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The Values and Problems of Discipleship

We started in our last conversation to talk about why the term “disciple” fell out of usage in the New Testament after the Gospels and the record of Acts. Its formal absence from the letters of Paul, James, Peter, and John catches my attention just as I’ve often wondered why those same writers didn’t make a practice of directly quoting Jesus.

Thanks for being willing to wade into this with me. I found your comments  helpful. At this point I’m not sure that I have it figured out, but will tell you where I am, and if I’m wrong, want to be corrected.

As to the second issue of why the writers didn’t quote Jesus more often, it seems clear to me that what all of them did do was to embrace the truth and heart of who Jesus was; what he did for us; and what he taught.  That suggests to me that when Jesus’ perfect example, teaching, and sacrificial rescue were completed (as documented by the Gospels and Acts) the letters that followed were inspired by the Holy Spirit of Jesus to advance the next step implications of God in the flesh coming to our rescue.

That the word disciple fell out of usage at the same point seems related even though, as a number of you pointed out, the idea of being a learner and follower of Jesus comes through strong in the letters of the New Testament. That remains. But what does change is that the identifying mark of “disciple” goes away (in the New Testament text) even as a general reference to Jesus’ learners and followers.

What makes sense to me is that we’re seeing here something similar to what happened to the law of Moses once Jesus perfectly fulfilled it. Even though the practical truth, heart, and implications of the law continue to be useful for wisdom (2Tim 3:16), the Law as a binding national constitution was set aside, having served its purpose in bringing us to Christ (Gal 3:23-26).

The institution of discipleship seems to follow a similar pattern. Jesus fulfilled the perfect teacher in that, as the Living Word of God, he walked just as he taught. He also fulfilled the perfect learner in that, as a faithful son, he became a perfect example of listening, being, and doing.

In the process, however, the requirements Jesus gave for being his disciple parallel the law of Moses.  His principle of discipleship (Luke 6:40)  brings us to the end of ourselves, and to him, when he makes it clear that no one can truly be his disciple in the full sense of the word (Luke 14:26-27) (Luke 14:33).

The result is that other identifiers that emphasized who Jesus is and what he did for us (saints [set apart ones], children of God, followers, family, servants [in a grateful self-identifying sense], people of the Way, Christian [i.e. in Christ]) became the identifying norm. This seems so appropriate since, although we no longer sit physically at Jesus feet, and walk with him through olive trees, we do live by in his Spirit, by his grace, in ways that would earn us failing marks as disciples.

Again, this is by no way a complete answer. But I hope it’s enough for us to keep thinking about together.

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107 Responses to “The Values and Problems of Discipleship”

  1. BruceC says:

    Is it possible that the writers of the letters did not want the new believers to get mixed up and start saying they were diciples Peter or of Paul??
    Also; could it be that they didn’t quote Jesus often is because they had already relayed this unto all the new believers and the newly founded churches while they were with them? This would likely apply mostly to Paul and the churches he founded.
    I know that we in our church still use the word diciple and dicipleship.
    I have never given this much thought before Mart.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  2. florida7sun says:

    Thank you, Mart. Two verses come to mind this morning: John 14:16 and Colossians 1:27.

    As disciples, He was with them: teaching as Rabboni (Master), eating, laughing, weeping and praying. He showed us Our Father in Heaven. “He is the radiance of God’s glory…” – Hebrews 1:3

    As children of God, He lives in us: His advocate, the Holy Spirit, comforts and guides us through His Living Word; giving us the assurance of sharing His glory in Christ Jesus.

    He is soon returning for His bride, the Church: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” – John 14:3

    United in Spirit, we are one with Our Lord and Savior and in fellowship with each other: the Body of Christ.

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Mart, you wrote:

    “This seems so appropriate since, although we no longer sit physically at Jesus feet, and walk with him through olive trees, we do live by in his Spirit, by his grace, in ways that would earn us failing marks as disciples.”

    I am in wholehearted agreement with you that our entire emphasis is upon Jesus, and what he does by his presence in us as individuals and as the body of Christ.
    I would be interested in knowing more about how we now earn failing marks as his disciples.

    What is your corrective for discipleship in our day?

    The Message translates 1 John 3:21-24 as:

    “And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God! We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him. Again, this is God’s command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.”


  4. remarutho says:


    I wonder specifically about Jesus’commission about “teaching them (the baptized) to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (Matt 28:20)


  5. SFDBWV says:

    In turning my attention to the comments Jesus makes in John 14, and 15; it seems that the disciples became friends of Jesus not just servants and with the coming of the Holy Spirit the Disciples and in fact all of us are *led* by the Holy Spirit, not just following a doctrinal teaching.

    Becoming something above the definition of Disciple instead now we are a unique people.


  6. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart and followers… is that the right word use?
    Would something like disciple fit better? Or would friend not be the perfect choice? Friends of Jesus sounds pretty good to me, but what would be the perfect word that would describe us, those who are gathered here, being led by Christ both in his absence and his anointed presence. How about Heir, son, child, or lover? Nothing can contain us to a word other than the one who calls us to be what he called us to be. We should say we are the called. He has the final word awaiting us all. Perhaps it is as simple as the word forgiven… for to me, there is no disciple of Christ who is not first loved then called and forgiven. Find us a word that says all that, and you have labeled us all correctly. Just being His, Gary

  7. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart and company….I have been for the past few weeks attending a smaller church which was called, “The Way.” But it has changed its name in those past few weeks so a change took place and what was a known label has now been changed.
    That word is just so fitting for us all that we could call ourselves the Changed. If you think not, perhaps you should check out this site…changelookslikethis.com
    you will be blessed. Gary

  8. fadingman says:

    Jesus’ great commission is about making disciples of the whole world, which certainly requires more time than the years covered in the book of Acts.

    Being a disciple of Jesus includes more than just what Jesus taught in the gospels. In the upper room Jesus told His disciples He had more to tell them, but they were not yet able to bear it (John 16:12-14). When the Holy Spirit came, then it would be revealed. This additional teaching would also be of Jesus, as it says in verse 14: “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” I see what is taught in the epistles as the fulfillment of this. It is still discipleship.

  9. yooperjack says:

    Gary: I like brother and sister we are all family.

  10. poohpity says:

    Pat made me think yesterday about simplicity maybe just knowing that Jesus picked 12 disciples to live, breathe and eat with Him for three years and nobody else had that identity. When Judas took his life the 11 decided on Matthias but Jesus chose Paul who went away for three years to be trained by the Holy Spirit. There will never be those disciples again. They got up close and personal with the Lord they experienced only what we could dream of and after the ascension the relationship changed and Paul was chosen.

