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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Thursday, August 29, 2002
Dear Colleagues,

PUTTING TRUE DISCIPLESHIP INTO PERSPECTIVE+

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Jesussaid, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matt. 28:18b-20)

True discipleship is:

 

  More about character transformation than the transmission of information. Some primary areas of focus are purity, integrity, holiness and humility. (Matt. 5:8; Psalm.101:2; Heb. 12:14; Phil. 2:1-11)

 

  A process that takes place within accountable relationships over a period of time for the purpose of bringing believers to spiritual maturity. (Jms. 5:16; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 1:27, 28; 2:2)

  A work of the Holy Spirit in which the discipler co-labors with God in modeling and giving out truth in a manner that guards against lifeless utilitarianism. (1 Jn. 2:20; I Cor. 3:2-9; 2 Tim. 3:10,11; Mk. 4:26-29 )

  About engaging the learner in a growing vital relationship with God that enables him to:

 

–  Walk in the light as He is in the light. (I John 1:7; Jn. 8:12; 12:35;Rom. 13:12; Eph. 5:8; 1 Jn. 2:9,10)

–  Do the will of the Father from the heart. (Matt. 7:21; Lk. 6:46; Jn. 4:34; Act. 20:24; 21:13,14)

–  Abide in Christ in a vine/branch relationship (Jn. 15:1-17)

–  Love others as Jesus loved. (Jn. 13:34,35;15:12,13,17; Rom. 12:10; Eph. 5:2; I Jn. 3:16-18)

–  Compassionately serve others. (Jn. 13:2-17; Matt. 9:36-38; Eph. 2:10; Gal. 6:9,10)

–  Exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in bearing much lasting fruit. (Gal. 5:22, 23; Jn. 15:8,16)

  About the mystery of two walking together; not primarily about replicable, transferable methods. Otherwise, discipleship is treated as a problem to be solved, rather than as a relationship to be lived. (Ecc. 4:9,10; Pro. 27:17; Act. 13:2; 20:4; 1 Cor. 12:18-21; 2 Tim. 2:2)

 

  Validated by radical submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of life. (Lk. 14:26-33)

 

  Also about meditation on the Scriptures, examination of conscience, fasting, participating in church life (including baptism and the Lords Supper), and works of mercy. (Josh. 1:8; 1 Tim. 3:9; Matt. 6:17; Act. 2:42; Heb. 10:24,25; Act. 2:38,42,46; 20:7; Jms. 1:27)

 

QUESTION: Are you taking Christs statement to make disciples as a suggestion, or as a command?

+Seed thoughts and quotes from The Eastborne Consultation Joint Statement on Discipleship, Sept 24, 1999

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