Tag Archives: discipleship

Product Review: How to Share Your Faith – The Plan of Salvation

The “How to Share Your Faith – The Plan of Salvation” pamphlet provides a roadmap through the Plan of Salvation. It examines the elementary components within the Plan of Salvation and clarifies the roles of the Godhead and Ambassadors for Christ. I believe this helps novice evangelist obtain a healthier outlook when sharing the Gospel. The Good News is properly defined, supporting Scriptures are provided, and diagrams illustrate biblical principles brilliantly.

There is emphasis on spreading the Good News while being mindful to present the message without judgment or condemnation. It also does not suggest fear or emotional tactics such as the “fire and brimstone” methods. It explains that Ambassadors for Christ will only be effective when spread the Gospel through God’s love. This is key because there are many people who seek to spread the Gospel but it is going on death’s ears because of how they are presenting the message.

Overviews of the fall of man, Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, and God’s ability to make all things new delivers simplified message to share with others. It promotes the use of spiritual disciplines for continuous spiritual growth so that we may be used as Instruments of God and God’s Promises.

This is a good introductory pamphlet on “how to share your faith effectively.” It would definitely be beneficial to people who have a passion to evangelize and witness yet lack experience and understanding. I believe it would be a great point of reference and quite beneficial by utilizing simplified explanations of the biblical principles.

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True Disciple Requirements and Characteristics

What makes us true disciples for Christ? True discipleship is more than acknowledging God, being baptized by water, identifying ourselves as Christians, and attending worship services religiously. Jesus made this clear to the mixed multitude of followers in Luke 14:25-35. Not everyone that followed Christ were true Believers or Disciples. It is evident through the Scriptures that Jesus wanted people to be aware of the requirements. He was not seeking enthusiasts, fascists, or groupies who falsely identified themselves as His disciples. Jesus was specific about the requirements.

True Disciples will…

  • Love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds (Matthew 22:37; Luke 14:26-27; John 14:15)
  • Study the Scriptures for teaching, reprimand, improvement, and training in morality which will equipped us for every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17)
  • Possess faith in God (Hebrews 11:6)
  • Assist in spreading the Gospel (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 19:9-10, John 8:31)
  • Acknowledge that we are not exempt from enduring affliction, persecution, and suffering (Matthew 10:24-25; Luke 14:27)
  • Pursue Christ (Luke 14:27)
  • Be productive, fruitful (John 15:8)
  • Teachable (John 14:26; John 6:60-66)
  • Live our lives characterized by love (John 13:35)
  • Worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24)

In Psalm 15, David asked God, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” David was making inquiry to what characteristics were necessary to be Citizens of Zion. This Psalms identifies five important characteristics for the Citizens of Zion. The Citizens of Zion will be…

  •  Psalms 15:2 ~  Sincere about their relationship with God and be blameless in their Christian Conduct. Obedient to all ordinances and commandments of  God.
  • Psalms 15:3 ~  Those who avoid speaking evil (gossiping and backbiting), and are careful not to cause harm to anyone.
  • Psalms 15:4 ~  Values and respects virtues and godliness, but despises wickedness and does not envy their possessions.
  • Psalms 15:5 ~  Philanthropists who freely gives to the poor within their ability. They will not accept bribes or be a party in extortion.

When we compare the requirements with the characteristics, we are able to see how they align with one another. In knowing the requirements and characteristics, do we still say “Yes”? If we examine our personal relationship with God, are we meeting His expectations? Are we sincerely striving to be the true worshippers that God seeks?

Counting the Cost

The gift of salvation is free. (Romans 5:15) However, there is the cost of discipleship that all must consider. Luke 14:25-33 (NIV) provides us with a recount of Jesus speaking to the mixed multitude of followers. Not everyone in the multitude were true followers of Christ. Jesus being aware of this fact spoke to the multitude regarding the requirements of true discipleship. Jesus was not interested in enthusiasts. He was seeking true disciples. Verses 26-27 says, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

In these verses, Jesus emphasizes that a true disciple must be willing to give up family, friends, and their own lives to follow Him. This is very important. Not simply because we must be willing to give up everyone and everything but because it means that our lives are not our own. We do not live for ourselves; we live for Christ. It is also important to focus specifically on verse 27. Jesus makes references to carrying their own crosses. The cross is a symbol of suffering and persecution. In other words, are you willing to be insulted, physically beaten, and/or tortured to serve Him? Will you lay down your life in service for Him? He encouraged the followers to reflect upon these requirements before willfully committing.

In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus states that not everyone that cries out proclaiming to prophesy, cast out demons, and perform miracles in His name will enter the kingdom of heaven. Furthermore, Jesus says that He will tell them, “…‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” This group of people are the hypocrites displaying a form of godliness, without the power. In Matthew 25:31-46, speaks of Jesus’ return and how he will address the sheep and the goats. Sheep are symbolic of God’s children who will reap the inheritance of the kingdom and eternal life. The goats represent the hypocrites who will receive eternal punishment.

There is a difference between calling ourselves a Christian and actually being one. Christian are called not to love the world or anything in it. (1 John 2:15) It is our duty to be living sacrifices. (Romans 12:1) Our greatest commandment is to “…’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” We must evaluate ourselves honestly and soberly. Now that we know what it takes to be a true disciple we must ask ourselves the question. Is God seeking us?