Discipleship is one of the most important and neglected aspects of our walk with the Lord.
1. How does lack of discipleship affect us?
Hebrews 5:11-14: We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use* have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
"for many people, discipleship is a nonissue that isn't even in their minds or on their maps. As a result, Christianity has a billion or more adherents but far fewer true disciples." Steve Rabey, Side by Side
Many people who call themselves born-again Christians never get further than the most basic truths. They depend on their pastor instead of depending on their Bible and make no effort to mature in their faith.
* Spiritual muscles require "constant use" (verse 14) in order to grow strong and useful.
Matthew 28: 18-20: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We usually focus on making converts, not disciples. But there is a huge difference between the two.
3. How seriously are we to take our discipleship?
Philippians 2:12-13: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
"with fear and trembling"--this means seriously, reverently, deliberately.
"Salvation is ultimately the work of God's grace; but his grace is effective in salvation only as we 'trust and obey.'” Asbury Bible Commentary
Christian growth requires proactive cooperation with God's work in us.
copyright 2013, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted