A small group of men and I are going through a basic discipleship class (@6am on Friday mornings!). In the past, I have might have viewed much of the content in the book we’ve chosen as too basic, too simple, or too elementary. That is until I read verses like Colossians 2.6-8 and realize that it’s these basic principles, the ones that we first learn as “newly planted” believers, that help us grow:
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
The study we are going through does what I have often failed to do as a pastor (and simply as a Christian)–it assumes you/I know nothing about Christianity. I think we could all do well to assume we know less than we do–to adopt the disposition of a genuine learner. And to that end, we might want to begin with the reality that you may not have as many answers (to important questions) as we might have thought. Then, with our newly assumed ignorance, start reading the Bible. I am confident that there is a good chance the experience will reveal that much of what we once believed to be true isn’t biblical.
Below are the four questions from the first three chapters. They are simple questions with IMPORTANT answers. Our answers WILL dictate your attitudes, perspectives, and behaviors. Moreover, they will govern our relationship with God and with other believers. I won’t give you my answers, but I will list Scriptures where partial answers can be found. AND, I will challenge you to ask yourself whether you have answers…and whether or not those answers come from your emotion, your intellect, your experience, or your Lord.
What is a disciple of Jesus? (Why follow?)
What is the church? (Why go?)
What is the Bible? (Why read?)
What is prayer? (Why speak?)
(Answers: Q1 – Mark 1.1-20, 8.27-34; Q2 – John 10.16; Ephesians 2.18-22; 4.11-16; Q3 – 2Tim 3.16-17; 1Peter 1.20-21; Heb 4.12; Q4- Matt 6.9-13; Luke 11.2-4; 11.5-13; Phil 4.6-7)