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Discipleship

Be A Pupil

2 Timothy 4:3-4
3 For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths.
NRSV

While the Great Commission is the cornerstone of the call to evangelism, one must keep in mind that making a disciple involves teaching the new believer the knowledge necessary whereby the new believer is capable of reproducing himself in others.  Just as Jesus took twelve and taught them to teach the 120, who in turn were used to teach and reach others, so, we must reproduce. If all believers simply spent time in devotions, never talking about Jesus to the unsaved world, Christianity would shortly disappear from the face of the earth.

On the other hand, a disciple is a learner or pupil. Many, many verses of Scripture point to the need of this continual spiritual growth and maturity. For example:

Acts 17:11
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. NKJV

The Bereans are commended for they went to the Scriptures to determine the truth of what they were hearing. This implies an understanding of Scripture, not just the ability to turn to a given page in the text. God’s Word and God’s messengers are always speaking the truth. The disciple must study and learn in order to understand the difference between truth and fiction. 

So many young Christians are led astray by teaching that sounds biblical. The dynamic speaker uses Scripture to promote wealth and prosperity. How good that sounds to an untrained ear. How many follow this false teaching?

1 Peter 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; NKJV

How often does the comment catch you by surprise? You think back later, if only I had said thus and such. We feel foolish when caught unawares, unable to witness to the power of Jesus. 

Being a disciple means that we study and pray for God’s power. We place God’s Word in our hearts so that we are always ready to provide a response as to why we are Christians. We stand prepared to deliver our testimony as to the power of God at work in our lives. The disciple need not be a biblical scholar, but the more comfortable one becomes with the Bible, the easier it is to respond quickly and forcefully for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jude 3
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. NKJV

Jude writes to a congregation like most of today’s. He was going to share the joy of their common salvation, but upon surveying the situation, the Lord’s brother discovered the need to encourage them to share their faith and defend the Gospel message. And, this was written a mere 30 or 40 years after the Resurrection.  How little things have changed! We still need to contend for the faith everyday.

 

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September 19, 2018

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