Discipleship

January 5, 1999
by Peter Houghton

2 Peter 1:3-8 – His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Discipleship, to some degree, has become a buzzword within the church. Everyone seems to talk about it, but it rarely gets fully explained. If you were to ask what a disciple of Christ is, most people would agree that a disciple is someone who follows Christ. Disciples are people who try to be like Christ in their everyday actions. What exactly does that mean? For example, are we not supposed to associate with our non-Christian friends any longer? I don't think that's what discipleship is about. Jesus dined with many "sinners" of his time, including tax collectors. 2 Peter 1:3-8 talks about many different qualities that Christians should have, such as goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. I'd like to highlight two of these. The first is love. Our relationship with God and Christ is based on love. People really need to be loved and we really need to love others. This is noticeable in today's world where we are discovering that people who act negatively to the rest of the world really haven't been loved as they needed to be. The other quality is knowledge. God doesn't expect us to do things without thinking. If you read even a small part of Proverbs, it talks about the value of knowledge. Knowledge is the key in our world and it is a large part of understanding how to find our place as Christians in the world.

Prayer: Lord, discipleship is a large topic and this article has touched just briefly on it. It is one that is talked about a lot but not often explained enough. It is a topic that needs much self-exploration. Please help us to pray, read and ask questions, that we may be able to think and rethink this subject. Amen.

About the author:

Peter Houghton
Komoka, Ontario, Canada

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