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A Disciple

I want to revisit for a moment my own understanding of what a disciple is as I am realizing freshly that we cant seek to “make disciples” if we dont know what we are making right? I’m going to have to take a crack at this over the course of a few posts I believe. And by the last post I hope, with your help, to come to a good biblically informed understanding of what a disciple is.  To help us get started I will offer a starting point for us to jump off from.

 A disciple of Jesus is compelled by the gospel to live a life of worship to God, in community with others, on mission to the world.

There are 4 components to this definition that break down into 2 sections. The first component is God’s work on an individual as made clear in the gospel. God brings the salvation that compels a believer to live how the bible calls him to live. The next 3 components are the disciple’s response to God’s work in the gospel. At the Summit we sum them up as “Love God, Love each other, and Love our World” and we say it as often as we can. However you say it, there is the identity of the disciple, and his life.

So what I will do is unpack one of those elements on each post. I’d like your feedback in 2 ways. If you think I am missing something in the definition or in the explanation, chime in. If you think I’ve just got it wrong, chime in. In all things practice grace. Your help will only assist to help me think through this and ultimately make our small groups and church body stronger here at the Summit.

A Disciple is Compelled by the Gospel

Where a disciple finds his motivation for holiness is essential. He must find it in the death and resurrection of Jesus for any other source will leave him tired and unfulfilled. Ephesians 2:1-10  tells us God, because of the great love with which he loved us, made us alive together with Jesus. it is by grace you have been saved. This alone is your motivation for holiness. Your spiritual activity will not earn you any points with God. God will NOT forgive your sins BECAUSE you do good deeds. A disciple understands he is forgiven because of God’s love for him only, and gladly lays his life at Jesus’ feet in response to this love. The gospel compels you to action and the more you dwell on it, the deeper and wider the love of God for you becomes evident to you.

Helpful illustration?
In this way it is much like the Mona Lisa. at first glance, its a lady smirking. But the more you learn art and revisit da Vinci’s masterpiece, you realize the intricacies of the background, the placement of the woman in the painting, the shading, etc. The gospel, similarly, depicts you before and after Jesus and the more you dwell on it, the more you come to appreciate the great love of God for you.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 10, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Spence, I’m intrigued by your definition. You’ve thrown in some good characteristics of a worshipper, relational, and missional. Its good. The elements we’ve included for a disciple in our church are: worshipper, prayer, learner, relater, giver, server, evangelizer.
    Here are a couple verses I’ve connected with discipleship. Matt 4:19 “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” This verse continues on your definition with the missional component.
    My other fav is 2Cor 3:18 …[we] are being transformed into his likeness. I think the discipleship process is about this transformation you and I need to be about.
    I’m looking forward to the rest of your thoughts. Thanks for working on this.

  1. March 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm
  2. March 26, 2010 at 8:08 am
  3. March 30, 2010 at 2:53 pm

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