The Urgency of Messianic Discipleship
by Sam Nadler
For the Future: Discipleship
Discipleship = Dedication
Fruits of Discipleship
Discipleship is what spiritually stabilizes the believer in the faith. Undiscipled Believers are the ‘Wandering Jews (& Gentiles)’ of the body of Messiah. “We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro, carried about with every wind of doctrine…but, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, Messiah” (Ephesians 4:14-15). Discipleship is nurtured through studying and meditating on the Jewish Scriptures. “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word…Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You” (Psalm 119:9, 11).
The New Covenant reiterates this:
Resources + Process = Results!
If we want to have the right result (“...that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work“), we need to have the right resource (“all Scripture is inspired”) and the right process (“and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness”) for developing new believers into mature servants of God, able to do all that the Lord has called and equipped them to do.
In Acts 20:20, Paul gives us his practice for discipleship that necessitates regular one-on-one teaching (house to house) and training, as well as being part of the Shabbat school class, and Shabbat sermon (publicly). Besides personal areas of challenge to the new Messianic believer, we must help position him or her as a child of God in the basic issues of salvation assurance, prayer, Scripture reading and application, fellowship (active and regular congregational involvement) and sharing their faith with others.
Faith needs to become “profitable,” that is, useful in a practical fashion. A Messianic disciple does not merely understand prayer, he actually prays. He regularly “studies to show himself approved.” He helps in a loving way to build up the Body of Messiah by sharing his faith.
Discipleship is the process of growing in God’s love and life, so that we may enjoy and share the great news of salvation, making more disciples among our people. Ultimately, it is through discipleship that we go from the tragic failure of a sinful lifestyle, to becoming faithful followers of our victorious Messiah, and living the fulfilling life God has planned for each of us!