Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Biblical Discipleship

1.      Vision.

The history of Christianity teaches us that God was using man filled up with the Holy Spirit to transform nations. These man understood that the only way to transform and reach the world is through, one fervent pray, two passion and love for the lost people and three made disciples of our dear Lord Jesus. Revivals have been observed on many locals churches and it is the reason why we need to spent time on pray, practice evangelism and disciple them. In our days, God is showing us that it is the time for harvest.

We already know that the Great Commission must be our priority, and also must urgent and vital to bring God’s kingdom into many people’s life. He promises to be with us all the time “…….I am with you always, even to the end of the ages.”Matthew 28:20.

 As Jesus’ churches we have already know the strategic, it is the Great Commission, and this strategic is going to lead us to reach many people into the lost world with the Gospel of Jesus, and the same time we are going to be used by God as His divine instruments to transform this world.

Jesus commanded us to “go” and also to “Make disciples”. It is to let them to know: 1. The role of Master teacher: Following Jesus’ answer to where?, 2. The role of faithful learner: Following Jesus; answer to what, 3. The role of the Great Physician: Following Jesus’ answer to why?. 4. The role of submissive servant: Following to Jesus’ answer to how?.

One appropriate translation says “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” It is very important to clarify to make disciples is not just a simple church’s program or just simple church’s activity. To make disciples must be our priority of our Christian life. We have to make disciples on natural way with spontaneous life style or on the way; we are showing them on how we are obedient to God’s words.  

Right now, Jesus’ church is trying to accomplish the Great Commission but we are trying to accomplish, and to do with a simple high activism. These situations is leading Jesus’ church to many reunions and to different activities, but with poor results and with less impact on those are living outside of Jesus’ love and Jesus’ mercy. It is the big reason why 85% of Jesus’ church is declining and plateau.

Let me use this illustration, suppose you need to fix the roof of your home because is broken, and then you call a labor man, and you give to him the specific instruction that you want to fix your roof. And then you go on vacation. When your vacation is over, you come back to your home and you will expect that your roof have been fixed. As soon as you get in your home you walk inside of your home, and then you see that your home’s walls have been painted, and you observed some electrical work, and you see that your home’s floor have been polished, and then you asked to your labor man did you fix my roof?, and then the worker replied to you “I was so busy on many things and many different responsibilities, and it is the reason why I can’t do anything to your roof” What do you do with this labor man?. And the same token, Jesus asks to His church what do you do with the Great Commission? How many people have touched it or influenced it by our life? What do we answer to Him? Probably we said to Him “Lord I’m deeply sorry, but I was so busy on many good things and urgencies, and many different responsibilities, and it is the reason why I do not have time to make disciples.”   

 2.  How to follow Jesus.

This remind us How you and I are going to follow Jesus?. To follow is a process which involves many traits how is mentioned by Dr. Habermas on his book ICEF[1]1. The ability to honor Him, every person of made being made in God’s image possesses the awesome abilities to contribute to the church’s educational opportunities. 2. The trait of personality. We are unique and we are capable to learn as well. God gave us human will is the most important gift because made us able to choose, to obey or disobey and to serve. 3. The trait of boundary, it is very important to know our learner limitations. We need to find out where the person is, and to find out and to locate an instructional starting point. Jesus is a good example to determine their comprehension level. 4. The trait of deformity. God gave to Adam and Eve specific instructions and they twisted, but Jesus is the ultimate goal for how to rebuild those human bridges. Jesus was attacked and also many times he was accused by Jesus’ persecutors, but Jesus was extending His dignity to all people, and to those who admit their need for Him. 5. The trait of sentimentality. To appeal to human emotions. In the Sermon of the Mount Matthew 5 through 7 a. Mourning (5:4), b. Anger (5:21-26), c. Lust (5:27-30), d. Retaliation (5:38-42), e. Love for enemies (5:43-48), f. Giving to the need (6:1-4), g. Lure of Materialism (6:19-24), h. Worry (6:25-34), i. Criticism of others (7:1-6). 6. The trait of inclusivity: Adam was invited to be involved. God gave Him a big responsibility to name to every animal have been created by our dear God. And the same token, Jesus invite Peter to be part of His phenomenal ministry, and down the road become a fishers of men. 7. The trait of Rationality. Jesus is given us the good example what do need to build a tower. He said to find out first what kind cost is involved? Do you have enough money to finish your job? We need to use our common sense, and also to be very rational person. 8. The trait of teachability. We need to be good learners and we are going to learn from Jesus if we allow Him to help us on the area. 9.  The trait if identity. Jesus asked to them “Who do you say I am?” Peter answers “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The answer of Peter marks the highest testimony of Jesus Personal identity. We need to identify with Jesus’ identity. What it means we are belonging to Him.

