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All assignments must be at least 5 pages and in current Turabian format. Each assignment must include a bibliography with a minimum of 5 scholarly sources.

 

Written Assignment 1 – Christ in Discipleship

For this assignment, you will write a paper detailing the importance of the centrality of Christ in Christian discipleship. Discuss how obedience reflects the discipleship of Christ as well as areas of life that a disciple must submit to Christ. Finally, outline and expand on the 3 stages of discipleship according to the Dempsey & Earley textbook. Explain how the stages work together and explain how to help disciples take the steps of obedience.

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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF DIVINITY

 

Written Assignment 1

 

 

Submitted to Dr. Rick Garner

In partial fulfilment of the requirements for the completion of

 

DSMN 500-D05 LUO

Christ in Discipleship

 

By

 

Daniel D. Garner

September 9, 2018

 

In understanding the centrality of Jesus Christ in Discipleship process. The church’s role in making disciples is vital. “The churches marching orders are very clear… we are to make disciples. The church is to pursue and make and mature believers at home and abroad.”[1]Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount in which He teaches on the Beatitudes, Matthew 5: 1-12 gives an excellent description of the traits of a disciple. Truly being a disciple of Jesus Christ will necessitate the believer in accepting Jesus’ authority over every aspect of their life.[2]

We can follow up obedience with submission. When we submit our lives to follow Jesus Christ we can then commit to the work of Christ. There are three areas of commitment for the disciple. Commitment to the Great Commandment (Matt 22:37), the New Commandment (John 13:34) and the Great Commission (Matt28:19). This will enable the believer to become the very hands, feet and voice for Jesus Christ.[3]

There are three stages of discipleship that we need to understand they are:  1) declaration, 2) development and 3) deployment.[4] This is asynopsis of how the disciples matured and became the great apostles of the New Testament. Each disciple encountered each of these phases and every believer should strive to do so as well.

According to Earley and Dempsey in stage one, the declaration stage, the believer is to make the decision as to whether or not they want to make Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior and will make Him lord of their life. Regeneration is the focus of the new believer. You hear the call and make a declaration that you believe and will follow Christ. You will then repent of your sins and agree to become a committed believer in Jesus Christ as illustrated in (John 3:8 in this stage you will cast your doubt away, accept salvation and establish your committed belief.[5] Stage one is also explained as a process that leads to an event. You move from hearing and being curious to repentance from sin and faith in Christ.[6]

Stage two is the development of stage of discipleship. Step one of this stage is a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ,[7] You come to an understanding that there is so much more to being a disciple than just following Christ. You now have to learn how to build and maintain a relationship with Him. Prayer is a key component of the believer’s faith.  You cannot hope to live a life of a disciple without serious commitment to prayer.

Immersion into a community of believers is also important in stage two.  Getting connected to a bible believing bible teaching church is critical to form a solid foundation for becoming a disciple. Immersion into the church community and searching for opportunities to serve while still being ministered to will help the disciple to grow in this stage. Prayer and study are the best way to form an intimate relationship with Christ. Devotion to a community of believers is equally important for development in this stage. The believers in the early church spent time together. “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers” (Acts 2:42) this shows the emphasis in the early church placed on fellowship with likeminded believers. “No Christian can grow strong and stand the pressures of this life unless he is surrounded by a small group of people who minister to him and build him up in the faith”[8]

Immersion in the Words of Jesus is another part of stage two that believers must take in, learning the word of God is the pathway to increasing your faith. Reading and praying on a daily basis opens your mind and  heart  to becoming a disciple.  Just as the twelve disciples submitted to the teachings of Jesus, all must believers submit to the teaching authority within their community. [9]

Immersion into the ministry prepares you for stage three. Learning toexplain, demonstrate and implement what it takes to teach others that thirst for knowledge of Christ is a requirement of every Christian. We all are not called to preach the Word, but the Great Commission requires all believers to “go and make disciples”.

Stage three is deployment and this is where the  believers goes out and teaches others what they have learned about Jesus Christ and how they could become a disciple. Taking on the mission of Jesus Christ is now the motivation of the believer. The missionary field is where this can take place “The disciples were selected with one primary goal in mind: to be missionaries.[10] The believer now become the disciple maker. The goal is now to multiply yourself by teaching others to do what you are doing. As you go out and preach and teach the Word of God we can then reach each and every man, woman and child who has an ear to hear about the love of Jesus Christ.

