Easter is fast approaching, and we joyfully look forward to remembering the Resurrection of Our Dear Lord. Had He not arisen as He said He would, we would no longer believe that He was the Messiah. Because He did arise and was seen by the apostles and other disciples, we have a firm faith in His other teachings and claims. Jesus's Resurrection is our greatest best hope for eternity. Because He arose, we can rise up to heaven, also. He has opened the gates of heaven, and all Christians who live a life in accord with His teachings can look forward to someday spending eternity with Him. Praise God!
"But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus." Matt. 1:20-25
In the Bible, Jesus calls us to be disciples and follow him. The process by which this happens has three steps.
1. Discipleship as a Call to Personal Commitment to Jesus
The Call: To be with Him and to Know Him:
“And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.” Mark 1:17-20
“God who has called us into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord is faithful” 1 Cor. 1:9
“10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Phil 3:10-11
2. The Goal: To enjoy Him and Become like Him
“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:18
“Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” 1 Cor. 11:1
The Demand: Jesus’ call to discipleship is an all-or-nothing summons, reaching into every area of our lives. It involves giving him preeminence over the closest of our human relationships and over the desires we have for our lives. In short, it involves becoming his servant in the world and giving your life to that end. Paradoxically we give up that which we cannot keep to gain that which we cannot lose. If we don’t, we lose all in the end (cf. Matt 16:25).
Luke 9:23-24 “9:23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. 9:24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.’
3. Discipleship as a call to “make disciples”:The idea that Jesus was calling the disciples to himself for a special purpose is evident in his initial call. He summoned his disciples saying,
“Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” Matt 4:19.
“Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matt 28:18-20
This is a place for everyone who loves Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (or those who are seeking Him), to come and discuss important issues in their lives and find support from fellow believers in regards to their faith and life. We uphold the Bible and living a Christ-like life, not as a way to heaven, but as a reflection of our love for God.
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