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Discipleship Paradigm

 

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ELEMENT #1: THE GOSPEL

The foundational element and core facet of the discipleship paradigm is THE GOSPEL.  It is here in the Gospel that life and eternity meet.  It is the Gospel that is the explosive power of God unto salvation bringing people into His Kingdom having passed from death into eternal life.  The disciple must continually grow deeper in their understanding and appreciation for the Gospel embracing the great treasures of the complete work of the Cross of Christ, progress in their ability to communicate the Gospel clearly and precisely, and be trained to have an unwavering focus on the message of the Gospel and it's centrality to the Christian life.  Truly, the Gospel is the eternal hope for all humanity.

 

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ELEMENT #2: THE TEACHING

The discipleship paradigm is the relational mechanism that is used to help the child of God progress in their transformation toward the qualities of the Savior, Jesus Christ.  Therefore, this divinely commissioned paradigm requires the element of THE TEACHING.  Amidst the plethora of pseudo-spiritual laws, fortune-cookie Christianity, Chicken-Soup solutions to life and eternity, and sound bite clichés, there is a great need to understand proper content.  In the teaching element of discipleship, we are to increasingly grow in our understanding and proper handling of Scripture, since it is the revelation of God for matters of eternity, life, and godliness.  As the disciple grows in their own understanding, the process of teaching continues between disciples as they submit to the supreme authority of Scripture.  The teaching is not merely informational, as it deals with all matters of proper content, proper responses and attitudes, and proper actions.  Truly, the Word of God is living and is the whirlwind that changes anyone who encounters it, and there is great benefit and eternal blessedness in the teaching of it.  It is the Word of God that sets us aside as holy and wholly devoted to the One who saves us.

 

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ELEMENT #3: THE LIFE

As the disciple is saved by grace through faith alone in Christ alone, as the disciple continues to grow in their understanding of the Bible - God's Word - that which sanctifies us as holy people wholly devoted to our Savior, the disciple is to consider THE LIFE that is worthy of the calling of the Gospel and carry out the divine standard of Scripture.  The disciple is called to walk as their Savior walked, and to grow to the fullness of their Savior displaying the very essence of God by participating in the divine nature of holiness exemplifying the Word.  Disciples are to exhibit, demonstrate, and exemplify the Word.  The life associated with the Gospel and God's Word is to live out the very identity that has been granted upon one's salvation, a life lived in accordance to God privately and corporately without hypocrisy.

 

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ELEMENT #4: THE WORLD

THE WORLD is the disciple's concern as the world is continuously on the Savior's heart, for which He died to save by His blood.  The disciple is to make disciples, toward the corporate commission of making disciples of the world.  Disciples are to serve the world around them individually and corporately, reaching the world with the Gospel, the teachings of Christ, the life of the Gospel, equipping all peoples of the world toward maturity ready for the worship of and service to the Savior.

 

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THE DYNAMIC

A healthy dynamic for the discipleship paradigm can be seen in Christ's example as He called His disciples to be with Him and then sent out.  There ought to be time in growing intimacy and fellowship with the Savior in order to be prepared for the services that lie ahead.  As one continues to walk with the Savior, they are then prepared to be sent out for and according to His purposes.  It's interesting to note that once the disciples were sent, they would return to the Savior's side, and were then sent out again at a later time.  The proper dynamic is one of "coming" and "sending," with this being a continual cycle in the disciple's life and pattern of living.