Discipleship Principle #3 – Disciples are Learners

  • Philippians 1:9-10 , “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless”

Discipleship involves an acquisition of knowledge, the mind must change in order to engage the heart and will.

He was only eighteen years old, though he had already reigned for ten years, King Josiah.  In renewing and repairing the temple, the Book of the Law was rediscovered.  The King had it read in his presence and tore his robes in tears as he heard all the ways that his people had been disobedient to God and all the curses that they were now under.  He sent to the prophetess to better understand what would please the Lord and he deepened his reforms, renewing the covenant before the Lord.  The renewal and repentance that he led put off the Lord’s judgment for generations.

All this renewal began with new information and renewed understanding of what was pleasing to the Lord.  A disciple is fundamentally a learner, one who learns from a rabbi, or teacher.  This is how Jesus referred to his first followers, as disciples.  And this is what he told the disciples to do, “Go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them…”  In order to call ourselves disciples, we must put ourselves in the humble place of learning from Jesus and learning from those who have been gifted to teach the Word of God.

This is why the New Testament is filled with prayers and exhortations to grow in knowledge:

“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.”

“…so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”

“Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.”

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

As a disciple of Jesus Christ, put on the humility of a learner.  Come before the Scriptures ready to have your mind transformed by truth, by the repeated displays of God’s grace and by the life-giving story of the gospel.

This is why the church promotes teaching and promotes learning.  This is why we preach sermons, offer teachings mid-week, encourage the reading of the Scriptures and create classes to instruct you.  Because disciples are learners. If you consider yourself a disciple of Jesus Christ, then take advantage of these opportunities to learn.

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