True Christian Discipleship
By Joseph Parker
Let me tell you about two meetings led by people who call themselves Christians.
First, there is the youth assembly who have gathered to learn the Ten Commandments. There are memorization exercises and drills as well as videos that help to illustrate their meaning in order to live them out each day. The kids are having a great time as they explore, learn, and apply these foundational aspects of God’s word. They’re all trying to win a tee shirt emblazoned with those holy commands. They are at a building in the community that allows two ministers to come in and teach youth the Word of God. This is what real discipleship looks like. This is the work of the church as it is fulfilling what it is called to do – making disciples according to Matthew 28:19-20.
When true discipleship takes place, men, women, boys and girls come to know Jesus Christ and yield their lives to Him as Lord and Savior. Then, they are taught how to live it out scripturally by hearing and doing the Word of God. The Ten Commandments are a great tool that helps us as disciples to follow the Lord and honor Him in the way we live. They teach foundational truths that bless our lives and the lives of everyone else in the world as we apply them.
Found in Exodus 20:1–17 and Deuteronomy 5:1–20, the Ten Commandments teach us to put God first above all else. They teach to worship God and Him alone. They teach us to honor His name. They teach us to have a day of worship and rest, to honor our parents, not to murder the innocent. They teach us to honor God in relationships and sexuality and to honor marriage. They teach us not to take that which does not belong to us, to tell the truth, and not desire that which we should not desire. The Ten Commandments and all of God’s word helps us to grow in wisdom and faith. We learn it, practice it, and share it with others. That is what discipleship looks like.
Now, let me share with you another meeting. It is a fund raising event where there are many adults gathered for a banquet. They are assembled for the cause of raising money for an organization that majors on murdering babies before they are born. They have as their speaker for this occasion a doctor who makes a lot of money carrying out these murders. He happens to be a doctor who tells people he is a “Christian” and that he does his job in “honor” of his faith. How much money will he help this organization raise? Probably thousands upon thousands. The organization is Planned Parenthood. The doctor is Dr. Willie Parker. The setting is Memphis, Tennessee. The day of the banquet: Thursday, September 28.
Sadly, this is not a picture of what discipleship looks like. It’s a picture of deception. It’s a picture of people attempting to cover up evil by calling it “Christian.” It’s a picture of the devil attempting to come in the form of an angel of light. Read II Corinthians 11:13-14.
It is critical that we in the Body of Christ are guided by the word of God and not culture, philosophy, opinion, or outright lies and deception. Yet sadly, there are too many in our world today who have been deceived because the Word of God has not been their guide. It has not been the compass by which they live their lives.
The Word of God tells us “Your Word is a Lamp to my feet and a Light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). Every one desperately needs to be guided day by day and moment by moment by the wisdom of God’s Word. That’s the way all true disciples of Jesus Christ live.