John 15 paints an incredible picture of what true discipleship looks like. It involves love, a commitment to sharing life, and the humility to understand we always have room for growth. Jesus uses the agrarian example of a grape vine to help us understand the type of relationship he desired for his followers; and by extension, the type of relationship he desires for his bride; the church…. Yes, the local body of believers – not just the “church universal.” First Church of Christ exists to bring glory to God by making disciples. The picture of a disciple of Jesus is one who will Love, Share and Grow. Love God’s word, love God’s people, love his church. Share his blessings, share his wisdom, share his knowledge, share his resources. Grow in faith and maturity by producing “fruit” which is only achieved through abiding in him.
Too often it is easy for us to look at Jesus’ Matt. 28 command to “go and make disciples” as an evangelistic call to win the lost. Yes, that is true – we are commanded to present the gospel to those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. However, we are also commanded to remember the other side of that Matt. 28 coin…. Discipleship. A life-long pursuit of Jesus… “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Pastor, author and radio host, John MacArthur put it this way in a recent article. “…while there is certainly an evangelistic aspect to Christ’s command, His instructions go beyond just spreading the gospel. The verb translated as “make disciples”—mathēteuō—is beautifully complex, carrying more meaning than simply accumulating converts. It communicates the idea of a learning believer—someone who is growing in his faith and his love for the Lord.
Jesus’ words emphasize not the moment of salvation but the lifetime of sanctification that follows. He made the same point in John 8:31 when He said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.” It’s the difference between a one-time profession of faith and a lifetime of spiritual growth and increasing godliness.” (http://www.gty.org/blog/B130207/what-does-it-mean-to-make-disciples)
Why are Discipleship Groups important? Because they help provide an outlet to love, share and grow. They provide a venue to “teach everything I have commanded”. They provide a place where we can fit in; where we can abide in Christ and receive his life giving, fruit producing nourishment. I pray you will join one of our D-Groups. We kick off Sunday, September 7 following the 9:30 a.m. Sunday Worship. A new time, a new start…. Sunday Worship begins at 9:30 a.m. followed by D-Groups which will dismiss at 11:30. Let’s band together as we Love, Share and Grow.
► MCS White House - with Kirk
► MCS Brick House – with Dennis
► Children’s D Group – with Polly and Kayla
► Sermon Discussion Group – fellowship hall with Mike and Jeremy
► Ladies Discussion Group – with Marcia and Dixie
► Christian Standard Curriculum group – with Preacher Tom