Teaching Notes: On A Trinity For Disciples

We continue in our series about making disciples to A Trinity For Disciples.

This “trinity” is not specifically about the Godhead Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), but about three vital foundational truths for a Christian disciple’s life.

[These notes are from a seminar series taught more than 40 years ago. The notes are in outline form.]

In John 13, Jesus moved from His public ministry to the last moments with His disciples before He went to the Cross.

  • In less than 24 hours He will be dead!
  • In three days He will be raised from the dead!
  • In 43 days He will ascend back to His Heavenly Father!
  • Ten days later His disciples (apostles) will be teaching the foundational doctrine for the Church of Jesus Christ!

We know very little about the training that the disciples received between the resurrection and the ascension, which is a period of 40 days. But the Holy Spirit has given us great detail about those last few hours between the Passover Supper and Jesus’ arrests. This is the insight on discipleship that God wanted us to know as the Spirit inspired John to record it.

Here’s what happened from the Supper until Jesus and His disciples went to the garden:

  1. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet.
  2. Jesus predicted His betrayal by Judas.
  3. Jesus gave the disciples a “new” commandment.
  4. Jesus predicted Peter’s denial.
  5. Jesus comforted the disciples and promised them the Holy Spirit.
  6. Jesus instructed the disciples to continue in Him and bear much fruit.
  7. Jesus instructed the disciples that they would be hated and persecuted by the world.
  8. Jesus explained the “work” of the Holy Spirit.
  9. Jesus told them that their grief would turn to joy.
  10. Jesus prayed for Him, the disciples and all believers.

There are so many exciting truths that will be gained by any disciple who takes the time to read and practice.

As I studied this, I came across a “trinity” for disciples: three foundational truths that are absolutely necessary for a full and effective life.

  1. Jesus loves us and that is the foundation of our discipleship! Our love and devotion to Him is our proper response to His great love for us.
  2. If we love Jesus, we will do what He commands! His new commandment is that we love one another as He loves us.
  3. Jesus has told us these things so that His joy may be in us and that our joy may be complete!

Love —> Obedience —> Joy

Here, then, is a beautiful trinity for disciples! A life of love — a live of obedience — a life of joy.

Scripture References

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:21

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23

“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:9-14

“These things I command you, that ye love one another.” John 15:17

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” John 15:18-20

[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.]

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