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New - The Discipling Church by David Cloud

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Just Released... "The Discipling Church: The Church That Will Stand until Jesus Comes" - Available as Softcover book or eBook in pdf, mobi (Kindle), and epub formats. Twenty page sample pdf with contents is on the website.

I highly recommend this book!  (I personally recommend the epub format eBook reading it with "Marvin" app on iOS devices.  The mobi works well with Kindle devices also.

 

(Full Disclosure: I do support work for Way of Life Literature/Bro. Cloud) 

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Hello 1611

My attitude about the subject of “Disciples”, has as much to do with the actual definition of the word “disciple” as it does with what the Bible says about it.

At the heart of this issue is Matthew 28:19
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"

Years and years ago, I was reading a newsletter, that made the following statement....
“...just as Jesus told us to go forth and make disciples....”

The trouble was, I could not remember Jesus ever saying this and the fact is HE DIDN’T say this.  This statement is taken from other English versions of the Bible in Matthew 28:19.  But “the Bible” does not make this statement.

The fact is, the word disciple means “student”.  Therefore the words disciplship, or discipling etc. do not exist.  This is like saying “studenting”!  The bigger FACT is, that God is the only one who can “make disciples”, because only God can put it into a person’s heart, to “want to be a student of Jesus”(like Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet).

Therefore, I am turned away from this book, simply by the title.  Although, we are to bend over backward to accommodate Christians, in the area of education, as both individuals and as Churches.  Therefore, this may be a good book.  But just as with the Bible itself, “words are important”.  So if we are going to write a book about educating Christians in Church, we should not call it discipling.  This is a step in the wrong direction.

 

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1 hour ago, Donald said:

Hello 1611

My attitude about the subject of “Disciples”, has as much to do with the actual definition of the word “disciple” as it does with what the Bible says about it.

At the heart of this issue is
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"

Years and years ago, I was reading a newsletter, that made the following statement....
“...just as Jesus told us to go forth and make disciples....”

The trouble was, I could not remember Jesus ever saying this and the fact is HE DIDN’T say this.  This statement is taken from other English versions of the Bible in .  But “the Bible” does not make this statement.

The fact is, the word disciple means “student”.  Therefore the words disciplship, or discipling etc. do not exist.  This is like saying “studenting”!  The bigger FACT is, that God is the only one who can “make disciples”, because only God can put it into a person’s heart, to “want to be a student of Jesus”(like Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet).

Therefore, I am turned away from this book, simply by the title.  Although, we are to bend over backward to accommodate Christians, in the area of education, as both individuals and as Churches.  Therefore, this may be a good book.  But just as with the Bible itself, “words are important”.  So if we are going to write a book about educating Christians in Church, we should not call it discipling.  This is a step in the wrong direction.

 

Sure He did friend. Check verse 19 again and you will see where He commands to teach all nations. In the next verse He commands to teach them all things whatsoever He has taught.

Sounds like making students of Jesus out of all who believe to me. In addition, search Acts and you will find that all who believe are called disciples. In God says the disciples were called Christians for the first time in Antioch.

So disciple, believer, christian are all synonymous and mean exactly the same thing. If you believe you are automatically made a student/disciple by the Spirit.

Discipling simply means teaching. Why would you think this concept which is lacking the most in all churches I know of is a step in the wrong direction?

Edited by wretched

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Donald... I forwarded your post to Bro. Cloud (the author of the book) and here is his reply:
----------------------------

A TRUE BELIEVER IS A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST

The following is excerpted from THE DISCIPLING CHURCH: THE CHURCH THAT WILLS STAND UNTIL CHRIST COMES, available from www.wayoflife.org

The church we see in the New Testament is a church of disciples. It is a disciplined, discipling environment. A New Testament church is not something to attend. It is a spiritual entity where disciples of Christ are trained, encouraged, and protected. 

New Testament discipleship is not merely a course in Christian fundamentals; it is the essence of the true Christian life. The entire church should be geared to producing and training disciples of Jesus Christ.

