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To make disciples the way Jesus intended, it’s critical to make sure that several disciple-making characteristics are obvious. The 1stsubtle ingredient is spiritual growth in each disciple. Authentic discipleship must include the spiritual dynamic of growth, not perfection, but measurable growth. Today we come to the 2nd.
In two passages-one from Paul and one from Jesus-there is another measurable for authentic discipleship that we must understand. Check out what Paul says to the followers of Jesus in Corinth: I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So, neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.(1 Corinthians 3:6-8)
Paul warns against following charismatic leaders who are set up above Jesus: But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, the Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.(Matthew 23:5-12)
Jesus goes from preaching to meddling right here. This goes in two directions. Don’t allow yourself to be lifted up above others as THE TEACHER, FATHER, or LEADER and don’t follow anyone who has been lifted up above Jesus. SO, the2ndsubtle ingredient is single-minded focus on the person of Jesus. Authentic discipleship is making it your intention to follow in the steps of Jesus, just Jesus.
This, too, is measurable! Here’s how! There are 2 questions here: 1) Who do you reference, when speaking of the church in your area? Is it Tim Timmons’ Church or Rick Warren’s Church or Andy Stanley’s Church or Joel Osteen’s Church or is it the “church of Jesus”? 2) Who are you quoting the most…your Pastor, your Church, your favorite Doctrines, Traditions and Sacraments? Or, are you single-mindedly following Jesus-walking, quoting, thinking, seeing, and talking like Jesus? Think it over!