9 – How to do discipleship – Part 2

While the world is random in its beliefs and lifestyle, Jesus’ disciples are focused, purposeful, and Christ-centred. Discipleship spends more time reasoning through spiritual development in Christ than on a believer’s social life. Therefore, before we study the components of discipleship, we need to have a clear and solid foundation in our understanding for why we do what we do.

Text:   Romans 8:29a
For those whom he (God) foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son… Conformity to Christ Paul says, is… according to the purpose of his (God’s) will (Eph 1:5b).

The very foundation of a relationship with Christ is built upon the Father’s will for every believer to grow more and more in knowledge, in understanding, and in Christlike character. This means ongoing death to self and sinful pleasures (Col 3:8-17). This has been the Father’s predetermined will and plan from before creation. In love He (God) predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will (Ephesians 1:4-5). Nothing was left to chance, and nothing was left to us.

Our salvation was not accidental. Salvation was not simply because we chose to seek after the Lord. We were not the primary reason for being saved from sin’s penalty. Our salvation, and the salvation of those we disciple, is totally the sovereign work of God by grace alone. God made it happen for His purpose and glory.

God’s purpose remains for us to be conformed to the image of his Son. This leaves no room for selfishness. Pride, unbelief, and indecision are removed (Eph 2:8-10). Jesus said, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27). False belief only wants Jesus to satisfying personal pleasures, but believers obediently follow Jesus as Lord (John 3:36).

The rock-solid foundation of all Christian living is Christ. Therefore, it is Christ who we follow, Christ whom we teach, and Christ whom we seek to replicate in both our lives and the lives of those we disciple. There can be no compromise on this God ordained priority.

Conformity to Christ will determine everything we teach and the example we live before the watching eyes of those we are directing towards Christlikeness.

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