What Discipleship Means

The Lord Jesus Christ gave His disciples a clear command at the end of His earthly ministry: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19). This command extended to disciples from age to age, including Christians today. It goes without saying that, in order to obey the command to make disciples, we must first be discipled.

Thus, the explicit command is to make disciples; the implicit command is to be discipled. We must submit ourselves to the discipleship program of the church.

What does discipleship mean? It means to be instructed so that we become rooted in the word of God “so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-13).

Discipleship is all about knowing Christ and His Lordship. “Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:6).

We live for God the Father and we live through Christ the Son, because He is Lord. Yet God does not desire blind obedience. He desires that we follow Him out of love. This is why the Apostle Paul prayed that we may know “this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).

Discipleship is about Christ Jesus — not doctrines, not personalities, not methods, although these may be essential aids. Ultimately it is about Christ and Him alone and to be able to experience Him as the first disciples did, yet in a greater way.

We can experience Him in our hearts and in our spirits. This is discipleship in all its purity.

The Whole Counsel of God

The whole counsel of God Some time ago I bought a pocket WiFi when I still did not have a more permanent Internet connection. It, of course, came with a manual. The only problem is, the manual did not state how long the device should be charged and how long a charged battery would last. So there were numerous times when I least expected it when the device would die while I was using it. Needless to say, this left me frustrated and exasperated.

Imagine if the Bible was like that, if it didn’t tell us how to deal with certain problems in our lives. If it didn’t tell us about pain or suffering or sin. This may not only leave us frustrated or exasperated, but may unknowingly let us drift away from God.

This is why we need the whole counsel of God as laid out in the whole Bible. Every page of the Bible can reveal to us answers that we need to life’s questions. Thus, we should not focus on only one part of the Bible. To do so is to miss out on important lessons that God wants to teach us.

When we leave out other parts of the Bible, we become half-baked Christians. And, if we do not know the answers to problems we begin to face, the tendency is to get perplexed, confused or, worse, we blame God.

We need to study the whole counsel of God from Genesis to Revelation, so we may know God, His wisdom and plan for us. The Psalmist wrote, “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

The line, “to seek him in his temple,” can be translated as, “to inquire in his temple” (NKJV). This is why we need to read the whole Bible; that we may inquire of the Lord. But if the answer is somewhere in the Bible we don’t want to go to, how will we get the answer? The scary truth is we might get the answer from a charlatan who can tickle us with fancy words and “teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain” (Titus 1:11).

Wrong counsel can turn us into fools. Right counsel makes us wise.

The whole counsel of God makes us fully wise.