Living Life Together (Part 2)
“Being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” (1 Thessalonians 2:8)
If we are going to take the gospel seriously, we have to take discipleship seriously. If we are going to take discipleship seriously, we must live life together.
1. OPEN THE SCRIPTURES TOGETHER.
While we live life together, it may be tempting to keep relationships casual and at surface level. Only sharing our own thoughts and feelings rather than turning together to look at what God has said. Let us fight against these temptations by making a normal part of our relationships opening up the scriptures and praying together.
God’s word is a powerful, nourishing lamp to the feet (Ps 119:105). It is by God’s powerful and gracious word that all things exist, and by it our minds are renewed (Rom 12.1-2). The words that he communicated to us through the Scriptures must be central in our lives, since it is by his word that we live (Dt 8:3, Matt 4:4). It doesn’t matter what stage or season of life you are in; opening up God’s word meets the needs of every single person. You do not have to be a pastor or scholar to open the Scriptures. God’s word is for God’s children. Open and read the Bible together with others. You do not need to know all the answers. Talk about God’s word, wrestle with God’s word and be transformed by God’s word as you submit to it. After all, “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Ti 3:16–17) There is immense value in saints opening that living word and coming under the authority of God together.
Scripture should be part of the tone of our Christian community. When we take the Bible seriously, it means we take God seriously. There are different ways for this to look in our discipleship. Perhaps just start with one book of the Bible. Read it out loud and talk about it together. Open up the Bible after a meal, read a section, and talk about it for a few minutes. Pick a gospel, read a chapter, and discuss it the next time you meet. Depending on your schedules and desires, you could set a formal, fixed time together where you go through the scriptures together. There’s nothing wrong with formality and planning in discipleship– if you both desire a more disciplined and intentional approach, then go for it. Just make sure you don’t merely talk about the Scriptures but actually open and submit yourselves to it.
2. SPEND TIME IN PRAYER TOGETHER.
Nothing shows our dependence and need for God better then prayer does. Prayer helps us grow closer to Jesus in trust and intimacy, which leads to real spiritual growth and transformation. At first, praying with other people can feel awkward. But if we make it something that we are always doing, it can become a normal and even essential part of our Christian relationships. Together you can pray for one another, for your church, for your city, for anything and everything.
3. BEING GOSPEL-CENTERED TOGETHER.
The fundamental key to discipleship, in fact, the whole center of the Christian faith, is the good news of Jesus Christ- the gospel! The gospel frees us from hiding from our weaknesses; even more, it frees us to lean into our weakness to see God’s strength and goodness. The gospel frees us from pretending to have it all together, since our identity and worth is based upon God’s love and acceptance in Christ and not our own performance or record.
The gospel frees us to lay down our life for discipleship in order that others may come to a deeper understanding of God’s love, and so that we may all be transformed into his image. So our discipleship must be fueled and empowered by the good news of Jesus Christ. Above all, let us continue to have gospel-centered discipleship, where we help one another believe the gospel, apply the gospel, and obey the gospel in every area of our lives.
Together, let us all continue to fight for joy and satisfaction in him as we saturate ourselves in the ocean of His abundant and extravagant blood-wrought grace.