We’ve now spent many days immersing ourselves in this process of understanding our identity in Christ and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. I pray that this process has been helpful in your growth to become conformed to the image of Christ.
One more time Read Matthew 28:18-20
A disciple is:
- A sent missionary (going/sharing/engaging culture)
- Baptized into a family (relational/church body/fellowship)
- A learner of the Word (knowledge/doctrine/study)
Or we could also say that a disciple loves Jesus with his or her:
Now we come to the third aspect of what Jesus defines as a disciple. We’ve already explored what it means to be living as a sent missionary and what it means to be baptized into a loving church family.
Now comes the one you are probably the most familiar with—a learner of the Word of God.
Jesus told us to teach for obedience and transformation. It is not just a generic command to teach for teaching sake, but that we are to teach disciples to obey or observe all that Jesus commanded.
Have you actually gone through the gospels and looked at all the commandments of Jesus to see what He actually commanded us to obey?
The Greek word for “observe” means to “preserve, be watchful, guard, to pay close attention”
So we are not making disciples unless we are teaching others to be carefully obedient to the Scriptures and to not only be hearers of the word, but doers also.
Why have we in our modern American context, reduced making disciples to classroom based studies with fill in the blank notebooks? How has it been done for the past 2000 years and how is it done in other countries that don’t have all the resources we have?
At Emmanuel, we speak a lot about theology and doctrine, but there is a purpose for it. We don’t just want to fill our heads with knowledge, but we want that knowledge to transform us into obedient disciples who are being conformed to the image of Christ.
How can we truly know how to worship, and how to obey and how to follow Jesus unless we spend time learning His word?
Read John 15:1-11
Pay careful attention to verse 7—Jesus speaks about His Word abiding in us so that we will bear much fruit. Notice how he links obedience in verse 10 by urging us to keep His commandments. How can we keep His commandments? By abiding in Christ and letting His Word abide in us.
Read Colossians 3:16
Let me very honest with you: You and I will never grow to be more like Jesus unless we spend time saturating ourselves in His Word—letting it dwell richly in us.
We need to be very careful that we don’t just become sponges that soak up a lot of information that never leads to transformation. Many of us are educated in the Bible beyond our obedience level. In other words, we may know a lot of doctrine, facts, and theology, but has that translated to a changed lifestyle of obedience where we are passionately loving God and seeking His glory, treasuring Christ and submitting to His Lordship, and relying on the Holy Spirit to be both hearers and doers of the Word.
Spend some time in prayer asking God to give you a hunger for His Word. Make a commitment to read the Bible through in a year or to be diligent and consistent in your daily Bible reading. Saturate yourself in the Scriptures.
Dear Father in Heaven,
Thank you for your infallible, inspired, and inerrant Word. It will never pass away. Give me a hunger for Your Word. I want the Bible to dwell in my richly so that I can not only learn what it says, but actually obey it. I want to get information from your Word, but don’t let it stop there. I want transformation! I want to be conformed to the image of Christ through a daily intake of Your Word!
In Jesus’ Name,