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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by PastorSBC1303, Dec 18, 2005.
What do you think?
To be a disciplined follower of...
Ok what is a disciplined follower?
A disciple embraces the teachings of the one whom he is the disciple of, and tries to emulate him.
I'm typing and Barry is talking:
In a Christian context, disciple not only means 'follower of Christ', it also means that you allow the Risen Lord to express Himself through your personality via His Holy Spirit, and this is achieved by presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice on a moment by moment basis. It also involves discipline, which is where the word 'disciple' comes from. In this case the discipline is coming from the Lord Himself, again through the Holy Spirit, as the Spirit points out to us in our daily walk with Him where we are falling short of representing His likeness in any given situation.
What does it mean to make disciples via the Great Commission?
To walk alongside new believers, encouraging their faith, being with them in Bible study, praying with them, until such time as they are more mature in Christ and can turn around and offer that same hand to another new Christian.
Give them a Message bible,a copy of the Purpose Driven Life, take them to see the Passion (the greatest evangelizing tool of the last 2000 years), and then finish it off with a viewing of Narnia.That is, of course, if you are working by SBC recommendations.
thanks for adding something worthwhile to the conversation
Glad to be of assistance with an objective view. And the next time you are at the SBC gathering, politely let them know that the ship has gone off course, and that more and more people are noticing every day.
1 Timothy 1
18 This charge I commit to you, my child Timothy, according to the prophecies going before concerning you, that you might war the good warfare by them,
19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having thrust away, made shipwreck concerning the faith,
Sorry for that rude interuption folks. Let's continue with the theme of the post.
discipleship and making disciples...
From the book Growing True Disciples by George Barna , pages 128 - 132
Let's Be Real
Truthfully, while disciple-making must be a priority for you, by whatever means you select, you must enter the process with your eyes open. What happens when you make true disciples - not just students or group members, but real zealots for Christ?
Peoples lives change
The collection of disciples - the true Church - gains favor with the world.
Society is changed by the disciples.
Society experiences turmoil as a result of the Church being true to God's truths and commands.
Disciples are persecuted.
Making disciples and being a disciple is not a complete joyride. Disciple-making is not the answer to every cultural problem that exists - in fact, an effective discipleship process may create new tensions and animosities within the culture as God's principles clash with Satan's principles in the battle of spiritual kingdoms. But the hardships that arise as a result of engagement in disciple-making are no excuse to avoid or minimize our devotion to the process and its outcomes; in fact, they are an indicator that the Church is being the Church. As long as the battle between good and evil persists, we will not experience a peaceful, loving, wholly satisfying society. However, while being avid, passionate disciples of Jesus Christ will not bring about the perfect society, the thrust to be true disciples is the answer for each of us, individually, in the quest to become pleasing and honorable people in God's eyes.
We cannot help but have a positive impact on the world when we are being Christ-like, even though the results of our life may not always look pretty. Not even Jesus, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the Savior of Humankind, was loved by all people. If we follow His ways and His footsteps, we should not expect to be loved and accepted by everyone either. But God, the Father of Creation, was completely pleased with the work of the Son - and that was all that mattered to the Son. So Jesus is our model and that is our challenge: to gain the acceptance of the Father, by imitating the work of the Son, through the empowerment of the Spirit. The results that emerge are up to God to disentangle. That is a task clearly beyond our capabilities.
When you hire people, you study their lives to look for clues as to what they will be like as an employee. When you buy products, you study the contents and reviews to determine which products will provide the outcomes you desire. As you strive to become a disciple and to make disciples, keep your eyes on the substance of the subject, whether it is you or someone whom you are discipling.
Here's what you're looking for - and, if it's absent, what you are trying to infuse within the true disciple:
the passion of Stephen
the joy of the post-Pentecost apostles
the integrity of Nathanael
the availability of Mary
the perseverance of Paul
the transformation of Peter
the wisdom of James
the servanthood of Martha
the love of John
the generosity of Joseph the Levite from Cyprus
the seriousness of John the Baptist
the studiousness of Luke
the humility and reverent faith of the centurion
the evangelistic sharing of Andrew
the character of Jesus
None of these stalwarts of the faith (with the exception of Jesus) was a perfect representation of each of the qualities listed here. Each of these individuals stood out for a handful of qualities, and presumably worked on developing other qualities that brought them into greater conformity with Jesus' life. As you study their paths to glory keep in mind that even the models of our faith fell short of the glory of God. By our very nature, we always will; but by God's will, we must not accept our limitations as excuses to give up.
