Gordon Fee was renowned bible scholar. The title of this first edition of my discipleship (Operation 222) newsletter was taken from a statement he made. His actual statement was: “In the long run, only disciples are converts.” There may be many believers, but there are vastly fewer “disciples”. Before we go too far into this let me remind you that even “the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? KJV (James 2:19-20)
So you see, it is not just believing that gets the job done, it is living a life in alignment with what you believe that truly counts. If you don’t agree with these statements, you might as well quit reading now and save yourself some time. In these articles, I promise to tell you the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth, but as my pastor once told me:
“The Truth shall make you free, but first it usually makes you mad.” My goal is not to make you mad, but rather to cause you to examine yourself to see if you are (truly) in the faith.
2 Cor 13:5
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? KJV
I would rather convince you that you aren’t saved and get you saved than to give you a false sense of security, and let you go to hell being a “good” “religious” person. As we proceed in these simple lessons designed to lead you into a deeper relationship with Christ, we will cover every topic and every area pertaining to life, both eternal life and temporal life.
As you send in your questions, I will attempt to answer them. One thing must remain very clear, my goal is to “present every man (and woman) perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Colossians 1:28)
So let’s get started:
Lesson # 1 – Jesus came to make disciples.
Lesson #2 – Jesus commands us to make disciples.
So let’s begin by defining what a disciple is. Since this is my newsletter, we will use what I consider as a definition of what a disciple is as the standard definition. That way when I use the term, you will know what I mean by it.
A disciple is: “A person that is committed to and actively attempting to follow Jesus and His teachings in every area of life.” You will notice that this definition brings some clarity to the word but yet leaves room for growth and practice. This definition will allow us to give people room to grow. It will allow people to make mistakes while not excusing a life lived without restraint.
A general idea of a disciple might be someone that expects and intends to do better tomorrow than they did today. We want to push towards perfection, yet understand that we are “practicing” Christianity. We must realize that we have not mastered it. Or as the apostle Paul would say, “…not that we have attained…” Philippians 3:12 and Philippians 3:16 are probably the best “bookends” to this understanding.
As a disciple, my single goal (having already been born-again), is to invite others to travel this journey of discipleship with me by becoming disciples of Jesus also. True discipleship will challenge you in spirit, soul and body. You will be challenged in spirit as you learn what happened to the real you (your spirit) when you were made a new creation. You will be challenged in soul, as you consistently renew your mind to the Word of God and begin to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. You will be challenged in body as you learn how to truly and sincerely present your bodies a living sacrifice. (Read Rom. 12:1-2)
If you consistently follow along in these lessons, you will be led into a deeper walk with Christ and you will experience freedom and power in ways and degrees that you have never experienced before. Each lesson will have action plans to give you homework to complete before the next lesson. Be assured, the homework will not be merely academic or bible studies. There will be actual assignments to go out and accomplish. Some lessons may be a page long while others may be more like a chapter from a book in length.
One thing I will promise you is this, I will bring forth each lesson after much prayer and after spending much time seeking God’s Will concerning what to deliver to you. I am here to help you. As I said earlier, my greatest desire is to present you, perfect in Christ Jesus. But that means that I will have to teach you AND to warn you (Colossians 1:28). I cannot simply teach you, I must warn when necessary. A true father in the faith will not just build you up and encourage you, he will also warn you of the snares and traps of the enemy so that you will not fall prey to the enemies’ devices.
By joining me in this path you will know what it means to truly “follow me as I follow Christ”. You will learn what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. As you commit to following Jesus in every area of your life, you will also receive revelation and enlightenment that you had never received before. Some people see Jesus as a good teacher or even as a mystic and follow His teachings as a good moral code. But as a disciple you will see Jesus as Who He really is, The Resurrected Son of The Living God! You will see Him as the exalted Lord of glory and you will know that He is with you, for you and IN you! You will know that you can ask whatsoever you will and you will receive it, because His words abide in you and you abide in Him.
You will begin to walk through this life as more than a conqueror because you will know beyond any shadow of doubt that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. This is going to be a great journey and adventure. But you were born(again) for just such a time as this and just such a life as this!
Action Plan Assignment:
Invite and enlist 5 other people to join you in these studies.
That should be simple.
Surely you know (or can meet) five people that need and desire to exchange their normal life for an extraordinary life!