Discipleship: Applying Jesus’ Teachings
Jesus instructed the disciples to teach how to observe all things that he had commanded. Many times believers gladly accept the gospel – but they are never taught how to apply the teachings of Jesus. It is absolutely critical to build a solid Biblical foundation. We must, however, apply the teachings we have learned in our lives. The Biblical way of living must be applied to every aspect of life.
Jesus said that if you “abide in me, you will bear much fruit.” The Holy Spirit is our teacher that will lead us into all truth. As we are led by the Holy Spirit, it is our expected service as Christians to actively disciple and teach believers who come into our lives. We need to build other believers up to where they are “bearing fruit” through Jesus. We also need to make sure that we ourselves are fully built up in our faith!
Every person that you lead to the Lord you should seek to fully disciple into Jesus’ call for their lives. Very frequently, the Lord allows you to lead someone to Jesus and then fully disciple the same person – if you are willing to do so. We many times, however, are simply unwilling to take the time to fully teach the ones we lead to Jesus. We rely on others – either the church or a more “qualified” believer to teach the new convert over time. A better approach may be to seek the growth of all Christians around us, especially those we lead to Jesus.
Teaching How to Live the Word of God
Discipleship is not just teaching the word of God in an academic way: it is instead teaching how to live the word of God. The Lord desires us to renew our minds and to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. The Lord wants us to prove what is the “good and acceptable and perfect will of God for our lives.”
We have been “conformed” to this world in so many ways. Many times we have to let go of desires and concepts that we desperately clanged to in the past before we became Christians. Discipleship is frequently simply adopting a truthful outlook about our lives. It’s about generating a strong desire to bear fruit through Jesus. It’s about adopting a full, truthful, biblical worldview.
Discipleship also ensures that a Christian will understand the continual importance of seeking the Lord in prayer and the study of the word of God. The Christian will learn how to grow throughout his life and help other Christians grow around him. He will allow the Holy Spirit to continue to teach him throughout his life. The Holy Spirit will lead him and those around him into all truth.
It’s All About the Great Commission
Our primary life focus should be the gospel. If we are always focused on the gospel, we will constantly look to lead others to Jesus. We will also seek to disciple them into living a full Christian life. Not only will that allow these new Christian to grow into everything God has for them, but also these new Christians will lead many other to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Discipleship is all about the Gospel!
Below are materials that we commonly use in discipleship. Remember that discipleship is not just the cold accumulation of truths and biblical knowledge: it’s goal is growth that leads to the bearing of “much fruit” as you abide in Jesus.