him, we will also look and act like we belong to Him!

1 John 3:1-2 says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the sons of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

The Lifestyle of a Disciple is most beneficial when used as discipleship material for a small group of people. Meeting weekly to go over the exercises, to quote the memory verses, and to have corporate prayer times is as important as receiving the Bible teaching. In addition to the increase of Biblical knowledge and spiritual insights, the group gathering yields the opportunity for personal growth in accountability. It provides a supportive prayer group and a safe place where victories and struggles can be shared.

This study on the Sermon on the Mount can be used as a continuation of the “:Go and Make Disciples...” material or can be used independently. The manuals and study guides together comprise a one-year curriculum for growth into the character and conduct of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our prayer is that the Lord will lead you into all truth and conform you into His own image as you embrace His Word through these sessions. As you hear and read the Scriptures, be careful to be a doer of the Word, not merely a hearer. May God’s Word accomplish that which He pleases in each of you!