| Discipleship - Disputable Matter or Divine Mandate?|
"Discipleship - Disputable Matter or Divine Mandate?"
Discipleship is not an option. It is not a disputable matter such as what days in the week we are to worship, or what style of music we should have in a meeting. Those are non-essentials. But may I say that discipleship is not a non-essential. It is a divine necessity. So much so is it a necessity that Christ Himself placed priority upon it during the 3 years of His earthly ministry.
Some modernized churches may say that it is a different time and a changing culture that we are living in, so we are unable to place priority on discipleship the way they did in the first century. Others may believe they truly are discipling people only their definition of it is preaching once a week to a congregation, or plugging them in to a ministry. This is not the discipleship Jesus demonstrated.
In Jesus day, it was very popular for men to leave their jobs, their friends, and temporarily their families to follow a rabbi to learn the Torah. There was no set curriculum or program. They walked with the rabbi in a daily relationship, and the rabbi would discuss with them the Torah and bring explanation to its meaning. They would also watch the life of the rabbi, and be in close relationship with him.
So when Jesus came on the seen, and began calling men to follow Him, it was a very known concept in that day. But we know that Jesus was the ultimate Rabbi. He demonstrated a Perfect Righteousness and explained the kingdom of God in a way no other could. And He called men to Himself, to learn and follow Him.
We are missing this in our modern day, numbers oriented, instant-growth Christianity. It is rare to find congregations where leaders and ministers are putting this kind of priority of discipleship in their congregations.
Revival is important but what good is giving birth to 100 babies that wont be cared for and brought to maturity. I think discipleship is very essential if we are to see another revival. History shows that the reason revivals are very short-lived is its lack of discipleship. But our greatest example is that of Pentecost, where following 3,000 souls being added to the 120 Galileans, priority is placed on meeting daily in Solomons porch and breaking bread from house to house. It is said of the apostles that they teached and preached Christ from house to house. This is discipleship. This is what they learned from their Master.
The success of the church is not in its numbers Muslims have numbers. Catholics have numbers. The success of a church is not how entertaining the music is. Its not in how big the building is or how the monthly budget is. Its not in how many programs people are involved in. Its in the raising up of disciples who follow Jesus and imitate Jesus and demonstrate His kingdom in their communities.
Matthew 28:18-20 "All authority is given to Me in heaven and earth. Go therefore and make disciples of the nations, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you"
| 2008/7/17 10:11||Profile|
| Re: Discipleship - Disputable Matter or Divine Mandate?|
Discipleship is best learned by example and witness. We must sit at the Master's feet,
learn of Him, be taught by Him, if we are to
truly discover and know Him!!
Martin G. Smith
| 2008/7/17 10:49||Profile|
| Re: Discipleship - Disputable Matter or Divine Mandate?|
A few ideas to stoke the fires of this mandate. [I hope.] Who discipled Abraham, so that he would be called the "Father of Faith?" ..and David? Jesus was called Son of David...and the Psalms are the most quoted foundational scriptures in the New Testament....which you and I and multitudes read and quote every day.
Jeremiah, Isaiah, all of the prophets??? ...the list is unending. Ultimately, discipleship must proceed from God alone. Man may assist, or comfort, but only unto a heart that desires God. A heart that desires to Live by Faith, and submit to the Love and fire in his very own personal, and hidden walk with the Lord Jesus, Creator and Savior.
This is why Discipleship is a mandate; because without holiness, no man shall see God. Being conformed into His image, through the disciplines of Himself, present in the Holy Spirit the Lord. Walking, living, following, against ourselves even, bound by Adam's and Satan's stain.....the "ME" factor.
The walk with Jesus against the World, and it's varied pleasures, for our bodies, mind and our souls, and their affections. These are not of Heaven, and how easily they can become our life, our hidden God, that we covet above His light and love filled Heart.
Satan also becomes our Enemy, as he is of God, and we must have the discipline within us to hide in Jesus, for the Devil is stronger than mortal man. He is not stronger than Jesus though.[ all of Satan's hoards together are less than a drop in the bucket compared to Him; as nothing before Yahweh Yeshua!]
Discipline, and all of it's power, therefore, are hidden in the Cross. The awefull suffering filled and bloody tree that Jesus bore, and the same gift given to us, all of us, who have received Him. This receiving is the being born again of the incorruptible seed; The Holy Spirit of God. He came to redeem us, and also to Slay us. Only those who allow the Slaying, are the only ones who receive the resurrection.
This is at the heart and root of discipleship. It is Love for God, and a wanting of Him; a desire to attain Him, and be pleasing to Him, no matter the cost. [I guarantee this cost will be higher than we imagined.]
"If any man come after me, let him deny himself, pick up his cross,[ this awefull death to yourself] and follow me."