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A great definition is someone who will follow Christ, be changed by Christ and be committed to the mission of Christ.[11]The word disciple means student or learner. It describes a protégé who learns and follows his teacher’s precepts and instructions. It speaks of a follower who adapts the lifestyle of his master. Discipleship is a process, not an event, Dave Earley makes the point that the process of discipleship occurs in stages.[12]

Understanding that discipleship means that Jesus Christ must come first and foremost in all that we hope to do in this life. Luke 14: 26 give us a good understanding of what a disciple is. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his life also, he cannot be my disciple”. Jesus Christ must be the main ingredient and main focus of your life in discipleship.

In Luke goes further as Jesus speaks to the cost of discipleship when He says “And who ever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.” (Luke 14:27-28)The cost of discipleship can sometimes be very high. Understanding that what it takes to be a disciples and making it your priority not only takes faith but has to take priority in your walk with Christ. Disciple making is one of the greatest things that we can do to keep Satan under our feet.

Being a disciple requires Obedience and faith. “He who does not love me does not keep my words, and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father who sent me”. (John 14:24 NKJV) Bonhoeffer points out that Jesus is serious about his call and your choice is simple, obedience or disobedience.[13]He cites an example of In Mark“As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And he said to him, follow me. So he arose and followed Him.” (Mark 2:14 NKJV)  He goes on to say that the disciple’s answer is not a spoken confession of faith in Jesus. Instead, it is the obedient deed.[14]Jesus’ first words spoken with the anticipation of obedience. He provoked a specific response. The obedience of the disciples was more important than a verbal expression of belief in Christ. The saying “It’s not what you say but what you do that counts” because what the disciples did was more than any words they could have said. They dropped everything to follow Jesus. Obedience critical to being a follower of Christ.

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

[1] Malthus, Aubrey, Strategic Disciple Making: A Practical Tool for Successful Ministry. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009, 21.

 

2 Jim Putnam,Discipleshift: Five Steps That Help Your Church to Make Disciples Who Make Disciples(Exponential Series) (New York Zondervan, 2013), 46-7

 

3 Dave Early and Rod Dempsey, Disciple Making Is.: How to live the Great Commission with Passion and Confidence (Pasadena, CA: B&H Academic, 2013), 22.

 

4 Ibid, 59.

 

5 Ibid, 62.

 

6 Ibid, 64.

 

7 Ibid, 69.

 

8 Ibid, 71.

 

9Ibid, 71

 

10 Ibid, 80

 

11 Dempsey, Dave Earley & Rod. Disciple Making Is ; How to Live the Great Commission with Passion and Confidence. Nashville, Tennessee: B&H Publishing Group, 2013.

 

12 Jim Putnam, Discipleshift: Five Steps That Help Your Church to Make Disciples Who Make Disciples (Exponential Series) (New York Zondervan, 2013), 46-

 

13 Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, Geffrey B. Kelly, and John D. Godey. Disciples. Minneapolis.MN: Fortress Press, 2001.57.

 

14 Ibid. 57

 

[1] Malthus, Aubrey, Strategic Disciple Making: A Practical Tool for Successful Ministry. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009, 21.

[2] Jim Putnam,Discipleshift: Five Steps That Help Your Church to Make Disciples Who Make Disciples(Exponential Series)(New York Zondervan,2013),46-7

 

[3] Dave Early and Rod Dempsey, Disciple Making Is.: How to live the Great Commission with Passion and Confidence (Pasadena, CA: B&H Academic, 2013), 22.

 

[4] Ibid, 59.

[5] Ibid, 62.

[6] Ibid, 64.

[7] Ibid, 69.

[8] Ibid, 71.

[9] Ibid,71

[10] Ibid,80

[11]Dempsey, Dave Earley & Rod. Disciple Making Is ; How to Live the Great Commission with Passion and Confidence. Nashville, Tennessee: B&H Publishing Group, 2013.

 

[12]Jim Putnam, Discipleshift: Five Steps That Help Your Church to Make Disciples Who Make Disciples(Exponential Series)(New York Zondervan,2013),46-

[13]Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, Geffrey B. Kelly, and John D. Godsey. Disciples. Minneapolis.MN: Fortress Press, 2001.57.

[14] Ibid.,57

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