    Although they were told to go and make disciples of all the nations which then resulted in them writing some of the epistles. The disciples were a unique group and that is OK and we are now being disciples in a different meaning of the word.

  11. yooperjack says:

    Speaking of getting up close and personal with Jesus. I was thinking one day that I hear people say when they get to Heaven I’m going to ask Jesus this and that. If I even get a one on one with Jesus it may be a million years before that happens and it will be so awsome I’ll forget what I was going to ask Him. LOL I know we will see and hear Him but a one on one may be asking too much. I think our personal guide of Heaven, our angel will answer all of our questions.

    Just a thought.

  12. florida7sun says:

    Reading your post Pooh, I thought of the 12 jewels worn by the High Priest on his breastplate. As Melchizedek wore the Urim and Thummim, signifying light and perfection, the 12 chosen by Jesus (indwelt by the Holy Spirit) were perfected in Christ and provided light to the world… sharing the Gospel to people in their own languages.

    These imperfect men, like unpolished stones, were chosen by the Lord; polished by His teaching and example; and then sent out to share (proclaim) the light of God’s Word to a dying world in need of a Savior. – John 3:16

    And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. – Matthew 24:14

    All children of God, brothers and sisters, are indebted to the twelve that responded to the call, “Follow me.”

    Through the light of the chosen twelve we have the blessing of knowing Our Lord and Savior and the privilege of being molded into His likeness through the Living Word. – 1 John 5:13; 2 Timothy 3:16

    Scripture also tells us we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on to completion on our way to the New Jerusalem: “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” – Revelation 21:14

    In that great cloud there are apostles, disciples, and all whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

    The Good News of Jesus Christ is transforming (as light dispels darkness), and we are indebted to the faithfulness of so many through their lives and testimonies. – Romans 5:8

    Through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have given to us Our Daily Bread, the foundation of life eternal.

  13. poohpity says:

    florida7sun, I have never read that Melchizedek wore the Urim and Thummim but of course I could be wrong. I thought Aaron was the only one.

  14. poohpity says:

    The only one recorded I should have said.

  15. poohpity says:

    The twelve tribes were engraved on the chest piece and there was a little pocket that contain the Urim and Thummim which some have said are similar to like a yes or no type thing.

  16. florida7sun says:

    Pooh, I was drawing upon Hebrews 7:3, noting that Melchizedek “abideth a priest continually” and will have “no end in life.” Light and perfection, revelation and truth was seen in him (descriptors of the Urim and Thummim), resembling the Son of God.

    I see this also in the Body of Christ, washed in His Blood, made pure through revealed Word of God.

    However, I am by no means a theologian. I just love Jesus and am blessed by Mart’s ministry.

  17. poohpity says:

    Forgive me if I offended you and it is obvious your love of the Lord. I am no theologian either the Urim and Thummim were used to make decisions I guess I was just confused by how that applied but I am confused a lot anyway. Again forgive me.

  18. florida7sun says:

    Hi Pooh. I am always blessed by your insights and love of Jesus. You did not offend me. The joy of BTA and the comments of all contributors encourage me to get into the Word. That’s where I need to me. I am a Christian under construction and enjoy the fellowship of other believers.

    God bless you.

    Cordially in Christ, Ray

  19. davids says:

    As was already mentioned in the last topic, and alluded to above, I think that we make a mistake by trying to put our own mindset into the words and actions of people that lived long ago.

    We fill the word disciple with all kinds of meaning that didn’t necessarily exist for the original authors. Apart from formal definitions, they had a mental picture of a disciple, which could have specifically included listening physically to Jesus. The use of disciple in the Great Commission would therefore have been a figurative use for them, “make disciples of all nations”, which we have turned into a litteral sense of disciple = followers.

    Also, we know that the earliest Gospel was only written around 60 AD, which means that when most of the Epistles were written, there was mainly an oral tradition, with perhaps some collections of Jesus’ sayings. The idea of direct quotation is a much later invention. The hearers of the Epistles would likely have said, “Yes, I learned that Jesus taught that” rather than, “But where is the quote from Jesus’ words,”

  20. Mikek says:


    I see distinct differences between a believer and a disciple even though the term disciple isn’t mentioned as often beyond the Gospels.
    1.Salvation is free, discipleship is costly and therefore not for everyone
    2.Salvation is instant, discipleship is a life-long commitment
    3.Salvation is believing, discipleship is following
    4.Salvation is coming to Christ for salvation, discipleship is learning from Christ
    5.Salvation Is Christ loving me (the cross), discipleship is me loving Christ
    6.Salvation involves believing the Gospel, Disciples continue in His Word
    7.Salvation involves falling at the feet of Jesus, disciples sit at His feet and learn from Him
    8.Saved people are believers, disciples are learners
    9.Saved people confess Christ, disciples deny self
    10.Saved people possess Christ, disciples forsake possessions
    11.Salvation involves trusting, discipleship involves training
    12.Every believer is saved, not every believer is a disciple
    13.Salvation is a state, discipleship involves ones standing
    14.Salvation is based on what God does, discipleship is based on what a believer does
    15.Salvation is based on God’s commitment, discipleship is based on a believer’s commitment
    16.Believers are saints, disciples are students
    17.Believers obey the command to believe, disciples obey every command of Christ

    (much more could be written)

    I know many, many believers, fewer disciples…it costs them too much.


  21. yooperjack says:

    Mike: I believe what you are saying in a nut shell; salvation is a gift and discipleship is a life style.

  22. Mikek says:


    Sure, it is taught throughout the NT though not expressly by the term.

    Discipleship is costly, it isn’t for everyone. If one decides to become a disciple, there is no going back. One must go where commanded and obey what he has been given.

    Much has been written about discipleship adn most books are right, more or less, however actually putting intp practice what you say you are are two different matters entirely.


  23. phpatato says:


    Nicely put!


    Thanks for that. I pondered each one.

  24. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Well then,
    Shouldn’t we all be striving to be Disciples and not just mere believers?
    Doers and not just hearers of the Word?

    Just a thought at 06:45am!


  25. Mikek says:

    That is the rub isn’t Bob?

    Our local assemblies are filled with believers and unbelievers however, few men and women make the commitment to become a disciple.


  26. SFDBWV says:

    I am wondering if we are confusing becoming a disciple (Learner) from being an Apostle (ambassador, he that is sent).

    Mike has noted differences between disciples and believers, yet are there supposed to be differences?

    Once again we move away from the fact that it is God who calls us to do His will in what ever manner it is He equips us in order to do it.

    The power is not from us to be anything special among other believers, if there is any special *position* or placement as being believers it must come from God and according to Christ that person is to be the servant of all others, and in being so shows himself to be a representative of Christ.

