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David Platt Kicks Off Verge 2013

March 6, 2013

The 2013 Verge conference started off with a bang. After the Austin Stone Worship band led us in worship, David Platt quietly walked on the stage.  Platt would set the tone for the entire two days. He reminded us of the urgency of Christ’s commands. The theme of his message was similar to the one he gave at the 2012 Verge conference. He warned us that there are a whole lot of people who believe they are Christians but don’t really understand the meaning of the word and haven’t counted the cost. Culturally they call themselves Christians, but “Biblically they are not.”

I took notes throughout the two days. I will release them in several blog posts. Below are my notes from David Platt’s sermon.

David Platt, pastor of the Church of Brook Hills

Platt started by pointing out that when you know Christ, everything changes in your life. Everything changes when you follow this King. He wants us to consider the question, what does it mean to be a disciple of Christ.

After studying Matthew he believes that we can get a very good portrait of Christ in the first four chapters of this gospel.

Savior, Messiah, Son of David, Son of Abraham, center of history, fully human, fully divine, sovereign over the wise, shepherd over the weak, inaugurating a new exodus, He will end our exile, loves His fiercest enemies (sinners like you and me), Savior King, righteous Judge, filled with God the Spirit, Jesus is loved by God the Father, new Adam (doesn’t fall to satan’s temptations), true Israel (faithful and obedient Son who passed the temptation), Light of the world, the Hope for all nations not just Israel.

He then asked and answered the question, what does it mean to follow Jesus?

1. Live with radical abandonment for His Glory.
He reminded us that when Jesus’ disciples chose to follow Jesus, they followed Him with nothing in their hands. In Jesus’ day it was common to follow a “teacher” to step up the ladder. But not this teacher. With this teacher they would lose it all. Christ made it clear. If they followed Him, they must deny themselves. When we decide to follow Christ, comfort and certainty in this world are no longer our concerns. Followers of Christ do not bow down at the alter of safety.

2. Live with joyful dependence on His grace.
Jesus did not call the disciples because they had a lot to offer. We are all sinners, rebels to the core, running from God. The stunning reality is that Jesus is running after us.  Nothing in the Christian faith is born out of our merit.

3. Live with faithful adherence to His person. Christ said, follow Me. I’m the path, I’m the way.

4. Live with urgent obedience to His mission. He stated follow Me and I will make you fishers of men. This is not optional. Followers of Christ will make disciples. We’ve misunderstood what it means to be a follower of Christ. If we fully understood the meaning, we wouldn’t have to be cajoled to go make disciples. No one could hold us back.  The cost of non-discipleship is greater. Many people who call themselves Christians are deceived sitting in churches.

David Platt speaks with such authority and humility, a rare combination. I am always challenged when I read or listen to his words.

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