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Introductory Statement on Discipleship:

A disciple is someone who knows Jesus, loves Jesus, and serves Jesus.  God has provided disciples the preaching of the Word, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper as means of grace.  This enables us to take up our cross and to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior as we serve him in every square inch of our lives.  Disciples respond to Christ’s call to “Repent and believe” and to “Go and sin no more.”

Expanded Discipleship Principles:

1. Starts with repentance and faith in Jesus Christ

Apart from acknowledging our need, we have no part in Christ (Acts 2:37-38; Romans 10:9-13)

2. Powered by the means of grace

Disciples hunger for the Word of God, regularly listening to the preaching of God’s word with fellow believers, spending time in the Word with their families and on their own. (cf. Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 83-85; 114-115)

Disciples are baptized, a sign and seal that God by grace has forgiven our sins because of Christ’s blood, that the Holy Spirit has renewed us and set us apart to be members of Christ. (cf. Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 69-74)

Disciples celebrate the Lord’s Supper, truly feasting spiritually on Christ’s body and blood as we eat the bread and drink the cup so that, until he comes again, we may be strengthened to walk as Christ’s disciples by the assurance that Christ’s death was for us personally, and our unity is with Christ and his body. (cf. Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 75-82)

Disciples pray, coming in confident hope and joyful dependence to the throne of grace to talk to their heavenly Father, through the intercession of Jesus and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. (cf. Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 116-129)

3. Done intentionally, both personally and in community

Across generations (Psalm 145:4; Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Acts 2:39)

In the church as the body of Christ (Hebrews 10:23-25; Galatians 6:9-10)

Is lifelong (Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 12:1-3; Colossians 3:1-4)

Is all encompassing (James 1:27; Titus 2:11-14; 1 Corinthians 10:31)

Will not be easy (Luke 9:23-26; 1 John 2:15-17)

4. Fueled by gratitude

We love because God first loved us, giving us new life when we were dead in our sins. (1 John 4:7-21, esp. v. 19; Ephesians 2:1-10)

5. Involves education

Our faith has content that must be learned (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Luke 1:1-4; 1 John 1:1-4)

Must be taught (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Matthew 28:19-20; Psalm 78:4-6)

6. Bears fruit

Our sanctification, that is, Christ formed in us (Galatians 4:19; John 13:15; Ephesians 4:22-24)

Evident to others (John 13:35; Galatians 5:22-26; John 15:1-17)