    We Christians have made a commitment to obey Christ’s commandments as in Love God and Love others. Any special work God has for us comes from God who dwells within us in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

    We can only decide to believe Him and obey His unction’s.


  27. Mart De Haan says:

    MK, am guessing from what you have written that you also have noticed the trend led by some influential leaders to say that there is no difference between a real believer (i.e. someone in Christ) and a disciple.

    But I think the list of comparisons and contrasts you have given (as supported by the whole of Scripture) make a compelling point.

    Thankfully, the nature of the Gospel doesn’t give us reason to conclude that only those who meet our Lord’s conditions of discipleship (Luke 14:26-27) (Luke 14:33) are children of the Cross.

  28. SFDBWV says:

    Am in agreement with you Mart in that all believers are disciples (learners) and that discipleship is not set apart as being a special *position* among Christians.

    When I think of examples I am reminded of Peter who returned to his wife and life for a season until sent by the Holy Spirit to corroborate Paul’s teaching, and there is Martin Luther who left the Catholic Church married and devoted himself to the work of God as a married man.

    I also think of such men as Billy Graham who didn’t abandon family but certainly would be called a disciple by any standard. There are many such men down through the history of Christianity that made a difference and yet did not need to be called anything different than those they served and aided.

    Perhaps there was no longer a need for the word disciple to appear in the remainder of the scriptures as all believers are one in Christ and so become simply followers and believers in and on Christ…*Christian*.


  29. yooperjack says:

    Isn’t it sad we have to use the words *Real Christian*. Descipleship is the proscess of renewing our minds by learning and doing the Word under the guidence of the Holy Spirit. Our spirit is aready saved and made pure by Jesus. Our bodies and mind are in need of much work; I would quess it will take a life time and longer if we live.

    I really don’t care why they stoped useing the word disciple, it don’t mean nothing. Who cares, really.

  30. yooperjack says:

    *Real Believer*

  31. florida7sun says:

    As we grow in wisdom, we are sanctified and transformed from belief in Our Lord and Savior to being one with Him as His disciple.

    Time is a created dimension. I believe the Lord sees us as believer and disciple. The moment we are saved through repentance and acceptance of Our Father’s Precious Gift, we hunger for the Living Word. Through application of the truth in our lives, we are sanctified. The 1828 Webster definition of sanctification follows:

    “1. The act of making holy. In an evangelical sense, the act of God’s grace by which the affections of men are purified or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God.

    “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2; 1 Peter 1.

    2. The act of consecrating or of setting apart for a sacred purpose; consecration.”

    In essence I believe a believer, born again with a new heart (His Heart), is a disciple of Jesus. Much like a tree takes time to grow, putting its roots deep into nourishing and watered soil, it will bear fruit in its season. It will be buffeted by wind, heat and cold, but it will stand strong having been tested and tried.

  32. fadingman says:

    Even though believer and disciple should go hand-in-hand, sometimes they don’t. Not only are there believers who aren’t (practicing) disciples, there are disciples who aren’t believers. It was true in the New Testament (i.e. Judas), and it’s true today.

  33. poohpity says:

    I think it may come down to something so simple but honestly hard to really admit, “who or what really has first place in a person’s heart?”. I do not think God was trying to find out whether Abraham had placed God first but was trying to get Abraham to see what God already knew, he was willing to give up everything because he trusted God’s promises.

    If we trust God by hating all that is listed in the Luke passage and put God first then we will have the ability to really love with His type of love those things. If those things have first place in our lives it is not a selfless love but a love that wants something back.

  34. poohpity says:

    Matthew 10:37-38 NLT and then on to Matthew 10:39 NLT.

  35. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart and disciples… we’ve maybe come full ciricle with our intrepretaions and examples of how we think a disciple should look today, but I believe that Christ defined what a disciple is, and it doesn’t need any more definition than what He taught us it is.
    If He has called you and you follow Him, it is enough for me. Making disciples is a commission, being one is a condition. Like being saved, it is also a conditional response, where you either accept or deny! Gary

  36. yooperjack says:

    Gary: I’ll say amen to that post. AMEN You wrote that like poetry. LOL It really flows.

  37. poohpity says:

    Mart, no truer statement can be said than, “in ways that would earn us failing marks as disciples.” If we understand fully how much in so many areas we fall short than it would no longer be any identifying marks that would bring attention to us (i.e. disciples, Christians, followers, self identifiers) but only in a humble state and pointing people to the only One who can place His Identity upon our lives.

  38. poohpity says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the people around us looked at us and said, “there goes a person who has experienced the grace of God”.

  39. yooperjack says:

    poohpity: They do if you’re not ashamed to tell them you love Jesus. In a nice way of course.

  40. poohpity says:

    Jack, that is one area I do not have a problem. Two days ago while listening to a person in the doctors office say that he hated his life and I told him about a friend who changed my life. The patient asked was it a boyfriend or a girlfriend and I said no it was Jesus. He then began to ask me if Hitler confessed with a remorseful heart that he was sorry for all he had done would Jesus forgive him and go to heaven and I said without a doubt, yes. He then said that he could not handle that and I asked him if he only knew what I had done and how grateful I am for that grace and mercy. The guy got up and walked out saying if his wife would only do that for him and then I replied she is not God and because of Jesus death on the Cross it is done. There will always be an opportunity it is just whether we are open to step out in faith to talk about Him.

  41. SFDBWV says:

    Now that I am nervously, somewhat possibly, maybe sure, that I can post; I have a serious matter for those of you who are burdened from our Lord to pray for others.

    Matthew has a friend Meredith, who we call Mere (Mary), she is one of two friends Matt has that comes in a few times a year and visits with him and brings their families in at Christmas in order to bring a little light and smile to Matthew’s life.

    Mere’s husband Jim has been diagnosed with cancer, he is 36 years old and they have two little children. Alyvia aged 7 and Carter aged 3.

    Both Mere and Jim are believers and active in their local church, both have good families and are themselves good people.

    I would ask those of you who are burdened from our Lord to join with Matthew, Glenna and I in praying for the healing and removal of this disease from our friend Jim Idleman.

    Thank you

  42. yooperjack says:

    Poohpity: Good for you. Isn’t it strange how unbelievers say stupid stuff when confronted with Jesus? I always tell them. What about you? At the judgement it will be about you and you alone, just like in a court of law. There are only two ways to be saved, by keeping the law of God or by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

    They usually go on how they’re not as bad as the next guy. And how they do good things. Then I tell them if you are guilt of one sin you are guilty of them all. And one sin wipes out all your good works to the point they are no more than filthy rages to God. So you would be guilty as charged and the wages of sin is death and Hell.

