DISCIPLESHIP WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
Please respond to the above, if there is something you don’t understand or disagree with, talk to me ok? God bless you.
It seems to me that the Holy Spirit gives a special burden and passion about a particular truth, to many ministries. In hindsight from a very young man I had a burden to disciple new believers. I could not articulate it, nor really knew how to go about it, and for years stumbled along doing the best I could. Until I heard Pastor Frank Damazio teach from John 21:15-17 and explain the meaning of the word “feed” (Bosko) in verses 15 & 17. This started to change my life, and has become the burden and passion of my life to be a Discipler.
Just this week I read a statement by the late Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the author of “The Cost of Discipleship” who was murdered by the Nazis just days before the end of world war 2.
CHRISTIANITY WITHOUT DISCIPLESHIP IS ALWAYS CHRISTIANITY WITHOUT CHRIST.
I had to read the statement through a number of times before I fully comprehended what he was meaning.
DISCIPLESHIP IS ALL WRAPPED UP IN THE GREAT COMMISSION, which is recorded in all the 4 Gospels and the Book of Acts, the most well-known verses are:
Matt. 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.
Throughout the many generations since the birth of the Church there have been many definitions and interpretations on what Jesus meant when He said go and make disciples.
Everyone at least seems to agree that we must make disciples, but it is the “HOW” that is the challenge. Sadly, the end result can be literally no real discipleship.
We are living in a generation of what Bonhoeffer calls “cheap grace” where there is no real repentance, no life change, no character development. I have been misinterpreted in the past when I have said there is nothing magical about the “Sinner’s Prayer”. The Bible tells us we are saved by grace, it is the Holy Spirit that convicts us of sin, He draws us to Jesus and gives us the grace to repent. But, going forward in a Gospel Service and praying certain words, does not automatically conclude that the person is born again.
THIS IS WHEN THE DISCIPLESHIP PROCESS MUST BEGIN
The Discipler must seek to find out if the “incorruptible seed” 1 Peter 1:23 has entered into the spiritual womb of the new believer, and see that he has assurance of sin’s forgiven (1 John 5:23).
Then the journey can really begin for the new believer. I have no problem with a “New Christian’s Class”, but there MUST be the Bosko component, that is the discipler walking with the new disciple into maturity and where the disciple himself becomes a disciplemaker. This can actually happen in a short time 6-9 months if there is the one on one component.
One of the great challenges the 21st century church has in Australia is there are probably 1000’s of people attending churches, they have prayed the “sinner’s prayer” but no discipleship, no assurance of sins forgiven, no life change, what is not helping them is they see professing Christians swearing, drinking alcohol to excess, and assume this is ok, sadly this is cheap grace. Let me remind you of that awesome statement:
GRACE IS NOT SIMPLY LENIENCY WHEN WE HAVE SINNED, GRACE IS THE ENABLING GIFT OF GOD NOT TO SIN.
SO LET US BIBLICALLY DISCIPLE NEW CHRISTIANS AMEN.
I trust Bonhoeffer’s statement and my comments have challenged you to seriously think about some things like:
Have I ever been really discipled?
Do I know (without a doubt) I am born again and on my way to heaven?
Do I seek to live a victorious holy pure life ?
Do I really know what the inheritance is that is mine through the Lord Jesus Christ now?
Do I have a love for the lost?
Do I in some way seek to witness to my faith?
Am I fulfilling the great Commission?
I feel we are living in the last generation before Jesus returns for His Church which will be without spot, or blemish or wrinkle. Let us not be tempted to compromise and go along with the crowd, but by the grace God, be all we can be through Christ’s death and resurrection.
If there are things above that you need clarification or, or you disagree, please talk to me. God bless you.