Okay, so most of us reading this blog will be familiar with the Great Commission. We know that discipleship is an important part of God’s plan for the church and the kingdom. But how many of us have actually stopped and thought through a strategy for how we could implement an intentional process to see people who are far from God become disciple-makers themselves? Perhaps not many of us have.
And, when Jesus tells to teach them to obey every command he gave, what does that involve? How many commands are there? Are some more important or more critical for a new Christ-follower to master?
Now, I think that we need to acknowledge that obedience-based discipleship is generally not a popular topic in the Canadian Christian context. We have transformed our Christianity into something that is about us and for us and intended to give us a comfortable feeling. Being confronted about obedience or our lack of obedience certainly does not give us a comfortable feeling, so we usually reject it.
However, obedience is exactly what is required, even demanded. So, what are we to do?
I must first acknowledge that I was created by God and He can require of me whatsoever He pleases and I have absolutely no grounds for argument.
The apostle Paul speaks to this reality in Romans 9:20 when he says, ‘Who do you think you are, talking back to God? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?’’
Second, I need to evaluate how I am doing with my own obedience. I mean, honestly assess where I am. The reality is that there is no way I can move from point A (where I am right now) to point B (a position of obedience) unless and until I know where point A actually is. Unless and until I determine where I actually am, I am lost in terms of obedience.
Third, I need to systematically begin to do a better job of obeying the commands of Christ. John Piper, in the book What Jesus Demands from the World, states that when you account for repetition within the four gospels, there are recorded about 250 commands of Christ. How do I handle these in a way that contributes to the discipleship process and leads to healthy church members and healthy churches?
And finally, I need to make sure that as I make disciples, this process of intentionally working on obedience to the Commands of Christ is implemented from the very beginning. I need to begin the process of implementing a culture-shift within my sphere of influence away from a comfortable Christianity to one that is committed to increasing obedience to everything that Jesus commanded.
I have been researching the topic of discipleship for some months now and I have come across a list of nine commands of Christ that can form the foundation upon which a movement can be built. These nine commands will be the subject of a new series of blog posts. I hope you will take the time to read each post and ask God to help you to be more obedient to it.
So what are the nine foundational commands? Here is the list and the date each will be posted.
What do you think about obedience-based discipleship? Does this make you uncomfortable? Are you doing this already? I would love to know what you think. Leave a comment and let me know.
And, if you would like to be involved in a group that can help you do this kind of discipleship and don’t know where to turn, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help you find the help you want and need. We are in this together.