Thursday, June 2, 2011

Are we "Christians" or disciples?

I think about this often: What we as believers consider to be Christians and what the world considers are 2 different things. Not just because of the blood of Christ either. For example, in Acts 11:26 the disciples were called Christians by worldly, unconverted men. It was used as a term of abuse. Even though the disciples were glad even being ridiculed for their Lord.

Ok, with that in mind we take on the name Christians. That's all well and good, BUT what about those that take on the Christian title who doesn't know Christ?
You will probably relate to this scenario. I often ask people if they know Christ as their Savior. A very common response is: well yes because I go to church.
So here is the thought I have. It is easy to label ourselves as Christians because this is technically a "Christian" nation right? WRONG! Just because my grandma and grandpa were God fearing "Christian" folks doesn't mean that I am. Apart from Christ I am nothing but a wretched pile of dung that deserves judgement, but praise Him for making a way to The Father!.

Back to my main point. What is the role of a Christian. Well a good answer to be Christlike. I have been meditating on Matthew 28:19-21 lately. Here is the scripture: 19) "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20) teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

These words came directly from Jesus. In verse 19 He says to go make disciples. The word in the Greek refers to a learner or someone being trained. Disciple also comes from the word discipline which takes on the meaning of training in correction.

Now this is a very different view from the eyes of someone who just claims Christianity. Our claims mean absolutely nothing. In fact we in our evangelical churches base an acceptance just due to "statement of faith" without ever seeing evidence of fruit. Then when there is no fruit at all but fruits of the flesh we call them backsliders. I have seen this situation in folks. Are we afraid tell the truth of what scripture says about sheep and goats or wheat and tares?

Disciples discipline themselves through the power of the Holy Spirit, but self proclaimed Christians depend upon their own works which are as the Bible calls them "filthy rags".

Training to be Christlike
David Stapp