“The one indispensable requirement for producing godly, mature Christians is godly, mature Christians.”― Kevin DeYoung.
Discipleship has become a buzzword in most Christian circles for the last decade. Jesus told us to make disciples who make disciples—who make disciples. In order to make disciples who grow to be more like Christ, we need to know how to develop the characteristics of Christ in ourselves, and how to help others walk in this way
It is clear throughout Jesus’ life that discipleship was incredibly important to Him. So important, in fact, that it was included in some of His last words to His disciples before He left Earth. Matthew 28:18-20 says, Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
“Therefore, go and make disciples,” This statement on the surface would seem to involve two separate actions: going and making disciples. A better view of this command may be “make disciples as you go along.” It is assumed that Jesus’ followers will often be “on the go” and actively doing something. Making disciples does not mean just bringing others to a one-time “moment of decision.” Simply put, discipleship is the lifelong process of spiritual growth, aided by the Holy Spirit and personal relationships. We see in Scripture that discipleship is the important, joyful, and at times difficult process of learning and maturing spiritually. It involves continued learning together, growing together, and increasingly understanding how we can effectively serve Him. Everybody who is a follower of Jesus shares in this task.
The Apostle Paul says in Colossians 1:28, “So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ.” Discipleship is more than acquiring head knowledge and memorizing Scripture verses. It is learning to give Jesus Christ total access to our life so He will live His life through us. The goal of discipleship is to help people grow to become more like Jesus.
We may be the only Bible anyone ever reads. God wants to reveal Himself to those around us by working mightily through each one of us. He wants those around us to see Christ in us each day. God wants to express His love through our life. That’s what He wanted from His followers during His earthly ministry and that is what He wants from His disciples today.
- What defines us as disciples in your opinion?
- What happens in the life of a disciple when they think of others instead of themselves? How does putting others first build character?