Key Passage: “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The most common misunderstanding about discipleship is that it’s all about how we think. While biblical thinking is key, we need to recognize the progression in discipleship. Our aim is transformation to the nature of Christ. Accountability to God’s Word (v.16) leads us to the application, “equipped for every good work.” Growing disciples demonstrate the life of Christ in their thinking and doing. Many believers tend to focus on one or the other. But the Apostle Paul links accountability to Scripture directly to the application of discipleship.
First, verse 17 doesn’t say, “every good discussion or debate.” It says, “every good work.” Now, theological discussions are necessary, and can even be a good work. However, when they become the primary work, our focus is inward rather than on the lost. Neither should the work become primary. Meeting the physical needs of hurting people opens doors to share the Gospel, but we are not truly following Christ if we focus on good works without fulfilling our commission to make more disciples.
The disciples of the first century made a difference in the world because they were distinctively different from the world. Their relationship with Jesus transformed how they thought and what they did. Because they had the mind of Christ, they submitted to His Word and carried out His instructions. They lived in the fullness of the Holy Spirit to the point that they would rather die in obedience to Christ than live for anything less.
We see it in their treatment of fellow believers, their whole-hearted devotion to the church, and their incredible enthusiasm for worshipping the Lord. It wasn’t simply that they stopped doing the wrong things. They started doing the right things; encouraging, serving, and loving others.
The discipleship process hasn’t changed. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, our obedience to His Word and our love for others will increase. Because we have the mind of Christ, we fulfill God’s purposes. As a result, everything we think and do brings glory to Jesus. After all, isn’t that what discipleship is all about?