The First Century, Biblical Understanding of Discipleship

“A [biblical] text cannot mean what it never meant to its author or his readers. The true meaning of the biblical text for us is what God originally intended it to mean when it was first spoken.”[1] This most basic rule of exegesis laid out by Gordon and Stuart will be important to remember in this article.

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I’ll Pretend You’re Serious About Jesus If You’ll Pretend I’m Serious About Jesus…

When I was a kid, I played a lot of games; board games, card games, outdoor games, and even some video games (I’m kinda old).
 
But lately, I’ve lost my taste for games.
 
It’s not that I think there is anything wrong with games in and of themselves; I just don’t have the desire or the time to play games.
 
One of the reasons that I no longer have any desire to play games is because I came to the realization that I have spent my entire life watching people play games.

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On Apostates, Heretics, and the Hurting

Over the last few years there seems to have been a rash of public Christian personalities (I hesitate to call them leaders) either apostatizing, espousing heresy, or admitting that they are struggling to hold on to orthodox Christian beliefs; and in the most heartbreaking cases, committing suicide.

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The Purpose of Imitating Jesus as His Disciple

This is the second article in our series responding to the feedback we have received concerning His Words His Ways Fellowship’s four principles of discipleship.

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The Image of God as the Basis of Discipleship

Over the last year, His Words His Ways Fellowship has adopted 4 principles of discipleship to ensure that we are making disciples of Jesus according to words and ways of Jesus and the rest of Scripture. These principles (with the scriptural references in footnotes) are:
 
  1. The Image of God as the Basis of Discipleship. The ultimate goal of the Gospel is that men bring glory to God by being re-conformed to the image of God that they were originally created to be.[1]
 
  1. The Purpose of Imitating Jesus as His Disciple. The goal of men being re-conformed to the image of God is accomplished by men imitating Jesus (who is the perfect image of God) as His disciple; through the empowerment and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.[2]
 
  1. The First Century, Biblical Understanding of Discipleship. Imitating Jesus as His disciple begins (but does not end) with specifically learning and then keeping the words, teachings, commands, and example that He gave during His earthly ministry. It is simply impossible to imitate someone without knowing what they said and did.[3]
 
  1. Biblical Discipleship in a Relational Environment (Relational Discipleship). Being conformed to the image of Jesus by imitating Him as His disciple is not a passive process, but an active/interactive process that occurs within a relational environment; which was established and demonstrated by Jesus during His earthly ministry.[4]
 
 
 

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