Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Discipleship Part III

Follow Me as I follow Christ - Photo by Firefigher with a Camera

Follow Me as I follow Christ - Photo by Firefigher with a Camera

In this series of posts, I am sharing some short thoughts from each chapter of Dallas Willard’s book The Great Omission and then some brief personal reflections.

Chapter Two Summary

Discipleship is not optional for the Christian, and as we practice following Jesus we will better understand the divine resources at hand. If we want to experience transformation, it only comes by following Christ through this Spirit. Authority and power is given to those who have the character to handle it. In this chapter, Dallas tears away everything we try and make so complicated and just asks: Are you following Christ with the help of the Spirit?

Personal Reflection
I love the simple reminder that if we want to call ourselves Christians it actually means that we are seeking to be Christ followers through the power of the Holy Spirit.  While this is a simple concept, I have found in my journey to follow Christ that I often feel like the disciples in the book of Mark, half blind to what Jesus is doing and half deaf in my ability to hear and follow his voice.  When I became a Christian, Jesus became my hero and it has always been my desire to follow him.  Yet the more I grow in my understanding of Jesus, what his mission in life was about, the more challenged I am. Have you found this to be true for you?


4 Responses to Discipleship Part III

  1. Jake Belder says:

    There is a definite correlation between a growth in holiness and an increasing dissatisfaction with how far short we fall of being Christ-like. If we were increasingly satisfied, conversely, we’d be increasing in pride and self-righteousness. So although I do feel the weight of my sin more, I also rejoice that the Spirit is guiding me to understand more deeply and fully what it means to live a life that is completely transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    I’ve been reading a lot of the 17th-century Puritan, John Owen, in the last while for one of my classes. He deals extensively with the work of the Spirit in our hearts, and I think it is of great benefit for every Christian to read some of the things Owen has to say in this regard. So much of our theology of the Spirit focuses on empowerment for ministry or for bestowing of gifts, but Owen reminds us that the Spirit is at work in our hearts at all times to make us aware of our having been regenerated. Through that work of the Spirit in assuring us that God’s grace has been given to us, he works in us to continually and increasingly sanctify us as well.

    I don’t want to give a full exposition of Owen’s thought here, but that basic contour of it I think is so helpful for pointing us to the work of the Spirit in transforming us into the likeness of Jesus.

  2. jrwoodward says:

    Jake,

    You are so right when it comes to growth in holiness and dissatisfaction with how far short we fall. I remembering reading some of the puritans and how most of them as they grew closer to the Lord (the light) felt even more like a sinner (the dark). Interesting.

    I’ve read some John Owens, but he might be a good one to pick up again. Thanks for posting about him and reminding us all of what he has to offer.

  3. Kerry Whalen says:

    Hi JR, & Jake

    Late response, I know. (back visiting this blog after a long while off the net)

    I actually think that if you are feeling more like a sinner, the closer you get to Jesus – something is amiss! I don’t believe we are meant to measure ourselves against the law, or even against Jesus – We are simply meant to follow and come to know Him – & as we allow Him to lead us, we find we have changed. There’s no room for big-headedness there – He has done the work! There’s an awareness of what a gift of grace the new life really is.

    Sorry I can’t give a tight theological argument for this (& if I could, it would probably fill a book!) but I think it’s related to the concept of striving – we should only be striving to enter his rest!!

    Anyway, food for thought :)
    Kerry

  4. Arlene says:

    I know some of my relatives who attend certain churches say their leaders have this sense of all knowing and someday you will be as wise as me attitude…I personally think the more I know (as I get older)the less I know…yes the basics are solid in my life but the details of following Christ I am more aware of what not to do and my failing are ever so present…I guess the verse “he who is forgiven much loves much…” is a reality for me…It makes me more compassionate & a better listener when I seek to understand people instead of have this big head of thoughts saying “shut up so I can tell you exactly what you need to do”..& of course it goes back to …”with the help of the Spirit”..as mentioned above!!…good post here

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