Hill View
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Baptist Church

Discipleship Without Transformation

Tuesday, July 07, 2015 View Comments Comments (0)

Transformation“Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”  Romans 12:1-2

I’ve been burdened about discipleship lately and I’ve discovered that the problem is not a lack of disciples, but rather a lack of transformation.  Every person whether it be in our church, neighborhood or community is a disciple.  The Greek word for disciple is the word matheteswhich simply means learner or student.  By that definition everyone who has ever lived is a disciple because they are learning from or following someone or something.

I was reading about a disciple who was praising his teacher.  He said, “When he speaks, all resistance breaks down before the magical effect of his words.  One can only be his friend or his enemy.  He divides the hot from the cold.  But lukewarmness he spits out of his mouth.”  This disciple later wrote, “We shall go down in history as the greatest statesmen of all time, or the greatest criminals.”  Would it surprise you to know that this was written by Joseph Goebbels, a disciple of Hitler.  He was with Hitler to the very end in his bunker and after Hitler committed suicide and after killing his six children, Goebbels and his wife also took their own lives.

The clear warning of Scripture is to be careful about who we follow and where take our cues from.  It’s obvious that there is only one person we can follow that will transform our lives spiritual from the inside out and that is Jesus Christ.  We can follow certain leaders who will impress us with their knowledge and skills but will our lives be transformed?  Oh certain leaders may educate us and improve our behavior, perhaps even increase our happiness for a time, but in the end these are just changes and without Christ it’s just a repackaging of the same old person we’ve always been.

The problem is when we allow ourselves to be discipled by people or things from our culture rather than Christ.  If you don’t think that’s been true in your life take a look at a picture from 15 to 20 years ago and ask yourself why you ever thought that hair do or those clothes were cool.  The amazing thing about a disciple of Jesus Christ is that He doesn’t change our clothes, but rather the very fabric of our being.

In our text we are instructed not to be conformed to this age or the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  That has been a topic we’ve been wrestling with at Hill View for the past 10 weeks as we’ve been thinking about change.  At the end of the day the question we must settle is this, “Are we being conformed or are we being transformed?”  Jesus isn’t interested with any surface level changes, no He wants to make us entirely something new.

Dietrich Bonhoffer said, “Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”  It’s time to stop settling for a discipleship devoid of transformation, that is God’s perfect will for your life.

david ><{(‘>


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