Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Commitment (01/05/12)
TITLE: What's In It For Me?
By Doug Laird
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The self-centered, fallen nature within all of us is more interested in what a potential commitment has to offer us in return, rather than what we can contribute.
Becoming and remaining Christ-centered and not self-centered is an essential part of discipleship.
Being self-centered, independent of God, is what motivated the devil to leave the post (Ezekiel 28:14) for which he was created, and to rebel (Isa.14:13, 14).
Our Lord’s closest followers wanted to know what following the Lord was going to do for them (Matthew 19:27).
Our Lord pulled no punches when it came to the speaking about the price that true discipleship would require of anyone who chose to walk that path in life.
Salvation has no strings or hidden costs. It is a free gift from God that cost Him plenty, but only requires an act of faith on our part.
Unlike salvation, the born again believer will find that the further he/she advances in discipleship, the more costly it will certainly become.
Salvation and discipleship are related, but must be distinguished one from the other. They are related in the sense that one must first be saved before he/she can enter into discipleship.
Salvation and discipleship are separate in the sense that success or failure in the realm of discipleship neither increases nor diminishes the integrity of one’s salvation.
Discipleship in the course of one’s post (after) salvation spiritual life is the means by which the born again believer worships and glorifies God.
It will be on the evaluation of the divine good that God is allowed to produce through each disciple that determines the heavenly reward(s) each born again believer will receive in addition to salvation that all born again believers receive.
I say “allowed” because discipleship is an all volunteer army.
Success or failure in the realm of discipleship neither increase nor diminishes the integrity of one’s salvation (1Cor. 3: 12-15).
As the pressure that an advancing disciple encounters increases, the desire of our fallen nature to revert back to a self-centered life becomes increasingly more appealing.
The Mission given to the Church is clearly spelled out in the Great Commission (Matthew 28). The mission is to proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to unbelievers (Mathew 28), and to make disciples out of believers.
But what is a disciple?
The term disciple is an English translation of the Greek Word m-a-t-h-e-t-e-s, meaning to be a technical student in a teacher pupil relationship.
A Christian disciple is a born again believer who regularly studies and then applies the Word of God, regardless of where he/she is or what he/she is otherwise doing.
In doing so, his/her life becomes a visual and verbal communicator of the Word of God as God’s ambassador.
There will never come a time when one has learned all there is to learn, and certainly not a time when one has mastered the application of the Biblical principles already learned.
The commitment to discipleship requires one’s time that is accumulated daily, over the course of one’s post salvation spiritual life.
The commitment to discipleship requires the avoidance of sin and the confession (1John 1:9) of it when we inevitably do sin, in order to have access to the enabling (John 15:5) power to have God accomplish divine good through us.
The commitment to discipleship will call for making financial sacrifices.
The greatest challenge, however, will be to resist all of the distractions that the Ephesians 6:12 forces of evil will bring into the private, social, labor, and recreational environments of an advancing disciple.
Being committed to discipleship does NOT mean that one is to spend 24 a day, seven days a week studying the Bible, but it does mean that that the Bible is to be applied 24 hrs. a day, seven days a week in ALL of one’s daily activities.
Being committed to discipleship will require a daily devotional period of time, focused on the intake and meditation of Bible Doctrine.
By meditation, I am referring to a 2Cor. 3:15 evaluation and making the appropriate adjustments.
If the subject matter of one’s daily study does not seem to have any relevance to one’s issue(s) at hand, consider it a preparation for the storm(s) to come.
Those who remain committed to discipleship will find themselves among the minority of born again believers.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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