Discipleship 1
paradigms Discipleship1

Chapter 1 PDF

Discipleship 2
Koinonia/Sharing



Chapter 2 PDF

Discipleship3
Apostolic Roots


Chapter
3 PDF

Discipleship 4
Maturing to Minister

Chapter 4 PDF

Discipleship 5
Gathering Believers

Chapter 5 PDF

Discipleship 6
Jesus' Pattern in Ministry

Chapter 6 PDF

Discipleship 7
Maturing in Christ

Chapter 7 PDF

Discipleship 8
Ministry & Mentors

Chapter 8 PDF
ChaCpter 8 pdf

Discipleship 9
Giving - Tithes


Chapter 9 PDF
ChapterChapt 9 pdf

Discipleship 10
worship



Chapter 10 PDF

r 10 pdf


A Disciple's Handbook Complete PDF

 



Charles Pinkney

INTRODUCTION and overview
Every Believer Becomes a Disciple

Paul Defines the Apostolic Emphasis

In the first two chapters of his letter to Corinth, Paul presses a very important foundation point. He stresses the difference between a Spiritual (a supernatural message) contrasted to a conceptual one. In chapter 1 verse 17 he states that his gospel emphasis is not based upon words of human wisdom (analysis or philosophy) but in the display of power (greek; dunamis) that is supplied from heaven where Jesus Christ is now enthroned. It was on the cross where the exchange of righteousness was made. The cross is where the messiah died paying the sin dept of humanity. Yeshua Jesus paid the price with his sacred blood for any sinner who received that the cross bought pardon and a new life. This doctrine of the power of the cross is about far more than a man's death for it was prophecy foretold and fulfilled. "The lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world," for the fallen race of humanity. Christ died, was buried and raised in power. Thus the doctrine that Paul emphasizes includes both the death and the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. The resurrection was the proof that the mission of Jesus to redeem a fallen race was fulfilled. The foundation of the Christian faith is the fact that Jesus was crucified, dead, buried and is risen. He now is the Eternal Sovereign who reigns from heaven and in a time soon to come he will rule upon the earth. In the holiday we call Easter, Jesus fulfilled Jewish Spring festivals of Passover, Unleavened bread and First Fruits. These Jewish festivals are called moedim they point to a future prophetic event. They are also portrayed as a kind of of “dress rehearsal.”

It is truly unfortunate that so few Christians understand or honor the Jewish roots of Christianity. The fact that Jesus (Yeshua) and most of the first disciples and apostles were Jews points to God's chosen race as the foundation upon which we believing gentiles have been established and grafted in. Yeshua rose from the dead, ascended on high, took captivity captive, and gave gifts to all who would believe.
The cross illuminates the ultimate victory of life over death, not sorrow or loss. The resurrection speaks of the power of an endless life, laying a foundation of redemption for all believers. It reveals the Father's plan to extend grace and peace to every man, woman and child who believes. Jesus' resurrection speaks about the supernatural gift of eternal life, becoming a new creation in Christ.

It is sad, or I might say tragic, to find people who profess to be Christians who neither understand or experience the "Power of God." Without a resurrection there would be no power of God. There would be no new creation, no witness of heavenly things. There be no such entity that we call "the church." Question: How many Christians today could live out their lives with their same lifestyle and beliefs if there was NO RESURRECTION? The Gospel is predicated upon the supernatural. The power (dunamis) of God derives from supernatural abilities which God supplies. The Gospel is the Power of God. See: Romans 1:18; 1 Peter 1:5; and Romans 1:16. These are powerful Biblical proof texts that direct believers to believe in a supernatural Gospel.

Kingdom of God Wisdom Versus Human Wisdom
Paul introduces the theme of wisdom in the opening chapters of 1 Corinthians. Paul contrasts human wisdom to divine wisdom. He explains that a the natural man deems himself wise through the power of reason. He struggles to accept the wisdom of God. God's wisdom is framed in paradoxes and conundrums. Seeming paradoxes such as the least being the greatest; the weak being strong; the first being last; the wise being foolish; the living being dead while the dead are being awakened to live.
If these concepts make any sense to you, perhaps God has already opened your eyes in a very significant way. God has framed truth in such a way that Truth sounds preposterous, or irrational to those whose minds are set on things of this world. Spiritual things become a stumbling block for those who are worldly-wise.

The world says,
"Be someone, do your own thing, express your individuality." God says, "Decrease to your wants and self importance and take up your cross. We are told to let the outward "you" be crucified so that the Spirit of Christ can have effective sanctuary and expression in you. The ways of the world and this world's thinking are enemies to God's way. The scientific mind requires proof. The eye measures and discerns the things which the unbeliever considers reality. Yet Christians are entreated to disregard outward manifestations the objectified world. The mind is not the highest faculty to lead and direct.

Sons or daughters of God are led by the Spirit,
(Romans 8:14) - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God -", are the sons/children of God." Where spiritual truth is concerned the only reliable and eternal truth is the Word of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14: The natural man (man without the Spirit) receives not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them because they are Spiritually discerned.”

Accessing God's truth and becoming a Christian requires faith on our part. Paul, in the same letter to Corinth talks about the priority of proving God and making Spiritual realities manifest. "I did not come teaching and preaching with enticing words of man's wisdom but with demonstration of the Spirit and of power that your faith should not stand upon man's wisdom but upon the power of God. (1Corinthians 2:4,5) The Spiritual life only begins to manifest because of the grace of God. It is actually God who gives us the ability to act in faith.

