We’re going through a book called Radical at my church right now and it’s not your average look into American Christianity. It’s full of tough truths and things that are hard to swallow when it comes to how we tend to treat our faith in the Western world. The book is fantastic and was required reading for me and the rest of the crew that went to Congo last December (wow, that was almost a year ago?).
The book really made an impact on my pastor, so much so that he decided that he wanted to build an entire series around it. We’re a few chapters into it right now and it’s already impacting the church I’m a way that most of his other series haven’t. By using Radical as a way to connect the truth of the Bible to our lives as Christians living in the Bay Area it’s allowed us to wrestle with our faith, which one of the hard parts of being a follower of Jesus Christ.
Today the main theme that came from Radical was discipleship and how every Christian is called to become disciples of Christ through spreading the word of God to everyone, everywhere. The foundational verse that kicked off the sermon today was Matthew 28:19-20.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
As Christians we’re all called to be pushing ourselves to be disciples, which isn’t always an easy thing to do. We’re all called to be disciples in different ways and there’s really no telling what yours will be. One person might be called to disciple as a full-time missionary in China while another might be called to his neighborhood or office. No calling is any greater than another and praying/fellowship will help it become clear over time.
Even though as Christians we’re all called to be different types of disciples, the qualities of what a disciple should be is the same across the board.
A Disciple Loves – A disciple shows unconditional love for all people at all times. This is practically impossible to do, but it’s what all Christians should be aiming for.
By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another. -John 13:35
A Disciple Liberates – There are people who are being held captive by the forces of sin and it’s a disciple’s job to free them from it through the love of Jesus Christ.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit… Matthew 28:19
A Disciple Leads – Not only do we need to talk, blog, read and listen to what a disciple should be doing, but more importantly we need to lead in discipleship by example. All talk and no action isn’t going to lead anyone else to become a follower of Jesus Christ.
If you hold onto my teaching, you are truly my disciples. -John 8:31
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. -2 Timothy 2:2
A Disciple Launches – Taking the time to disciple others will result in more disciples being created. It’s not a numbers game, it takes time and it takes building real relationships, but it will start an exponential spreading of the word of God, which is pretty awesome.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations… -Matthew 28:19
Being a disciple is hard and it takes time. It requires effort to go and get out of your comfort zone and it means creating real relationships in meaningful ways. How are you being a disciple and where are you being called to act on God’s behalf?