Galatians 4:19; 2:20; Romans 12:2; James 1:2-4; 1:12; 1:17; Romans 5:3-5; Mark 4:35-41

A Disciple is…

– A disciple is a Christ’s follower who grows in Christ-likeness AND produces Christ-like disciples.

Stages in the Growth of a Disciple

– Infant -> child -> adult -> parent

Spiritual Infant – Characteristics

– A spiritual infant is a professing Christian who does not know much about the Christian faith.
– A firm foundation needs to be laid upon the word of God.

Spiritual Child – Characteristics

– The spiritual child is a disciple who has begun the process of life transformation to Christlikeness.
– Spiritual growth happens when the mind is being renewed by the word of God:
(1) Put off the old self
(2) Renew the thinking
(3) Put on a new self

Spiritual Adult – Characteristics

– The spiritual adult is a disciple who has an increasing desire for Jesus Christ to reign supremely in his/her life. (Spiritual formation)
– My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! (Galatians 4:19)
– It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)

Spiritual Adult – Hurdles

(1) We think we are good enough
– The goal of discipleship is to have Christ reign in us and live through us.
– To accept Jesus Christ into our life is to let Him take an increasing share of our mind, heart, will, desire, until it is “no longer I who live but Christ living in me.”

(2) Forces in the culture trying to form us
– Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:2 MSG)

(3) How we see trials, hardship, and sufferings
– Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
– We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit… (Romans 5:3-5)

Spiritual Adult – Growth Path

– Let the word of God shape our inner being
– If I intend to obey Jesus Christ, I must decide to become the kind of person who would obey. I must find the means of changing my inner being until it is substantially like Jesus Christ, pervasively characterized by his thoughts, feelings, habits, and relationship with the Father. (Dallas Willard, Revolution of Character)

Spiritual Exercise – Meditate on the Word of God Everyday

– Begin with the Gospel
– 15 minutes a day
– “Reading is better than scrolling”
– Read the passage three times
– First round – get a basic understanding on the text
– Second round – let the story draw you in
– Third round – let the Lord speak to you
– Hold on to one word, phrase, sentence, idea, picture
– Let the Lord speak to you through the word
– Have a conversation with the Lord
– Thank the Lord for His Presence
– Write down the experience on a journal