    But the gift of God is eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ. There is not much of a choice, is there?

    If we could only get rid of all this Religious bagage people have been fed and convince sinners of the greatest news ever told, that Jesus Saves. There is a Hell but they don’t have to go there.

    Some preachers are even preaching: There is no Hell.

  43. yooperjack says:

    Steve: You go to that friend Jim and lay hands on him and with all the authority you can muster *tell* that cancer to leave his body by the authority of Gods Word and the name of Jesus Christ. Jims body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and no cancer belongs in it. Pray as many healing sriptures as you can come up with. By His stripes Jim *was* healed. When you are done thank the Lord for His healing power, then be paitent it may not be instant. Believe without doubting and it will happen.

    Do not listen to any doubters tell them to get behind me you that listen to the devil. Steve take a stand against this demon named cancer. Speak to that mountain and deman it to leave.

  44. jacky says:

    Mart I think I agree with you. The whole thing comes down to the issues of Truth and Grace. When the truth of the law and the cost of discipleship were revealed, we soon realise that on matter how hard we try, our efforts, whether before or after we became born again, won’t carry us far. Then Grace tells us that all we’ll need to please God has been fulfilled in one Person – Jesus Christ.
    But somehow I still find there is tension balancing Grace and Truth.

  45. poohpity says:

    I see Peter as having failing marks as a disciple as he denied Christ but Christ restored Him with grace. How about Paul who thought with all his heart He was doing a favor to the Lord by killing those who followed Jesus but through Grace was restored and then later went on to not elevate himself by knowledge of the Jewish Laws but by the grace He was shown by Jesus. By the time the NT letters were written they saw first hand that it was not the Jewish laws that changed a person but they pointed to Jesus and time spent knowing that they all were living under grace and mercy of the Lord that they did not have to quote Jesus or label themselves anything but a person saved by the grace of God and lived that. So maybe those days had passed away and now Grace is what they were living under. Maybe they thought of themselves no longer as disciples of Jesus but disciples of grace.

    Thank you Steve for sharing your prayer request and it would be a privilege to pray along side your family for the Lord’s will for this family.

  46. poohpity says:

    jacky, we posted at the same time saying all most the same thing, that is just to cool!!

  47. yooperjack says:

    Steve: it’s always Gods will to heal his children.

  48. poohpity says:

    Jack the difference is when that healing will take place, whether it is in this life or the next. Just ask Steve who has been praying for the healing of his son and it is not due to a lack of faith on his part but in trusting God in the timing, what that may look like and the place thus trusting in God’s will for the whole situation. It upsets me when people use, “by His stripes we are healed” as applied to anything other than our sin. Of course that is just what I believe and it could be wrong.

  49. yooperjack says:

    Poohpity: I don’t have the complete formula as yet but I will not give up searching. My wife has been in pain with Arthuritis for 30 years or more and it’s getting worse, she has no insurance and her pill bill is $1500.00 a month.

    I will not put that on God in any way, He is not the one that is out to kill, deceive and destroy us.

    I know one thing for sure if we have any doubt in our hearts we will not be healed. And God did give us the athority to speak to those mountains in the name of Jesus. We have the same Holy Spirit that Jesus had as a man, healing all those that He prayed for.

    I almost never get sick because when I feel something comeing on I speak to it and deman it leave in the name of Jesus and within 24 hours it’s gone.

    But I have’nt been able to help my wife. And I will not give up on her.

    Am I being tested? My God is not stupid He knows my heart. Satan is the stupid one if he thinks my wife will let pain stop her from loveing her Savior. Or if I will leave her side, ever. We’ll be holding hands going through those gates of Heaven. I know this because she had a dream about it. How cool is that?

    We watch what we say as to not give the devil any ideas how to attact our weakness. He can’t read our mind but is always listening if we speak death to ourselves.

    The Lord has been good to us and has been our provider. It’s amazing this life style. Thank you Lord.

    Am I on topic?

  50. davids says:

    Mike, your post about discipleship was inspiring — and dangerous.

    As an attitude toward faith and life, it presents much food for thought, reflection and action. Thank you for that.

    On the other hand it reads like the statement of faith for a new splinter of God’s church. I am not criticizing you, but rather those that might take such ideas to draw lines within the faithful, which I am sure was not your goal.

    Mart wrote, “[Jesus’] principle of discipleship (Luke 6:40) brings us to the end of ourselves, and to him, when he makes it clear that no one can truly be his disciple in the full sense of the word.”

    Amen to a personal walk with God. No to self-identification.

  51. Mikek says:

    Steve – You couldn’t be more wrong…there are ENORMOUS differences between being a Christian and in being a disciple…there is not enough room to point out to you the vast, vast differences between these two.

    Mart – Thanks. The trend among some writers who are confusing discipleship w salvation probably have good intentions, after all not one of them will say they uphold a salvation by works, however, if you blend the two you diminish grace. I suspect they are trying to comabt what they percieve is “easy believism” whatecer that is.

    Like it or not, salvation is by faith alone. Period.

    Davids – no attempt to be dogmatic at all, just a few thoughts. You may not recall but I do not have an assembly or denomination to defend…my baptist church threw me out and condemned me for heresy when I proved the KJV to be flawed. I just hate religion uphold the free grace of God.


  52. yooperjack says:

    MK: By grace through faith = salvation.

  53. Mikek says:

    One other thing we need to keep in mind as well is the fact that the term disciple is not exclusively a Christian term; Moses, John the Immerser and the Pharisees had disciples too. John also indicates that some followers of Jesus were non-believers, following Jesus out of mere curiosity.

    Even Judas was called a disciple.

    While Mart is correct, the epistles do not use the term, the idea is communicated in the commands to imitate mature believers (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1; Phil. 3:17; 1 Thess. 1:6; 2 Thess. 3:7, 9).

    Getting a clear understanding of the differences, that salvation is free and discipleship is costly, that salvation is by grace and discipleship is a commitment, that salvation is not by works and discipleship is, salvation is Jesus paying the price but disciples are asked to pay a price, sinners come to Jesus as Savior but disciples follow Jesus as Lord and believers obey the Gospel and disciples obey the commands of Christ, may be all the difference in living a fruitful, productive and meaningful life where Jesus is glorified.

    Not understanding this, blurring the lines between the two, cannot help but hinder one’s understanding of the spiritual life and what lay waiting beyond our grasp.


  54. yooperjack says:

    Mart: I think we could have church right here on this blog.

  55. poohpity says:

    Be careful in choosing the pastor Jack!!

  56. poohpity says:

    Mike, what were the commands of Christ? I always thought Jesus taught faith and trust in Him.

