Walk By Faith (Loving Jesus More Than Your Stuff)

Walk By Faith (pt 3)

In the previous two articles we looked at what it means to “walk by faith” from Luke 14:25-33. This passage frames the positive virtue of “walking by faith” in terms of three negative “my disciple” statements. You might think of them as the three great costs of discipleship.

The first cost, in verse 26, is that a disciple will choose to love Jesus more than his own family. Then, as now, a person prioritized their relationship with their family over any other earthly relationship. Jesus is saying, “if you want to be my disciple then you have to prioritize your love for me over your love for anybody else in this world.”

Cost number two is at the end of verse 26 and fleshed out with a word picture in verse 27. Not only do we prioritize our allegiance to Jesus over any earthly relationship, we also prioritize our allegiance to Jesus over our allegiance to ourselves. This involves a daily decision to “take up our cross” and die to ourselves. Self-denial is a mark of genuine disciples of Jesus.

Loving Jesus More Than Your Stuff

The third cost of being a disciple of Jesus explained is summed up in verse 33.

“So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”

If you want to be a disciple of Jesus, it means you must renounce everything that you have for Jesus.

To unpack this last cost of discipleship Jesus tells a parable. The first parable is about a builder building a tower. The second is about a king who is going to battle. In both parables, the point of the story is to count the cost before you start and do not start unless you intend to finish. Don’t make a commitment casually and don’t make a commitment you don’t plan to keep.

You’ll be largely ineffective as a follower of Jesus unless you know what you’re getting into and plan to finish what you start.

To put it simply, being a disciple of Jesus means that every person must give up everything. Choosing to be a follower of Jesus is not small thing. It’s not “easy” to be a follower of Christ It requires faith. Disciples of Jesus walk by faith. They prioritize their commitment to Jesus over their commitment to family, friends, themselves or their stuff. Everything must be subordinate to Jesus.

The Life of Faith & Death of Idols

Let’s put our three questions back to back.

  1. Will I love Jesus more than my earthy dearest?
  2. Will I love Jesus more than myself?
  3. Will I love Jesus more than my stuff?

These questions target the great God-substitutes when it comes to walking by faith.

Are you going to trust in your self or trust in the Lord?

Will you find security in your stuff or in Christ your Savior?

Will you find your confidence in the LORD or in your role as a parent or spouse?

Notice that these God-substitutes aren’t bad things. They’re just secondary things. Anytime we make a secondary thing a primary thing we pay a price. The Bible calls this idolatry.

Prioritizing the creation over the Creator only invites destruction to your mind, body and soul. It cannot be sustained in the life of a true disciple of Jesus.

If you want to be a disciple of Jesus then it means choosing to walk by faith, day by day, moment by moment, for all of your life.

It means you will prioritize faith in Christ over faith in yourself. You will prioritize faith in Christ over faith in your family or friends. You will prioritize faith in Christ over faith in your stuff.

These first three “my disciple” statements are really all about surrendering to and savoring Jesus Christ above all.

You surrender everything so that you might have him; and, having gained him, you choose to treasure him over any other worldly treasure. Discipleship is considering everyone and everything, even our own lives, as subordinate to our allegiance to Jesus.

Jesus demands absolute supremacy in your life. You cannot become a disciple without radically committing yourself to Him by faith.

Counting The Cost

In some ways, the heading above this teaching from Jesus in my Bible is unfortunate. It isn’t untrue. There is a cost to discipleship. But there’s also a cost to non-discipleship.

You do lose something in choosing to follow Jesus. But in choosing not to follow him you lose even more. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 16:25-26

“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”

All that you lose in the cost of discipleship is more than made up for through what you gain in Jesus Christ.

That “gain” is likened to a treasure in a field and a pearl of great price in Matthew 13:44-46. That kind of gain is yours for the taking if you will only receive it by faith.

Disciples of Jesus walk by faith. In the following couple of weeks you’ll see the remaining three characteristics of a disciple. But, in many ways, this first characteristic is the most important.

