Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow

678547_w185On the recommendation of my pastor, I recently picked up this jewel. Maybe I should redefine jewel more specifically by calling it a diamond, for it is indeed a beauty, but also cuts sharply with Scriptural accuracy.

The authors hold no punches when they explain, “There is a discipleship deficiency in most churches resulting in a lack of transformation.”

Consider this statement, “The sad reality is that the daily lives, aspirations, and desires of many people in our churches mirror those who do not claim to know Christ.”

The authors examine our infatuation with information and behavioral modification, instead of a biblical call to transformation. It is very possible to find ourselves in the shoes of Judas, equating Jesus as a great Rabbi but never surrendering to Him as Lord.

They illustrate this with Jesus’ hometown of Capernaum. When in this area, Jesus was ministering in the equivalent of today’s southern Bible belt. Here, Chorazin, and Bethsaida are often referred to as the evangelical triangle of Jesus’ ministry. Miracle upon miracles were performed in this region. And yet Jesus said, “It will be more tolerable for Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom in the judgement than for these cities.”

The authors here introduces the thought of “The Curse of Knowledge.” Knowing. “Jesus never equated knowledge with discipleship.”

Remember Sodom and God’s promise to Abraham? “Sure My good friend, if I can find only ten just men in Sodom, I will not destroy it.” Only Lot could be found.

“To the people of Capernaum, Sodom was the epitome of evil. Yet Jesus steps into Capernaum and says that the wrath poured out on Sodom will be minuscule compared to the eternal wrath poured out on Capernaum.”

“For Jesus, knowledge without repentance is just as wicked as blatant sinful living.”

“Capernaum wasn’t rebuked for its knowledge. Jesus rebuked them for their lack of repentance based on their knowledge. Knowledge of Christ will either condemn us or change us. Knowledge makes us accountable because it puts us in a position where we must respond.”

This is a good read. It’s a soul-searing read, and it’s a self-examining read. I am blessing and cursing (James said something of this, didn’t he?) my pastor for putting this in my hands. And I’ve only read chapter one.

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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6 Responses to Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow

  1. Pingback: Free eBook: Living In The Light by Jennifer Wright | Homestead Ministries

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  3. I believe discipleship is summed up in Jesus’ words “If any will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me” Any person hearing Jesus at the time would know EXACTLY what He meant, for anyone who took up a cross was already as good as dead. He was on the way to execution, with no possible way out. A disciple, therefore, is one who counts himself as dead – dead to self and self-will.

    I’ve put that book on my list. I need to be challenged again.

  4. This book just may “wreck” you, but in a good way! Blessing and happy reading to you friend!

  5. Freedomborn says:

    Hi Mike, thank you for looking deeper into what the Church of today offers for our Spiritual growth, God tells us the principle thing needed is His wisdom (see below) which we are not Born with, so we all need it by the empowering of The Holy Spirit. Jesus said ask and we will receive, and then we can know the difference from worldly knowledge and Godly knowledge and we will have His understanding not mans but we are to ask in faith and believe we have received it.

    Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

    James 15: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

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