You Are a Kingdom Disciple

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The problem with many Christians is that while they have made a decision to become a Christian by trusting in Jesus Christ for their salvation, they have not grown much in obedience as a disciple of Christ. The difference between a decision-maker and an obedient disciple is simply surrender.

Becoming a Kingdom Disciple

Kingdom disciples are in such short supply today that the results are a bevy full of powerless Christians attending powerless churches led by powerless pastors resulting in a powerless presence in the world. Until this foundational principle called discipleship is recovered and utilized, we will continue to fail in our calling to adequately live as heaven’s representatives on earth. The power, authority, abundance, victory, and impact promised in God’s Word to His own will only be ours when we understand and align ourselves with His definition of discipleship. Until then, we can anticipate that disaster will continue to be the norm in spite of all the Christian activities we engage in.

Discipleship is the missing key to a life of authority under God. But surrender to Christ’s Lordship and obedience to His rule of love are the grooves and edges which make up that key, that when used rightly will unlock the power to bring heaven to bear on earth.

What Is a Kingdom Disciple?

A kingdom disciple can be defined as a believer in Christ who takes part in the spiritual developmental process of progressively learning to live all of life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The goal of a kingdom disciple is to have a transformed life that transfers the values of the kingdom of God so that they replicate themselves in the lives of others. The result of such replication is God’s exercising His rule from heaven to history through His kingdom disciples.

“The difference between a decision-maker and an obedient disciple is simply surrender.

But there’s more to discipleship than the personal dimension of our spiritual growth in grace. It also involves the local church and your role as a pastor or church leader. That’s why, for the church, discipleship is the developmental process of the local church by which Christians are brought from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity, so that they can reproduce the process with others, which the Bible calls being “conformed to the image of [God’s] Son” (Rom. 8:29). This verse is crucial because it goes on to explain the goal of our becoming like Jesus Christ: “So that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.”

In other words, the process of spiritual development has in view a discipleship that leads to believers becoming Christlike and that is designed to be repeated again and again in your church and through your members until Jesus has many brothers and sisters who look like Him. You and I can’t do this if we are living as isolated Christians. Someone has said that Christianity was never meant to be “Jesus and me, under a tree.” God placed us in a body of people called the church so that together we can accomplish the mission. The church is God’s place to produce disciples who think and talk and act so much like Jesus that the world can look at us and say, “This must be what Jesus is like.” Jesus Himself said, “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher” (Matt. 10:25).

We have Jesus’ authority and command to make disciples as Christians. This is exciting because it means that He is with us in the process to ensure that it works when we do it right. Here’s an illustration that may help put this matter of discipleship in a familiar context.

Jesus Our Master

The sermons I preach at our church in Dallas are recorded on a master file. These masters are then put on a duplicating machine to produce CDs and MP3s for our church members and to go out all over the world through our national ministry, The Urban Alternative.

There is only one master file for each message, but of course this master can produce any number of duplicates. It’s interesting that the duplicating machine into which the blank CDs are placed to receive the master file’s message is called the “slave unit.” The task of the slave unit is not to create its own message, or to distort the message it is receiving, but to faithfully record and play back what is said on the master file. That’s a picture of the discipleship process. Jesus is the Master, and we are His slaves, the bearers of the message of the Master (see Eph. 6:6). Even though we are not the master, we can put others in touch with the Master by faithfully delivering His message. The goal is to reproduce the master as completely and faithfully as possible so that the correct message gets through to each listener each time one of the duplicates is played.

For Further Reading:

The Centrality of the Church

by Tony Evans

Concise Wisdom from a Pastoral Veteran The Kingdom Pastor’s Library is a new series that brings you a succinct, complete pastoral...

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