Our focus this year is the heartbeat of Jesus Christ-the issue of discipleship. If discipleship is removed, there is nothing like Christian growth. Jesus made it clear to go and make disciples not Christians: Matt 28:19.
No church can claim to be serious about fulfilling the great commission without commitment to discipleship. Salvation is the first step of the Great commission, discipleship begins after salvation.
Unfortunately, many churches focus attention to raise religions Christians than disciples. We raise people to become modern pharisees and Sadducees. No serious effort was made to disciple them. So we need shifted attention from making disciples to raising babes in faith.
The church can never be what the head of the church want it to be until we go back to discipleship (not class but relationship).
As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to a unique lifestyle. It is unfortunately that a lot of churches are living contrary to this. 1 Timothy 4:1.
The Gospel described the generation in which Jesus Christ live as a perversed, wicked and corrupt generation (Matt 37 v 12:39, 16:4, 17:17). We live in a free world where anything goes without respect for the religious set up. Nothing like eternity in view, life is meaningless where we just come and go at will. In spite of the decay in the world, Jesus designed the quality and manner of life we are expected to live. Paul admonished disciples to show good conduct because Grace to live a victorious life in a perverse world has been provided.
This message is to draw our attention as disciples to the quality of lifestyle expected from us in this corrupt generation by showing us what grace has achieved for us and what grace requires of us.
1. Grace transforms, motivates and enables: Transform from Adamonic nature to Christ nature, motivates us unto godliness, we desire to live in accordance with the word and obey His will.
2. Grace trains us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust: To say NO to ungodliness and worldly desires like inordinate affection, lust for pressure, possessions or power. It teaches us to reject sins and train us to in self control. Gen 4:7. no matter the sin you falls into, when you encounter Grace, you can conquer it. 1 John 3:6, 9
3. Grace trains to live soberly: Soberly; Temperate, Self-controlled, not yielding to various passions and impulses. Not to say ”YES” to everything but to reserves our ”YESes” for the best.7
4. Grace trains us to live righteous: Righteousness (fairness, justice and integrity towards others). It is more than refusing to commit an act of dishonesty, it refers to a life of integrity & uprightness in your dealings with others. Conforming to God’s standards of conduct.
5. Grace trains us to look ahead to the blessed hope of Christ’s second coming: If your focus is set on the hope of Christ’s return, you will purify your life from every known sin (1 John 3:2-3). How are you living your life? Do you have eternity in view?
6. Grace draws us who are saved to be zealous for good deeds; Good deeds are things that are done out of sincere love for God and others in obedience to this world. Zealous means devoting totally to their cause, even to the point of risking his life to achieve the goal. Remember, Jesus turning tables. The zeal of His father’s house has eaten Him up. Can you rightly describe yourself as a fanatic for good deed? (Heb 12:4). Are you fighting for the course of the Gospel of Christ?
God shows us His grace through His son. He empowered us to live a holy life willingly not grudgingly. It is not enough to say no to ungodliness and worldly lust/desires but also to say yes to sensible, righteous, godly living in the midst of this present evil and corrupt age. At school, work place, business trips, market area, community. Let us dare to be different and confess what we profess (Titus 1:6)
Finally, my brethren, the challenge before us this year is that we are called to shine the light of the Gospel through our lives. The emphasis is on Discipleship, growing to be like our master the Lord Jesus. (Altar call).