A genuine disciple of Jesus has three dimensions that make him or her fully mature and Christ-like. The first dimension is that the person is truly devoted to Jesus. This point might seem obvious, but many would-be disciples minimize it. A person who is devoted to Jesus has become convinced that Jesus is Lord, and that salvation is found in Him alone.
Discipleship begins with devotion.
When Jesus started His public ministry, He proclaimed a simple message that had two points of application. He said, “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” Mark1.15 NLT. It’s not enough for someone to try harder, be more religious, or do more good deeds. Until and unless people turn away from their sin and toward Jesus, they cannot be Jesus’ disciples. They have to repent and believe. They must trust Him to be the forgiver and leader of their lives.
The process of turning from sin and trusting in Jesus is called “conversion,” and it’s where discipleship has to start. When an influential pharisee named Nicodemus went to see Jesus, he said flattering things about the work that Jesus was doing. He said, “We all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you,” John 3.2 NLT. But that wasn’t enough. Being impressed by Jesus isn’t the same as believing in Him.
Jesus replied to Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God” John 3.3 NLT. Nicodemus needed to be converted. Even though, as a Jewish rabbi, he was committed to observing certain religious rituals, traditions, and teachings, Jesus told him that he needed to be born again to see Jesus for who He truly was and be able to respond accordingly.
Every person has been born into an earthly family, but to enter God’s family, each person must be born again by placing their faith in Jesus and expressing their devotion to Him. This is the first dimension of discipleship.
Conversion includes an acknowledgment of your sin, and a belief that Jesus is the Son of God whose death and resurrection can pay for your sin and restore your relationship with God. To the church in Rome, the Apostle Paul relayed this idea succinctly: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” Romans 10.9 ESV.
Genuine disciples have turned from sin and trusted in Jesus. They’ve put their faith in Jesus and been born again. As a result, they are devoted to Him and live with uncompromising loyalty.
This blog originally appeared at: What Does It Mean To Be Truly Devoted To Jesus – discipleFIRST features an excerpt from one of their Student Series books, Invest In A Few.
Because of the importance of intentionality in disciple making, we at Discipleship.org are going to emphasize this skill set and mindset over the next four months. Please join with us and seek to share understanding, insight, and practical tools so that you can become skilled at intentionality in relational disciple making and you can help those on your team or in your leadership group to do the same. There are four ways in which we are emphasizing intentionality to help you in the next four months.
- Discipleship.org City Tour Forums – our four City Tour Forums are designed to help you and your team both understand and develop an intentionality posture. The tour is comprised of one day, high impact forums where there will be teaching and round table discussions. Every attendee also gets a copy of Brandon Guindon’s new book, Intentional: Living Out the Eight Principles of Disciple Making.
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Take the FREE Individual Disciple Maker Assessment – we designed this assessment with a team of national and international disciple making leaders to help each individual be able to evaluate their disciple making mindset and skill. Just by taking this assessment, you will gain an appreciation for the value of intentionality, along with a sense of how you can increase your own level of intentionality. Click the image below to take the assessment.
- Read the short FREE book, Becoming a Disciple Maker: The Pursuit of Level Five Disciple Making – Bobby wrote this short eBook with statistician Greg Wiens to help you understand the mathematical and practical impact of one person’s disciple making efforts and skills.
Click the image below to download this free eBook.
- Read Brandon Guindon’s book, Intentional: Living Out the Eight Principles of Disciple Making – Brandon wrote this Discipleship.org book and Zondervan is publishing, because the understanding and practice of disciple making is so crucial. Every attendee at each of our City Tour events (Nashville, Houston, Dallas and Raleigh), as mentioned above, will receive a FREE copy of Brandon Guindon’s book.
Click the image below to order Brandon Guindon’s book from Amazon.com.
Please join with us in this quest to better understand and practice intentionality. It will help us all to become more and more like Jesus, the world greatest disciple maker.