Dare to Disciple

Discipleship

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:18-20

If Jesus had disciples (which he did), it is safe to say that we should do the same. As a matter of fact, God tells us that the first step to knowing Him personally is to become a disciple of Christ Jesus. If we fail to become disciples of Christ, we will fail to point back to the Father.  If we fail to point back to the Father, we will fail when we disciple another.   True discipleship always comes back to the God the Father.  Discipleship is about the teacher directing everything back to the Father so that the disciple can grow in knowledge and understanding of all things.

While Discipleship is unlike evangelism, it remains a spiritual discipline that the church struggles to capitalize on. We must remember that discipleship and evangelism are principles that God calls everyone to take part in (see Matthew 28 above). A disciple of Christ is someone who receives the teaching of God and communicates it into another. In the process of discipleship both the teacher and disciple are taught by God’s Word. It is a two way street when knowledge of God is continually gained.  Both teacher and student are being conformed to the image of God as He gives instruction and guidance through the Holy Spirit.

It’s a beautiful thing when discipleship is properly instrumented.

Like I stated before, in order to disciple someone effectively, you must first be willing to be a disciple yourself. Here are some steps to becoming a disciple of the Lord Jesus:

  • Giving up Control: Total commitment to God means we must give up control. We must surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and let the Holy Spirit lead us in the direction we need to go. Pray, “Not my will but Yours,” in all things.  As you seek God’s will, you also must be willing to obey it.
  • Destroy Yourself: To experience the awesome power of the Holy Spirit you must release your daily life to Christ.  Ask God to help you decrease so that He can increase. The goal of a disciple is to understand that his or her daily life is no longer about them, but about Christ who lives in them.
  • Stay the Course: Consistency is key. While we may stumble and fall (look at the life of Peter), God remains focused on those who remain focused on Him.  If you want to walk on water, you have to take steps toward Christ while keeping your eyes on Him.
  • Become a Student of the Word: Set aside time daily to learn Scripture.  Study doctrine and theology.  Study biblical principles and concepts so you know fluently what you will teach another.

A mastery of these principles will never occur, however, the principles above can be obtained effectively with patience and consistency.  When you have been discipled by someone who feels they have taken you as far as they can go, it is time for you to seek another more mature in the faith while seeking someone whom you can disciple yourself.  The process is ongoing and constant as we are all working to build up the kingdom of God and grow in the faith.

Remember, “more is caught than taught.” Just as children learn from instruction, they will always learn more by watching the teacher. Our teacher is, and always will be, Christ first. The disciples heard many good sermons from Christ but the times they truly seemed to “get it” took place in the action steps. Disciples must consistently and constantly live out what they teach so that all the glory will go to God alone.

Evangelism gets the Word of God out to those who have not heard and plants seeds for harvest. Discipleship trims the tree that came from the seed allowing more growth to occur.

What do you think?

-Jordan

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