  57. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Pooh and Jackie for your prayers for Jim and Mere.


  58. SFDBWV says:

    Ok MK, lets look at the issue.

    In the Catholic Church if one wants to be a priest he can not marry changes his name takes oaths and separates himself from the world outside the Church.

    If a woman wants to devote herself to the faith solely she becomes a Nun and does the same.

    There are also friars and monks who separate themselves from the rest of the world, change their names and isolate themselves.

    Are these people the only true Disciples of Christ?

    Are you saying that Billy Graham is not in your opinion to be considered a disciple of Christ?

    Are you saying Martin Luther is in your opinion not to be considered a disciple of Christ?

    And what of you MK, what do you consider yourself to be?

    Always remember that the least among us is first among us in the eyes of God. No one can brag because they *did* anything accept except Christ.


  59. s2inkzoo says:

    I have to believe that there is a difference between discipleship and salvation as Mike outlined. Otherwise, what is sin for a believer? Is there more we are to do after we are saved? Without getting into OSAS, I think we are called to follow Jesus and his teachings after we are saved. To me, that is discipleship.

    But this isn’t a squishy-vague “what-ever-you-want-to-do-is-discipleship” thing. I think Paul outlines this well in Colossians 1. It is not something we do on our own, but through the power of the Holy Spirit and with a wisdom that comes from the Word and prayer. Yet, the power to do it flows from the Holy Spirit. But it is a choice. A choice to stop saying “no” to God and begin saying “yes”. A choice that happens in every event, and decision each day.

    It makes me think about the book “In His Steps” where the people want to really begin following Jesus and the first thing they realize is they need to figure what Jesus wants them to do, so they are led into deeper prayer , which leads to deeper service. Deeper service leads to more prayer and understanding of God’s will for them.

    It is not about “classes” of Christians, but an individual relationship. I think we get off track when we start either seeing if we are doing more than someone else or if someone is not doing enough. Especially if we then start trying to judge someone’s “Christian-ness” by this. Some may be called to do more than others. It is not based on “rules” or how much we sacrifice, but a relationship – with Christ. As Mart outlined, it is a call to a radical relationship that calls us to be willing to forsake all else — if called to do it.

  60. refump says:

    Yooperjack, you said “with all the authority you can muster ” to Steve. How do we muster authority?

  61. SFDBWV says:

    Looking to the Scripture, I see the word Disciple not used anywhere except in the NT and in the Greek the word is Mathetes, which means pupil or learner.

    Read then in scripture where ever the word disciple is written and substitute it with the word *pupil* and see how it reads.

    Read also John 13: 34-35, a *new* commandment, by following this *new* commandment all men will know you as *pupils* of Christ.

    We have attached a separate meaning to the word *disciple* that does not exist in the scripture.

    The separation of believers comes only in the offices given by Paul in the structure of the earthly church (1 Corinthians 12: 28-31) and by way of being at different levels of *learning*, even some as explained by Jesus as those who hear but do not *learn*. That being the only disqualification of being a *disciple* (learner) those who will not be taught or will not learn, who close their minds and ears to the teaching of the Holy Spirit.


  62. yooperjack says:

    refump: Muster is an old saying. It mean with all your strength. You have to get angry with this cancer invading the temple of the Holy Spirit “Jims body” and demand it to leave in the name of Jesus. I have prayed the 23d Psalm over some really sick people using their name instead “my” or “me” or “I”. They’re doctors told them they couldn’t believe how fast they recovered. I don’t know what the 23d Psalm has to do with healing I just believe when I get a strong urging from the Spirit to do something I do it. Even if I have to put mud over their eyes.

  63. yooperjack says:

    refump: Sometimes we need to get some help from others if our strength is drained from sickness, stress, fear and worry. Be very selective in whom you have praying with you.

  64. florida7sun says:

    Steve, I agree with you. Scripture is quite clear:

    “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

    “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26

    Without a new heart, we are dead in our trespasses and sins.

    In Him we have life. His Spirit lives within us to teach, comfort and correct. We are His pupils, His children; seeking to follow Him as His disciples: feeding on His Word, and remembering Him through communion in fellowship with the saints:

    “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.” John 6:53-58

  65. infiniti07 says:

    I see a lot of interest and posts on this topic and as much as I would like to read all I just want to get a few thoughts out there and hope to get caught up with reading what others have said later.

    Following the thoughts in Lu 6:40, Lu 14:26-27 and Lu 14:33, I’d like to share a few thoughts based on my personal struggles with discipleship (learning, being, doing).

    If we aspire to follow Jesus we need to accept that nothing should stand in the way of the purpose God has for us. Finally, this includes ourselves – essentially removal of all pride and come to Him in humility.

    Perhaps we’ve all come across individuals who are very zealous to abandon everything and everyone to come to terms with what Jesus is saying to us about being his disciples. I know when I look at myself closely and honestly, no matter how hard I try, I cannot measure up to the standards implied by being a true disciple. This dilemma can bring all kinds of guilt, shame and even remorse. Eventually this could lead to despair and desperation to try to be someone that I cannot possibly be – accept by God’s grace and through Christ.

    So if I cannot be and do as Jesus did (to the extent of who he was and what he represents to us now), and I cannot be his disciple (Lu 14:33), what then? I’m thinking that I would continue to listen intently and remind myself to be more of a doer to become more like Jesus but remind myself also that it is only by His Spirit and in His strength that I can achieve anything. I must take the initiative and God will supply his power in my life (Prov 1:33)

    I thank the Lord for this community of believers, especially since I haven’t been going to a church for a number of years. This community is global in reach and is one great way of sharing between people of faith in Christ. Thanks all!!

