Making new Disciples - Week 3 Menu
The following questions need reflection and should, ideally, be spread over a few days. Read, and mull over, Colossians 1:25-29 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness- the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the LORD's people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
1. Dietrich Bonhoeffer made the following statement ‘Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession...Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.’ Paul presented the word of God in its fullness, have we received, and/or passed on, a more palatable (or dummed down) version of the Christian faith and, if so, what are the repercussions for us and others?
2. Paul speaks of presenting everyone fully mature in Christ, does the responsibility for our maturity (or lack of it) lie with us or with those who would teach us? What are the dangers of not continuing to learn – for us and for others?
3. Everyone everywhere is a disciple of someone, or something...Joseph Goebbels was a disciple of Adolph Hitler . . . Jesus warns us to be careful whom we follow because, as happened with Goebbels, we will become like our leader. Transforming Discipleship: how people really grow – Eric Geiger, Michael Kelly & Philip Nation. We continue to learn (intentionally or unwittingly) throughout life, absorbing the values and ethics we see around us. In Deuteronomy 6 we read, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day. Impress them upon your children. Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. Do you need to look at what you are teaching others by your words and actions, but also the sources from which you yourself are learning?
4. Read Matthew 28:19-20 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Given that this was commanded of everyone who is baptised, how seriously do you take this, Christ’s great commission?
5. It has been said that there was a generation who loved Church more than God. In my application I stated that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship. As a Church, how can we better make disciples?
Prayer Infinite Lord and eternal God, rouse your Church in this land, restore our sense of mission, and revive your work in holiness and strength. By your Spirit, teach us to give our energy, our time, our money, our service and our prayer, that your Kingdom may be advanced here and in all the world; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord . Amen
Blessing – Go forth into the world in peace; be of good courage; hold fast that which is good; render to no man evil for evil; strengthen the faint-hearted; support the weak; help the afflicted; honour all men; love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be upon you, and remain with you for ever. Amen.
Life groups are the ideal forum to learn more, forge strong friendships, and provide support and a good place to pray. Not able to be part of a life group? You can become a member of a virtual lifegroup on facebook – link into Susie Greenslade and ask to join... If you have any questions suggestions please speak to a member of the preaching team or leave a note in the box at the back of church.