3.      To become a faithful learner.

Jesus used natural sources for learning. He learned through a formal direction. Happen to Jesus when He was in the temple. Also, He learned through the informal education in the home.

Matthew on chapter 1 verse 24 that Joseph was a righteous man. He was obedient to God’s revelation through his angel (foundation for become a faithful disciple), and he was exhibiting realistic human fear. Jesus was teaching in the law. Jesus was a carpenter. He came to Jewish annual festivals and holidays, Jesus learned his culture and customs. Jesus was student of humanity. He already knows the evil nature of the human creation. Because He has omniscient ability, He knows people thoughts, and also he knows people basic needs. Also, Jesus learned from erroneous ideas from His culture.

He learned from current experiences such as: Learning through human senses, through purposeful observation and from active listening. Through human senses happen when He was touching in order to be healed. Also, He learned through purposeful observation when the Jewish was bringing their money into the temple. This situation brings Jesus’ teaching about what means is of giving. Jesus was a good listener.

Jesus realizes the supernatural sources of learning. Jesus was God, but He depends on the dist and the third persons of the Trinity as well as on the word of God. The Scripture teaches us on how Jesus depends on His Father assistance. He was assistance by the Father on Lazarus’s resurrection. Just on the beginning of Jesus ministry His Father says “ my Son, whom I love; with Him I well pleased.

The Father was with always and offered explicitly helps on many different occasions, and we can find it when Jesus practices exorcism.

Another hand, Jesus received assistance from God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit was presented always on Jesus’ life. From the beginning the Holy Spirit was present on Jesus’ baptism when the Spirit descending on Him in bodily from likes a dove. Jesus was very clear to us when He suggests without God’s Spirit we cannot do anything, always we must be abide on God’s Spirit on our learning process of faithfulness.

On other hand, Jesus leans on the assistance from the Word of God. Good example and we can find it on Jesus’ temptation. Even thou the devil was twisting God’s Words, Jesus was familiarize with the Scripture full knowledge. It is why Jesus replied to the devil on the appropriate way and into the appropriate Theological manner and doctrine.

4.      To know who is He?

In the Bible we can find Jesus role as Son of Man. Jesus was tempted in every way, just as we are. He called Himself as Son of Man which means totally human. Jesus was a perfect God what means is 100% God not less, He was 100% human and 100% divine, He was two natures united as one (sometimes very difficult to understand for many unbelievers). Jesus natures are very good and fully balanced.

Jesus is completely human. He must be our model of our life. He is fully God and fully man. You can find Jesus emotions on John 11:35 when Jesus wept for his beloved friend Lazarus. Also, we can find in the Bible when Jesus was hungry or thirsty. One of the good examples of Jesus’ humanity happens when His beloved friend passes away and then He cried. Also, He was completely divine when He transforms the water into a wine. We can find it on the celebration of the wedding reception and the wine runs out.

 Who is Jesus Christ? By His suffering and death, He paid completely for the sins of all who believe in Him. He set us free from the certain judgment and eternal condemnation of God that was to fall to fall on all of us.
Some have given their lives for others, and great men have come and gone, yet Jesus Christ lives on. Herod could not kill Him. Satan could not stop him. Death could not destroy Him. The grave could not hold Him. Having fully satisfied God's perfect justice, He conquered death and rose on the third day as He said He would.

Who is Jesus Christ? For the last 2,000 years, every man, woman and child has been confronted with this same question. In Mathew 16:15, Jesus put it this way, 'But who do you say that I am?' One of His disciples, Simon Peter, replied: 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Now it's your turn. Who do you say that He is?

Jesus total job was to preach, to teach, and to heal. Dr. Habermas mentioned to us that on his book ECEF that 72 percent mention Jesus doing one of these three tasks. Of this 72 percent, 48 percent feature Jesus’ teaching, and healing and preaching representing in 12 percent.

