Posts Tagged ‘Discipleship’

Grace Christian, a cool place to worship, learn and talk about Following Jesus

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I had a great week at Grace Christian School‘s Spiritual Explosion Week.

The topic: Follow.

My Headmaster at Cary Christian School graciously allowed me to go and share with this sister school fighting the good fight and we talked about everything from the problem of Individualism to the Good Life of loving God and loving people.

They are a great group, with great leadership.

I am attaching my PowerPoint slides for those who asked for it. The videos will not embed, but if someone wants those, they can ask.

Also, some asked for some of the books that I mentioned during the sessions. They are:

The Knowledge of the Holy

God’s Passion for His Glory

The Abolition of Man

Just Do Something

BELOW ARE THE POWERPOINT PACKS

Session 4 session 3 session 2 session 1

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Discipleship 3.1 – The Method

Whenever we encounter elemental, or core theological principles, we often feel as though a tsunami-like wave has crashed over us – because we just want to know:

1. What do we do?

2. (and maybe more forefront in our minds) How do we do it?

Now, there is a danger crouching behind these questions, but I will deal with that in 3.2.

So far we have seen that we have been given a Mission and such an imperative has the implied call to obey it. I suppose it isn’t too cliche to say that God doesn’t make suggestions. This should be delightfully obeyed, because it should find an immediate harmonious connection within our own desires, thus given us a very organic internal Motivation – namely, that we are Christians who love Jesus and we want others to love Him too. If you have trouble agreeing with the first two points in this paragraph and series, then you may not know Him, even likely so. If that is the case, go here.

So, to answer the first question, we are to make disciples of Jesus Christ. This must never be eclipsed by men, fellowships, denominations, traditions nor religion.

We DO NOT make disciples of ourselves.

We DO NOT make disciples of (human) leaders.

We DO NOT make disciples of our local fellowships (churches).

We DO NOT make disciples of a denomination.

We DO NOT make disciples of a particular school of thought.

We DO NOT make disciples of Christianity.

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Discipleship 2 – The Motivation

As we saw in the first post, we have been sent on mission. Now, I did neglect to go back and back to THE Mission, which is to glorify God – to radiate and reflect His glory. That is the Big Picture. This has also been born into an organism – not an organization – called the Church – but making followers of the LORD predates the Church, only now the disciple-making has taken a very personal fulfillment in God, the Son. We are to Glorify God and do what He has said to do, which is also glorifying God.

Having said that, we might ask “Why should we be a disciple of Christ?” Is this just a modern movement? Is it biblical?

Well, to get right (back) to the point, we do it because we were told to, both in and in the echo of Jesus’ call to His disciples, when He said, “Follow Me.” That call still echoes today and will continue to echo until He returns. We are Christ’s disciples because the God of the universe has told us to be.

Also, implied in the “Why?” question, is “What’s in it for me?”

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18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)

Discipleship – 1: The Mission

What if we were given one thing to do – just one main mission – and we didn’t do it? Now, this does not imply that this one thing is an all encompassing definition of our lives and all of the reality adjacent to our lives – but, it is the one thing – the main thing we are to do. I guess it would depend upon who gave us the mission and what was at stake . . . right?

When reading , specifically , I see an interesting, rather arresting pattern. The text says that Paul “made many disciples . . . strengthened the souls of the disciples . . . and spent a long time (not a little time) with the disciples.” This is a profound narrative. Paul could have, according to some – should have, kept working “for the faith”, since all of these people were already converts. Yet, he spent precious time encouraging and building up the Church and he spent large amounts of that time. Why? Why would he do that?

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14:1 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, and there they continued to preach the gospel.

Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.

19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples. (ESV)

21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples. (ESV)

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