 

The Triangle Of Discipleship

The remaining three characteristics relate to three main relational arenas in the life of a disciple. I call it the triangle of discipleship. The triangle consists of your relationship with God at the top, your relationship with believers to the left, and your relationship with unbelievers to the right.

Disciples abide in the Word, love one another and bear much fruit. These three characteristics correlate with those three relational arenas respectively. But faith is what moves the disciple along at each point.

 

By faith you love Christ more than you love anyone else. That’s what it means to abide in the Word.

By faith you love other believers even above yourself.

By faith you love the world more than you love your stuff.

Is it coincidental that the three costs of discipleship correlate with the three relational arenas of discipleship? I don’t think so. You walk by faith in each of these three relational arenas.

The longer you do that the more mature you’ll become as a follower of Jesus.

Walk By Faith (Loving Jesus More Than Yourself)

Walk By Faith (pt 2)

In the previous article we looked at what it means to “walk by faith” from Luke 14:26. This passage frames the positive virtue of “walking by faith” in terms of three negative “my disciple” statements. You might think of them as the three great costs of discipleship.

The first cost, in verse 26, is that a disciple will choose to love Jesus more than his own family. Then, as now, a person prioritized their relationship with their family over any other earthly relationship. Jesus is saying, “if you want to be my disciple then you have to prioritize your love for me over your love for anybody else in this world.”

Loving Jesus More Than Yourself

Cost number two is at the end of verse 26 and fleshed out with a word picture in verse 27. Not only do we prioritize our allegiance to Jesus over any earthly relationship, we also prioritize our allegiance to Jesus over our allegiance to ourselves.

Jesus says my disciple will prioritize me over his family,”…yes, and even his own life.” (Luke 14:26)

What does that look like, practically speaking? It looks like sacrificial self-denial.

That’s the word picture of verse 27.

“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27)

When the crowd heard the word cross they would have immediately envisioned a crucifixion. Jesus is telling this large crowd following him that if they were going to be true disciples then they must be ready to carry their own cross to their own deaths.

Discipleship necessarily entails a death to self.

By saying this, Jesus isn’t advocating some kind of sadistic form of suicide. Jesus is merely emphasizing the fact that the life of a disciple is marked by self-denial.

He makes this explicit with another passage in Luke’s Gospel.

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

Not only does discipleship involve self-denial. It requires that one practice self-denial on a daily basis.

Many people choose to put their ultimate faith in human relationships instead of of the Lord. More often, though, the thing that kills faith in God more than anything else is faith in the self.

That’s why Proverbs 3:5 says,

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”

Proverbs 3:7 says,

“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.”

Self-denial isn’t just rigid discipline with your diet and exercise. It’s being disciplined to keep your confidence in the Lord instead of yourself.

This requires some degree of striving. Discipleship is no passive endeavor. Being a disciple of Jesus means prioritizing your love for Jesus over any earthly relationship and prioritizing your love for Jesus over your love for yourself.

The third cost is in Luke 14:28-32. We will look at that cost next time.

 

Walk By Faith (Loving Jesus More Than Anybody Else)

Walk By Faith

The first three “my disciple” statements by Jesus are in Luke 14:25-33. It is from this passage that we discover the role of commitment in the life of a disciple. There are different words that you could use to communicate the main idea of this passage.

Some might use the words radical commitment.

Others might say unwavering trust.

Perhaps, from your point of view, the main idea is prioritized love.

Whichever language you decide on, the point of the text is that when a disciple is posed with the decision to choose Christ or choose something or someone else, they choose Christ.

Is this not the meta narrative of all of Scripture?

In the Garden of Eden, it was a failure to prioritize the LORD that resulted in the the fall of mankind. They were posed with these questions. “Will I trust in the Lord or will I trust in myself? Will I trust God at his Word or will my unbelief lead me to choose another path?”

You see the same dynamic at play throughout Scripture. In the Garden of Eden their was a breach of trust. Since then, God has been pleading with mankind to “walk by faith.”

