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Tuesday: Living as Disciples — 8 Comments

  1. The word used for "disciple" in Koine Greek is mathētḗs and carries with it the notion of one who associates with a leader for the purpose of learning. Some of that meaning is lost in the translation to "disciple" because we associate that word with the idea of being a follower.

    It is pertinent to this discussion that we retain the original sense of learning when we discuss discipleship. We are not in training to become masters, but rather we are in a state of continued learning and renewal. Discipleship is not something we graduate from. It is a dynamic lifestyle.

    When I graduated from my first degree, I had a smug sense of achievement. I had been awarded a degree from London University and I thought that was the pinnacle of achievement. Now some 50 years later I look back and realise that my first degree was only a little step in a lifetime of being an academic. Studying, testing new ideas, evaluating the discoveries of others, writing papers, taking part in workshops and seminars - that is the story of my academic life. I have been and still am a professional student.

    We need to carry that sense of learning and developing into our spiritual lives. We have not finished when we have nodded assent to Church's fundamental beliefs. There is an old saying "Use it or Lose it!" and that applies particularly to our Christianity.

    Paul says it so well:

    And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy—the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you. Rom 12:1,2 TLB

    It is when we truely model discipleship, that we are our most effective in reaching our to others to share the Gospel.

  2. As we digest the words of Paul , I believe that is why a disciple is not like an hireling who comes and goes as needed. The disciple lives everyday as a transforming experience adopting more of the character of Jesus .

  3. You hit on the crux of today's lesson with Roman's 12:1,2. I thought it great that Paul did not leave it there he went on in chapter 12 to explain how to be a living sacrifice for God, using our special gifts to serve God. Then how to behave like a Christian, let love be without hiprocracy, be kind and affectionate to one another with brotherly love, bless those who percicute you, repay no one evil for evil, and overcome evil with good. Reminds me of Christ sermon on the mountain of Matthew 5, 6, and 7.

  4. Luke 4: 18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
    Because He has anointed Me
    To preach the gospel to the poor;
    He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
    To proclaim liberty to the captives
    And recovery of sight to the blind,
    To set at liberty those who are oppressed"
    This verse mirrors the Sermon on the Mount; Jesus' call for us to unite and change the world in which we live. Something to notice is that this text and Sermon on the Mount include terminology that can be defined in various circumstances which makes it user-friendly. For me, the big question is how do I use these verses for a greater Jesus effect? In research, the effect size is all about the magnitude of the impact of the independent variable on the dependent variable. When I think about my Jesus effect, I ponder about yesterday and the missed opportunities of sharing Jesus...and this morning asking for my daily dose of Holy Spirit, seeking clearer vision to minister for my Jesus in my neck of the woods.

  5. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus....Do all things without murmurings and disputing: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as light in the world. Phil 2:1-15.

    There are many who claim that they have been sanctified to God, and yet when the great standard of righteousness is presented to them they become greatly excited and manifest a spirit which proves that they know nothing of what it means to be sanctified. They have not the mind of Christ; for those who are truly sanctified will reverence and obey the Word of God as fast as it is opened to them, and they will express a strong desire to know what is truth on every point of doctrine. An exultant feeling is no evidence of sanctification. The assertion, “I am saved, I am saved,” does not prove that the soul is saved or sanctified. {FW 121.1}

    Living as Disciples
    'As disciples of Jesus, we today must make certain that Jesus is always the center of both our fellowship and our worship.'
    The work that Jesus came to do was the same work invested in those who worked in the temple/the Israelites/the church people/the leaders. They were supposed to:
    1. Be anointed and anoint others as Priests/Kings.
    2 Preach the gospel to the poor.
    3. Heal the brokenhearted.
    4. To proclaim liberty to the captives.
    5. Recovery of sight to the blind.
    6. Liberate those who are oppressed.
    7. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord/the coming of the Messiah at the fulness of time.
    The seven characteristics sounds to me like a complete work. Seven signified completeness. Jesus completed his work, the disciples also did. But when we complete our, the Lord will come and take us home.

    When Jesus came those in the temple rejected him and he took the work from them and gave it to his disciples. He showed us what and how this work should be. After 2000 yrs we also are his disciples. Jesus said, go teach, preach and tell others about him throughout the ages and he will be with us. Matt 28:19-20. (Of note- the anointing (we have no priest and kings like in the OT era), had being replace with what the Bible told us. James 5:14-16.
    The men who were anointed did great works for the Lord, the prayer of faith at the anointing of the sick will cause the sick to get well and their sins will be forgiven.

    Solution- The disciples (120 men and women) did not got the 7 mandates given to them until Jesus leave them and they had an upper room experience. We as a body of believers must be praying for ourselves and for each other with soul searching eagerness. We must spent time like the disciples asking for forgiveness from each other, making wrongs right, putting away our indifferences/differences(which are numerous). After this happens, the Holy Spirit will descend on us and the message of the cross will go forward in its might and power conquering souls. Before this, nothing will happen.

  6. Teaching the ‘Principles of Christian Living’ is what I understand the essence of Christian education to be. Luke 4:18-23KJV is the message Christ Jesus received from our heavenly Father to inspire Hope in those who live on the fringes of society and to let all know that everyone is welcomed and can be saved unto eternal life. I can only imagine how the ‘outcast’ found himself inspired with new hope when hearing the Father’s Message from Jesus’ mouth and examplified by His life. – Matt.11:28-30KJV.
    Now he could understand that to be an *outcast* in man’s society was no longer a ‘death sentence’ for the soul. Jesus explained the true value of life to be the life-giving Spirit of the Father’s Love, giving Life to all who love Him and stay faithful to His Word.
    The power to declare one eligible to be saved was taken away from the Pharisees and given to the meek heart; filling it with the Holy Spirit’s power to desire to love the Father with all the heart and to love one’s brother and sister as one seeks to be loved – Matt.22:37-40KJV. And this is where the power to be saved still resides.

    In my opinion, how the converted believer applies these principles of Christian living is what the organized Church and Church-affiliated schools should teach its 'students'. Those who have accepted the Truth, the Way of Life do not need to establish a new elite class of ‘followers of Christ Jesus’ to take the place of the old elite class of the Pharisees.
    Christian education needs to establish that the goal of the disciple is to learn and understand how to live Christ’s Way, the Truth and the Light of Life. It needs to be understood that the living soul is well and alive when it finds itself among those who:
    Matt.53-14KJV – are poor in spirit, those that mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, those who are reviled and persecuted and have all manner of evil spoken against them falsely for Christ’s sake - - - - to be exceedingly glad: for their reward is in heaven.

    Learning to BE the Salt of the earth and the Light of the world is the core-curriculum in the disciples 'Life of Learning'.

  7. The true meaning of "follow me" from Jesus is to imitate His life. We cannot imitate His life without learning and knowing it for ourselves and then becoming enabled to demonstrate it in our life. This is all accomplished in the life through being forgiven(having first repented) and transformed into new creatures(e.g. no longer filled with pride, but meek and lowly of heart by learning of Jesus) by "the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes"(Rom 1:16; 12:1,2, Titus 3:5, John 3:3, etc).

    To follow means to hear all He teaches and then do it(Matt 7:24). Jesus taught by precept and example, including Gethsemane and the cross.


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