Transformational Discipleship

Transformational discipleship is what happens in a church when its members have experienced spiritual transformation. Every program, every ministry in the life of a church should have the goal to help believers be transformed into the likeness of Jesus.

When believers come to know Jesus personally, the character of Jesus spills over into the activities of the church so that character-based, internal, spiritual transformation becomes the goal rather than activity-based performance.

Church members today have extensive head knowledge about God but don’t really know God well enough to believe Him when He gives a directive in life. Many of our churches are being merely remodeled by activities and programs driven by man, rather than being transformed by God.

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The Name That Set Us Free

The boxer who is now known as Muhammad Ali began his life as Cassius Clay. He changed his name. He said that Clay was a name that came from slavery and he would not wear it any longer.

What he did not know was this: the Cassius Clay for whom he was named was a fiery opponent of slavery. He opposed it at a time when it was quite dangerous to do so.

On the other hand, the original Muhammad Ali did nothing to replace slavery with freedom. As Christians we wear the name of the one who set us free. See: John 8:32-36;

Discipleship & Leadership

Jesus’ original disciples became great leaders. Their lives and message impacted the world. They did not start out as leaders. They started as disciples. All leaders must first learn to follow before they can lead.

Discipleship is about learning to follow Jesus. Jesus is no longer walking on earth making disciples. He left that task to his followers. Therefore, if we are to become disciples, we must be disciple by someone. Being disciple is the beginning, not the end.

Discipleship is the first step to leadership. We are not merely to be followers and learners; we are to act on what we have learned and we are to lead others as we have been led.

Jesus disciple twelve men in a group setting for three years. At times he corrected, rebuked, and encouraged his disciples one-to-one. Group discipleship with one-to-one ministry was the pattern Jesus used.

Bible

The English form of the Greek name Biblia, meaning “books,” the name which in the fifth century began to be given to the entire collection of sacred books, the “Library of Divine Revelation.” The name Bible was adopted by Wickliffe, and came gradually into use in our English language.

The Bible consists of sixty-six different books, composed by many different writers, in three different languages, under different circumstances; writers of almost every social rank, statesmen and peasants, kings, herdsmen, fishermen, priests, tax-gatherers, tentmakers; educated and uneducated, Jews and Gentiles; most of them unknown to each other, and writing at various periods during the space of about 1600 years: and yet, after all, it is only one book dealing with only one subject in its numberless aspects and relations, the subject of man’s redemption.

It is divided into the Old Testament, containing thirty-nine books, and the New Testament, containing twenty-seven books. The names given to the Old in the writings of the New are “the scriptures” (Matt. 21:42), “scripture” (2 Pet. 1:20), “the holy scriptures” (Rom. 1:2), “the law” (John 12:34), “the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms” (Luke 24:44), “the law and the prophets” (Matt. 5:17), “the old covenant” (2 Cor. 3:14, RV). There is a break of 400 years between the Old Testament and the New. 

The Old Testament is divided into three parts:

(1.) The Law (Torah), consisting of the Pentateuch, or five books of Moses.

(2.) The Prophets, consisting of

(a.) the former, namely, Joshua, Judges, the Books of Samuel, and the Books of Kings;

(b.) the latter, namely, the greater prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets.

(3.) The Hagiographa, or holy writings, including the rest of the books. These were ranked in three divisions:,

(a.) The Psalms, Proverbs, and Job, distinguished by the Hebrew name, a word formed of the initial letters of these books, emeth, meaning truth.

(b.) Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther, called the five rolls, as being written for the synagogue use on five separate rolls.

(c.) Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles. Between the Old and the New Testament no addition was made to the revelation God had already given. The period of New Testament revelation, extending over a century, began with the appearance of John the Baptist.

The New Testament consists of

(1.) the historical books, viz., the Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles;

(2.) the Epistles; and

(3.) the book of prophecy, the Revelation.

The division of the Bible into chapters and verses is altogether of human invention, designed to facilitate reference to it. The ancient Jews divided the Old Testament into certain sections for use in the synagogue service, and then at a later period, in the ninth century A.D., into verses. Our modern system of chapters for all the books of the Bible was introduced by Cardinal Hugo about the middle of the thirteenth century (he died 1263). The system of verses for the New Testament was introduced by Stephens in 1551, and generally adopted, although neither Tyndale’s nor Coverdale’s English translation of the Bible has verses. The division is not always wisely made, yet it is very useful. 

True Disciples – Are Marked By Christlike Living

Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17, niv)

Paul offers a strategy to help us live for God day by day:

(1) imitate Christ’s merciful, forgiving attitude (3:12-13);

(2) let love guide your life (3:14);

(3) let the peace of Christ rule in your heart (3:15);

(4) always be thankful (3:15);

(5) keep God’s Word in you at all times (3:16);

(6) live as Jesus Christ’s representative (3:17).

Doing “all in the name of the Lord Jesus” means bringing honor to Christ in every aspect and activity of daily living. As a Christian, you represent Christ at all times—wherever you go and whatever you say. What impression do people have of Christ when they see or talk with you? What changes would you make for your life to honor Christ?

The Missionary’s Message

“He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

The key to the missionary’s message is the propitiation of Christ Jesus—His sacrifice for us that completely satisfied the wrath of God. Look at any other aspect of Christ’s work, whether it is healing, saving, or sanctifying, and you will see that there is nothing limitless about those. But—“The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”—that is limitless (John 1:29). The missionary’s message is the limitless importance of Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins, and a missionary is someone who is immersed in the truth of that revelation.

The real key to the missionary’s message is the “remission-ary” aspect of Christ’s life, not His kindness, His goodness, or even His revealing of the fatherhood of God to us. “… repentance and remission of sins should be preached … to all nations …” (Luke 24:47). The greatest message of limitless importance is that “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins … .” The missionary’s message is not nationalistic, favoring nations or individuals; it is “for the whole world.” When the Holy Spirit comes into me, He does not consider my partialities or preferences; He simply brings me into oneness with the Lord Jesus.

A missionary is someone who is bound by marriage to the stated mission and purpose of his Lord and Master. He is not to proclaim his own point of view, but is only to proclaim “the Lamb of God.” It is easier to belong to a faction that simply tells what Jesus Christ has done for me, and easier to become a devotee of divine healing, or of a special type of sanctification, or of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But Paul did not say, “Woe is me if I do not preach what Christ has done for me,” but, “… woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16). And this is the gospel—“the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”