“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17.
The importance of discipleship is a key element to the Christian life. You probably ask the question, “Why should I learn about this?” The importance of knowing Jesus more in your life is the key to success in life. It is like this: two guys named Frank and Joe who went out to try out for a college football team. Frank had never picked up a football or had any experience, but he had watched football games on TV and thought it looked pretty simple. Joe grew up playing football and had spent all summer working out in the gym and practicing drills. Frank and Joe get to the field and Frank is dreaming of greatness on the gridiron, as Joe stretches and prepares himself for the strenuous tryout. As the tryout started, Frank started out doing alright, catching a few passes. As time went on Frank began to get tired and fell down on his back heaving for air. Joe began the tryout with preparation and a sense of confidence. As time went on Joe stood out among all the other players because of his dedication in the off-season.
Which person would you like to be on the same team with? Which guy was disciplined and was a leader on the field? The same concept applies to our life, if we expect to grow as a follower of Christ and expect to be immediately in the super bowl, you will be discouraged. The need of discipleship is an integral part of the Christian life, just like Joe preparing himself for the tryout. The way that I would define discipleship is to become more like Jesus. The real question is why should we do discipleship in church?
Let’s look at 2 Timothy 3:14-17. Paul was writing to Timothy about being a man of God. How do we become people of God? Paul tells the younger Timothy in verse 14 about how it is important to cling to the truths of scripture without compromise. Timothy had the privilege of hearing the Scripture through his family. Timothy was not as strong in the Lord as Paul, but he had a strong foundation of faith. In verse 16-17, it talks about how scripture is given by inspiration of God. The best way to understand why we need discipleship is that our Christian life is nothing without the Word of God. It is God’s love letter to you as a believer. The word Theopneustos literally means “breathed out by God or “God breathed.” We need to understand as a church that the Bible is given to us as a guide to follow in life. Do we follow it and spend time in it? That is why we need discipleship in this church. Paul encourages Timothy in verse 17 to become equipped and complete to fulfill good works.
You might ask the question, what does this passage mean to us today? What is the big deal with discipleship, can’t we just meet, hang out and go home? Jesus came to save us from ourselves and our sin, once we receive the gift of salvation, the journey is not over. So how can we understand this in a clear way, what if you are on a hike through the woods and you could choose two different guides. John said he knew all the trails and did not need a map, but Sally had a map and compass to guide her group. Which person would you follow? Of course our answer is Sally, but how many times in life do we find the easy way out? Discipleship is allowing God's Word to guide us!
Knowledge is a good thing, but it won’t have any affect on your life unless you apply it. The first thing you have to realize is that it takes a willing, surrendered heart to Christ for the church to become what it needs to become.We have the Guidebook ready to follow, but will we pick it up and act upon the importance of discipleship? If we applied the same passion we have for college football to following Christ, you would see changed lives! Do the small things by spending time with Jesus daily and following His Spirit throughout your day.