~ 4 Important Realities of Discipleship ~
The third chapter of 1 Corinthians tells us a lot about true discipleship.
Discipleship is a Lifelong Process (not an event) ~ “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-5). The spiritual birth has many parallels to physical birth—in this passage we see feeding begins with milk and progresses to solid food. Discipleship is not completed in a day, and it is not accomplished without effort.
Some Things We Must Do (other things God must do) ~ The Apostle Paul wrote, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).
Discipleship Results in Maturity (including fruitfulness) ~ “Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor” (1 Corinthians 3:8). Fruitfulness is a by-product of discipleship and has rewards.
Disciples Are Responsible for the Quality of Their Work ~ “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it” (1 Corinthians 3:9-10). God also is concerned about the quality of His children’s faithfulness.
The Bottom-Line ~ There is a time to be a child (1 Corinthians 13:11) and a time to grow up! Believers are given the opportunity to grow into greater Christlikeness (true CHRISTians). Are you more like Jesus Christ than you were a year ago?
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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