  66. foreverblessed says:

    Steve I will pray too! Well Yooperjack, you are an inspiration. Maybe this is also applicable to you and your wife:
    People said about Jesus when He hung on the cross:
    He could save others, let Him save Himself, Luke 23:35-43

    Thanks all for sharing, in the beginning I didn’t know what to say, as I did not get the point Mart was making about disciples. I liked the idea to look at the time at which all the books were written, maybe that would give an insight. Like if the Gospels were written after all the epistles it makes sense that Jesus is not qouted. But what about disciples? Acts 21:16 is the last time that the word disciple is used in Acts, and that must be about the year 59, according to Biblos that goes with a dot and a com.
    But the point Mikek brought up I find interesting.
    I agree with Mikek, that there is a difference between believer and believer, there are those who have said to God: take my life, it is Yours, my will is Your will.
    And to those christians God will come, sometime in their life, and claim it, their whole life is for Him.
    ANd there are the christians who live a godly life, who believe in Jesus, and follow His commands, but stay in control of their own life.
    This verse Luke 23:35 is also for those who have given their lives over to God.
    I also believe this point can be easily misinterpreted, like you don’t have to be a monk or a nun to be like this.
    So this point is not about doing yourself but about giving over yourself more so that God can do more in you, instead of our old self.
    And everybody can see for themselves where they fit in, or rather where they want to fit in, as God looks at the heart.
    And if we lack anything, we can ask God for it, in faith, and we even can ask for faith. James 1:5-6

  67. foreverblessed says:

    Infiniti07, I agree with you, that making classes can make you feel second class, but then we look at others, we could look at Jesus, and honostly tell Him everything that is on our mind. When I found out there are christians real intimate with Jesus, then I started to pray: Jesus, that is what I want to be. Your will is my will, help me to be like that. I pray, and I wait on Him.
    I also believe that is the waiting on Him is the point. If He does not take initiative, do I then start myself “doing christian things”?
    Someone brought this point up, that the disciples waited in the upper room, praying, being really humble, until the Holy Spirit spoke to them.
    Waiting in eager anticipation, waiting for any command of our Lord Jesus, and in the meantime do the normal duties of life. That is what any of us can do!

  68. yooperjack says:

    Thank you florida7sun: I was looking for that verse but couldn’t find it. Ezekiel 36:26, notice the small “s”, that is what happens when we get saved, our (spirit) is saved *renewed* made pure; our hearts are renewed but our soul, (mind, emotions and will) as well as our body need to be renewed by the Word with the help of the (Spirit) Ezekiel 36:27 notice the capital “S”. Those verses were a shadow of things to come.

  69. poohpity says:

    It seems that all the times the word “disciple” is used in the Gospels whether referring to John the Baptist, the Pharisees and Jesus it was a descriptor referring to people in the flesh following another person in the flesh.

    Then Jesus taught about what a real disciple looks like in John 13:35 NIV and in John 15:8 NIV. So if anyone resembles either of those then maybe they are a disciple of Jesus.

    In the book of Acts 11:26 NIV the name changed to Christian which we are also given a barometer to see how much of us the Holy Spirit has by the amount of fruit that is displayed in a person’s life as in Galatians 5:22-23.

    So it may be possible whether Disciple or Christian we all have a lot of areas that need work.

  70. oneg2dblu says:

    If discipleship is defined by whose voice or teachings you follow, then for Moses it was God speaking directly, he was a disciple of God. For the Twelve, it was Christ whose voice they followed as they were being a disciple of Him.
    But, then Acts comes along and everything changes. In Acts chapter 6, discipleship grew in numbers through the Hearing of the Gospel, and the voice that was heard was that of the Holy Spirit in those who received it, and chose to Believe and Obey, did discipleship then spread.
    Yes dear ones, we are all disciples of the Way, it is for us the only way to know we hear the Voice of God through Him who calls us to himself, through the reading and hearing of His Word, so it comes full circle. We are not vanishing disciples, we are His! Gary

  71. oneg2dblu says:

    …and transparently His, if we obey His Commands.

  72. poohpity says:

    Just like I asked MK earlier and now you Gary, “what are the commands of Jesus?”

  73. yooperjack says:

    Poohpity: Is that a trick question? LOL

  74. poohpity says:

    Yes Jack, it is sort of a trick question. If one thinks about it, we were unable to follow the laws or commands that were given us in the OT but Jesus fulfilled them. If Jesus knew we were not able to obey those commands then what would He give us more to follow and fail, He took the punishment for our inability to obey those laws. I look at it this way the things that happen as we trust and have faith in Jesus happen as a result of our love for Him.

    If we say we are disciples or followers of Christ then we know that it is Him and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives that produce the products of that faith. It is not a job or obedience to love someone who loved us enough to give His life for us it is with a heart of gratitude, respect, and honor to love Him. When we love Him that much it is revealed in how we treat each other, it comes pouring out of us. That is not obedience it is love.

    If it were obedience then more than likely we are not looking at Jesus we are keeping track of our behavior. What we do is in response to what He has done.

  75. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… I get it; we are to love others at all costs. Unless of course, it costs us something, then we are to sit down and look to Jesus to pay the price for that love or it would be considered our work, instead of just following Him, or a command of His, which of course you say we can’t really do. I read this contradictory verse somewhere,” If you love me, you will obey what I command.” Sorry pooh, but to me, obedience is of the utmost importance for any mature Christ Follower. It is the very sign of maturity! It puts disobedience in its proper place, making it look like the rest of the world.
    Then there is John 13:34 which tell us what a disciple of His looks like. A disciple has his work cut out for him; it is the work of obedience. Even Christ can’t be disobedient and be caught loving at the same time. They are one of the same, this loving others and also being obedient. IMHO Gary

  76. yooperjack says:

    It’s like a marriage in order for it to work we need to want to fulfill the desires of our mates heart. Not because we want something in return but because we love them. If they’re happy then were happy. If we dwell on the things that bug them how is that working for you? Or if your motive is so they will do stuff for you that won’t last long either. This is the second command.

    The first commandment has the same principle. God did not want us dwelling on what displeases Him *sin* so He provided a way out; Jesus wiped the slate clean for us so now we can dwell on what is important to God. He gave us a new spirit, a new heart and a helper the Holy Spirit. With our new spirit we can have fellowship and worship with Him in the spirit and truth. With our new heart we can love Him and one another. With the Helper we can understand the Word of God so we will know how to please Him. God already showed us “His love” in while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. As if that isn’t enough He continues to bless us every day.

    Like a marriage if it is a love relationship, it will not, can not, fail. Just think if our marriage was run like some of these Religious Churches they would end up in divorcé after the honey moon. All those man made rules and foolishness that goes on; some preachers act more like dictators then men of God.

    Bottom line: We don’t need to “try” to live a pure life we can’t do it but through Christ I can do all things. If we get it in our heads it’s not about me but Him; we’ll be ok in Gods sight.

  77. poohpity says:

    Gary that is what I asked you, What are the commands of Jesus? What are we called to obey? Give me verses not just rhetoric. Rhetoric is what I most often hear but the action of loving another means to show them the same grace and mercy we have been shown. Where is that in an obedient life? That type of obedience comes from will power not from a heart of care and concern. That is also similar to making someone love you, how do you do that?

  78. poohpity says:

    Maturity comes when we are able to look honestly at ourselves and realize how short we all fall. Maturity means I can admit when I am wrong and not able to be obedient to all the rules. Maturity comes when we realize we are not Christ and understand who He really is and it is His work in our lives that produces the fruit.

