The Four Principles of Discipleship
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
After 5 years of sorting through all the information out there on discipleship; we have attempted to distilled that information down to 4 principles that we use as the foundation for everything we do at His Words His Ways Fellowship:
 
 
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 (Genesis 1:27, 1 Corinthians 11:7, Matthew 5:48, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 4:22-24, 5:1, Colossians 3:9-10, 2 Peter 1:4).
 
 

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 (Romans 8:29, 1 Corinthians 11:1, 15:49, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Galatians 2:20, Philippians 2:1-5, 3:7-11, Colossians 1:15, 1:28-29, 2:2-3, 2:9-10, 1 Thessalonians 1:6, 2 Timothy 3:12,Titus 3:4-6, Hebrews 3:1, 6:1, 12:1-3, James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1:1-4, 2-21, 2 Peter 3:18, 1 John 2:6, 3:3, 4:17).

 
 

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 (Matthew 7:24-29, 10:24-25, 11:25-30, 12:41-42, 13:16-17, 13:34-35, 17:5, 24:35; Mark 4:24-25, 4:33-34, 6:34, 8:38, 9:7, 13:31; Luke 6:46-49, 9:35, 10:24, 10:38-42, 11:31-32, 17:10, 19:47-48,  John 3:31-36, 4:25-26, 4:40-42, 5:24, 5:38-39, 5:46-47, 6:28-29, 6:63, 6:66-69, 8:31-32, 8:51, 9:26, 10:27, 12:48, 13:34-35, 14:12, 14:15, 14:23-26, 15:7-17, 15:20-24, 16:6-8).

 

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 (Acts 2:42-47, 1 Corinthians 14:40, 2 Timothy 2:2).

 
Consider the following questions:
 
 
What is the purpose of man?
 
To bring glory to God.
 
How do men bring glory to God?
 
By being re-conformed to the image of God that they were originally created to be.
 
How are men re-conformed to the image of God they were created to be?
 
By being conformed to the image of Jesus (who is the perfect image of God).
 
How are men conformed to the image of Jesus?
 
By imitating Him as His disciple (through the supernatural empowerment and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit).
 
How do men imitate Jesus as His disciple?
 
By learning and then keeping His words, teachings, commands and example that He gave during His earthly ministry.
 
What then we must we first do in order to be a disciple of Jesus?
 
Learn His words, teachings, commands, and example as found in the Gospels.
The following articles are our argument for how to begin making disciples of Jesus in our culture and context. The first article is an overview and the last four are expositions on the four principles of discipleship.
 
However, reading the articles is just a starting place. We would also invite you to visit us at His Words His Ways Fellowship if you are serious about being and making disciples of Jesus, so that we might disciple you to be able to do so properly.