Without the Church, and holy shepherds, we shall perish. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. There was never a difference, as it seems today, in a Christian or a disciple. The high calling in Christ Jesus for us all is the maturing of the SEED, to become as Him. Paul, in Ephesians, speaks of the forming of the temple, by God Himself...that would be us.
This forming creates a vehicle, a vessel to hold Him, and in it's Union, a strength unsurpassed in the Universe. In this vessel, the very young even, can find victories and Heavenly bliss..but only as they submit to the Spirit within, given to all. This is where our issue today, and perhaps the core of our failures.
Shepherds feed, protect, and issue a direction to the manifest Lordship of Jesus. They oversee the Church, with this call, to please God in their commission, but not as Lords, not as leaders as in the business world, and not as the master of ceremonies in all things.[This is where we step on toes...the master of ceremony thing.]
They were unpaid, nonprofessional lovers of God, and they were always, always in the PLURAL. There was never a "leader among equals". They never desired ascendancy, yet were given the authority to press the Unity of the Spirit which would edify the Body, unto maturity. This was DISCIPLESHIP. There was no program. There is no program. Faith works by Love, and the inner machinery of the Holy one in her midst, created mutual love one for another and God Himself, and women and men grew in Faith, and devotion.
This is discipleship.
| 2008/7/17 11:44|
I agree with everything except using Abraham and David as examples of those who weren't discipled. That's like saying there is no need for spiritual gifts or church meetings because Abraham didn't have that. In the new covenant, God's priority is His body, His church. And in this covenant He desires (like you said very well) to see men and women conform into His image by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Like I heard someone once say "You shouldn't throw steak at a baby's face" Babies need to be fed and nurtured till they are mature enough to move on and eat the proper meats. This applies to discipleship.
We need more mentors today (Spirit-filled of course), who can be like the apostle Paul saying "Imitate me as I imitate Christ" and like he said to the Thessalonians "I was well pleased not to impart to you the gospel of God only, but our very lives"
This is how Jesus lived and how we are to imitate
| 2008/7/17 13:20||Profile|
| Re: Disciplined ones.|
My point Mattie, was that Abraham and David [i]were[/i] discipled, not that they were left out of the process. All of the Old Testament Saints were also, by Faith. We are all disciples who submit to the Discipline of obedience; "Not my Will, Oh Father, but yours."
Hebrews chapter 11. The epitome of a disciples life, beginning with Abel, all the way through to us. One is not complete without the other.
Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things that He suffered..
Quote:..Hebrews 12...vs. 7
If you endure chastening.[discipline.],God deals with you as sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
Herein is the heart of Discipleship, and the thing that is applicable to all, even the Lord Jesus. "Your will , not Mine". This is the death sentence to our life, hope and ambitions. At this point, either we must die, or He must go. Do we throw down our death, in His cross, to assert our rights and will to be?, or do embrace our death, our cross, so that He has His rights to His purchased possession? OUR LIVES and OUR WILLS.
In this we see the spirits of the martyrs, beginning with our Lord Jesus. In the new testament Church, Disciples are made only in His image, and formed by the only one qualified; The Holy Spirit, the Lord.
The Living and Loving church makes disciples all by herself, just as a plant grows. The Holy Seed of God will take prisoners of all Who desire Him, in their submitted effort to be His possession alone.
Man's efforts usually end in a sort of dogma, or super spiritual party that could be compared to the monastic system of the middle ages, and of course, today. In losing the in touch sufferings of every day life, such as jobs to feed your babies, diapers that come with them, children to raise, TEENAGERS!, your eliteness denies and rejects your mission...To show mercy and love to the agony of life and death without God.
I love the broken and meek heart of the Apostle Paul.
Quote:[b]For by your faith, you are standing![/b]"...2 Corinthians , chapter one....vs. 24.
Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy....
Yes, we model our lives, but as a sister, or a brother, for we have sin in us also. We undergird the young with the knowledge that He is merciful, and they will fail, even as we. We direct the young to Jesus and remain in fear that our ambition or pride will not put ourselves on top as the Spiritual one, but will always direct a soul to have Faith and trust in Jesus alone. To become a helper of his joy, to direct Him to a life of absolute Lordship under Him.
I have a saying; Man will ALWAYS fail you. Jesus never fails. If we look at discipleship in that manner, we have a chance to do some good. If we are honest about our qualifications based on our own success, we will quickly defer a soul to the One who is Absolutely qualified...Jesus of Nazareth, the Creator and Savior. Let Him be the Lord that He is, over His purchase and possession. Many stumble here, in this arena, and bring great suffering upon themselves, as they feel qualified to usurp His position alone. Beware when you teach, for you will be susceptible to double judgement. Be careful to establish those given to you for care, in Jesus alone.
"Feed my Lambs."
| 2008/7/17 16:32|