A pastor friend said that at a youth camp some years ago, he asked the youth to list words that God uses to describe those who are saved. He said, “We came up with something like fifty in total, and then I pointed out to them that they had forgotten the most used word, which is ‘disciple.’” 

Indeed, the most common name for a New Testament believer is “disciple” or “methetes” in Greek. The term “believer” appears two times (Acts 5:14; 1 Ti. 4:12); “Christian” appears three times (Acts 11:16; 26:28; 1 Pe. 4:16); “saint” appears 62 times; “brethren” appears about 135 times; but “disciple” (referring to a disciple of Christ) appears about 268 times. 

Scripturally speaking, a New Testament believer and a disciple are one and the same.

Jesus Christ defined discipleship in very serious terms. Consider John 8 and John 15.

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31).

In John 8:31, Christ said the “disciple indeed” is one who continues in His Word. The Lord was addressing Jews who believed on Him but not in a saving way. See John 2:23-24. They were believing in Jesus as a miracle worker, as a great prophet, as a political messiah, but they were not acknowledging their personal sinfulness and owning Him as their Lord and Saviour. 

A believing in God’s Word, a love for God’s Word, a continuing in God’s Word, a passion for God’s Word is the clearest evidence of salvation and true discipleship. 

“He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (John 8:47).

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).

A disciple’s heart burns within him at God’s Word (Lu. 24:31).

Later, the crowds that had “believed” on Jesus turned away from Him (John 6:66). They turned away because they did not receive His Word (Joh. 6:64), in contrast to Christ’s true disciples.

“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:66-69).

In John 15, Christ again identified the true believer as a disciple. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (Joh. 15:8). Christ likens the believer to a branch in the vine. Christ is the vine and the believer is a branch. Fruit bearing is the evidence of the true believer. It is not possible for a branch to be attached to the vine and not share in the life of the vine. If someone seems to be a branch of Christ but does not bear fruit, he is taken away (Joh. 15:2, 6). This refers to the professor who is not a possessor (Titus 1:16). The true believer bears fruit and is pruned to bring forth more fruit (Joh. 15:2). This describes God’s sanctifying and chastening work in the believer’s life. This describes the true believer and the true disciple as one and the same.

Salvation and discipleship are two different things, but they are closely associated and not so sharply divided as is commonly taught today. Saving faith produces discipleship. Discipleship is the evidence of saving faith. The New Testament associates saving faith with following and obeying Christ in an intimate way. 

Charles Wesley got this right in the beautiful hymn “And Can It Be,” which was probably his personal testimony of salvation:
 Long my imprison’d spirit lay,
 Fast bound in sin and nature’s night:
 Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
 I woke; the dungeon flamed with light;
 My chains fell off, my heart was free,
 I ROSE, WENT FORTH, AND FOLLOW’D THEE.

To follow Christ is intimately connected with salvation. Following is not salvation, but it is the sure product of salvation. 

This is crystal clear in Christ’s words in John 10:27: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” 

This is clear in Ephesians, 2:8-10. It is common to quote verses 8-9 when sharing the gospel, but those verses cannot be divorced from verse 10. Verses 8-9 is salvation, and verse 10 is the evidence and product of salvation. The individual who has the reality of verses 8-9 will have the reality of verse 10, as well. This is true salvation as taught in the Bible.

There is no example in the New Testament of a true believer who is not also a disciple of Christ. In every case of the true believer, there is a dramatic change so that the individual becomes a follower and disciple of Christ.

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Hello again 1611

Thank you for so quickly responding to my post and for going to the horses mouth with your response.  And I am looking forward to scrutinizing his response.

But, I needed to quickly respond to the opening premise of his statement.
It starts out by saying....
A TRUE BELIEVER IS A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST

The reason this is not true, is because Biblical salvation, is by grace through faith and that not of ourselves..
And Jesus repeatedly stated, that we do not become disciples by Grace!
Luke 14:26-27
26 If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

As much as we would like it to be the case, it isn’t.  Not every true believer(in fact a very small percentage if true believers), take up their cross and follow Jesus.  And this is just “one” example of Jesus sharing the qualifications of becoming a disciple.  There are more.

Now, there is a false teaching out there, called “Lordship Salvation”, that might state that this is the case, but maybe not.

