Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Life Changing Experience is Just the Beginning

If we are do what Jesus has commanded us to do we must realize that it is not enough for people to have a ‘Life Changing Experience’ they must move on to a ‘Life that is Changed’ and then become ‘Life Changers .’ This requires a plan if people are to grow from new believers to disciples to well equipped leaders who can do the work of the ministry, build up each other and grow to maturity in Christ. Let's start at the begining.

Making Disciples: The Forgotten Secret for accomplishing 'what Jesus began to do and teach.' Ac 1:1-2: In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. NIV

What were those instructions that Jesus gave His followers? Mt 28:18-2018: Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." NIV
The Apostle Paul expands on this command and the responsibility of leadership in Ephesians. Eph 4:10-13 11: And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. NASU

In these verses we see greater insight into 'the making Disciples and the teaching of all that Jesus commanded', and what it means to continue what Jesus began to do and teach.

There are three leadership responsibilities spelled out in these verses that tell us what the church should be doing once people have believed in and received Jesus as the Messiah or Christ.

Equipping the saints (people who have believed in and received Jesus as savior);

1. To do the work of the ministry or work of service (serving God by doing what He commands in His Word).

2. To the building up (mending, encouraging, instructing and giving hope according to the Word of God) of the body of Christ(those who have received and believed in Jesus).

3. To help believers in Jesus the Christ to come into maturity as measured by Jesus Himself.

Where do we start? We must be saints, people made clean or holy by the Messiah. Many churches have stopped proclaiming Jesus as the only way to God as we see in John 14:6, calling themselves Christians without believing in and receiving Jesus as the promised Messiah and only way to God the father. Jn 14:6-7: 6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." NIV

Without believing in and receiving of Jesus as the Messiah there is no Christianity! Until this happens we can not continue to do all that Jesus began to do and teach, nor can we call ourselves Christians.

Where do we go from here? Check back soon or sign up to get automatic updates on the right above my profile. Check @ for a list of suggested reading.

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