Our Discipleship

Our Discipleship Profile

We believe that the great commission defines the church and its mission in the world.
Because Jesus is Lord and conquered death- all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him and he tells us we are to “go and make disciples.”
Matthew 28:19-20.

To help us pursue this mission, the elders and leaders of our church crafted four aspects of what we believe are critical characteristics of what it means to be a disciple.

Adoption - Life in the Spirit

Jesus had a strong sense of Sonship. He was keenly aware that he was the Son of God and he lived, died and rose so that his disciples could be invited into that same relationship with the Father by faith in the Son. (Adoption: Exod 4:22, Gal. 3:26, Gal. 4:4-7, Jn 14:6, Eph. 1:5, Jn 3:1) But Jesus did not just live as a Son but he also was full of and led by the Spirit. (Luke 4:1 & 4:18-19) We see this in Scripture in the life of Jesus himself and we also see it in the form of the promise made in Scripture for those that would be disciples (Lk. 11:11-1, Matt. 28:18-20, Jn 7:37-39, Jn. 14:24-26, Jn. 16:12-16).

Key Verses: John. 1:12-13 & Galatians 4:6-7

Marked by Love

The scriptures make it clear that love is central to authentic discipleship. Love has always been right at the heart of the Bible’s portrayal of God and ultimately love was revealed in its fullness in the coming of Christ. For this reason, Christians are above all things to be marked by love. 1 Cor.13:1-13, 1 John 4:7-12, 16-21, Rom. 12:9-10).

 John 13:34-35

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

1 John 4:7-8

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Learning to Serve

The discipling community that Jesus established was also a serving community, and Jesus radically departed from tradition by serving his disciples. Indeed his purpose for coming was … not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10:25). He taught that true greatness was found in servanthood (Mk 9:35 & Mk 10:43).

But Jesus did not only embody servanthood or teach it conceptually- he also was keen to develop and teach his disciples by assigning ministry roles to them. So in Mark 3:14-15, Jesus reveals that supervised service is right at the heart of Jesus’ discipling process. He would send them out and then debrief with them, or he would give them some revelation of himself through his actions and words he would seek out their interpretation and application. Practical learning was usually undertaken in collaboration with at least one other disciple and was under the supervision of Jesus. All that to say learning through serving and serving to learn is right at the centre of what it means to be a disciple.

Mark 10:45

45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

John 13:13-15

13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Propelled Outwards

The gospel is such good news that it demands to be told. From the beginning of the story of the bible when Abraham and Sarah were called (Genesis 12:1-3) to the latter part of scripture on the lips of the resurrected Jesus- (Matthew 28:18-20), God has been eager to alert the nations to the universal reign of God in Christ Jesus. God is a missionary, reaching across boundaries to redeem and reconcile. This was supremely demonstrated in Christ. To this end, he gives and sends his Spirit (Acts 1:8) so that his people might be propelled outwards with the news that the Lord reigns.

Of course- there is quite possibly more to be said about what attributes define a disciple- but we believe these to be foundational aspects of that vision. So our prayer is that as a church we might be a community that through the Son and in the power of the Spirit might have the image of the Father restored to us in these ways. So may the Triune God empower us to this end for his glory.

Mark 1:17.

17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

Acts 1:8

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

© 2024 Riverstone Baptist Church