As far as training Christians how to think and feel and act as a Christian — that is, discipling in the sense of growing them into more and more maturity — that happens in so many ways in the New Testament. Here is just a grocery list of possibilities:
- Titus 2:4 — Older women are to train younger women.
- 2 Timothy 2:2 — Paul trained Timothy to train others to train others.
- Ephesians 6:4 — Fathers are to train their children.
- Matthew 28:20 — Missionaries are to teach the nations everything Jesus commanded.
- Hebrews 3:13 — All Christians are to exhort each other every day to avoid sin and to stir each other up to love and good works (see also Hebrews 10:24–25).
- 1 Peter 4:10 — All Christians are to use their gifts to serve others.
- Acts 18:24–26 — Priscilla and Aquila, on the spur of the moment it seems, explained the way of God more accurately to Apollos.
Every Christian should be helping unbelievers become believers by showing them Christ. That is making a disciple. And every Christian should be helping other believers grow to more and more maturity. That is making a disciple.
And every Christian should be seeking to get help for themselves from others to keep on growing. And that is also our discipleship. And the church should think through how all of these kinds of biblical disciple-making find expression in their corporate life.
Your discipleship begins with you! We all as Christians must discover that the transformation of fleshly centered life into a spiritually mature life in union with Christ Jesus is a supernatural as His Spirit becomes preeminent in our thoughts: "Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5).
This cannot occur by self-discipline, self-effort, or education in and of itself but rather it is a result of the living Word breathing life giving truth into every fabric of our human estate. This is not an onerous task but a joyful journey into the fullness of Christ's magnificent Grace and finding ourselves basking in His sabbath rest!
Hebrews 4:11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Hebrews 4:13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Let us then observe that the writer of Hebrews first describes for us the Word as an it in verse 12 but is also alive and knows everything. In verse 13 describes a Someone before Whom we are totally exposed and to Whom we are accountable. This is all in the context of Sabbath Rest!
Hebrews 4:12 Zōn gar ho logos tou theou kai ⸀energēs kai tomōteros hyper pasan machairan distomon kai diiknoumenos achri merismou psychēs kai ⸁pneumatos,* harmōn te kai myelōn,* kai kritikos enthymēseōn kai ennoiōn kardias;
Hebrews 4:13 kai ouk estin ktisis aphanēs enōpion autou,* panta de gymna kai tetrachēlismena tois ophthalmois autou,* pros hon hēmin ho logos.
In the original text we see it begins and ends with "logos". A literal translation of the ending phrase would be: "but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom to us the Word." Christ Himself in Whom we are to rest! The entrance to that rest is the Word!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1–5, ESV)
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