Jesus commissioned His disciples to make disciples, baptize them, and then teach them to follow all that He taught (Matt.28:18-20). The latter part of this commission is often described as discipleship, and is an ongoing process. Obviously, assembling with the church is a part of this. But at times it may be helpful to incorporate one-on-one personalized teaching. 

To aid in this aspect various discipleship courses have been produced. They have value in this process. But often, perhaps unwittingly, they focus on what a disciple should merely do, instead of the radical provision in Christ as the power to obey. When we simply tell new believers to do this and do that, we launch them into self-dependence. Tragic, when they just learned to trust in Jesus for salvation, that they are pointed back to self-effort for spiritual growth. This often leads people into the wilderness before they enter the promised land of rest. 

So, why not teach new believers to keep looking to Jesus? Why not make clear that the way they received Christ—by faith, is the way they are to walk—by faith (Col.2:6). Just as God-dependence is the only way to receive Christ, so God-dependence is the only to access the indwelling Christ for Christ-filled living. God-dependence accesses Spirit-enabling as the power to obey. This is the Spirit-filled life, which is the Spirit filling you with the life of Christ. 

Revival Focus publishes a small discipleship book that seeks to apply the burden of this article. Things Are Different Now: The Power of Christ in the New Believer includes five chapters each ending with pertinent questions, and may be used as a five-week discipleship course.

The focus throughout the book is on the engine of Jesus. The following provides a summary:

Chapter One: New Realities

  • New Position: You in Christ
  • New Power: Christ in You
  • New Practice: Christ through You 
  • New Purpose: You for Christ. 

Chapter Two: New Identity

  • New Identity before Others through Water Baptism
  • New Identity before God through Spirit Baptism 

Chapter Three: New Relationship

  • New You
  • New Leader and Enabler
  • New Acceptance
  • New Growth in Grace
  • New Walk of Faith

Chapter Four: New Walk

  • Bible Study: God Speaking to You
  • Prayer: You Speaking to God
  • Holiness: Jesus Living in You
  • Witnessing: Jesus Flowing through You

Chapter Five: New Community

  • The Preaching of the Word of God
  • The Fellowship of Believers
  • The Lord’s Supper
  • Prayer Meetings
  • The Nature of the Church Community

Conclusion: Discipleship

John Van Gelderen

John Van Gelderen

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