  79. poohpity says:

    Maturity means thinking of others as more than ourselves and what would be for their good, not always needing to be right, able to listen to others and not judge, criticize or condemn. Maturity means trusting God in every circumstance and prasing Him for who He is not what He can do for us.

  80. poohpity says:


  81. poohpity says:

    Maturity is also admitting when we write something if it is plagiarized and giving credit to whom we copy it from.

  82. bill34sl says:

    The word “disciple” can be a general term. The one spoken of by Jesus who follow a kind of life like His is a special one. This involves denying everything for Christ’ sake. However, this kind of discipleship is not necessarily required to obtain salvation. It is being repeated here by many that salvation is by grace thru faith only, nothing else. The one “disciple” Jesus was referring to was like a vow. For example, a vow to be a Nazarite like that of Samson. Not everyone is required by God to have a vow though. In fact Jesus discouraged the disciples of making one (Matt. 5:34). Although Jesus was not preventing anyone to live a life like His, in Luke 14:28-32, He made it clear that it was not easy, therefore one has to consider carefully the “cost”. Like somebody here said, “it is costly”. Furthermore, Jesus said if one decided to venture into it, and then backed out along the way, it’s very shameful. However, his/her salvation is not necessarily lost. It’s just like losing “face” big time. Although I live in North America, I have an Asian background, and to most of us, losing “face” is like a sting of death. Personally, to me, it doesn’t really matter if the word “disciple” disappeared in the latter part of the NT.

  83. oneg2dblu says:

    I’m sorry I answered, I should know better by now, but I guess I’m still working on a few things so I must be immature even thinking there could possibly be any disobedience in me, and until Christ takes my effort away, I will continue to work at it. For now I need to depart the conversation again for I’m finding it to be turned into another form of work, as the tongue seems to never stop. Come Jesus! :)

  84. yooperjack says:

    Pooh and Gary Reading the two of you I rest my case. Religion AHHHHH!!!!! Read my last post.

  85. poohpity says:

    Gary, you did not answer nor do you have to. I was just wondering what you are being obedient to. What are the commands of Jesus you say you follow? I was not putting you down in any way, please do not take it that way and if that is how it was perceived then accept my apology. Please forgive me.

    Spiritual maturity is seeking for yourself what is in the pages of scripture and not having others spoon feed us but going right to the author one on one and learning from the Master.

  86. Mikek says:

    Matt 16:24-26; Luke 14:27; Luke 14:33; Matt 11:28-29; John 8:30-32; Luke 9:57-62 Matt 28:18-20

  87. poohpity says:

    Matthew 11–faith and trust, not a command
    Matthew 16–faith and trust, not a command
    Luke 9&14– the cost of being a disciple, not a command
    John 8–what a true disciple looks like knowing the truth–faith and trust
    Matthew 28–the great commission, not the great command To me being sent is different than commanded to go.

    Matthew 22:36-40–replied to the entrapment of the Pharisees who lived their lives by following the commands.

    Jesus seemed to teach not command and desired trust and faith in Him rather than obedience to the law. Hey I have looked for commands and have not found any, you know like do this because I said so type thing. Unless forgive because I have forgiven you or love because I have loved you.

  88. yooperjack says:

    Poohpity: Jesus said: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another” I won’t write it all out but read it in the NKJV John 13:34-35. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    Just a thought.

  89. yooperjack says:

    Poohpity: I went back through and found John 13 at least in 3 more post includeing one of yours so what is the problem? We can’t say Jesus never gave us a command; unless we play on words again.

  90. SFDBWV says:

    Claudia and Foreverblessed, thank you both and all unspoken for your prayers for Jim and Mere, they are very much appreciated.

    Claudia thank you for your lovely story of the little girl, I too have tears from reading as well as writing to you of it.


  91. SFDBWV says:

    Yesterday after Matt’s exercises I took my coffee and sat out on the porch swing, it was cool but the sun was warm and between the warm sun the hot coffee and the cool air I was quite comfortable.

    My thoughts took me to eternity and life after this one here on earth.

    I understand why anyone would want to be eternally in heaven with God, but can it ever be truly heaven if someone we love is not there.

    If you really love someone would you trade places with them and allow them to take your eternal place in heaven while you take their eternal place in hell for them?

    This is the kind of love God has for each of us, this is the kind of love God wants us to have for others.

    If we only obey God out of fear of eternal punishment, we have not learned what love is. We are still only thinking of ourselves and not concerned about others first.

    If God gave any of you the opportunity to die and be punished for everyone else in the world, guaranteeing they all get to go to heaven except you would you do it?

    This is the heart God wants us all to have, and the heart Jesus has, and though just like Abraham God did not need to have Isaac killed, Jesus died for all of us yet God withheld eternal punishment for Jesus because He obeyed.

    God is not unjust nor is He cruel, He will reward us for the secret things and basics of our heart and intent regardless of the appearances of what the world seems to do to us.


  92. yooperjack says:

    Claudia: What a wonderful story about that girl. Her faith has made her whole. She sounds like Paul when he said I can’t loose if I die I’m with the Lord if I stay here the Lord is with me; or something like that. We can’t loose. These kids amaze me, when they talk they speak with such faith, belief and authority, “No problem, I’ll be in the arms of Jesus.”

    This is what we have to figure out, how do we develop that kind of faith and believe with out any doubt?

  93. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… that coffee break sounds very therapeutic. I’ve been taught that in Heaven we will not be dwelling on the missing, so do not let that bother you, it will not lessen your heavenly experience. The things of earth will not be our concern there. I see your heart for the living and the dead, Christ has that same heart.
    Christ lives in you and you are given in your heart things that you know you must obey. Obey those things and you obey the commands that God has placed in you.
    If you do not obey those things, then in your abject disobedience, you no longer walk in his discipline, but only your own way. I too pray that God’s Will, will be done in all our worldly circumstances, that He prevails in all our concerns, and that we above all we continue to obey what He puts on our hearts, and we being obedient to the new heart that beats within us, pray to Him who answers all our prayers. Yes, No, or Wait! Gary

  94. foreverblessed says:

    What a wonderfull story of the little girl! Didn’t Jesus say that we have to become like little children? Isn’t that a command too?
    The problem is not with the commands of Jesus, but with us, being legalistic about them. If we approach Jesus’ commands the same as the hardened heart the old Testament Commands, we have not gained anything.
    In a good marriage you do not things because they are commands, you do things because you love the other person, you love to do the things you do. Isn’t it about a relation. If we by our acts prove that we do not do what Jesus would have us do, then we should look at our hearts: do we really feel loved by God through Jesus, do we really love Jesus? Do we really believe in Him. Do we really trust Him to be able to handle all our life circumstances?
    And when we first started walking with Jesus we did not know it was needed that we forsake all that is ours (not literally but spiritally Luke 14:33) It is something that we gradually grow into. Some more quicker then others. But let’s all go for the real intimate relation with Jesus.
    Steve, isn’t what you wrote about willing to die for others what is the mind of Jesus?