The purpose of restoration. Jesus paid high price. We can find it in the God’s Words.

Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift from God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

John 3:16  “For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 14:6 “Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life.  No man comes to the Father except through Me.”

Romans 10:9-10  “For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord, and believe in your own heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is by believing in your heart that you become right with God and by telling others with your mouth, you confirm your salvation.”

Revelation 3:20 “Look! I am standing at the door and I am constantly knocking.  If anyone hears me calling and opens the door, I will come and fellowship with him and he with Me.”

Matthew 16:24-26 Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

2 Peter 1:16 “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

Romans 1:20-23 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men have no excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…”

5.      Submissive servant.

Jesus on His life is showing us how the proper manner or way to become a submissive person. Jesus submits to His Father and to His Father’s will. To become a submit person is not just simple yes or not. It not being hypocritical person, when you are saying you are agrees with a certain point but you are not. We can find Jesus’ submission on Matt. 26:30, when Jesus’ request to His followers to pray (Luke 22:40). As Jesus’ followers we need to ourselves to God’s Sovereignty. Like Joseph knows his determination to find out where the exact place of God’s Sovereignty is. Also, Joseph holds the position the Sovereignty God to provide for his family. And Joseph knows the exact perspective toward his brothers the Sovereignty of God for Joseph’s family.

What is the main objective of Biblical discipleship? How I mentioned on the beginning of my writing it is the mission which is using by God to transform life. Discipleship is influence. What means is to influence in other life and become partner with God for the accomplishment of God’s Great Commission. 

Discipleship as a ministry is a continue movement, progressive, and with effective life of prayer, with evangelism, and discipleship. It is doing through Jesus’ church, with the main purpose to impact in people’s life (as an individual, family, community, city, nation and the world) with the Jesus’ gospel, and for God’s glory.

As Jesus’ disciples, all the time we must walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Greek word The Paraclete guides us into the truth and makes Christ provision for our sin and His personal presence real in our lives. He will transform us into the image of Christ. The Holy Spirit will make possible you and I become by His tremendous power. On the primary role, the Spirit convicts unbelievers of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Without the works of the Holy Spirit is not salvation at all. Regenerating you and I become a new creation through the new birth, and the Holy Spirit implants in us the divine nature in the child of God. Baptizing all the believers in Christ have been baptized into on body and it is the consequence we become part or we have been adopted in the Holy Spirit into the family of God. Sealing. A big deal for many Christian’s denominations. The Holy Spirit is the eternal promise of our inheritance, and he seals all who trust in Christ for the day of redemption. Indwelling always the Holy Spirit permanently indwells all believers in Christ, so what means we become temples of the Holy Spirit who is in us. Filling. the fulfillment of the Holy Spirit produce in us the fruit of Christian character and maturity. Empowering is related to God’s Sovereignty. Assuring the Spirit testifies that we are children of God. Illuminating. We are going to be able to discern God’s Words. We are going to be able to understand the meaning and application for daily and practical life. Teaching. Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will guide us into the all the truth. Praying. The Spirit is going to help us on how to pray. He will intercede for us with groaning too deep for words. Gifting. The Holy Spirit will gift Jesus’ church for the mutual edification of the members of the body.   

Regarding to growth in Christ like on obedience, patience, courage, wisdom, service, humility, gentleness, and love is never easy. Jesus never promises it will be an easy task. He magnify in Mark 8:34-35 “And he called unto him the multitude with his disciples, and said unto them, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

35 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's shall save it.”ASV

Our main goal as Jesus’ disciples is to place ourselves under the conditions favorable to growth and look to God for our spiritual formation. God uses many occasions and situations for each person. Jesus have been developed my own personal plan regarding to become a mature disciple. Every plan is different for every disciple of Christ.

What means to make disciples? It is just simple. 1. To pray for those are lost, 2. To evangelize those are living outside of the saving grace, 3. Make disciples every believer, and 4. To send Jesus’ disciples to the end of the world. Jesus’ favorite word was “follow me”.  We need to make challenges to Jesus’ disciples and become part of this wonderful ministry.       


[1] Dr. Habermas, Introduction to Christian Education and Formation, Zodervan, Copyright 2008, Grand Rapids, Michigan,

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