Now, I am back to reading your response....

 

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Donald.... We will just have to agree to disagree on this as Bro. Cloud (the author) and I both believe that salvation changes people and they do in fact become a disciple of Christ. Perhaps they are not the disciple you and I would have them to be, but salvation changes people. How can one trust Christ for salvation and not be a disciple?  They may be a baby disciple... they may not yet know how to be the disciple you speak of... none-the-less... the heart has been changed and through salvation they repent of themselves and follow Christ.

See this free eBook: https://www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/does_salvation.php

Here is a direct link to the pdf. https://www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/downloads/Does_Salvation_Make_A_Difference.pdf

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Hello wretched
What I am getting at, is it is impossible to “force anyone to learn”.  We can teach, until we are blue in the face(and I do), but it is not up to us, if they learn.

As for Acts 11:26, of course it was the disciples at the Church in Antioch, that were being called “Christians”(little Christs), because those members at that Church, that were living for the Lord, looked like Christ.  But what about those who were in disobedience to Christ.  Even in the best of Churches, there are some who do not live for the Lord, like they should.

And finally, the “concept” that I thought was lacking, was “using the wrong word”.  If your talking about “teaching”, than use that word.  Don’t use the word “student”.  It’s just a slippery slope, that we should avoid.

But I will agree with my brother 1611, this is not a fellowship breaker.  Who knows, maybe I am wrong.  I have not arrived yet.  Although SALVATION does change people, we still retain our free will.  And most professing Christians that I interact with, do not appear to be living for Christ, but I don’t through them under the bus.

 

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17 minutes ago, Donald said:

Hello wretched
What I am getting at, is it is impossible to “force anyone to learn”.  We can teach, until we are blue in the face(and I do), but it is not up to us, if they learn.

As for Acts 11:26, of course it was the disciples at the Church in Antioch, that were being called “Christians”(little Christs), because those members at that Church, that were living for the Lord, looked like Christ.  But what about those who were in disobedience to Christ.  Even in the best of Churches, there are some who do not live for the Lord, like they should.

And finally, the “concept” that I thought was lacking, was “using the wrong word”.  If your talking about “teaching”, than use that word.  Don’t use the word “student”.  It’s just a slippery slope, that we should avoid.

But I will agree with my brother 1611, this is not a fellowship breaker.  Who knows, maybe I am wrong.  I have not arrived yet.  Although SALVATION does change people, we still retain our free will.  And most professing Christians that I interact with, do not appear to be living for Christ, but I don’t through them under the bus.

 

I get it now Donald, thanks

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27 minutes ago, Donald said:

-snip- But I will agree with my brother 1611, this is not a fellowship breaker.  Who knows, maybe I am wrong.  I have not arrived yet.  Although SALVATION does change people, we still retain our free will.  And most professing Christians that I interact with, do not appear to be living for Christ, but I don’t through them under the bus.

 

I don't see where free will has anything to do with being a disciple.... If you have a change of direction and you now want to go God's way (thru Christ) you are a disciple. If you don't want to go God's way you are not a disciple and also not saved.  Salvation changes your direction.  

Also... I agree, there are a lot of people not living for Christ.... don't you think it possible that if you don't see that change of direction they are not saved?  Or perhaps they are a brand new creature and have not learned yet how to follow HIm... though the desire is there.

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I see where Donald is coming from, and I would have to agree with what he is saying. Jesus had many followers, but not as many disciples. I look at my own past: I spent a lot of years, having been born again, fooling arouns with the world. Now, in my defense, as a youth I don;t recall any of the churhes I went to actually looking to disciple anyone much. a lot of playing but no real simple Bible training. Though maybe that's my own hyperactive brain issues that account for large, missing portions of my youth, being responsible, a difficulty in living in the moment. It was later in life that I began to be a disciple. So I was saved, but surely not a disciple.

However, that doesn't change the fatc that churhes are to be seeking to disciple, to train up, believers, to teach them all things. yes, they can accept the teaching or not, and I suspect through history, there were those who did and those who didn't. It's just worse now in Laodicea.

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