Converge – Week 3; The Disciplines of a Disciple
For our eight week summer study on Wednesday Night we are drilling down on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. After all, He commanded that we make disciples (Matt. 28:19). And who was He talking to at that moment? The disciples. So disciples should make disciples. But what does that mean? How do we do it? How do we apply discipleship to every situation of the lives we live? These are the questions we are looking at together. In week 3 we asked what are the habits (disciplines) that a disciple does that helps them follow Jesus? These are summary statements for an outline, but if you missed the discussion and what more description and instruction, you can get all the content on our podcast at www.eagleheights.com.
Notes and discussion were provided by Steve Presswood.
Greek-to-English, (Grk. – Mathetes) = disciple. From Vine’s Expository Dictionary, mathetes (disciple) literally means “a learner,” indicating thought accompanied by endeavor. It denotes “one who follows one’s teaching.” A disciple was not only a pupil, but an adherent; hence they are spoken of as imitators of their teacher.
Some of Jesus’ most succinct teachings about what it means to be a disciple are found in the following passages. What do these passages teach about a disciple’s attitudes, aims and actions?
- We are to love Jesus preeminently.
- Jesus is the most important person in our life.
- By comparison, every other relationship should be secondary to hearing and following Jesus.
- The word of Jesus is central to being a disciple.
- A disciple is not one who makes a decision but lives in response to God’s word.
- This is a hard and lifelong work.
The mandate of Christ was that we follow Him. One of the common admonitions of the NT outside of the gospels was that those in Christ do what He did. It’s expressed in many ways. Among them is that walk worthy, that we live consistent with who we are in Christ, that we press on to maturity (Christ-likeness), that we suffer in the flesh in order to live for the will of God, that we walk in the same way Jesus walked-in obedience.
What a tall order! Is it doable? Certainly not perfectly but it is possible. The expectation is that we follow Christ to the point of maturity, to fruitfulness (see John 15:8).
What’s the process for growing to maturity? Jesus gave it in its simplest from in John 8:31. The process is to continue in His word, to practice what I call being an HBO Christian, meaning to continually…
- Obeying. – What? The word of Jesus.
Discipline, or self-control or training, is required for spiritual growth and development as with any type of growth and development. Paul tells Timothy, his true child in the faith, “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” (1 Tim. 4:7)
Disciplines are tools for training, resources for success and fruitfulness, helps for growing in Christ. Some of the tools used by those who hare growing in their walk with Christ:
- Reading the Bible daily.
- Praying regularly with a list.
- Memorizing the Bible.
Don Whitney in his book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life recommends these as additional spiritual disciplines:
- Stewardship (Giving).
- Silence and Solitude.
For additional resources go to Discipleship Library.