The Church was commanded by Christ to Go into the world and make disciples of the nations.
There is a vast difference between Salvation and Discipleship. Salvation is an unconditional free gift, discipleship is conditional, it is spiritual maturity of the Christian. A Christian grows from being 'born again' to a disciple of Christ. It is easier to master the principles, than to transfer their quality to every day living. Discipleship is for instruction in order that they might become firmly grounded in the Truth of and knowledge of Christ. Disciples are members of a priesthood in a Holy Nation. They move from redemption to service, from deliverance to dedication and worship.
Discipleship involves defined teaching marked by union, abiding in Jesus' teachings and His life. It is putting what Jesus taught into practice and not just knowledge of His instruction. The Apostles chosen by Jesus were representative disciples. Discipleship is seen in a person's relationship with God, other Christians and the world. Disciples abide in Christ and glorify God. They are to be active in the world but not of it, and be distinct from it.
Disciples learn from The Word of God, from The Teachings of Jesus and from the promptings of The Holy Spirit.
Discipleship begins with receiving the Word of God and continuance in The Word is the evidence in reality, as The Holy Spirit regenerates and restores. It is believing The Word of God, it is believing who Jesus is, that He came from heaven for the sake of mankind and returned there.
Discipleship is also to shape the character of the learner, to be like Jesus, taking His Life as an example to emulate.The consequences of answering Christ's call to be disciples are, serving Jesus obeying him and responding obediently to his commands.
Believers are called to be in a covenant partnership with Jesus and to live in close fellowship with each other. Disciples are those who are whole-heartedly commited to Him. It is necessary to open all areas of life to The Holy Spirit for any transformation to be more 'Christlike'.
The inspiration of The Holy Spirit and of the Word of God encourages a believer to desire and seek after righteousness and urges a believer to have an absolute covenant relationship as a disciple, with God, through Jesus. Joy, peace and true happiness are a benefit of discipleship. Disciples are recompensed abundantly in this life.
A Christian disciple is a person who 'bears their cross', that is total commitment with their lives under the headship of Jesus as Lord. Total commitment is a constant necessity on behalf of the disciple. A true disciple is commited to Christ and His Cause, which is to do the will of The Father.
As disciples of Christ, believers do not have to be passive. Jesus expects His disciples to produce fruits and do good works (godly works). They are to walk in Christ with love and to walk in The Holy Spirit. As believers die to the self -dominated life they show fruit in character and in service. The Holy Spirit works in a believer to produce a fruitful outcome.
Discipleship is not a doctrine,
but a Christ-centred life following after righteousness,
of dependence and obedience, from a spiritual child to a spiritually mature
adult with genuine brotherly love, diligent to honour each other, hating
evil, and desiring to be do good, but also to be prepared to suffer persecution.
A disciple of Christ hungers and thirsts after God and follow His holiness is compassionate and merciful. A disciple is sincere and a lover of peace. A disciple puts Christ above all earthly possessions.
Jesus was confronted by impulsive volunteers, reluctant candidates,
half -hearted followers but the conditions required for disciples are unrivalled
love and obedience. Christ is to be set apart in their hearts as Lord.
The Holy Spirit is included in fellowship with Christ as a partner. The
Holy Spirit is the inspirer and interpreter of Scriptures, and transforms
disciples into the likeness of Christ, their master.
Love cannot be separated from obedience and The Holy Spirit will always stand by Christ's people. This also shows the trinity, Father Son and Holy Spirit.
Believers are indwelt by The Holy Spirit, The Gift of The Father, whose
primary desire is to make dedicated followers 'Christlike' for discipleship,
to be in a partnership with God. A disciple is in servant-hood, and is
both a minister and a priest, which is being a reconciler (peace with God
and others) and an intercessor. The purpose being for them to receive from
the Holy Spirit who Glorifies the Son, who in turn glorifies The Father.
The day's duties and responsibilities can be submitted and committed to God. The Bible has many details for daily living, principles that guide, commands to obey, warnings to heed, examples to imitate and promises to receive. God's interests come first and a disciple is to choose priorities very carefully.
Disciples benefit from many spiritual blessings and privileges. Disciples obey, serve, love as Jesus did.
A Christian disciple's conduct should be in keeping with the standards set by the Gospel. A lifestyle example is reverent behaviour, godly conduct. Warnings are against slander, fault finding, gossip and false accusations.
Perseverance, submission, diligence, endurance, steadfastness are traits that are necessary to aid the maturity of a disciple.
The quality of characteristics given to believers to help with conduct are nine gifts of The Holy Spirit.
LOVE- In God's love there is no selfishness.
JOY- A heart filled with devotion to God is a heart filled with the Joy of The Holy Spirit.
PEACE- It is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God.
KINDNESS- The tenderness of an act can mellow a cause that otherwise might seem harsh.
GOODNESS- This is simply going about doing good, the works of God.
FAITHFULNESS- It never gives up and it never lets down.
MEEKNESS- Jesus assured all, that it is the meek and not the aggressive that inherit the earth. The meek are willing to be in submission to God.
SELF-DISCIPLINE- Is not the control of self, but the self, composed by The Holy Spirit.
PATIENCE-The Holy Spirit imparts calm, peace and gives the strength of uncomplaining enndurance, when under pain or provocation, etc., in waiting, to have patience a little longer and quiet perserverence; to labour with patience.
A disciple needs the gracious ministry of the indispensable Holy Spirit. God does not hold to the bare necessities but opens up an inexhaustible source of blessings. Joy, peace and happiness result from being a disciple of Christ. Jesus promised peace as well as friendship.
Old Testament examples about the accounts of the 'birthright' inheritance reminded believers that they can forfeit God's blessings if not living responsibly as heirs of God's family, of His Kingdom.
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