By that I don’t mean having faith in faith itself. What God wants is for us to believe that He is who he says He is and that He will do what He says he will do. People who find themselves in a right standing with God are those who choose to live a life of faith. That’s what this text is about.

The Cost Of Discipleship

The heading in your copy of God’s Word when you get to Luke 14:25 may say something along the lines of “The Cost of Discipleship.”

According to verse 25, great crowds were following Jesus wherever he went. At this point in his ministry Jesus was very popular. From time to time, Jesus would give a “hard saying” to big crowds as a way of thinning the heard.

Then, just as it is today, people followed Jesus because of what they thought he might do for them. They followed him because of who they had made him out to be in their own mind, a messiah of their own making.

That’s why Jesus would give these hard sayings. It was his way of reminding the crowds what it really means to be his disciple.

There’s a cost associated with following Jesus. This passage is very clear in laying out that cost. There are three scenarios that Jesus lays out in particular.

In each scenario the disciple is faced with the challenge of who or what is going to take priority in the affections of his or her heart? In whom or in what will the disciple ultimately trust? According to Jesus, you must be radically committed to Him above all else if you’re going to follow him as a disciple.

“Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:25-33)

I always took this passage as Jesus giving his followers a kind of entry exam for being a true disciple. The exam has three questions and they each have to do with loving Jesus more than something or someone else. You might substitute the word the word love with the word faith or trust. In this context, they amount to the same thing.

Loving Jesus More Than Your Family

The first cost, if you’re going to be a disciple of Jesus, is that you must love Jesus more than you love your family. When you first read this passage it’s hard to imagine Jesus saying something like that. We are so far removed from the cultural setting of this statement that it’s intended meaning doesn’t come across as it should.

When Jesus says that a disciple must hate his family in order to be his disciple, what he really means is that disciples must love Jesus more than anyone else in their life, even their family.

This line from Jesus is a Semitic Idiom. We have our own idioms today.

We say things like “that was a piece of cake” if a task was really easy to accomplish. We don’t literally mean it was a pice of cake. We just mean it wasn’t very difficult.

Have you ever said of someone who was being really grouchy that “they must’ve woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?” You don’t really believe that the geographical location of their sleep matters do you? Of course not. It’s just an idiom.

What about this one? “I’d give my right arm for that last slice of pizza!” Really? You’d give your right arm for a slice of pizza? That seems extreme. The truth is, you’re not trying to be extreme. You are simply using that as an idiom to communicate how strong your desire is for a certain thing.

We could go on but I think you get the point.

When Jesus says you must hate your family he simply means that you must love him more than your family.

In Matthew 10:37 Jesus communicates the same truth without the idiom.

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37)

If you’re going to be a disciple of Jesus then you must prioritize your relationship with Jesus over the relationship with your family.

At that time, your family relationships were your most important and precious relationships. The same is true today for most of us. The point Jesus is making is that you must prioritize Him over any earthly dearest whether that’s your family, your friends, or anyone else. That’s what it means to walk by faith. You choose the LORD over any competitor for your heart’s allegiance.

That’s the first cost. The first question on the discipleship entry exam is “will I prioritize my allegiance to Christ over any other human relationship?” Next time, we will look at the last two “my disciple” statements in this passage.

 

The My Disciple Statements of Jesus

The My Disciple Statements of Jesus

The six “my disciple” statements from Jesus are found in four main passages in the New Testament. One is in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 14:25-33) and the other three are in John’s Gospel (John 8:31; 13:35; 15:8). These four passages present four main characteristics that every disciple of Jesus will manifest in their life to some degree or another.

One of the things you’ll notice about these four things is that they are characteristics more than they are behaviors. You might think of them as postures of the heart.

They are not activities that a disciple does every now and then but rather dispositions in which every disciple lives.

When I saw my friend in East Asia draw these four things out on a napkin I felt like it was a special gift from the Lord. Have you ever had one of those moments?

I had read so many books on discipleship leading up to that trip. It seemed like so much of what I had read only served to further complicate discipleship instead of simplifying it.

