This morning I met with my friend John Mccracken for breakfast. We enjoyed good food and fellowship but there was a greater purpose for this meeting – bible study. Today we worked through the second half of Romans 15 and were greatly blessed by the inspired words of Paul.
What takes place in our weekly meetings reminds me of Acts 8:26-35:
“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”
And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.” (Acts 8:26-35 ESV)
With John being a newer Christian, it is my great joy to open up the Scriptures and explain them to him. Just as Philip explained the Scriptures to the Ethiopian eunuch, I try to do that with John so that he can better grasp God’s Word. Does this mean that I don’t learn anything? On the contrary, I probably learn more than if I was being taught by someone else. But this is what discipleship is all about. As we dig into the Word of God, we have the great privilege of sitting at the feet of the Master, the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is important to note that discipleship takes place in a number of different ways and a number of different contexts. One-to-one discipleship, in the manner that John and I do, can be very effective, but it is not the only way. Discipleship happens in small-group bible studies, Sunday school classes, prayer meetings, and a variety of other settings. The key is to get involved in these types of learning environments where the Word of God is being lifted up and faithfully taught. Remember, a disciple is simply a “learner” or an “apprentice.” But keep in mind that we don’t learn for the sole purpose of getting “big heads” and being puffed up with knowledge. Rather, we commit ourselves to learning with the goal of having “big hearts” that are transformed by the truth of God. Only then will we be equipped to serve in this world as ambassadors for Christ.
I want to challenge you to (1) commit yourself to being a disciple of Jesus Christ and (2) to find another person to disciple and point in the direction of the Savior, as you study the bible together.
You might have noticed that there is an assumption I bring to this post. In case you missed it, this was my assumption. The disciple of Jesus Christ will have as his textbook the Word of God. You simply cannot call yourself a disciple and not immerse yourself in the Bible. As Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). God has spoken through His Word and now it is our job to listen and apply what we learn as the Spirit of God empowers us.