What is Discipleship?
Scripture teaches that a live Christian is a growing Christian (2 Pet. 1:8-10). Scripture also teaches that we grow not only by instruction, but by imitation (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1). Therefore churches should exhort their members to both grow in holiness and help others do the same.
Where is it in the Bible?
- Peter exhorted his readers to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18)
- Paul exhorted the Ephesians to grow by speaking the truth in love to one another (Eph. 4:15).
- Many passages in Scripture instruct us to imitate godly leaders (Phil. 4:9; Heb. 13:7).
Why is it important?
- Promoting biblical discipleship and growth is important because none of us are finished products. Until we die, all Christians will struggle against sin, and we need all the help we can get in this fight.
- If a church neglects discipleship and growth, or teaches a skewed, unbiblical version of it, it will discourage genuine Christians and wrongly assure false Christians. On the other hand, if a church fosters a culture of Christian discipleship and growth, it will multiply believers’ efforts to grow in holiness.
- A church that is not growing in the faith will ultimately yield an unhealthy witness to the world.
Adapted from 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever. See more at www.9marks.org/about