Understanding True Discipleship… (segment 5)

We have seen that to be a disciple of Jesus means that we are to be just like Jesus. This is His goal and His purpose for each of us who wear His Name. But this is where we arrive at our first significant hurdle. How can we as flawed, frail and faulty human beings ever possibly be just like Jesus? He was the Son of God. He came from heaven as the second Person of the Holy Trinity. He was God living among us. He was perfect in every way, without sin or frailty or flaw. How can we ever even consider the possibility of being just like Him? That would seem to be something forever beyond our capacity or reach – maybe even sacrilegious.

But we are left with such limited options. Jesus offered no diluted version of His plan for us. He clearly called disciples to be just like Him, and to be about the business of making other disciples who would be just like Him. Scripture declares that this is the Master’s plan. With this in mind we may draw some significant conclusions…

1) If Jesus commands or requires something, it must be possible. This is an essential understanding: God does not require things that we are wholly incapable of doing. It would not be morally responsible to do so – and a Holy God, by definition, cannot do anything that is morally irresponsible. If I were to tell you that I require you to jump across the Grand Canyon to gain some reward from me, that would be morally irresponsible. Human beings do not have the capacity to jump across such great distances. Whatever I might offer as an incentive, you would not be capable of ever receiving your reward. Failure would be your only possible result. What is more, my incentive, and my requirement, would make me evil because I knew you were incapable of meeting my requirement before I ever asked it of you. If we know anything about God, we know that He is good, and not evil. He does not expect things of us that He knows we cannot possibly do. So if Jesus expects human beings to become just like their Master, then somehow, it must be absolutely possible. Scripture teaches us that the commands and requirements of God always come with the ability or provision to meet the necessary requirement.

2) If something seems impossible, but God says it is possible, then God must assume some role in assisting us. Being just like Jesus is not humanly possible – if we attempt to be like Jesus by strictly human means. Our human efforts to attain to God’s standards will always fall short of the mark. But God does not ask us to employ human means or human willpower or effort. It is not through human exertion or energy that God’s goals are accomplished. What He asks of us, He supplies to us in whatever quantity we might need. This is where we come to the role of grace and faith within our relationship with God. We need to understand this fact: God is going to ask His disciples to do some seemingly impossible things, but these things will be accomplished because God is with us (in fact, in us), assisting us, and accomplishing through us, as He abundantly provides. If we look at the ministry of Jesus, we see Him accomplish many seemingly impossible things. There was some hidden capacity at work within Jesus that enabled Him to amaze us with superhuman accomplishments. If God is requiring us to be just like Jesus, then He must offer us that same wondrous hidden capacity! As we will discover in the pages ahead, this is exactly what God is promising and providing for us. It is a wonderful fundamental truth: what God asks us to do, He provides the capacity and capability for us to do.

3) If something is required, and full provision is promised, then we must have some role in the application. We see this truth time and again in the Scriptures: God supplies, but man is responsible to apply what God provides. God calls out to man, but man is required to respond. Even when Jesus called His first disciples, they each had to make the conscious decision to leave behind their nets, their tables, their families and their lifestyles. They had a definite role to play in responding to the offer, and the call, of God. When they did respond, they received the opportunity to walk with, live and learn from their Master and, the even greater privilege of becoming just as He was. Their response to the call of The Christ plays a significant role in their story, and provides us with another great vein of truth to mine and explore. Suffice it to say, for now, that a clear Scriptural pattern emerges for our observation and understanding: God requires, and God provides, but human beings must respond to God’s provision to meet God’s requirement. One cannot accurately understand the Scriptures without seeing this crucial pattern and comprehending its purpose for our lives…

To be continued…

(Excerpt from “The Great Missed Understanding,” Chapter One)

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About theheartseeker

I have spent years studying the Scriptures and seeking for God's answer to the question: What IS true Christianity? Let me share some answers with you...
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2 Responses to Understanding True Discipleship… (segment 5)

  1. Sandy Perkins says:

    AS always Mark, your blogs are refreshing and encouraging. Growing to be more like Him in my everyday life, so that I can (through Him) effect a change in others around me. So they can be more like Him! Much love, Sandy

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