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Following Jesus

The ultimate purpose of an authentic disciple is to love God will all their hearts and to love others as themselves being conformed into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ (Matt. 22:37-40; Rom.8:29; 1 John 5:2-3). This can only take place as we learn to walk in love toward each other having the same care for one another, and as we learn to participate and function in ministry to each other (1 Cor.12:4-7, 11, 25, 31; 13:1-13; 14:23-33; 15:58; Eph.4:15-16; Heb.6:10; 1 Pet.4:8-11). As the Apostle Paul taught believers to participate and function as the church everywhere in every Church, we desire to raise up every believer participating functioning churches in the same manner (1 Cor. 4:17; 14:23-33). Our desire is to restore the priesthood of all believers from only a theology to an actual practice in the Body of Christ today. According to the apostles’ doctrine, every believer was allowed (and encouraged) to participate and function by ministering to one another daily and as often as the Church gathered together. Every believer ministered and shared with one another out of their relationship with Jesus Christ as they were led by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:14; 1 Cor.12:1-26; 14:23-33; 15:58, Eph. 4:6-7,16; 5:18-19; 1 Thess. 5:11, 14; Heb. 6:10; 10:19-25; James 5:19-20; 1 Peter 2:5, 9-10; 4:10-11). Believers today need to understand that Paul, Peter, James, and the writer of Hebrews were speaking to all the believers, instructing them on how to function as the Church. Paul told all the believers to minister to one another by admonishing, exhorting, correcting, and teaching one another.

As believers, we should be careful to study the Scriptures to fully understand what the apostles were teaching to all believers about how to function. We should be careful not to read our own ideas and understanding into the Word of God. It is important to understand being a disciple is not about going to a service in a building, often called “going to church”, or belonging to a denomination, or being a passive spectator watching a one man show. It is about knowing Jesus Christ and developing and having an intimate relationship with the living Lord. It is about taking responsibility to study in order to show ourselves approved to God and accurately discern the truth revealed in God’s Word. As we become doers of the Word of God through a lifestyle of obedience, we grow and mature. As we learn to listen to the voice of the Lord and learn to surrender and yield to the Lord and walk in obedience we will learn to be led by the Spirit. As disciples we are responsible to study, listen, hear, and obey the Lord for ourselves and not be dependent on a man to do this for us. As disciples we are responsible for our own personal walk of obedience to the Lord which will result in our spiritual growth and maturity. We are also responsible for the spiritual development and growth of our families, and to minister to all believers we associate with and come into contact with daily (Eph. 5:15-21; Col. 3:16-17; Heb. 6:10; James 5:19-20).

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