Hill View
Thursday, October 17, 2019
Baptist Church

The Three-Strand Life Of A Disciples

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 View Comments Comments (0)
 

three-strand-chord

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

The Greek philosopher Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”   One key item to keep your eye on as you look for growth in the life of a disciple is accountability. And while you won’t find the word accountability in the Bible, the principle is taught from Genesis to Revelation. In looking to the Scriptural principles for accountability we discover that the examination in the life of a disciple is three fold or has three strands.

First, we are accountable to God. Romans 14:12 says, So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. In an age where the individual is worshiped and everyone is saying, “I just have to follow my heart,” we would do well to remember that God has the ability to change our heart and even give us a new heart that is perfect toward Him. Ezekiel 36:26-27 says, And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and causeyou to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

Being accountable to God means that we must examine our own walk with the Lord. Proverbs 4:26-27 says, Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. 27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. We can keep our hearts perfect toward God by asking God to reveal and remove any thing in our heart that would keep us from loving Him with our whole heart. “Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.” (Psalms 26:2-3) We can know what is in our heart by the things that we think and the words that come out of our mouth. Psalm 19:14 says, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Secondly, we are accountable to our spiritual leaders. Hebrews 13:17 says, Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. I’ve never been one that had a desire to rule over or lord over people. I hope that is a sign of humility and not a shrinking away from the serious calling for which I will give an account. I want to communicate that as the pastor of the flock and an elder in the church I am just a man like any other with the same struggles and failings. However, I also need to communicate that God expects Disciples of Christ to obey and submit to their leaders and to call for that.

Thirdly, we are accountable to other believers. There is an old Jewish proverb that says, “A friendless man is like a left hand bereft of the right.” Proverbs 27:17 says, Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Rod Handley, the former president of FCA said, “Accountability will not remove sin or keep you from sin, but it helps you become aware of your sin, and helps you focus your attention back on Christ. Being accountable (to another person) takes honesty, and if it doesn’t exist it will be a meaningless experience.” Who have you given permission to speak the truth in love into your life and hold you accountable for keeping the promises and commitments you have made? At Hill View our discipleship strategy calls for this to take place in a D-group (discipleship group) we where have encouraged people to become a part of a group of 3-5 people who are seeking together to go deeper in their connection with God and with other believers. However, this is not going to happen with out accountability.

The strength of the disciple’s life is found in these three strands being intertwined throughout their life. It starts with one realizing their hopeless condition apart from God’s saving grace. In that realization you repent and receive God’s gift of forgiveness and purpose for your life. You then move from an individual who was alone and separated from God by sin to son or daughter of God and co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). However, the third strand is found in a disciple making relationship within the family of God. Galatians 6:1-2 says, Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. How grateful we should be for Christian friends who help us walk straight.

In considering the wisdom of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 4 as it relates to a disciple’s life we understand that one strand could be broken easily; two strands would require more strength, but three strands woven together could not be easily broken. I think more important than the strength found in numbers would also be the unity of these three strands – what a beautiful picture of the growing, thriving life of a disciple-making disciple of Jesus Christ.

 

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