Tuesday, May 4

What's the difference between converts and disciples?

This is a common question. If making disciples is the what we are to be about, how do we know if we are accomplishing this effectively? The difference between converts and disciples is that disciples obey what Christ commanded. Converts listen and might believe what they are taught, but little is applied in their own lives.

With converts, activity takes the place of obedience. We are easily seduced into thinking if we are involved in Christian activities, we are doing the right thing. Being obedient disciples is something quite different. It is not activity oriented. It is obedience to Christ's commands. Not how much we know of the Bible, but how much we obey what Christ says.


Everyone knows, or at least has heard about the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament. But how many Christians know and can quote the Ten Commandments of Christ?

As part of the Great Commission Jesus clearly instructs "teaching them to observe ALL that I commanded you..." What exactly did Christ command?

One quick test to see how much of a disciple we really are is to grade ourselves on a scale of 1-10 on the approximate degree of obedience to each of the following commandments.

Add up the points. If you score 50% or greater, you lean towards being a disciple. If 50% or less, you lean more towards being a convert.

1) LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH...YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. The Great Commandment: Matthew 22:37-40, Mark 12:28-31.

2) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. The Great Commission: Matthew 28:19-20.

3) ...love one another. The New Commandment: John 13:34-35, 15:12.

4) ...seek first His kingdom and His righteousness... The Priority commandment for every believer: Matthew 6:33.

5) ...do this in remembrance of Me... The Lord's Supper: Luke 20:14-20, 1 Corinthians 12:23-26.

6) ...wash one another's feet...you also should do as I did to you... The Great Example Commandment: John 13:14-15.

7) Abide in Me... The Commandment that is the secret to a fruitful life: John 15:4-8.

8) ...beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest... The only specific request Christ commanded his disciples to pray besides the Lord's Prayer: Luke 10:2, Matthew 9:38.

9) ...do not pass judgment...do not condemn...pardon...give... General Commandments of Jesus for victorious living: Luke 6:37-38.

10) ...love your enemies...do good to those who hate you...bless those who curse you...pray for those who mistreat you... Commandments for loving our enemies: Luke 6:27-36, Matthew 5:43-48.

Christians should not measure their spiritual maturity based upon their knowledge of the Gospel, but upon their obedience of what they know of the Gospel. We should never confuse our knowing the commands of Christ with obeying them in our personal lives. The Christian walk is not about what we know, but about how much we OBEY what it is we know.

6 comments:

BParsons said...

I don't mean to mess up the "ten," but there is one command of Christ that I have committed to do for the rest of my life. It is found in Matthew 9:38 and Luke 10:2. We are told to ask the Lord of the Harvest to send forth laborers for the harvest. Knowing that "this is the confidence we have with Him that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us and...we know that we have what we have requested of Him."

If He has commanded us to pray this prayer, there is no doubt of the prayer's efficacy. I am confident that every time I ask the Lord for laborers for the harvest, He sends out new laborers. I lead my church in this prayer every time we are together, and I pray it daily as well. What would happen if every church, every believer, every time they prayed, asked this of the Lord of Harvest? I believe we would flood the world with true "laborers."

My prayer is that in every situation, God puts someone who knows in the presence of someone who needs to know.

I will pray this prayer the rest of my life. I find great joy in knowing that, by this simple obedience to this clear command of Christ, I have been used of Him to unleash thousands of new laborers into the world harvest field.

GuyMuse said...

Bruce,

You must have skipped over #8 which is the one where Christ commands us to ...beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest... The only specific request Christ commanded his disciples to pray besides the Lord's Prayer: Luke 10:2, Matthew 9:38.

We also dedicate an entire lesson in our CP training for this command.

Everyone we work with has their cell phone or watch alarms set for 10:02 everyday (Luke 10:2) to remind us to pray this prayer.

I could speak volumes about the importance of putting this command into practice, but suffice it to say, we are overwhelmed right now with people WAITING to be trained that have come solely out of praying the TEN2b prayer.

Will you please spread this virus amongst the people you are in contact with?

THANK YOU FOR PRAYING the TEN2b prayer! I believe the Lord is flooding the world right now with laborers because people like you are faithful to obey this command to pray!

BParsons said...

As an English teacher, it gives me great shame that I could miss a whole point like that! I think in my own enthusiasm I was ready to announce this one.

I think it's great that you are doing this with the churches there. I wish I had known about it while in Esmeraldas.

Last summer during VBS it gave me extra joy to hear one of the elementary age children ask the Lord to "send laborers into the harvest" before he closed his prayer. I have challenged my church members to ask this request every time they pray, even at meal time.

In the past five years, I have had the privilege of spreading this "virus" in other churches, in our local association, and on various blogs and forums in which I participate.

It will give me great joy to know that, as I am praying, I am praying with you and with others around the world who follow this command.

I often tell groups where I speak that there is one prayer that I guarantee ALWAYS gets answered. It's nice to put a face with as many laborers as possible, but I also get excited when I think about the people I will not meet until eternity who were the answers to our prayers.

I also believe in "prayer bombs." I invite you to take a peek at my section on "prayer bombs" in my blog I publish for my church members: http://bpsermonbytes.blogspot.com/2009/11/better-than-bombs-or-bullets.html

And sorry I overlooked commmandment #8 in your list. It is an excellent list. May we all be engaged in "teaching them to observe all things that He has commanded."

GuyMuse said...

Bruce,

I absolutely love the way you put this, From my prayer closet, I am bombarding Teheran, Baghdad, Kabul, and Riyadh. I am dropping prayer bombs all over the Middle East that is cloaked in the darkness of deception. I'm also praying for Jerusalem, where Christ is excluded. I'm praying for Pyong Yang, for Calcutta, for Moscow, for Shanghai, and for Manila. I am an equal-opportunity bomber. I am dropping prayer bombs on New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Miami. I am also remembering small communities, and I have dropped bombs in my own neighborhood.

One well-said prayer, in accordance with God's will, can do infinitely more than bombs, bullets, or ballots. We need to bombard the strongholds of Satan in our world, whether it's on the other side of the world, or in our own backyard.


With your permission I may copy part of this for a blog post. Good stuff!

And you are exactly right in that the TEN2b virus "prayer bomb" is one that is guaranteed to be answered by the Lord--after all, he commanded it himself!

Natasa said...

if we remain just converts all our life are we really saved?

GuyMuse said...

Natasa,

Good question!