  95. Mikek says:

    Luke 14:28-30,33

    The requirements of discipleship are not optional. Perhaps because He requires a total commitment, surrender and transformation of one’s entire life most Christians only read these verses and others like them with only a mere curiosity instead of considering the full weight of their meaning.

    One CANNOT be a disciple and fail to meet the demands He explicitly gives us throughout the Gospels.

    Luke 14:26-27

    If someone claims to be a disciple, do they really know what they are saying? Are they really saying they will go where commanded, say what they are told to say, sacrifice everything for Jesus? I doubt it.

    Failure to obey Christ’s requirements for discipleship doesn’t make you a poor disciple, it disqualifies you from being a disciple altogether.

    Perhaps the failure to see Christ’s commands stems from the fact that Jesus is Savior but not Lord over every area of one’s life?

    Luke 9:61-62

    Anyway, enough has been said. Perhaps Mart will lead elsewhere tomorrow.


  96. poohpity says:

    Or that one does not know who Jesus truly is and what He laid down His Deity to teach us?

  97. poohpity says:

    So MK, let me get this straight, if a person who says that they believe in Jesus and does not go and spread the Gospel to those they come in contact with, then they are truly not disciples of Jesus Christ? If we are commanded to go into all the nations and spread the Gospel and baptize then in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit then where does that leave a majority of Christians who probably never go beyond the walls of their church much less ever share the Gospel message? Does that make them disobedient?

  98. poohpity says:

    Values–what is important in life. What is the most important thing in life to me?

    The problems of discipleship is thinking we have nothing more to learn or are no longer teachable.

  99. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart and crew…I believe if God gives you gifts to share, and you don’t share them, you disobey Him and their given purpose. If God calls you to be a pastor and you don’t preach His Word you disobey both His Word and His calling. If God gives you His Holy Spirit to guide you and you ignore Him and walk your own way instead, you have disobeyed the purpose of the gift and His purpose for giving it. But, if God has only called you to His Salvation, and then to sit at the feet of the cross, then that is your calling and your purpose. It is not mine. I do not believe that is all there is, because God gifts are varied, and the callings are different. We can not tell others what they need to do except to obey what God has laid on their heart.
    If for you there is no law, no obedience, no rules accept to focus on Him, then great, you are fulfilling your calling and His intention for you. Yes, Jesus did it all, all to Him we owe, but what if He calls you to the mission field and you refuse? What if He places a need to repent and you don’t? What if you never pray?
    It is not about calling others out to see if they know Christ through obedience or love, and then chastising them for their works, obedience, or their stiving to live more righteously. Just because they don’t drag their failures around with them everywherere always telling others, does not mean they are pride filled. If you obey his word you would have released them to Him and moved on without the baggage, unless to you, caring those failures represents loving Him! Then, carry away!
    All this is said in Love, but also with an obedience that I must stand against the continued folding of hands, the justification for lack of work through the ignoring of the Spirit, and the not really obeying His Word, which are the very things of the ungodly in the world today, who serve another master and who seem to also find disobediene so very fitting for them. “Been there, done that,and have the scars to prove it.” Each of us knows what was in our heart before He called us to task, and how much has changed, accept those who refuse to change, they are truly disobedient. You can disagree or you can use the love that is in you to help you understand another’s calling, may just be different. Gary

  100. poohpity says:

    Matthew 4:19 NLT

  101. poohpity says:

    Matthew 28:19 NLT

  102. narrowpathseeker says:

    Gary, I think the fact that out of 7 billion people, we each have our own set of fingerprints, DNA, voice, etc, tends to support your thoughts this morning. I think(agree with you) we are ALL different and we each have a unique place, mission,,whatever, in His Plan. As a gardener, I know all plant life exists, grows, produces differently, and have varied purposes as well. Much scripture coincides with gardening..sowing, reaping, dunging, harvest…. Some plants, trees need more dung than others…too much can kill…too little can result in lack of produce.
    I think one of our greatest and most common hindrances is SELF. It seems to me that no matter how determined I am to do the Lord’s work or even DOING His work…it is not long before I start thinking about ME and what a wonderful thing I have done!!~! Of course I recognize this self absorbed nature in others first…I think this is satan’s strategy to keep us competing with one another instead of working together. I think that maybe Jesus emptied HIMSELF as an example for us to empty our much filled selves. I battle SELF daily and try to remember that the race isn’t a competition with other believers….at least I don’t think it is…I think it is probably sin that we are racing against or maybe just SELF. We are all open prey for satan’s snares and I think we all get caught up in them from time to time. I know I DO, so I am not pointing fingers at anyone in particular….I am just pointing at the snares. May God give understanding as to what I am trying to convey and continue to Bless us one and all.

  103. tracey5tgbtg says:

    narrowpathseeker – very interesting post! I agree completely with what you say.
    We are all different. God has different purposes for all His children. The more we focus on what we are doing for God, the more we take our focus off of Him.

    When we look to God, we end up doing things we never thought possible!

  104. poohpity says:

    The thing that most impresses me about our Teacher was humility. Being perfect Himself did not demand that of those He taught. Even knowing that one would betray Him, one would deny Him and one doubted, He loved them all. He did not judge He restored, saved, died, justified, and sanctified, not because of their behavior but because of who He was. Higher learning was getting our eyes off of ourselves and unto Him. What he taught, He lived. Even though the knowledge and wisdom of the universe was held in His heart, mind and soul, He never forced anyone to listen to Him or Love Him.

    The only people He seemed to confront were those who felt that they were better than others and knew more than others. He admired those who were able to have an honest estimate of their selves and knew they needed a Savior.

    Jesus being God in flesh laid down all that would elevate Himself above all mankind and all creation to walk along side it, die for it, forgive it and sacrificially love it. He asked us to do the same except for to die for it (humanity) because there was only one Lamb without defect and sin that could be the atonement for all that is wrong in us. That one spotless Lamb did not point out the sin of mankind but took that sin upon His shoulders and took the punishment for it.

    So tell me who do we think we are to point out the sin and failures in others when our teacher taught us a higher way of doing things?

  105. poohpity says:

    I think that the spiritual gifts we are given are to be used to be fishers of human souls and to take care of the needs of those souls.

  106. narrowpathseeker says:

    Tracey, I feared it would offend, so I appreciate your positive reception.

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