10 – Discipleship with gospel clarity

Whether teaching the gospel to nonbelievers or to believers, biblical clarity is critical. Unsaved people need to hear of sin, judgement, Jesus substitutional death, repentance, and the new life of righteous living as a follower of Christ. And believers need to accept Christ’s call for growing Christlikeness without compromise.

Text:   Colossians 3:9b-10
…put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Jesus calls people to repent of their sin and stop living in habitual sin. Paul explains every believer’s responsibility to put off old practices. This requires a serious commitment to Jesus’ lordship, and determination to put on the new self. This ongoing renewal takes place through daily growing in the knowledge of Christ.

Knowledge of Christ is far more than doing memory verses or even accepting sound doctrine. It works like this; as you decrease being conformed to this world, you increase being transformed by the renewal of your mind (Romans 12:2). Jesus prayed about this renewing and transforming process, calling it sanctification in the truth; your word is truth (John 17:17). God’s Word washes and renews our minds. We study it with the desire for renewed thinking, attitudes, behaviour, and speech.

Reading and applying biblical truth with the expectation of Holy Spirit transformation into Christlikeness is this new life in the image of its creator that Paul is speaking of.

In Ephesians 6:14, Paul presents the first piece of spiritual armour, it is the first priority of armour provided by God. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist. We are responsible to wrap the truth of God’s Word around ourselves and to buckle the ends of the belt together through application of that truth. The buckling is what connects our knowledge to a renewed mind and a changed life. Understanding this is the first step in standing firm in the faith of Jesus Christ.

This is to be the deepest commitment of everyone who would believe in and follow Jesus Christ. This is part of the foundation of biblical discipleship. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom… (Colossians 3:16a).

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