How important is Discipleship?

This question has many nuances. And, of course, it’s important to be cautious when labeling something as sin. Our opinions can easily cloud our judgment, but ultimately, what we think or feel is secondary to what the Bible says. If we believe the Bible is our absolute authority, we must seek God’s wisdom on this matter and every other question in life. We should be careful not to speak where God has not spoken. Thankfully, the Bible has much to say on the topic. Let’s consider some points we can all agree on:

1. Walking by Faith:

Romans 14:23b states, “…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Throughout the New Testament, we are encouraged to live and walk in the Spirit, not the flesh (cf. Romans 1:17, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 11:1, 6, Galatians 5:16, Romans 8:1, 5-6, Galatians 5:25).

2. Ministry of Reconciliation:

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 tells us, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” This aligns with Jesus’ teaching that we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).

3. Spiritual Gifts for Ministry:

1 Corinthians 12:11 says, “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” The Holy Spirit equips each believer with unique gifts for ministry, particularly for the ministry of reconciliation.

When we put these points together, we see that every believer is called to be spiritually minded, acknowledging their unique role in God’s work. We are empowered by His Spirit and equipped to carry out His will. Our contributions to the body of Christ will naturally vary according to our strengths and gifts, but the key is that we all should be contributing.

Exceptions exist for those who are perhaps mentally disabled, elderly, or have health conditions, but these exceptions don’t define the rule. Discipleship can take many forms: teaching a lesson, mentoring, offering counsel, sharing life experiences, or simply encouraging others in faith. Whether formal or casual, in a classroom or over coffee, the essence of discipleship is a spiritually minded believer seeking to invest in others.

But what does it mean if I ignore the purpose for which God created me? What does it say if I surround myself with everything that is good and holy but fail to invest in the lives of others? What if I make excuses for not doing what I know is right? (James 4:17) The answer is that I would be guilty of walking in the flesh and living for myself. And this would be a sin. 

2 Corinthians 4:3-6 reminds us, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Let’s do our best with the life that God has given us. Go, team, go!

Written by Damon