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Essentials of Discipleship: Seminar 6 - Discipleship

Dear church,

This past Sunday, Pastor Oliver Chia taught on discipleship, drawing lessons from the Gospel of Mark. We learnt that as Christians we are called to follow and obey Jesus our King as His disciples and to make disciples of others. Making disciples includes both evangelising and also helping others to grow in Christ-likeness.

As disciples of Christ, we are called to give of ourselves, to give up our own interests, turn from our self-centeredness and to live all of our lives for the sake of Jesus. Significantly, the response of discipleship is both an individual response and a collective response as the Church.

Jesus came to serve us by dying on the cross and ransoming all who believe in Him. In His death, the Kingdom of God was inaugurated by Jesus, who was the perfect disciple of God. But Jesus did not remain dead, but He rose from the dead; and when he comes again He will bring God's Kingdom completely and perfectly to this earth.

What are our motivations for being Jesus's disciples? We should be motivated by gratitude and love for all that Jesus has done for us. Jesus died for us and thus we should desire to obey Him, follow Him, become more like Him, and ultimately glorify Him. We should live lives that show the watching world what it means to be a Christian and disciple of Jesus.

Grace Baptist Church's vision statement is oriented on discipleship. We strive to be: "A disciple-making church that transforms lives with the gospel and love of Jesus Christ." All of us, as Christians and members of this church should live lives as disciples of Jesus and making disciples for Jesus. On this note, do take some time to read Grace Baptist Church's vision statement and the explanation of the vision statement that the Disciplemaking Taskforce has painstakingly written. Our church's vision statement and the explanation are currently being distributed in church.

Importantly, the preaching and teaching of God's Word in the church community is one significant way that creates more disciples. All Christians and members of the church are to be involved in this process of teaching God's Word. This can take place in the church's Sunday School, small groups, Bible study classes and more. If you are interested in being part of the teaching ministry in Grace Baptist Church do contact a member of the Christian Education Ministry, who will help you explore more ways to be involved in this aspect of disciplemaking.

Let us close this post with a quote from The Cost of Discipleship, written by the modern-day martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

"Discipleship means adherence to Christ, and, because Christ is the object of that adherence, it must take the form of discipleship.

An abstract Christology, a doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge on the subject of grace or on the forgiveness of sins, render discipleship superfluous, and in fact they positively exclude any idea of discipleship whatever, and are essentially inimical to the whole conception of following Christ.

With an abstract idea it is possible to enter into a relation of formal knowledge, to become enthusiastic about it, and perhaps even to put it into practice; but it can never be followed in personal obedience.

Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ."

(The Cost of Discipleship, 1937, (New York: Touchstone, 1995) at 59, as reproduced at http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/christianity-without-discipleship-is-christianity-without-christ)

Next Sunday, Pastor Oliver will be teaching again on sanctification and God's law. There will be two sessions at 9:30 am and 11:15 am. Do join us then!

The DS Committee