Discipleship 101 – What does it mean to be a Disciple?
The story recorded in Acts 2 gives a great model of discipleship by showing us what the very first group of Christians did among themselves. Verse 42 reads: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (NASB)
This says several things about discipleship, but the most important of those can be found in the phrase “they continued steadfastly.” The Christian journey is one that will require ultimate commitment from all of us to our Lord Jesus. He gave His all for us, and expects no less from us as we learn to follow Him. Dictionary.com defines steadfast as firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc., as a person: a steadfast friend. Once we have decided to follow Jesus, that must be the Christian’s highest goal. But what does that mean? How can we put this into practice?
The very first group of people that became Christians (about 3000 we are told in Acts 2) followed four basic categories of activity as follows:
- The Apostle’s Doctrine – The Word of God
- Fellowship – Spending time with God and with other believers
- Breaking of Bread – Worship
- Prayers – for themselves, for each other, and several types
They also performed these activities at two very different levels. First, they practiced these at a personal level, on their own as a follower of Christ, they studied the Word, they fellowshipped with God, they worshiped God, and they prayed. Second, they did this as a group, corporately – they had Bible studies, they fellowshipped with each other (the image of God, and member of His family), they worshipped together, and they prayed together.
There is a lot to be said on each of those four categories of activities, and I will be periodically posting notes about each of them, both for individual and corporate exercise. And as they did so, Acts 2:43-47 began to happen: “And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
It is my sincere hope that as individuals begin to practice this kind of following Jesus, that we will experience the revival we as a Church, His body, so desperately need, and especially that the Lord will add daily to the numbers of the saved, as it says in Acts 2:47.