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Friday, March 6, 2015

Dare to be a Disciple 3

Dare to be a Disciple 3
Read Dare to be a Disciple 2
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
This course has been born out of a conviction that I have, in my 22 years as a preacher, teacher and pastor, concentrated too much on making converts and too little on making disciples. I have come to the realisation that the two are not the same. Jesus command is "Go and make disciples", so

Today we look at the role of suffering in the life of the disciple. Read Chapter 4 of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and discuss the following points he raises:

The call to discipleship is connected here with the proclamation of Jesus’ suffering.  Jesus Christ has to suffer and be rejected.  

But Jesus is the Christ who was rejected in His suffering.

Rejection removed all dignity and honour from His suffering.  

Any attempt to hinder what is necessary is satanic.  Even, or especially, if such an attempt comes from the circle of disciples, because it intends to prevent Christ from being Christ.  

The church has taken offense at the suffering Christ. 

So Jesus has to make it clear and unmistakable to His disciples that the need to suffer now applies to them too.  

“If any want to" 

“If any want to follow Me, they must deny themselves.”  

“…and take up their cross.”  

The cross is not random suffering, but necessary suffering.  

the cross as one’s daily misfortune, 

“…let them take up their cross…” 

Each have their own cross 

God honours some with great suffering 

The cross is not the terrible end of a pious, happy life.  Instead, it stands at the beginning of community with Jesus Christ.  

Jesus Christ passed on the fruit of His suffering to those who follow Him, 

So Christians become bearers of sin and guilt for other people.  

A Christian becomes a burden-bearer  

The law of Christ, which must be fulfilled, is to bear the cross.   

Forgiving sins is the Christ-suffering required of His disciples.  

Thus, suffering becomes the identifying mark of a follower of Christ.  The disciple is not above the teacher.  

Discipleship is being bound to the suffering Christ.  

The cup of suffering will pass from Jesus, but only by His drinking it.  

Suffering is distance from God.  That is why someone who is in communion with God cannot suffer.  

suffering is overcome by suffering.  Communion with god is granted precisely in suffering. 

Suffering must be borne in order for it to pass.  

Only His suffering brings salvation.    

That is why disciples are called to bear what is put on them.

Bearing constitutes being a Christian.  

Bearing the cross does not bring misery and despair.  Rather, it provides refreshment and peace for our souls; it is our greatest joy.  



My main resources in drawing up this course are:
Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Covenant Discipleship by David Lowes Watson
The Sermon on the Mount by Scot McKnight
The Sermon on the Mount by Cedric Poole

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