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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”—Luke 6:40 (NKJV)
What does it mean to make disciples? What does it look like? How do we know it’s actually happening? Is there even a way to measure something like that?
The answer to that last question is yes; and questions preceding it are answered by Jesus in the verse above. It’s there that the Lord reminds us a disciple is, in fact, defined by their resemblance to their teacher. If you want to know what true discipleship looks like, look for the teacher’s reflection in their followers. When you see that, you’re witnessing genuine discipleship.
Now, let’s take this premise and get more specific with respect to Christianity. We understand that there’s one and only one Teacher . . . Jesus. Which means, those who are true disciples of Jesus will resemble Jesus. It’s that simple! Discipleship is what happens as people come to resemble Jesus more and more!
In his first letter, the apostle John reiterates Jesus’ words here in the Gospel of Luke, saying, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6 NKJV).
We also see the apostle Paul making the same case as he defines the great and glorious purpose that God has for each and every believer: “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29 NKJV).
To be like the Teacher, to walk just as He walked, to be conformed into the Son’s image . . . these are the measurable markers of Christian discipleship.
Now, let’s take this premise and get more personal with respect to our own lives. Are we like the Teacher? Do we walk just as He walked? Can we say our lives are being conformed into something that looks more and more like Jesus?
Our honest answers to these questions go a long way in determining our degree of discipleship. This isn’t meant to condemn us. None of us will ever live up to the Son’s sinless standard. But it is meant to give us a target to aim towards and a goal to aspire to, which we will one day according to His good work in us (Philippians 1:6).
DIG: How is spiritual discipleship to be measured? What can you point to in your own life as evidence of discipleship? What can you point to as evidence for the need of discipleship?
DISCOVER: In your own words, what does it mean to be “conformed into the image of Christ”?
DISPLAY: Consider the character of our Teacher today. Pick one quality of Jesus you would most like to see yourself grow in over the next month. Prayerfully set some goals to help you grow in that area.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.