Where was the simple, biblical, easily reproducible vision of discipleship that could help us create a movement of multiplication in our church? To be honest, I had almost given up hope.

My problem is that I was looking to the experts for a discipleship pathway when I should have just been looking to the Scripture itself.

That’s what I love most about the four things that I’m about to show you. They’re not from some discipleship expert doing cutting-edge ministry in the 21st Century. They come straight from the lips of the greatest discipleship expert who ever lived: Jesus of Nazareth.

They’re simple, biblical, and reproducible.

In the past, when I had read books about discipleship and disciple-making the definition of discipleship always seemed to revolve around certain behaviors. It was almost like a top ten list.

The behaviors pointed to spiritual disciplines such as reading the Bible, praying, giving your tithe, sharing your faith and things of that nature.

I always though to myself, “You could be a non-believer and still do all of these things. Are these the things that really make you a disciple of Jesus?” When I saw this vision of discipleship given by Jesus it relieved that tension and pointed me in a different direction.

These four things by Jesus are not merely spiritual disciplines. They’re spiritual dispositions.

They are orientations of the heart. You cannot do these four things without also being a born-again believer.

On top of that, these four things come straight from the lips of Jesus. Isn’t it time that we embraced a vision of discipleship that didn’t come from some modern-day expert who is helping pioneer the next great thing?

I’ve got nothing against those kind of men and women. They’re a great gift to the church. But what do you tell the guy who gets dropped off in a third world country with nothing but his Bible and he hears from the Lord, “Now go and make disciples.” What would HIS discipleship plan look like?

These four things are simple but not simplistic.

According to Jesus, discipleship isn’t just a list of behaviors. It’s not 10 do’s and 20 don’ts. It’s much simpler than that.

That isn’t to say it’s simplistic. I find these four things deeply profound. These concepts certainly aren’t shallow. But they are simple. And simple is what’s necessary if they’re going to gain traction and start a movement of multiplication.

Over the next few weeks we will address each of the four things one by one. Before we delve into each passage, though, let me show you all four things right up front.

Disciples of Jesus…
  1. Walk by faith,
  2. Abide in the Word,
  3. Love one another,
  4. And bear much fruit.

These four things are not one time events. They are states of the heart. The heart walks or lives by faith. The heart loves continually. The heart abides in the Word. The heart bears much fruit.

Think of the spiritual life of a disciple as you would the physical life of a plant. If all the systems are healthy then these kind of things are being produced.

These are the meta-structures from which spiritual disciplines are derived.

These are the life systems on which the spiritual body depends.

Think of walking by faith as the muscular or skeletal system. Think of abiding in the Word as the respiratory or cardiovascular system. Think of loving one another as the nervous or immune system. Think of bearing much fruit as the reproductive system.

Like the systems in your physical body, these spiritual systems depend on and interact with one another. If the health of one system improves then the other systems will benefit. If the health of one deteriorates then the other systems will suffer as well.

 

The “my disciple” statements of Jesus give us a comprehensive and powerful vision of what a disciple is and how a disciple grows.

We want to filter all of the programs in our church through the lens of whether or not they’re helping people grow in these areas. In the articles that follow, we will examine each of these things on their own and then think through how they interact with one another.

Discipleship According to Jesus

Discipleship According to Jesus

If you really want to know what a disciple of Jesus looks like then the best place to go is the New Testament. Specifically the four Gospels. The word disciple is used 269 times in the New Testament. Compare that to the word Christian which is used only three times! The word disciple is used 238 times in the Gospels and 11 times by Jesus himself.

Jesus uses the word disciple twice in Matthew 10:24-25.

In that passage Jesus equates discipleship with imitation.

“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.”

The point of the passage is that just as Jesus suffered persecution for his message so also will his disciples. No matter what, though, they were to take up their cross and follow Him, living as he lived and suffering as he suffered.

Discipleship is imitation.

The stakes are high. The disciple of Jesus is not just called to imitate him in some ways but in every way.

