DISCIPLESHIP CLASS NUMBER 3
Look up the Scripture references at the end of each section.
THE AVAILABILITY OF GOD'S RESOURCES
God has provided
everything we need - to live for Him, to gain victory over temptation, to
witness for Him, to speak His Word in active power! But that does not mean that
every Christian is making use of the resources God has provided for them! Many
Christians are plainly NOT! The state of the Church as a whole today, very
plainly shows this to be the case!
Much of the vibrant living faith of the New Testament, has been replaced, by liturgy, unholy unions, with those opposed to Christ's teaching, and lectures on our faith, with the repeating theme, "No matter what the Bible says, IT AIN'T NECESSARILY SO!!" The dynamic Spirit-filled preaching of the Apostles has been replaced, by un-inspired pulpit fillers spouting forth platitudes to people who wear their religion on a Sunday like a good suit, and hang it in the wardrobe the rest of the week.
Nothing could be further removed, from the Biblical picture and experience of New Testament Christianity!! In the New Testament, we see a Church, inspired and motivated by the Holy Spirit. It has been said by a well known writer, that it should not really be called 'The Acts of the Apostles', but rather 'The Acts of the Holy Spirit' because the Apostles were only the instruments through which God was working!
There is absolutely nothing in the Scriptures to suggest that our experience should be any different today! We should be people CONTROLLED by The Spirit of God!
I remember speaking with someone, about the reluctance of Christians to fully commit themselves to The Lord - so many only want a surface experience, gripping onto Christ with one hand, and worldliness with the other!
A BIG PART OF DISCIPLESHIP MEANS TRULY FOLLOWING CHRIST, WHICH OF NECESSITY MEANS 'LETTING GO' OF THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD WHICH WOULD HOLD US BACK IN OUR CHRISTIAN WALK. (Zec. 4:6, Luke 4:14, Acts 1:8, 4:33)
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY 'DISCIPLE'?
"DISCIPLE" comes from a Latin word "DISIPULUS",
meaning a "A PUPIL" and of course the word brings to mind the
thought of "DISCIPLINE", which is so essential if a pupil in any
subject is to be successful!
We can see immediately, that the DISCIPLE is someone who is TAUGHT BY CHRIST one who will ACCEPT ALL OF HIS TEACHING! AND PUT IT INTO PRACTICE!!
Lets face it, a school pupil will never be successful or amount to anything, if they REFUSE TO BE TAUGHT!
William Barclay tells of someone who once spoke to a great scholar, concerning a young man who had professed to be one of his students. The teacher said, "He may have attended my lectures, but he was not one of my students!"
He further says, "It is one of the supreme handicaps of the Church that in the Church there are so many distant followers of Jesus, and so few real disciples."
profess to be DISCIPLES of Christ, if we REFUSE to accept His TEACHING
and will not obey His COMMANDS!
We must of necessity take an honest searching look at our hearts, and locate the HUB AROUND WHICH EVERYTHING ELSE REVOLVES! In our hearts, there is ONLY ROOM FOR ONE CENTRAL DESIRE, which, because it is cherished, will govern all that we do!
We must make sure that our eyes are focused upon Christ alone, because the eye is rather like the lamp, for it can give light to the whole darkened region within us, or it can leave us in that darkness, which will continually get worse as time goes on - depending on WHERE WE FIX OUR GAZE, AND WHAT WE FOCUS ON!
These are fundamental
truths which must be seen in the right perspective, and acted upon, if we are
to expect the Holy Spirit to dwell in power in our lives. (Matthew 16:24, Luke
14:33, John 8:31)