The gospel states with respect to the Kingdom of God, that we are all pressing into it. In Luke 16:16 The Lord is pictured as standing at the door knocking and seeking entrance. The action of faith opens that door to him. Again, grace is the initiatory cause, it is God's hand in matters concerning our life that stirs, directs and empowers. Grace is the hand of God outstretched to us, beckoning; he bids us to come forth. We respond to him and we press in to the world of Spiritual life that awaits. The hand of grace is outstretched in love. Grace speaks in the voice of love, kindness, compassion and giving. This love is caring and constructive in nature. Love builds and empowers the body to grow. Love builds the bonds of those who come together to share their faith experience. Love, not knowledge defines the character and the parameters of the spiritual life. There is always a knowledge component involved in studying God's word. We grow and are enlightened from studying the Word of scripture. Little by little precepts grow from information. The Spirit of God gives 'understanding' and begins to make connectivity (hermeneutic=equals a system of interpretation) and consistency to the whole of scripture. Scripture reminds us that knowledge alone ultimately has the affect of "puffing up" our egos. We find that knowledge without compassion becomes a deficit. We will always find that the "knowledge" aspect of Christianity is closely linked to "religious systems." We find that even among theological experts there are vast areas of disagreement. In the religious realm expertise should equate to Godly wisdom and Spiritual experience that fully agrees with the apostolic beginnings of the faith. The Spirit of God provides maturity in the study of the word of God.

How much do we have to know before we become Spiritual?
Let me remind you of Jesus’ statement: John 5:30 “
I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” Why then should you and I try to do the will of God on our own strength? See also John 14:10 and John 15:5 which speaks of abiding in the vine.
The Apostle Paul continuously emphasizes the power (dunamis) that God provides. Activation in all spiritual matter derives through Christ Jesus' Spirit. This spirit is given to empower our lives and relationships.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit brings the believer into the reality of Christ in us. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Fellowship in The Body
The Spiritual relationships within the body of believers lies closer to the center of the gospel than any other factor. The koinonia, fellowship and relationship among believers animates the life of the body of Christ on earth. It was the foundational principle in the apostolic first-century church. In order to glimpse the New Testament church of the Book of Acts, "They continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship and breaking of bread, and with prayer." (Acts, Chapter 2:42)
The apostles knew the way of God in the richest measure and guided novices into the same vibrant experience. By witnessing first hand the mighty ways of God, the community of faith grew dynamically. In the first century the church which expressed the Kingdom of God expanded throughout far flung regions of the world. A Spiritual and righteous community stands in contrast to a world of unbelief, carnality, and unrighteousness.

God calls us into a family-like community in which God is not only glorified but in which God continuously interacts with the disciples of this community. Genuine affection and fellowship with a heavenly focus is what koinonia is about. This 'family' is characterized by sharing the joy of redemption (salvation is the first step in participating in this community.) The intimate fellowship of believers is the closest thing to heaven that God has for us on earth. We share a common mind, a common testimony, a common hope. We are baptized into one Spirit into a common destiny. This community is redemptive owing to the fact that deceptions that tarnish this world can not endure in the presence of the Living God. Things which defile the flesh can’t prevail in his presence. We welcome those who enter this community of faith where we find restoration, strength and edification. We come together in fellowship to repair the bumps, bruises, and blemishes that life in this world inflicts upon those who are "not of this world." (See John 17:14, 17:16) The world continues on its own course not hearing and not seeing and resisting the Truth and hating the righteous ones.

The life of that body, called the body of Christ, is 'organic' and natural. It is not defined by laws of human organization or any dogmatic religious requirements. The only limitation is defined by the authenticity of the personal redemption that is experienced by each. There are always a few who are masquerading as believers who try to maintain their lives by the strength of their own will and abilities. The natural man (without the Spirit) primarily, continues to value worldly matters which are at odds with the God life.

God Chooses People With a Diversity of Human Gifts and Abilities
As we gather in the body we soon realize that there are so many different life experiences. These display the diversities of gifts and abilities. There needs to be a welcoming of these unique gifts that these individuals offer. We are not meant to be like another. However, the path to discipleship is a long and gradual process. Some progress more quickly owing to the grace of God. During the continuous process of discipleship we must be open and teachable. We need to respect the mature and seasoned in matters spiritual. Spiritual experience among the mature may be broad enough to demonstrate a total range of spirituality and anointings. See Romans Chapter 12; 1Corinthians 12; and 1Corinthians 14, and Ephesians 4. We are reminded that Paul is so bold to admonish his own disciples to "imitate him as he imitates" Christ Jesus.

To Summarize:
Learning Christ according to the Apostles Doctrine requires:

To be spiritually renewed by faith in Jesus Christ

To receive the empowerment of the Holy Spirit

To renew your mind through the study of scripture

To seek personal fellowship of God

To seek the fellowship of God's family-where your loved and valued

To imitate those who have matured spirituality

To walk in faith, (the knowledge that God cares for us in this very present moment)

To minister to others, the same gifts and wholeness that we have received from God



Updated 01-2024





 









Updated 01-2024