5-Fold Church- Discipleship
Strong and Courageous
January 25, 2019
We are continuing our series on the five aspects present in a healthy local church. Today our topic is discipleship.
The very word discipleship is often misunderstood within Christian circles. If I were to take a poll of believers and asked them what they thought the term discipleship meant, I would most likely get a wide variance in their responses. For our discussion, I would like to look at the 28th chapter of the book of Matthew to help us define what the term looks like. In the great commission, Jesus gives instructions just before he ascended into heaven.
Verses 19 and 20 say, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Within this scripture, we see three distinct things that represent discipleship. They are
1) Being teachable.
2) Being obedient.
3) Abiding in relationship with our savior.
Concerning Being Teachable- This involves more than just showing up for Sunday Morning service… Yes there is teaching taking place, but true discipleship entails a desire to be in God’s word more often than one day per week.
One complaint that is brought forward by international believers is that the U.S. has such an abundance of available scripture, yet many American Christians are illiterate of much of the bible has to say.
Our Church has been intentional about our community groups offering a chance for us to be involved in learning the Bible through Chronological Bible Story telling. Not everyone loves to read, so this environment provides a good alternative to be actively involved in learning about Jesus in a practical way. My desire is to see many more people at the River Center being committed to this process.
Concerning Obedience- This is all about Kingdom business. We as Christians are living stones in the house of God. The Sermon on the Mount starting in Matthew Chapter 5 gives us a great place to start to understand what this obedience looks like. R.C. Sproul describes the Sermon on the Mount as follows: “Above all, the sermon describes life in God’s Kingdom, that place where God’s people embrace His rule. It is given to Jesus’ disciples, making it a guide for life in the believing community- the church.” John Calvin described this sermon as “the leading points of the doctrine of Christ relating to a devout and holy life.”
The very first line in the sermon states, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Sproul elaborates on the term poor in spirit by saying “In this context, Jesus is basically saying that only those who do not try to rely on their own goodness will be granted entrance into God’s kingdom. It is not an appeal to deny our worth as human beings, but to recognize our sin and desperate need for salvation.”
Concerning Relationship- 1st John 1: 7-9 states, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” There is no other relationship more important in life than our connection with King Jesus. No skeptic could ever derail us from our faith, if this dynamic relationship of trust is in place.
1st Timothy 1:15 says “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” This is the foundation of our hope and trust in Jesus. He came to rescue us from sin and destruction. Praise the Lord!