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Saturday Sermon: Christ-like behavior should be rule of life

Aug. 12, 2011 at 3:12 a.m.

Ronald O. Green

By Ronald O. Green

After 25 years in the ministry, I have finally grasped the full concept of the meaning of discipleship. The concept of discipleship is neither new nor exclusively Christian.

To the Greeks, the process of discipleship afforded an effective way to pass on popular ideologies. The great philosopher Aristotle was a disciple of Plato. Simply put, Aristotle was Plato's apprentice.

At the other end of the spectrum, you can find a modern-day parallel of discipleship taking place on city street corners. You see the local drug pusher is a discipler. He's looking for moldable young people who he can train not only to become addicted, but also to become distributors, thus increasing his "client base" and his wealth. Tragically, this variation on the discipling process is extremely effective.

I consider myself a product of a discipler of a different kind: my mentor, the late Rev. L. B. Elliott. I remember when I was a babe in the ministry, Rev. Elliott would take me to Bible study and teach Christianity.

On other occasions I watched him preach to prison inmates.

As often as possible, I stood at his side as he ministered to others.

Those experiences left an indelible mark upon me and played a big part in shaping my present-day ministry.

Not too long ago, I found myself talking with a young minister about accompanying me and participating in my work. It occurred to me that my mentor's discipling influence was being passed to yet another generation.

I've learned information is not enough; performance is essential. Discipleship is not simply a matter of how much you know. It is vitally concerned with how much you can do.

For our purposes, discipleship is a spiritual internship. Specifically defined, it is the process of spiritual development which occurs within an environment of loving accountability, whereby the believer progressively moves from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity ultimately repeating the process with others.

In being a Christian disciple, Christ-like behavior should be the rule of life, not the exception. How do you know when you have become a mature disciple?

When you begin discipling others. As the Apostle Paul sums it up, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." (1 Cor 11:1)

Discipleship started with Christ. The question is do we accept the challenge of passing the discipleship baton to a new generation of believers?

Rev. Ronald O. Green is a Victoria area minister.

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