Participating in God’s Redemptive Activity
The sixth discipleship component focuses on the God’s redemptive activity through his people, the Church, that choose to enter under his authority, his Kingdom.
The redemptive work of God is manifested in and through the Church. Global Disciples defines the “Church” as a growing community of disciples centred in Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and focused on mission. The evidence of such a community is seen in its devotion to God’s Word, the quality and depth of fellowship, a joyful sharing of lives celebrated in worship, communion, baptism, and prayer.
A Transfer of Kingdoms
We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and have entered into the kingdom of Satan (Ephesians 2:1-3), after which we became enemies of God (Romans 5:6-10). In this, the love of God was manifested toward us—that God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him (1 John 4:9). God has delivered each one of us “from the power of the darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14; Revelation 1:5-6).
God’s Kingdom is full of LOVE. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave us a new commandment to love one another as He loved us, to fully represent His Kingdom in this world (John 13:34-35). He wants us to be known by our love for one another. The distinguishing mark of true Kingdom-minded disciples is the love that they have for one another. Our Lord also said that loving only Christians is not true agape love (Matthew 5:43-48). In His parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus shared His expectations for Kingdom-minded people to show genuine kindness and love towards their neighbours, believers and non-believers alike (Luke 10:29-37).
Reflection question: Are we reflecting what the Kingdom of God looks like in our relationships with one another and with our neighbours?
When we enter into the Kingdom of God, we are given authority with Him. The benefits of citizenship belong only to those who have put themselves under the authority of the sovereign King Jesus. Speaking of Christ, Revelation 17:14 says, “He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers.” Therefore, our first allegiance is to our heavenly citizenship rather than our earthly citizenship.
Church is the place where we learn from one another and shape one another to represent the Kingdom of God. The first century Church was known by their fellowship with God and one another (Acts 2:42-47). They studied the Word together, ate together, and prayed together DAILY. They believed who they were in Christ and, as a result, the Word spread like wildfire. There are benefits in our fellowship with one another.
As disciples, we are all members of one family called the “Body of Christ.” We need one another for mutual encouragement and to help each other grow in our relationship with the Lord. That is why spending time together with this intent is so important. Our interaction with others also can and should encourage us to be accountable in our actions, words, and lifestyle so that we are living a godly life before the world (Hebrews 10:24-25). Proverbs 27:17 talks about how iron sharpens iron. We help each other stay sharp through the Word of God. Matthew 18:19 talks about how important it is to expect great results when we pray together with another believer. There are a lot of blessings when we are in a heart-to heart fellowship with others (Psalm 133). There is nothing like spending time with people who love God and believe who they are in Christ.
Jesus is building His Church to fully represent the Kingdom of God here on earth. There’s a call for holiness, unity, and peace in the Body of Christ. As you understand your function in the Body, God will use you in a powerful way for His glory. If even one member is missing, however, both that member and the rest of the Body are affected.
This is the 6th post of a 9-part series that explores “Discipling in the way of Jesus”, a focus on Global Disciples’ 9 Essential Components of Discipleship Training. The series summarizes the core teaching of our discipleship-mission training that is taught to program directors chosen by local clusters of churches around the world.