Key Scripture: Philippians 3:17 “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.”
Paul urges fellow Christians to imitate, or follow, his example. Paul didn’t mean he was perfect, but rather that his life was an example of one who obeyed the commands of Christ. Paul lived in such a way that his life was a pattern of obedience, for other Christians to emulate. Paul declared, “Imitate me just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). Christ is the one to be followed and to be obeyed (John 14:15, 21). What did Christ do? He obeyed the will of the Father (John 5:19; 6:38; 8:28). A newly saved person is only as obedient or mature as what they know at the time, but they are obedient. The more they learn, the more they desire to obey. They are faithful with what they know.
A disciple is an obedient follower of Christ; he is a learner and imitator. To be discipled is to learn what Jesus desires of us and then to obey what He wants us to do. Obedience is vital to following Jesus.
Teaching is necessary in discipleship but doesn’t stop there. The disciple must put into practice the teaching. “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things,” (Phil 4:9). To practice is to undertake, to do, to accomplish or perform. To learn without actual doing is like sitting in a classroom your entire life without ever going into the world to apply what you have learned. To learn and not obey is to sin (James 1:22).
In order to be discipled, you must follow, or imitate, the example of another, who is following/obeying Christ. Discipleship is not a class, a degree, a 12-week Bible study, a home group or a quick fix. While teaching is involved in discipleship, it is not the sum of discipleship. At some point the disciplee (the one who is being discipled) must put into practice what is learned.
For Discipleship at Richland Creek, go online and complete the Richland Creek Community Church Discipleship Form at:
Questions to Consider:
Am I an example of someone who follows/obeys/imitates Christ? Do I lead others to do the same?
Father God, please give me the desire and willingness to be obedient to be a disciple who makes disciples.