The Demands of Discipleship

Plowing

We have been called to be disciples of Jesus, yet this is not an easy life. Discipleship is demanding. There are certain things required of us and not everyone will be willing to do what is necessary to be a disciple. In the following passage, Jesus encountered three prospective disciples:

As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, ‘I will follow You wherever You go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.

And He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.’ But He said to him, ‘Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.’

Another also said, ‘I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’” (Luke 9:57-62).

In Jesus’ responses to these individuals, He showed just how demanding it is to be one of His disciples. Let us consider what He said and how it applies to us today.Continue Reading

The Name of “Christian”

Christian on chalkboard

The “Restoration Movement” is sometimes called the “Stone-Campbell Movement” after two principle men in that movement – Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell. They were two of many who endeavored to leave the churches and creeds of men and follow the Bible alone.

Stone was formerly a Presbyterian. Campbell had previously been associated with the Baptists. Yet they decided they were no longer going to use those names to identify themselves. So what would they be called? Campbell thought brethren should be identified as “Disciples” while Stone favored the name “Christian.” What does the Bible say? Notice what Luke recorded:

And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

In the verse above, disciples were called Christians. Let us consider what the Bible says about the name we are to wear.Continue Reading

Identifying the Lord’s Church (Part 3): Who Makes Up His Church?

Identifying the Lord's Church

In this study, we have already seen that Jesus built just one church and that His church is to follow His will that is expressed in the New Testament. If we want to be part of this church, we need to be saved since the church is the body of the saved (Ephesians 5:23). Therefore, we need to know who will be saved in order to learn how we can become part of His church. So in this lesson, we are going to ask this important question: Who makes up His church?Continue Reading

More Important Than Numbers

Church Attendance Board

Some churches are so focused on numbers that they will do almost anything to boost their numbers – attendance, membership, conversions, etc. Any Christian with a love for the Lord and for others would certainly prefer to see an increase in these numbers, but not at all costs. We need to recognize that there are certain things that are more important than numbers. In this article, we will notice seven of these that are presented to us in the New Testament.Continue Reading

The Way: Conclusion

The Way: What it Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus

This series has been about “the Way.” The point of this study was not just to learn what the Bible says about it. The purpose has been for YOU to make a decision.

The vital question that must be answered is this: Do you belong to the Way?Continue Reading

The Way (Part 4): Troubles Along The Way

The Way: What it Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus

And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the people, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus” (Acts 19:8-9).

With all of the good that is spoken about “the Way” in the Scriptures, it is not without its difficulties. There are troubles that come by following this path and these are clearly shown to us in the word of God. So in this final lesson, we will discuss the troubles that come from following “the Way.Continue Reading

The Way (Part 3): Belonging To The Way

The Way: What it Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus

Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem” (Acts 9:1-2).

Persecution against the church began with the death of Stephen (Acts 8:1). Saul continued this persecution with a plan to go to Damascus to arrest disciples and bring them back to Jerusalem. The ones who were targeted for persecution were those who were “belonging to the Way.” We will discuss the idea of persecution in the next lesson.

However, before these individuals were targeted, they first had to belong to “the Way.” In this lesson, we are going to see what the Scriptures teach about “belonging to the Way” – how to become a part of this group and remain in it.Continue Reading