Growth as a Disciple

The bible is clear, we are to take our life after salvation and invest in the things of God in preparation for Heaven. Salvation is not a renewal to return to the world feeling better about ourselves.

As we walk with God it is very important that we use the Words of God correctly,

Mat 4:4 But He answered and said, It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

A word that was hardly used in the Christian lexicon 60 years ago is tossed around in every Christian circle today is “disciple”.

We have been saved by Grace and now we are to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling” (sanctification) Phil 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, cultivate your own salvation with fear and trembling.

We should live our life in accordance with what God has planned for us and told us. It is a life immersed in the God’s Word and work. It is more than bible study or attending a church, it is having the life and habits of Christ. He has gifted us to live our life for him in our turn here on earth. We will be without excuse when God reviews what we did with what he gave us.

This blog is 1 of 2 blogs on discipleship on discipleship. Read and evaluate your walk.

Please respond in any way you desire.

Your servant,

Gayle


Discipleship 1

The following are excerpts from “Laymen look up, God has a place for you”. By Walt Henrichsen and Bill Garrison

John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters in by Me, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture.

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 10:11 I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

As a follower of Christ, you are a SHEEP or a DISCIPLE.

All followers are His sheep but not all sheep become His disciples.

For this discussion, the sheep are defined as those who are saved but never grow with Jesus.

Jesus also says:

  1. John 8:31 “Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed on Him, if you continue in My Word, you are My disciples indeed.”
  2. John 13:35 “By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another.”
  3. John 15:8 “In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you shall be My disciples”
  4. Matt_10:42 “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”
  5. Luke_14:26 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
  6. Luke_14:27 “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
  7. Luk_14:33 “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

Note all statements on the qualifications of a disciple are given by Jesus. Discipleship is not mentioned in the epistles.

Truth of discipleship:

  1. It is obligatory.
  2. It is up to the individual convert to migrate from sheep to disciple
  3. Failure to distinguish between a sheep and a discipleship is to blur the concepts of obedience and Grace.

Where would you grade yourself today, Sheep or Disciple?

A disciple is a learner, pupil, follower, believer, propagator.


Discipleship

If you are saved, you are to become a disciple of Christ. The plan is for you to believe on Jesus and become His disciple, i.e., a learner, pupil, follower, believer, propagator.

We are to gain the mind of Christ, i.e., Romans 12:1, 2 Thus, it would follow, if we have the mind of Christ we would thus behave like Christ and think like Christ

The world since your birth has been competing for your mind with TV, movies, school, college, friends, business, social mores, etc. Our challenge is to become a disciple, thus have a mind of Christ and be outside the world, i.e., alien and exile.

Being a disciple is not only the transformation (salvation) of a person via the Holy Spirit but a journey with Christ to develop ourselves into who we are in Christ, i.e. built on the Word. This is called the sanctification process or the discipleship process.

Use the check list below to gauge your progress as a disciple for this sanctification process.

How are you on the following:

  1. Do you have strong people in the Word in your life helping you learn and embrace the Word and transform your life and holding you accountable?
  2. Have you read totally through the Bible ever?
  3. Have you memorized any verses for your help and guard?
  4. Do you have a good prayer life that is consistent?
  5. Have you ever led another to Christ? Do you have a prayer list of non-believers that you are praying for?
  6. Do you believe the Bible is 100% inerrant or 99% or less inerrant? Can you discuss why you believe the Bible is the Word of God?
  7. Do you work with, help or guide your spouse in their walk with Jesus?
  8. Do you know how and have you developed a giving strategy with your spouse? Give with a spirit of generosity.
  9. Are you training your family up in the Word?
  10. Are you living your life to qualify for all five of the spiritual crowns?
    1. CROWN Of Righteousness: 2 Timothy 4:8
      Given to all those who eagerly looked forward to and loved His appearing.
    2. INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN: 1 Corinthians 9:25-27
      Given to those who disciplined their bodies and exercised self-control.
    3. CROWN OF LIFE:  James 1:12, Revelation 2:10
      Given to those who loved God and endured through tests and temptations and were faithful until death.
    4. CROWN OF GLORY: 1 Peter 5:4
      Given to Godly leaders who served believers willingly and eagerly, not for personal gain; leading by example.
    5. CROWN OF REJOICING: 1 Thessalonians 2:19, Daniel 12:3
      Given to those who were involved in influencing others to righteousness and relationship with God.

More on discipleship next month.


Addendum: The following is an email from an editor of the blog, in black and my answer, in blue.

When you use sheep in this manner it seems that you mean immature

Sheep are those who have not committed to the Word or grown in the Word. They are saved but not growing. The body of Christ are full of these people. Discipleship is walking with and trusting God. Discipleship or sanctification is more a process than a destination/product.
Over the years I may have progressed more in my relationship with God than someone else but we are still a disciple if we have or are still in the process (game)

Here is my question:  I have never been fully convinced that a distinction is intended. Could it be that in the John 10:9-11 passage that Jesus uses “sheep” for all Christians and does not mean to communicate a Christian who is not in the game?  Could it be that he does not mean to distinguish “sheep” from “disciple”? I recognize that there are different levels of maturity among Christians, I just haven’t been able to connect the dots in the passages you cite that such a distinction is meant.

(Yes, I could be wrong in my interpretation. I don’t think I am but I could be wrong. But I do think there are believers I will see in Heaven who never grew in the Word. This interpretation covers that thinking. Example would be the thief on the cross.)

You state, under the heading of “Truth of discipleship,” that discipleship is obligatory.  In what sense is it obligatory?  Do you mean that those who stay as sheep are not truly Christians? (NO) If they are Christians, then how is it obligatory?

Definition of obligatory:

1. required as a matter of obligation; mandatory:

2.incumbent or compulsory (usually followed by on or upon): duties obligatory on all.

3.imposing moral or legal obligation; binding: an obligatory promise.

Though I never lived up to it, I was under obligation to my parents as a son to be morally straight and grow and mature. This is what My parents could have expected for their investment in me. Jesus is right in expecting it of us. 

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