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Paul J. Bucknell
Purpose: The restoration of our lives is best seen as a discipleshp process. God does much to get us going but unless we think of the changes in our lives as ongoing, then we will not be good disciples of Christ. This article's diagram shows the different stages of the discipleship process. This is part 1 of 3.
God completely forgives the repentant sinner and declares him righteous in Christ (justification). God also wants to eliminate sin's presence. The Holy Spirit lives in new Christians through the new heart given them during conversion and initiates significant changes in their lives.
I remember my swearing and outbursts of anger immediately disappeared when I was saved. I wanted to read God's Word and be with His people. I desired God's work in my life.Discipleship or sanctification describes the process God gradually but surely eradicates sin in our lives. This process is accelerated when we are discipled by mature Christians who care for us. They will point out areas that need to be changed and show us how by using God's Word we can be more like Christ.
Discipleship or sanctification describes God’s making-holy process gradually but intends to eradicate sin’s influence in our lives. Mature Christians accelerate this process when they lovingly disciple younger believers. They point out areas that need to be changed and show how by using God’s Word they can be more like Christ.
God starts working on us right away. In my life, God began to work right away on areas of honesty, respect for parents, lying, and lusts. Even thirty years later, I am still discovering new areas that need His work in my life! Later on, I learned how to effectively use God’s Word to change my attitudes and thoughts to overcome these problems.
When we see Christ, this process of sanctification ends with glorification. At this time, God's people will be completely changed into Christ's likeness, receiving a new body and be with Him forever.
When we see Christ, this process of sanctification will end with glorification. At this time God's people will be completely changed into Christ's likeness, receive a new body and be with Him forever.
Now let's look at each stage a bit closer at the conversion process (also called regeneration - born again).
Think of conversion as the extra lift needed to get a satellite into orbit. Discipleship is like the constant communication with the central control station which enables it to properly function.
We now have all we need to live godly lives in Christ Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. The big question is now how do we effectively combat these deeply ingrained sins in our lives?
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you" (Titus 2:11-15).
-> Continue on with part 2 of 3 which speaks of the way we are to understand our confusing hearts. Next->
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988