What Discipleship Is Not (and what it is)

14 Aug

[From an article written for The Update at First Baptist Church]

Discipleship is not a program, nor is it a class.  It is not just for those who are mature in their faith.  Nor is it just for new believers; those who have just trusted in Christ.  So, then, who is it for and what does it look like?

Discipleship is for everyone and it looks like the Christian life.

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thess. 5:23-24)” Discipleship is the means by which God makes us that which He has already declared us to be: righteous, holy, and without blame.  When we, by faith, receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we are justified (declared to be righteous), but God is not done with us yet.  By His grace, God not only declares us to be righteous, but also promises to make us righteous (sanctification).  So, simply put, sanctification happens through discipleship.

How does He do this?  God sanctifies us through means.  He does it on Sunday mornings, when we gather together to sing of, pray to, and hear from the God who saves.  He also does it through personal relationships and small groups.  We learn from each other.  We help one another through trials, suffering, and sin.  Since we are all different parts of Christ’s body, we all need each other.  And in these ways, God makes us more like His Son.

In summary, I could have saved a lot of time by just saying this: The Christian life is discipleship.  The question is:  How are you being discipled?

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