The real obstacles to becoming a fully devoted, zealous disciple of Christ are not money, time, methods or knowledge. The major obstacle is the human heart. When that changes, all else changes. Jesus frequently reminded His disciples that the problem was not one of knowledge but of character The Pharisees had more religious knowledge than they knew what to do with but they lacked the character to apply it in ways that transformed themselves and their world. Judas spent many months living with Jesus, observing His ways and His miracles, learning timeless and transforming principles directly from the lips of the Master, and yet all of His knowledge and experience could not compensate for a wicked heart. A disciple is a person of Christian character. Just as Paul instructed his young disciple Timothy, if you develop appropriate character, the rest will follow.
Go, Therefore ...
Be a true disciple. Go and make disciples.
And what will it look like, when it works?
True discipleship produces holistic personal transformation, not mere assimilation into a community of church members.
True discipleship is witnessed by people who are determined to be a blessing to others - people who are never content to simply accept and enjoy God's blessings to them.
True discipleship creates Christians who aggressively pursue spiritual growth rather than passively experience spiritual evolution.
True discipleshipp spawns individuals who develop renewed lifestyles instead of believers who mechanically check off completed assignments on a developmental agenda.
True discipleshipp results in people who are more concerned about the quality of their character than the extent of their knowledge.
True discipleship builds churches known for their culture of love, commitment and service rather than for their events, information and programs.
True discipleship facilitates people devoted to a lifelong journey to imitate Jesus Christ, rather than the completion of a short-term regimen of tasks and responsibilities.
Do you passionately want to become a zealous disciple of Jesus Christ? Are you committed to bring others with you on that amazing journey?
Discipleship is about complete obedience to the Word of God, driven by a heart that can stand to do nothing less and a mind that knows it pays to focus on nothing less and a mind that knows it pays to focus on nothing else. Can we fulfill this mammoth challenge? Jesus, our mentor, says we can. "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these..." (John 14:12)
If you are devoted to the process of spiritual growth, and to allowing God's Holy Spirit to shape you on that journey, how you end up will bear scant resemblance to what you were when you began the journey.
Interesting article, gb93433, thank you. Here is some of my own research.
Luke in Acts usually uses the word as a synonym for "believer" or "Christian," notably in Acts 11:26.
Further, I think we can narrow down that long list of characteristics given by Barna. I find in the Gospels 4 signs Christ gave by which we can know a disciple:
1. Complete Commitment (Luke 14:26-33)
2. Continuing in His Word (John 8:31)
3. Compassion (love) for Other Believers (John 13:35)
4. Fruit bearing--Converting the Lost (John 15:8)
In addition, here are some dictionary definitions of the Greek word mathetes usually translated "disciple."
BAGD's basic definition (minus all the historical references):
1. gener. Pupil, apprentice (in contrast to the teacher)
2. disciple, adherent
Thayer's basic definition:
a learner, pupil, disciple: universally, opposed to didaskalos (NOTE: this is the Greek word for teacher-JoJ); one who follows one's teaching-- in a wide sense, in the Gospels, those among the Jews who favored him, joined his party, became his adherents. The word is not found in the O. T, nor in the Epistles of the N. T., nor in the Apocalypse; in Greek writings from (Herodotus), Aristophanes, Xenophon, Plato down.
If the basic meaning of the verb matheteuo in Matt. 28:18 is "to make a disciple" (and it is), and the basic meaning of disciple is "learner, pupil, disciple" (and it is, as attested universally in the Greek lexicons), then to make a disciple means to win someone to Christ through personal evangelism.
This view is further borne out by the fact that the rest of the Great Commission in Matthew says to baptize them and teach them all things Christ taught. This second part of the Great Commission is what is usually called "discipling." This is why I prefer the term "follow-up" to "discipleship" for what we do to help a believer mature after salvation. In most usages of the word "disciple" in the NT it simply is a synonym to "believer."