In the following verses Jesus tells his disciples,

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:37-39)

According to Jesus, there is a cost associated with being a disciple. It’s not a purely intellectual pursuit. It’s an exchanged life.

The third time Jesus uses the word disciple is Matthew 28:18.

This is when Jesus gives his disciples the Great Commission. You probably know the passage well. Jesus had already been crucified and raised from the dead. He had been with his disciples for about 40 days, teaching them more and more about the kingdom of God. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he called his disciples to meet on a mountain.

Starting in Matthew 28:17 it says that when the disciples of Jesus saw Him

“…they worshiped Him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:17-20)

In this passage we get an added nuance about discipleship. Discipleship isn’t just imitating the life or character of Jesus. It is also walking in obedience to all that Christ has commanded.

This passage does not just contain a descriptive definition of what it means to be a disciple but also an exhortation to engaged in the process of making other disciples.

Disciples of Jesus make other disciples of Jesus.

From the very beginning, the vision of discipleship according to Jesus has always been about multiplication. For Jesus, the Kingdom movement that he inaugurated would be advanced when His disciples began to make disciples who would then make disciples.

The fourth time Jesus uses the word disciple is in Mark 14:14.

In this passage Jesus is simply describing a scene that will soon be experienced by his disciples. He sends them to someone’s house to prepare for the Passover meal and tells them that when they get there they need to say to the master of the house,

“The Teacher says, ‘Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?'” (Mark 14:14)

The fifth time Jesus uses the word disciple is in Luke 6:40.

Luke 6:20-49 contains Luke’s account of Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount. If there was ever a treatise on discipleship, the Sermon on the Mount would be it. In that sermon Jesus again equates discipleship with imitation.

“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40)

From these five instances we discover that being a disciple of Jesus is more than just learning information. Discipleship is imitation.

It’s displaying in your own life the character of Jesus and also the competencies of Jesus.

 

It’s living as he lived and walking in obedience to his commands.

This isn’t very different from the definition of discipleship we received in Matthew 4:19.

A disciple is

  1. Following Jesus,
  2. Being changed by Jesus
  3. And committed to the mission of Jesus.

What does that look like, practically speaking?

How does this vision of discipleship flesh itself out when it comes to your day to day life?

It is in answering that question that the remain six usages of the word disciple by Jesus are particularly helpful.

Interestingly enough, they follow in sequential order from the previous five. However, each time Jesus uses the word disciple in the following six passages, it is preceded by the possessive pronoun my. I call these the My Disciple Statements of Jesus.

We will look at those six statements next time.

Defining The Terms

What is a Disciple?

When communicating an idea successfully it’s necessary that you first define your terms. This is especially true when it comes to the issue of discipleship. Everybody has a different opinion. Discipleship has become somewhat of a “buzz word” in evangelical circles today. It’s a hot topic. Everybody wants to put in their two cents. My goal isn’t to add to the buzz. I just want to create a little clarity for how we think about it in our own church family.

What comes to your mind when you see the word “disciple?”

Let’s think about what a disciple is and what a disciple is not.

First, a disciple is NOT just a learner. The word disciple literally means learner but a disciple does much more than simply learn information. Good discipleship is about transformation not just information.

Second, a disciple is NOT just a “committed” believer. Another common mistake people make when thinking about discipleship is the assumption that disciples are the committed believers whereas non-disciples are non-committed believers. Disciples are the one’s who’ve made Jesus LORD whereas non-disciples are content with just having Jesus save them from hell.

Unfortunately, there is no such class division in the Scripture. That sort of two-tiered Christianity is unhelpful and unbiblical.

A disciple is anyone who has trusted in Jesus for salvation.

You cannot be a Christian without also being a disciple and you cannot be a disciple without also being a Christian. They are one in the same.

There is a passage in the Gospel of Matthew that provides us with a simple and biblical definition of discipleship.

Jesus is walking by the Sea of Galilee and he sees two brothers casting a net into the sea. Simon Peter and his brother Andrew hear the Lord offer them this invitation.

