In our 95 theses project, I have been noting the need for a discipleship process in the church. The very DNA of the church needs to be one that is a discipleship making community.
Jesus gave us one job description to the disciples, “Go make disciples”. So who are you discipling? Is this one on one or one on two or three? How is it going? Is the person entering the kingdom of true happiness and a heavenly quality of life? How do you do it? What is the process? What life changing principles are you emphasizing? Does it work?
Who are you being discipled by? What is this person teaching you? Do you meet every day? Call each other? Does he or she know your life story and your limiting sins and shortcomings? Are you entering the kingdom or are you still stuck?
I ask these questions knowing that many of us can’t begin to answer these questions because we are not either discipling or being discipled.
The Need for Highly Intentional Discipleship
In Matt 4:23 – 5:2 Jesus sees the multitudes and (extracting from Matt 9) is filled with compassion and does what? Jesus seeing the multitudes as harassed and helpless (the way Jesus always sees the multitudes) begins to disciple the disciples in earnest. The passage says, “Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying: 3"Blessed are the poor in spirit”
Jesus’ life work (John 17) was to train the twelve. Why? Because it was specifically teaching the twelve how to enter the kingdom and find “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17) is the only way to give the kingdom to the harassed and helpless of the world. If we as believers do not possess victory over our own foolishness and sinfulness, how are we to lead the crowds into a heavenly quality of life?
So I ask you, “Have you walked down the narrow path into the life of the kingdom?” “Do you have a testimony of deliverance from our habits and limitations into true happiness?” If we do not possess a means, tried and found successful, to bring the harassed and helpless into holiness and happiness., then I dare say we are in need of learning how the teachings of Jesus work.
In the posts ahead, I will attempt to show this simple but narrow path into true happiness and a truly heavenly quality of life…
Theses #6: Those who preach and teach in the church must possess the kingdom and understand the teachings of Jesus by experience if they are to lead others into the kingdom life and if the church is to bring the Gospel of the Kingdom to the world.
For more listen to this sermon:
Sermon on the Mount - The Discipleship Program of Jesus and the Mission of the Church (stream) (download)