“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20
The resurrected Jesus stood before His disciples just before He ascended to Heaven. He had their attention. Jesus told His disciples to “go” and “make disciples” in the knowledge that He had “all authority” in heaven and on earth. The disciples knew what Jesus meant by “make disciples” because they were His disciples. They understood the process of becoming a “disciple” of Jesus Christ because He had done that with them. They knew it meant obeying (observing) everything Jesus had commanded them.
In this next section of Teaching Notes we will look at several parts of a discipleship seminar taught at churches during the mid-1970’s. I hope it will help you in your walk with Christ and invite you to share the notes with others who have a desire to be “committed followers” of Jesus.
[These notes are from a seminar series taught more than 40 years ago. The notes are in outline form.]
In the simplest form, discipleship is the “following of any teacher or school of thought.”
The word “disciple” in the Scriptures has an added meaning – “a learner who endeavors to obey what he has learned.”
The Center of Discipleship
“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” Romans 14:8
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Goals of Discipleship
- Loving God with our whole being (Matthew 22:37)
- Loving our families and neighbors (Matthew 22:39)
- Being filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)
- Being holy and pure (Ephesians 1:4)
- Bearing spiritual fruit (John 15:16)
- Hungering and thirsting after God (Matthew 5:6)
- Being righteous (1 Corinthians 15:34)
- Being obedient (James 1:25)
- Being unified with the brethren (1 Corinthians 1:10)
- Being prepared for spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-20)
- Having the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8)
- Being wise and understanding (Ephesians 5:17)
- Being set apart (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
- Being thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- Walking worthy (Colossians 1:9-12)
- Being steadfast (Philippians 1:27)
- Being rooted and built up in Christ (Colossians 2:6-7)
The Outline of Discipleship
- A disciple puts Christ first place in every area of their life and is taking steps to separate from sin.
- A disciple has a daily devotional time and is constantly developing their prayer life.
- A disciple demonstrates faithfulness and has a desire to learn and apply the Word of God through regular Bible study, Scripture memory, reading and meditation of the Scriptures.
- A disciple manifests a heart for witnessing, gives out the truth and presents the Gospel regularly with increasing skill.
- A disciple attends a local church and maintains close ties with its fellowship, displaying love and unity.
- A disciple demonstrates a servant’s heart by a sincere interest in helping others.
- A disciple is a learner – open and teachable.
- A disciple is giving regularly and honoring God with their finances.
- A disciple demonstrates the fruits of the Spirit by an attractive walk and relationship to Christ and their neighbor.
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from more than 40 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your ministry.]