The Theological Basis for Discipleship

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GBC Saturday Seminar
Session Two
2010-10-09

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The Theological Basis for Discipleship

  1. 1. THE THEOLOGICAL BASIS FOR DISCIPLESHIP Session Two
  2. 2. Session Two Objectives • To show that the Great Commission (to make disciples) is inseparable from the Trinity, specifically that: • the goal of disciple-making is fellowship with the Trinity • the manner of our disciple-making should be Trinitarian
  3. 3. Not an Option Personal discipleship isn’t merely one methodological option, it is deeply and eternally theological. The ground and the goal of discipleship, as well as the entire process of discipleship, are all Trinitarian. Making Disciples: Completing the Trinitarian Commission
  4. 4. WARNING: THEOLOGY AHEAD Apart from the Trinity, discipleship is like “trying shoelaces tighter to make up for bad fitting shoes.” ~Fred Sanders
  5. 5. A TIGHT FIT The Great Commission and the Trinity Matthew 28:16-20 & Acts 1:1-8 Making disciples is carried out under the authority of the Father by the power of the Spirit for the sake of the Son.
  6. 6. REALLY?! Two reasons the Trinity is the theological basis for discipleship:
  7. 7. 1. IDENTITY Disciple-making relates to a particular God. There is a confessional commitment to discipleship. Certain facts about God must be communicated. “God minus creation would still be God, but God minus Father, Son, and Holy Spirit would not be God.” ~Sanders The Trinity keeps disciple-making from being idolatrous.
  8. 8. 2. INTIMACY Disciple-making relates to a particular God who is a personal God. There is a confessional commitment to discipleship and a relational commitment. Certain facts about God must be communicated that we would have fellowship with God. The Trinity keeps disciple-making from being idolatrous and from being impersonal. There are two ditches to avoid.
  9. 9. Intimacy: Revealed in Creation Creation: God sharing Himself with persons Men are made in His image, with capacity for relationship because of His relationships. When man fell, the intimacy, both horizontal and vertical, was shattered. Death is separation.
  10. 10. Intimacy: Revealed in Redemption Redemption: God restoring persons to Himself Q: Does God prefer the doctrine of justification or adoption? 1 Peter 3:18 Galatians 4:4-6 Romans 8:15-32 “Pardon, acceptance, and adoption are distinct privileges, the one rising above the other in the order which they have been stated...The privilege of adoption presupposes pardon and acceptance, but it is higher than either.” ~J.I. Packer
  11. 11. God’s eternal purpose is to invite individuals into eternal life, that is, invite persons into His life, into intimacy like the Trinity and with the Persons of the Trinity. It’s not business. It’s personal. That means impersonal discipleship is false discipleship. Discipleship requires relationship. The basis for us to make personal disciples is that making disciples is God’s goal to share Himself, eternal life, and the relational joy of the Trinity with men and women from every nation. So, making disciples is completing the Trinitarian commission.
  12. 12. BETTER THAN VELCRO
  13. 13. The three persons are never in conflict of purpose, never jealous over another's position or specific work, never prideful over one's own position or work, and they are always sharing fully the delight in being the one God and accomplishing the unified purpose of God. (Bruce Ware, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, 20)
  14. 14. How we disciple must be personal if we’re to reflect the Trinity that commissioned it. Trinitarian facts prevent our discipleship from being shallow and sentimental, let alone idolatrous. But an only-for-fact’s sake Trinity leads to an only-for-fact’s sake discipleship. Trinitarian fellowship, ours with God and shared with others, keeps our discipleship from being cold and distant, let alone suppressive.
  15. 15. GET SOME MORE

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