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)

Immediately they left their nets and followed him. At that moment, they became disciples of Jesus.

That invitation from Jesus provides us a very clear, three part, definition of discipleship.

A disciple is
  1. Following Jesus,
  2. Being changed by Jesus,
  3. And committed to the mission of Jesus.

This definition of discipleship is by no means original with me.[i] But it’s a good definition of discipleship in my opinion. It’s simple, biblical, and easy to reproduce.

 

According to this definition, we see that discipleship is a PROCESS.

We are all on a discipleship journey. There are degrees of maturity when it comes to being a disciple. You cannot expect a disciple to become mature overnight. Maturity in discipleship takes place over time.

If being a disciple means you are someone who is following Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and committed to the mission of Jesus then that means we also have a definition of disciple-making.

Disciple-making is the process of helping others
  1. Follow Jesus,
  2. Be changed by Jesus,
  3. And be committed to the mission of Jesus.

In short, disciple-making is the process of helping others trust and follow Jesus. [ii]

 

Now that we have a working definition of what a disciple is, let’s think about what is required for discipleship to take place. Remember, discipleship is helping someone follow Jesus, be changed by Jesus, and be committed to the mission of Jesus.

What’s needed in order for this kind of supernatural process to take place?

In my view, discipleship requires at least three components.

  1. The Word of God,
  2. The Spirit of God,
  3. And people.

When the Spirit of God uses the Word of God to transform people then discipleship is taking place.

That means discipleship can take place inside the walls of the church and outside the walls of the church. Discipleship is something that takes place in the home, the workplace, or the football stadium.

You can be making disciples in the preschool wing or the nursing home. You don’t need a special curriculum. You don’t need a seminary education. You just need to be a person who is willing to let the Spirit of God use the Word of God in the lives of people.

 

That said, I would like to offer just a few thoughts on the best kind of environments for disciple-making to take place

 

The best disciple-making takes place in the context of relational environments.[iii]

The more relational the environment the more likely discipleship will take place. That’s why churches who are committed to making disciples will continually grow smaller as they’re also getting larger. As the church gets bigger it has to grow smaller.

Take the life of Jesus, for example. Jesus taught the multitudes, He mobilized the seventy, He trained the twelve and He confided in the three (Peter, James and John). The smaller the circle the more relational the environment. The more relational the environment the more conducive it was to discipleship.

 

The best relational environments are marked high invitation and high challenge.

If you were in the inner circle of Jesus you were brought into a place deep intimacy but also steep commitment. The disciples of Jesus were accepted as they were but always being pushed to where they needed to be. The relational environments for disciple-making today should be marked by the same thing.

 

Closing Thoughts

Bringing all of this together, let’s think about the different parties involved in the disciple-making process and the responsibilities that each party has. In my view, there are at least four parties involved in the disciple-making process:

  1. The Spirit of God,
  2. The disciple,
  3. The disciple-maker,
  4. And the local church.
Each party in the disciple-making process has a different responsibility.

The Spirit of God is the one who is responsible for transforming a person more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ (John 14:15; 25). Discipleship is a supernatural process brought about by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.

The disciple is responsible for cooperating with the Holy Spirit by walking in faith and working out his salvation (Philippians 2:12-13). This takes place through a verity of spiritual disciplines and faith commitments.

The disciple-maker is responsible to present the Word of God in such a way that the Spirit of God can do His supernatural work (2 Timothy 2:1-2). Only God can produce spiritual life but He always uses people to speak and present His Word.

Lastly, the local church is responsible for creating and promoting relational environments so that discipleship can take place (Hebrews 10:24-25). A church should never have programs for the sake of having programs but always for the purpose of making disciples.

These articles are geared to provide a vision of discipleship that will give the last three of those parties a practical and workable plan so that they can know and successfully take their next step in the discipleship journey.

We’ll start by examining the six my disciple statements of Jesus and the implications of those statements for how we think about discipleship.