Biblical Discipleship - Chapter 1
What is Discipleship?
I tried on many occasion to sum up the difference between a Christian and a disciple in a few sentences, I failed miserably every time, Then one night in prayer God gave me such a revelation, it might seem funny to you, it does to me now, looking back. He pointed out that I didn‘t need loads of words; I needed only one, that word is obedience.
Obedience to the word.
Obedience to our leaders.
Obedience to Authority.
Obedience to each other.
The Oxford English dictionary defines the word as "Doing what one is told", so ask yourself this question before you continue, am I doing what the Lord has called me to do? Christianity is not a democratic society, as many seem to believe, we have a loving master who needs to be obeyed. Sadly this one word is the deepest, widest chasm that many will come across in their Christian lives and they will never cross it, I hope this study will help many of you cross to the other side. The church is very effective at gaining converts but we fail terribly when it comes to taking these babes in the faith on to true maturity, that of becoming effective disciples.
The Greek word for Disciple is `Mathetes‘ which means one who learns instruction from another. It was used in the secular Greek world for an apprentice to a tradesman. A disciple was not only a pupil but also an adherent; hence they were spoken of as imitators of their teachers, changing to be like the person you follow, or acting in the style of. I.e. Acting, singing, painting.
ADHERENT = sticking to, follower, united with.
Five basic principles.
1. A Disciple is a person who lives continually by the word of God.
2. A Disciple is a person who commits his life completely to the master. (Mt 6 v 24, Jn.10 v 1= 18)
3. A Disciple is one who lives in a fruit - bearing relationship with Jesus. (Jn 15 v 4 - 5)
4. A Disciple is one who is committed to unconditional sacrificial love for others. (Jn. 13 v 34 - 35)
5. A Disciple is one who is dedicated to the fulfilment of Christ‘s commission. (Mt. 28 v 18 - 20)
A Disciple is a very privileged person.
1. He is called and chosen by God (Eph. 1 v 4 - 5)
2. Jesus is his saviour. (Rom. 5 v 8)
3. God is his father. (Gal. 4 v 6 - 7)
4. He has peace with God (Rom. 5 v 1)
5. He has been given eternal life. (Jn. 3 v 16)
6. The Holy Spirit lives in him (Acts 1 v 8)
7. Nothing can separate him from the love of God. (Rom 8 v 38 - 39)
A Disciple has responsibility.
1. Make a decision - A Disciple needs to make a firm decision to do what Jesus would do.
2. Some of the benefits - Rom. 8 v 17, Lk. 6 v 38, Jn. 10 v 10, Col. 3 v 17, Mt. 6 v 33.
Question and discussion points
1. Should we live as we want, or as God wants? (2 Cor 5 v 15)
2. Who is our guide in the things of Jesus? (Jn. 16 v 13 - 14)
3.What sort of things will anyone who has faith in Jesus do? (Jn. 14 v 12 - 14)
4. Can we learn anything about love by God's giving of his son Jesus (1 Jn. 4 v 10 - 11) and how we as Disciples remain in his love? (Jn. 15 v 9 - 14)
5.What are the two greatest commandments? (Mt. 22 v 37 - 39)
6.How can we, as Disciples, live out our daily lives manifesting Agape love towards God and others (Rom. 5 v 5) 7.When things get tough, can we relax a bit until we can cope with life again? If not, why do so many Christians do this? (Lk. 9 v 57 - 62)
Summary and application.
1. We need to be totally committed to Jesus, making him our Lord. This means that we will not say no when he asks us to do something for him.
2. Every Disciple of Jesus should ask the question " what would Jesus do " in every situation in which they find themselves.
3. We need to live continuously in God's word as his Disciples so that we will know him better, and then we will have an increased ability to know what Jesus would do in each situation.
4. We need to see God as our loving master who only wants our good.
5.We need to love and serve God first, others second and ourselves last.
Key scriptures. (Read and meditate on)
1 Peter 2 v 21 - 23,
John 8 v 31 - 32,
2 Timothy 2 v 1 - 2,
Luke 6 v 40, Col. 3 v 1
1 John 2 v 6.