Two Errors: Continuing to Refine Our Definition of Discipleship
Last week I noted the 3 marks of a disciple mentioned by Jesus…
- Abide in His Word (John 8:31-32)
- Love One Another (John 13:34-35)
- Bear Much Fruit (John 15:8)
It would be easy to build a long list of things we need to know (the right information) and things we need to do (the right behavior) to be “good” Christians. We would, no doubt, make our list with the best of intentions. In the end, however, we would be legalists who weigh men down with burdens that Jesus never intended. In fact, Jesus came to remove those burdens.
A professor of mine said, “It takes a lot of truth to float an error.” Two errors repeatedly crop up in Christian life. The first error teaches men that discipleship means to have the right information. We do need the right information, but information without transformation leads to consternation. Information-the truth-is not to goal, but the means by which we gain and grow our faith in Jesus. The gospel is not, “Know this truth” (as important as that is). The gospel is, “Follow me.”
The second error teaches that discipleship means doing the right things. Discipleship often gets presented to men as a list of things they can do to improve their record. “Do these things and you will be a good boy.” This performance-based (works-based) righteousness wears men out. Works are important, but as a grateful response to Christ’s unconditional love and adoption.
As we think about what it means to be a disciple, let’s refrain from making a requirement of anything Jesus did not. Jesus didn’t leave a very long list.
Together in the battle for men’s souls,