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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

What is a disciple of Jesus Christ?  What is the end to which we are working?


Discipleship is concerned with the two key areas.  There is the source of our lives.  Are our lives lived by the power of God?  Then there is the way of our life:  Is my life lived out by following after Jesus?


Bible Zone

What was Paul looking for in trying to identify what is a disciple?  We see Paul’s answer, not in lists of visible characteristics, but in the things he was praying to see in the lives of the young churches that he cared for.  


The Source of discipleship

God is the one who transforms us.  He is the source of a changed life.  A key factor in growing as a disciple of Jesus is then to learn to relate with our Father in heaven so that He is in fact the source of our lives.


Aim of a Disciple

The first is in Ephesians 1:15-19

  1. What was the hallmark of discipleship that got Paul’s attention?
  2. In your setting, what would mark out faith and love?
  3. What does Paul want to see in their relationship with God?
  4. How could the hope Paul prays for influence those you minister to?


 Ephesians 1:15-19  15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe.


The Power of a Disciple

What Paul desires to be seen in those he ministers to is amazing.  It is not the ticking of boxes, or numbers, or measurable impact.  Paul desires that those in his ministry are able to grasp the greatness of God.  We see this in Ephesians 3:14-21

  1. What are the goal of this prayer of Paul (v17&19)?
  2. What does Paul pray so the people to come to these goals (v16 & 17b-19)?
  3. What does it mean to be rooted and established in love?
  4. Why do we need to be rooted and established in love?
  5. How could you observe these characteristics in people in a ministry?


Ephesians 3:14-21    14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

The Disciple in Practice

Jesus told us His view of a disciple. Mark 8:29-38.  The key to discipleship is following Jesus.  This concept is illustrated in the link. - Journey Illustration.


Discipleship for all.

This message was not just given to a select few.  Mark 8:34

  1. Whom did Jesus address in this talk?
  2. What is the qualification that Jesus is looking for in a disciple at this point?
  3. What does it mean practically to come after Jesus?


 34Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me


The Cost of Discipleship

Jesus makes no bones about the cost of discipleship.  It is our very lives.

  1. How would an attitude of self denial help us to follow Jesus?
  2. Why would following Jesus inevitably lead to some form of sacrifice?


"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. “


One cannot sacrifice oneself, the cross is a challenge that God brings into your life. Reflect on your walk with Jesus up till now.  What has the Lord led you into that has required giving something up to follow?


Save Life?

There are consequences to refusing Jesus’ call to discipleship.

  1. What does it mean to save one’s life?
  2. What is the outcome of those who try to save their lives from Jesus?
  3. Can you think of an example of this -


35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.


What happened to me when I was caught in a quandary of saving life or losing it.


Gain World Forfeit Soul!

Most of the worlds strivings are aimed at gaining something for oneself.  The ultimate of this would be to gain the whole world.

  1. What is the cost of striving to gain?
  2. How have you observed this loss of the soul?
  3. How can this striving be observed in Christian circles?


36What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?


Exchange for Soul?

Many people try to buy off God by exchanging their soul for something.  They try to do a deal with God.  I do this for you and then you give me what I want.

  1. What can be exchanged for the soul?
  2. How interested is God in doing a deal?


37Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?


Ashamed of Jesus?

The final challenge is not with how we live our lives but how we present ourselves to others.

  1. Why is Jesus concerned about how we describe ourselves and Jesus to others?
  2. What questions have people asked to make this an issue?


38If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."


  1. Considering all this page, how would you identify a disciple of Jesus Christ?

This page also appears under Make Disciples as Marks of a Disciple

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